Remix tapes and mashups are songs created by producers and DJs using the music of one artist and mixing it with the music of another. Typically you’ll have someone’s vocals played over someone else’s music sometimes of a completely different genre. One of the most interesting forms of this is when hip hop is played over a very different style of music. Producer Danger Mouse famously created “The Grey Album” by using the music from The Beatles’ “White Album” and mixing it with Jayz’s vocals from his “Black Album.” The thought of a mix of The Beatles and Jayz seems really bizarre but it actually turned out pretty good. Recently I heard of another unlikely pairing. A producer who goes by “Tor” mixed the music of Sufjan Stevens with the vocals of a number of MCs. The project is known as “Illinoize” a play on Stevens’ Album entitled “Come On Feel the Illinoise!” I was immediately skeptical but also intrigued. So I gave it a listen and as it turns out, it’s amazing. This is honestly one of the best remix tapes I’ve heard and this is coming from someone who is both a casual Sufjan Stevens fan and casual hip hop fan. The two very different styles of music end up lending themselves really well to each other. Also, the actual mixing sounds really seamless. A lot of times remixes and mashups sound sort of disjointed but Tor managed to make each song sound like that is how it was meant to be. I particularly like “Night Zombies/Talkin My Shit” featuring Minneapolis’ own Brother Ali. If you’re a fan of Sufjan Stevens or a fan of hip hop or even if you just like to hear creative music, I highly recommend you check this out. You can listen to the entire remix tape or download it for free here. Just a warning, a number of these songs do contain some salty language.