Sample Sales

“In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song.” – That’s what Wikipedia tells us about sampling. Sampled songs are all around us these days. I don’t know the exact figures but I’m pretty sure about 80% of modern chart hits contain samples. Personally, I love me some oldskool jams brushed up and made ready for the dance floor but a lot of people see it as a lack of creativity from the artist (for more info on that, find you some Duck Sauce haters and talk to them about the subject). I’m not here to start a debate on that, because I don’t care. As long as it makes my right foot tap and my fingers snap.. it’s all good. For this first edition of our brand new rubrique  ‘Sample Sales’, I will try to define you what I personally see as cases of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ sampling (to keep things simple, “covers” and samples will be seen as the same thing) using examples. You are always free to discuss why I’m wrong or give more examples in your comments, that’ll save us some googling for the next ‘Sample Sales’.

Let’s start off with how it shouldn’t be done. Flo Rida, famous for his love of apple bottom booty, teams up with teenage bad girl Ke$ha for this successful lead single off his second album. A song initially about one man expressing his love for another (yes, Pete Burns was homosexual), is now a brainless and slightly misogynic textbook example of southern hip hop today. But whether you like the song or not, it can not be denied that productionwise, it’s killer. Being recorded in Conway studios (famous for having  recorded and mastered.. well just about everyone. Seriously.) and having Timbaland on the production team were probably part of the success formula though.

[wpaudio url="" text="BAD SALE: DEAD OR ALIVE – YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="" text="BUYER: FLO RIDA FEAT. KESHA - RIGHT ROUND" dl="0"]

Ok, but why is this Röyksopp track an example of good sampling you ask? It lacks creativity because the melody is practically copy pasted you say? Well.. No. You have to listen to what they’ve added, not to what was already there. Listen to the spotless production and how all of the added elements like synths, drums, fx and vocals all over the song are completely coherent. I don’t know if George Clinton (Parliament) ever heard Happy Up Here, but i’m sure that if he did, he would definitely appreciate Röyksopp’s interpretation of this track.

[wpaudio url="" text="GOOD SALE: PARLIAMENT – DO THAT STUFF" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="" text="BUYER: ROYKSOPP - HAPPY UP HERE" dl="0"]

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