Style: mashups

The issues

Following some conversation on the unofficial discord, I think the current style guidelines are worth rediscussing for the case of mashups.
Current style guidelines for mashup (Style / Specific types of releases / Remixes and mashups - MusicBrainz) explain that mashups should be credited as:

  • Artist: the mashup creator
  • Title: Not really any info on how to credit it. Other than putting the artists of the tracks mashuped as (Artist A vs. Artist B)

Also, the Remixer relationship is apparently also used to credit the mashup creator.


Adjusted guidelines

The current style guidelines for Mashup is very lacking, so I’m proposing a clearer rule, which is based on existing ones and takes into account different ways I’ve seen mashups credited.

  • Always keep the original credits for the Title field (keep slashes, vs. or similar);
  • If Artists are in the original credits (Artist A - Track A / Artist B - Track B or Artist A - Track A vs. Artist B - Track B), move them out to the Artist field and keep the original separator (/, vs., or similar);
  • If Artists are not in the original credits, use the mashup artist in the Artist field;
  • Use the Remixer relationship to denote who the mashup artist is;
  • Use the Mashup of relationship to link to the original recordings.

Works also need to be linked; my guess is that in this case they should be as “partial” or “acapella” depending on the context.

I do think actually adding the whole vs. thing in the recording title feels cumbersome, and can just be replaced by both the relationships and a disambiguation saying “[mashup artist] mashup” or similar.


Examples

Here are some examples of how I’ve seen mashups be credited, and how they would look like in the database:

No Mana - Toys of Violence / Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko, mashup by No Mana

A mashup where the mashup artist used a separator and the original track credits
Source: https://youtu.be/IMRPKeKBa5A?t=1218

  • Title: Toys of Violence / Le Disko
  • Artist: No Mana / Shiny Toy Guns
  • Relationships:
    • Remixer: No Mana
    • Mashup of: No Mana - Toys of Violence, Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko (recordings)
    • Recording disambiguation: No Mana mashup, part of “A/V Set @ Gravity 2021” DJ‐mix

Your Pain, mashup by Duality

A mashup where the mashup artist used their own choice of title.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoLcW1TQnxc

  • Title: Your Pain
  • Artist: Duality
  • Relationships:
    • Remixer: Duality
    • Mashup of: Koven - Your Pain, Tails & Juelz - Cobra, Droptek - What's Going On… (recordings)
  • Recording disambiguation: Duality Mashup

OAKK - Triadzz x Pretty Boys Swag

A mashup where only the mashup artist is credited
Source: Triadzz x Pretty Boy Swag | OAKK

  • Title: Triadzz x Pretty Boys Swag (perhaps replacing the x with the proper unicode character)
  • Artist: OAKK
  • Relationships:
    • Remixer: OAKK
    • Mashup of: Rustie - Triadzz, Soulja Boy - Pretty Boys Swag (recordings)
  • Recording disambiguation: OAKK Mashup

Conclusion

I think these rules would fit more cleanly without sacrificing original credits, and also would not bloat the titles of recordings (like in Recording “Barbraloss (mashup) (Duck Sauce vs. Freefire vs. Darth & Vader)” by Darth & Vader - MusicBrainz).

Cheers :slight_smile:

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Could you show examples with famous songs and famous artists, like The Beatles and stuff like that?

Because I’m not sure I understand, otherwise.

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Not sure I have examples. I have limited knowledge about more popular music and I’m not even sure there’s proper mashups of songs like these. I’ll try to look for some.

there has been little discussion about mashup works in the past, but I believe the general rule has been mashups get a new work, especially with mashups more complicated than just [song 1] vs [song 2] (also for lyrics, lyric languages, and such)

(opinion time), I think these new works should be linked to the original works for the tracks, perhaps with based on or quotes music/lyrics, depending on context. I’ve done this in a couple of occasions with mashups with classical pieces, since it’s nearly impossible to find the specific recording for these (I did look for quite a bit tho)


here’s a couple more popular artists mashed up:

I do agree that there is room for improvement in the mashup space, there’s currently three recordings for Rock of Ages, each with a different style for the vs text (vs & vs. & /)

one point I will make, I think (when possible), the mashup artist should still be credited as the recording artist. whether they’re listed as the track artist, I don’t feel as strongly on, but at least the recording artist should be the mashupper

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Do your proposed changes apply to releases, tracks, or recordings (or two of those, or all three)?

My (unfounded) hunch is that most mashups are created by third parties, not by one of the artists whose music is being mashed up. Could you provide more examples of how third-party mashups would be entered, ideally both ones that involved permission from one of the original artists and ones that didn’t?

I’d warn against deciding whom to credit based on how the mashup artist (or somebody else who uploaded the song) entered the credits online. The text can often be inconsistent across different sources, and it’s unexpected to me that a mashup would be credited to different entities in MusicBrainz (i.e. to the original artists vs. to the mashup artist) depending on what the mashup artist happened to type into Bandcamp or YouTube.

