Sunday, 8 August 2010

Growing up amongst samples

When I was a young boy, I was completely and utterly (and happily) oblivious to the "art-form" of sampling.
Taking something that's not yours and making it yours is traditionally classed as theft. Music-wise, all the people I ever seem to talk to about the subject seem to frown upon sampling. They say that it's not really making music and that anyone can just recycle old samples and use them to make something.

Hah. I scoff at those people. I've tried using samples to make "tunes" and they end up sounding like me trying to stuff a kit-kat in me from the wrong direction aka. not good.

I love samples. I do, I think they're great. I couldn't however tell you the timeline and history of sample-based music. Maybe there's something to do with The Sugarhill Gang in there somewhere? Anyway Hip Hop has always been my favourite source for recycled breaks and such. Much more so than electronica.

One of my favourite albums ever is Common's Be. It came out in 2005 and I was only a young lad back then. Fair enough I knew it to be chocka with samples but as I didn't have a clue as to what bits were samples and from what. I just appreciated the album as it was. Now as I've gotten older (and obviously much wiser) I've realised what some of the sampled tunes are and this has just added something more to the whole listening experience. First of all I've broadened my musical horizons by hearing some amazing, mostly, soul, funk and R'n'B tracks that I'd never heard of before. And secondly I feel like I'm in some kind of secret club where the members know this kind of wicked cool secret that's not told to "normal" people.

Ok so here are some of these amazing tunes that I've discovered via samples.

Used in Jurassic 5's Concrete Schoolyard. I always thought Concrete Schoolyard had the most awesome intro I've ever heard. This entire song is that most awesome intro

Kanye West's On My Way Home featured Common so obviously I just had to love the song. But I think most of love was because of Gil Scott-Heron's breathtaking Home Is Where The Hatred Is

Speaking of Common. Be features the track Testify which basically just samples and loops the first 10 or so seconds of Honey Cone's Innocent Til Proven Guilty.

Being the disco king that I am, Chic were already contenders for ultimate party anthems way before I'd even heard Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight.

Sampling seems to be a never ending cycle. While writing this I just noticed the "slight" similarity in Rapper's Delight's "Hotel Motel" refrain as I'd heard in (don't ask me why I'm so familiar with it)Pitbull's Hotel Room Service. Funny that.

2:22 is the part I mean.

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