And kill your turntable. It's old. It was nice ear candy way back when, with Flash or Hollywood slicing and dicing pop music on the wheels of steel, and Trevor Horn or Mantronik's novel mindfuckery, but now it's just clich├ęd. What was once "fresh postmodern collage art" (whatever) is now the stuff of commercials, a fitting medium for short attention spans. There are better ways to apply this wisdom, and it doesn't involve samplers or turntablism.

Jeeves! Fetch hither my Viagra!

John Cage (gawd bless 'im!) is to blame for a lot of this. Anything goes! Everything is music! Cage could be wrong sometimes; he could be a little too cutesy-poo with his little games and theories, for instance, and it resulted in music that was/is a lot of cutesy-poo little games and theories.

We live in wonderful times. Life is good. We have a thousand years of recorded music to which to make reference. Why not pick up our instruments - real instruments - and make music that touches base with that millennium of references in unique ways. No, not the bloodless, soulless, cutesy-poo, pop-progeny-of-Cage stuff with mix-n-match, slice-n-dice turntabling and sampling. But the underlying ideas can be valuable in the making of new, real, musics; by all means, let's mix, match, slice, dice, and jump cut. But let's lose all this disembodied technonsense and puerile eclecticism.

I'm talking about getting your hands dirty with some blood, toil, tears, and sweat, and making real music with real instruments. Touching base, say, with Igor Stravinsky, "Louie Louie", and Eric Dolphy, all in the space of one tune. But then, of course, you'd be like Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, true originals, a law unto yourselves, massively misunderstood, unpopular, and broke.

I seem to have lost the thread...

Anyway, Beefheart stopped making music over 15 years ago, and much of his stuff still sounds newer than next week; his work may far outlive him, as his friend Zappa's probably will. DJ Loop-de-doo, meanwhile, will be a legend that lasts a lunchtime. And you'll be hungry an hour later. For some other kind of food. Real food.

kill yr sampler

It should also be noted that music sans "real instruments" is no less valid than the old stuff. Just how different is pushing buttons in a studio than plucking strings in a studio? Both can be abused to produce trite, disposable music, and conversely, can be used to compose soulful, well-thought-out compositions. It's all a matter of how much thought the artist has put into their piece.

I would bet that people were saying that the electric guitar would or ought be eliminated when it was about as old as sampling is these days. The thing is, whether you like it or not, sampling is here to stay. Forever.

Just like the geetar, the range of sound produced by sampling has left its mark. Like the guitar, it will never ever go away.
A more recent development along these lines is the extreme use of the Roland TR-909. First mega-popularized by people like Chris Sheppard in the early nineties it too is here to stay. Some tracks released a month ago, apart from improved production, sound as if they could just as easily been put out in 1993.


The organic and tactile sound of the guitar is what makes people feel as though they have some kind of connection to the artist.
The repetitive nature of sampling is what people find hooky.
The sound of a 909 is what makes people wanna dance.

See also: electronic music


wonder what the next really big thing is going to be...
The sampler is the most dynamic instrument/music tool to ever come out. It's not used simply for sampling beats and cutting them up or stealing hooks from other songs. It's also used by classical composers to test the orchestration of their pieces while composing, something nearly impossible before. It is used by musicians to record into, instead of on to tape or a hard disk, in order to have greater freedom in the manipulation of the music they are creating with organic instruments. It is used by the theater industry for sound effects and music. Finally, the sampler has created a whole new class of musician producer that have full control over their sound.

That's the defence of its usefullness, on the blood and sweat tip I think it may come down to taste. However, if you're a jazz fan then I can't imagine not being moved by a Clifford Gilberto or an Amon Tobin who sample and twist great jazz musicians in challenging and innovative ways that sound like real bands until it becomes apparent that that would be impossible. What they do is really hard and sounds really good. It should also be noted that you can play a sampler with midi devices like a keyboard, guitar or even flute. The sampler is a beautiful beast dont kill it, worship it.

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