Take a Sample

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We all know that this thing we call House Music has its roots firmly planted in the soil of sampling. From those early heady Paradise Garage days – that none of us really remember, as we weren’t old enough, or living in New York – to the latest ‘Deep House’ compilation and everything in-between features samples.

But where do we draw the line between creativity and laziness, when it comes to sampling?

Sampling can actually be considered an art. Finding a dusty old 12” for 50p at a Boot Sale and locating some random drum loop, falls in to ‘crate digging’ and creativity. Firing up that crusty ZIP file that 92% of producers have, that first surfaced in the Napster (remember them?) days and picking an R&B or Hip Hop accapella and then pitching it down and sticking a turgid drum track around it does not make you a creative genius. In fact, the amusing thing here, is that most producers don’t have the nous to take a step back and think ‘Maybe I shouldn’t use a rinsed out R&B acca as loads of other producers have done so already’.


There’s one step beyond this rinsed out Hip Hop acca dross and that’s the bootleg/edit scenario. Again, they feature as part of the complex DNA of house music culture, however when you just stick a donk on the radio edit and extend it to 5 minutes long, doth not a genius make. I rattled a few cages recently on Facebook when calling out a few prolific bootlegger’s as it is a lazy, but at the same time contrived, way of gaining popularity and social media traffic. When Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ first dropped in its original guise, we were all rather moist at how dope it sounded, but once we’d mopped up, it was clear to see that it could do with a remix to fit most standard house dancefloors. Cue a myriad of bootlegs – there still hasn’t been an official remix, yet – varying in style but with many getting hundreds of thousands of plays on Soundcloud. Factor in the annoying ‘Like Me On FB To Get the Track’ and all of a sudden those bootleggers have a solid following around the globe.

Whether people take this to heart when I say the above types of sampling/bootlegging is lazy, then so be it, ‘If The Cap Fits’ and all that! If you produce a majority of original material, perhaps using some accapella you’ve found tucked away on a B-Side somewhere and meticulously chopped it up to the point it’s no longer distinguishable and it has people thinking ‘I’m sure I know that’, then I salute you. If you stick to the aforementioned ‘production’ methods, then maybe you should get your head out your ass, maybe start playing an instrument or take singing lessons, or maybe just knock the ‘producing’ on the head altogether, as there’s plenty of fresh, exciting talent out there willing to take your Beatport Chart spot with original music.