DJ Cummerbund’s Astonishing Mashups Create Unexpected Collaborations Between Rock, Soul & Hip Hop Icons

“His­to­ry in the mak­ing,” Jay‑Z calls out a few bars into Beyoncé’s debut solo sin­gle “Crazy in Love.”

The sen­ti­ment may be even more ger­mane, when he does it in remix mas­ter DJ Cum­mer­bund’s irre­sistible mashup “Crazy Togeth­er,” above.

The recent assem­blage finds Queen Bey split­ting screen time with The Bea­t­les, as DJ Cum­mer­bund weaves “Crazy in Love” togeth­er with “Come Togeth­er.”

The video is as much fun as the seam­less audio, with a ham­my cameo from Ringo Starr, cour­tesy of the 1981 com­e­dy Cave­man, and Yoko Ono and James Brown doing some heavy lift­ing.

John Lennon’s take as Brown fires up his Sex Machine is price­less. It real­ly feels as if these unlike­ly col­lab­o­ra­tors were active, rather than pas­sive con­trib­u­tors.

Here’s a peek into how DJ Cum­mer­bund arranged the audio clips.

Asked in a 2020 inter­view with Dig­i­tal Jour­nal about the source of his inspi­ra­tion, he respond­ed:

I’m not sure if you can call it inspi­ra­tion exact­ly, but I have a neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion that caus­es me to hear and feel melodies and fre­quen­cies where most can­not (in the wind, the soil, celes­tial bod­ies, etc.) This ulti­mate­ly caus­es me to con­stant­ly hear songs on top of oth­er songs to the point of extreme frus­tra­tion and the only way to sub­due that is to actu­al­ly cre­ate what I’m hear­ing in my head. It’s almost ther­a­peu­tic for me, and I was even told I could die if I don’t con­tin­ue to cre­ate my works. It’s def­i­nite­ly like a curse some­times but can also be a bless­ing as my music seems to bring a great deal of joy to mil­lions of peo­ple.

An under­sung ele­ment of these crowd pleas­ing remix­es is how skill­ful­ly DJ Cum­mer­bund ties things togeth­er by record­ing sup­ple­men­tal vocals and instru­men­tals.

Ozzy Osbourne fronts “Earth, Wind and Ozzys,” which mar­ries his 1980 solo hit “Crazy Train” with Earth Wind & Fire’s ever­green “Sep­tem­ber” so suc­cess­ful­ly, it’s a let down to remem­ber that a gor­geous, har­mo­nized “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train” is an invent­ed, not sam­pled dis­co cho­rus.

The com­bi­na­tions the DJ comes up with can’t help but force a fresh per­spec­tive on artists who would nev­er in a mil­lion years have shared a stage or fan­base.

Step into a no man’s land where the rapid fire punk brat­ti­ness of the Ramones can coex­ist with the Han­son broth­ers’ lemon fresh, Tul­sa whole­some­ness, and Cot­ton Eye Joe comes in out of nowhere.

When a title like “Me and Coo­lio Down by the School­yard” pops into your head, it arrives as a self-thrown gaunt­let. You can’t not see it through to fruition.

The late rapper’s “Fan­tas­tic Voy­age” infus­es Paul Simon’s gen­tly nos­tal­gic “Me And Julio Down By The School Yard” with some NSFW lyrics and a much hard­er out­look.

The lo-fi joys of dou­ble dutch and play­ground hoops from the orig­i­nal Julio video present a plau­si­ble  vision of a “place where (Coo­lio’s) kids can play out­side with­out livin’ in fear of a dri­ve-by.”

This being a DJ Cum­mer­bund pro­duc­tion, base­ball Hall of Famer, Mick­ey Man­tle and foot­ball coach John Mad­den, who were on hand for Julio, have to make room for his ever present muse, the late wrestling super­star Randy “Macho Man” Sav­age.

DJ Cum­mer­bund is will­ing to con­sid­er requests, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you do a bit of home­work to ensure that your cho­sen songs’ keys match up and their BPMs inhab­it the same realm.

See more of his mash ups, includ­ing Shaxi­c­u­la, the MTV Video Music Award-win­ning B‑52s/Britney Spears remix here.

In recent weeks, DJ Cum­mer­bund has been open­ing for the B‑52s dur­ing their res­i­den­cy at the Venet­ian.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

50 Songs from a Sin­gle Year, Mixed Togeth­er Into One 3‑Minute Song (1979–89)

The Peanuts Gang Per­forms Pink Floyd’s Clas­sic Rock Opera in the Mashup “Char­lie Brown vs. The Wall“

The His­to­ry of Rock Told in a Whirl­wind 15-Minute Video

– Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo and Cre­ative, Not Famous Activ­i­ty Book. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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