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Re: Basic intro
At 07:19 PM 8/13/01 -0700, Caliban wrote:
>This is also reflected in my own work. ... like the opening verse of
>"Colors" overlaid on the introduction to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home
>So how do other people see this sort of thing? Do others use this kind
>of contextual mixing? Is the presence of obscure meaning in a song a
>bonus, or a liability?
Not to open that whole "Are DJs *real* musicians" can o' worms again (which
you can find in the archives if you're interested), but when you talk about
lifting entire verses wholesale from other artists' music, to what extent
can you really say it's your *own* work? Don't get me wrong, I'm not
slamming the creative use of samples; artists like Negativland have done
some really interesting things with the icons of pop culture, and Loop
Guru, among many others, have used samples from all over the place to
create a highly original imaginary travelogue.
On the other hand, most of what I find creative about the use of sampled
music comes from the way the artist puts an obscure sample into a new
context that is not dependent on the sample's "former identity" or its
connotations, or so completely mutates a familiar source that it's no
longer recognisable, but assumes a new and compelling character of its own.
If you stick the chorus of "Copacabana" on top of a Prodigy beat, it may be
disturbing or funny or pathetic, and it'll probably be at least interesting
but it's still, um, Barry Manilow's song.
Juxtaposition of disparate elements is cool, but your example strikes me as
a little blatant; I may be dating myself, but I've heard "Sweet Home
Alabama" WAY too many times. It's not lost on me that that's your intent,
to take a work that everyone knows if not likes and with which they have
strong associations and to jar the listener's sensibilities by contrasting
it with something that just doesn't fit, but it's not something I'd want to
listen to very often. Remember "Stairway to Gilligan's Island"?
If you'll check out the archives you may find a thread from, oh, a year and
a half to two years ago (rough estimate) where the topic included
discussions of just how long a sample may be before it crosses the line
from creativity to theft (there's no *real* authoritative answer, but the
opinions and legalistic views presented were interesting). You'll also find
discussions of Plunderphonics, sampling ethics and a few other things
germaine to the use of other people's music, but what you'll mostly find
are threads concerned with real-time looping of musical instruments,
usually (but not always) involving hardware loopers. Oh, and lots of
threads about the hardware itself. (When's the Repeater coming out,
Please don't take my post as a personal attack. I've never heard your music
and can't legitimately comment on it, but I got the impression from your
intro that you'd enjoy having your opinions challenged!