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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Art of Sampling

submitted by Deena

Call me postmodern, but I love to hear an artist use a clever sample of someone else's song within their own. Or maybe I just like to feel smart when I can pick out the original song being sampled. Either way, here are some of my favorite songs that sample other songs...

"Train in Vain" by The Clash in Garbage's "Stupid Girl"
I think it's great that the drum lick from this upbeat Clash song was able to work beautifully against the more brooding Garbage tune. It sounds so different without the poppy guitar riff from "Train in Vain."

"The Last Time" by The Rolling Stones in The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony"
From what I've read, The Verve's use of an unlicensed sample of an orchestral version of this Stones' song resulted in 100% of the "Bittersweet Symphony" royalties going to the Rolling Stones. Ouch!

"Super Freak" by Rick James in MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This"
From a song about a kinky chick to a song about how awesome MC Hammer is...either way, it made for a catchy, wildly popular song, and it kept the beat going for the Hammer Dance--what more could you want?

"Straight to Hell" by The Clash in M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes"
Pair the reggae/dub-style, chill guitars from the Clash song with a chorus that sounds strangely like Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker" and somehow, you get a winning combination.

"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk in Kanye West's "Stronger"
One of my favorite rappers + one of my favorite Daft Punk songs = awesome. This is probably not one of my favorite Kanye songs, but I get excited when two very different genres can share the same space like this.

A favorite artist of mine whose music is largely made up of samples is Californian nerd-rapper MC Lars, who describes his sound as "post-punk laptop rap" (he tours with a laptop for a backup band and probably contstructs and deconstructs a lot of music on said laptop). I've heard him use everything from Iggy Pop to Brand New to Supergrass in his tunes.

Check out these two tracks, both from his The Laptop EP:

MC Lars - Hurricane Fresh (feat. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by Scorpions)
MP3: MC Lars - iGeneration (feat. "American Hearts" by Piebald)


Beth said...

I love brilliant sampling myself, so I'm looking forward to listening to MC Lars. Thanks for the MP3s!

Deena said...

No problem, hope you enjoy!