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These are good IMO, they don’t have the original artists in track artist or recording artist.
They are linked to original recordings.

I think these two points are good.
I don’t know what the OP was suggesting to change.

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I think the main difference is the artist credit and disambiguations on recordings. taking this example:

the recording would be credited thusly under the current guidance:

  • Title: Toys of Violence / Le Disko (No Mana vs. Shiny Toy Guns)
  • Artist: No Mana
  • Recording disambiguation: part of “A/V Set @ Gravity 2021” DJ‐mix
  • Relationships: (same as the above)

apart from that, it looks to be very much the same as the current guidance, just codifying general practices and guidelining relationships. I don’t think adding [artist] mashup to the disambiguation really adds much over the current practice of simply only having the mashup artist in the artist field, and if relationships are properly added to the recording, we do get the original artists credited too

that said, I really don’t mind leaving the vs text off of the recording title… honestly I usually don’t add that myself (tho I do a lot of work on mashups) (I have been adding them slowly, just prioritizing adding new items in general)


one thing I don’t quite know my opinion on, whether this should also apply to the tracklists of mashup releases… I typically follow whatever track title is given (i.e. leaving off the vs text if not included), perhaps we could do the same with the artist field? so for the example above, the artist credit on the tracklist would be No Mana / Shiny Toy Guns? I might be open to that as a change… I don’t know how this might apply to a mashup release like Schnipseljagd Vol.12 (MB), whether that counts as crediting the original artists or not… this style seems to be more prevalent on older mashup releases (2000s – early 2010s), and newer mashup artists often leave off the vs credits on their releases (in my experience, that is)


edit: I feel like a lot of this might more belong on a documentation page rather than the style guidelines? I think the style guidelines are mostly to clarify and standardize on controversial and unclear areas of metadata (tho correct me if I’m wrong, @reosarevok)

one thing I would like to add is the use of ordering mashup relationships. I’ve always figured that means ordering by appearance, in fact I just edited Rock of Ages to reflect this

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Very much agree with this

afaik that’s been common practice on “mashup releases” since a while now, e.g.
https://bootiemashup.com/ and similar. If the release does not have the artists in the trackname

Further the “always put artists in the trackname” was a guideline back in the days of yonder, when even before NGS too, so it’s been relaxed superiorily, it’s not longer mandatory, just heavily encouraged (unless the original tracks are linked in which case idgaf myself either)

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My view was based on both tracks and recordings.

Not always a given. My first example was made by the same artist as one of the tracks.


The issue with that, is that you are losing the original information: the original track credit by the artist is No Mana - Toys of Violence / Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko.

Another issue I have is the unclear explanation of the difference between track and recording crediting.

I guess that would need clarification, so in the example of No Mana - Toys of Violence / Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko (this is the original way it is credited, in the release), would this make more sense?

Recording

  • Title: Toys of Violence / Le Disko (No Mana vs. Shiny Toy Guns) → uses the same separator as the original credit, but moves the original track artists to the title, with the vs. separator.
  • Artist: No Mana → credits the mashup artist
  • + add relationships

Track

  • Title: Toys of Violence / Le Disko → Uses the same separator as the original credit
  • Artist: No Mana / Shiny Toy Guns → Follows the original credit?

I think the main issue is not keeping the original crediting in the track (NOT the recording, as it makes sense to normalize).


Perhaps, but I couldn’t really find a clear guideline which… made sense, for a lot of examples I wanted to cleanup.


Overall I’m just trying to find how to properly tag everything - I’ve had very conflicting info from multiple people, different pages in the doc. Maybe what I’ve proposed in this message is actually what’s supposed to be done?

yeah, I know Bootie and Mash Up Your Bootz (and a lot of their artists) use vs text, but the only “new” mashup artists I know that uses vs text somewhat consistently are Triple-Q and Oneboredjeu (there might be others tho, even others I listen to, lol)


one thing I do want to mention, if we do start adding the original artist credits to the tracks, that does mean they’ll start appearing on some of the original artists’ pages (tho not the main page, unless they’re in the release group credit). I don’t personally have an issue with that, but I feel like there’s some editors who might?

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I do agree that adding the original artists might be problematic for some.
I think a priority needs to be chosen: keep the original formatting in the release, or harmonize things through putting vs. in the title?

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I’d put a hand up on this one. I don’t know many of the examples here, but recognised the Beatles and Zeppelin ones you added. I agree that a mashup of an artist like the Beatles should not appear in the Beatles discography on their page.

The creator of the music is the Masher-Upper. So their name should be on the single. Their creation then uses multiple sources. Just like shown in @UltimateRiff’s examples.

In some level, a mash-up is like using a sample. Just a lot more of a sample.

I can see the logic of wanting to tag the track like the Masher-Upper credited it, but this should not leech into the source material’s discographies.

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Yea, gotta be honest, I don’t really like that at all. via relationships I want it, but not in their “regular” discography, NOPE

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