Night Ripper is the third studio album by American musician Girl Talk, released on May 9, 2006 by Illegal Art. The album, composed almost entirely of samples taken from other artists' music, falls under the mashup genre. It also features minor amounts of original instrumentation recorded by Girl Talk himself. He constructed Night Ripper whilst working as a biomedical engineer, dividing time between both of his occupations. The album was originally produced as one seamless piece of music before subsequently being broken into individual tracks.
The album was produced by Girl Talk in seven to eight months and mastered by Jonathan Schenke. Illegal Art initially released Night Ripper as a digital download on their website, later making the album available on other sites and shipping the album to select record stores due to strong demand. None of the samples used on the album were cleared prior to release, causing several online retailers to pull the album from their listings. Night Ripper was later re-released for download on the Illegal Art website through a new "pay what you want" pricing system.
Night Ripper received generally positive reviews from critics, who commended Girl Talk's choice of samples and his efficiency at layering them together to create new tracks. It appeared in numerous publications' year-end lists of the best albums of 2006. The album has been described as Girl Talk's breakthrough album, helping boost his reputation and leading several artists to commission him for remix work. Recalling in a 2016 interview, almost ten years after the release of the album, Gillis said, “Night Ripper was clearly the album that took off for me and definitely changed my life."
Shortlist Music Prize Nominees (number: 2006)
en: Night Ripper [info]
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