Dance music would be a dull place without sample-craft… Squeezing a sampler like it’s an instrument itself, the greatest source-manipulators are in a league of their own. A league that, unfortunately, involves tricky skirmishes with copyright lawyers.
Some source artists get it – KRS One, for example, has publically said anyone can sample him and he will never request royalties.
Other source artists don’t get it (see James Brown’s publisher’s early 90s assault on hip-hop). Or they do get it until a track becomes a big hit and they fancy a slice of the pie (see Plastic Little vs Baauer last year)
Some producers don’t care and roll with samples anyway. Others would rather leave out the law and just make their own material. Artists like Muzzy.
“It’s just something I’ve never got into,” shrugs the young Brit. “I’ve sampled the odd movie score. But that’s about it. I try and stay away from that because I don’t want to get sued!”
He has, however, sampled himself. And he wants you to, too… With his debut Total Samples sample pack on Prime Loops.
“If I don’t find my own sample pack useful who else will?” he laughs. “It’s actually quite weird. I started making music from sample packs and now I’m making one. That’s quite surreal. It’s a Muzzy sample pack so I wanted it to have sounds that really represent me and the sounds people know me for. I didn’t want to deliver just a bunch of standard wub wubs and crazy noises you get in most sample packs. That’s been done.”
Favouring uncompressed, unprocessed raw elements that you can mess around with yourself (as opposed to heavily tweaked material that loses its signal the minute you apply your own ideas), it’s yet another example of Muzzy’s creativity – which we’re about hear a lot more soon with a single and EP already confirmed for the new year. Back to samples, and there’s one particular field of sampling that does interest him…
A drop in a track is like the action bit of the film really isn’t it? It’s where all the shit properly kicks off before we get some resolution. This really sums up the type of sampling I love.
“I do love samples from films,” he admits. “Like War Of The Worlds. That gets sampled a lot – that whole ‘this is the end of the world’ vibe really works in our type of music. It helps to create an atmosphere and tell a story and help create the concept. I think sampling films is a lot cleverer than just throwing in shit because ‘why the fuck not?’ type of thing. When it’s used in context and used in a clever way, sometimes without the sample the tune simply wouldn’t be same. I don’t know; for me it just seems more genuine. A film tells a story so if you want your tune to tell a story then sampling a film makes more sense.”
Here are Muzzy’s three favourite moments of D&B and movie sampling…
Danny Elfman – Salvation sampled in S.P.Y – By Your Side
Appears from 0.0s
“S.P.Y took a small portion of the Terminator Salvation soundtrack… And what he did with it is next level. I only realised this the other day… When the news of the new Terminator film came out I marathoned the whole series of Terminator movies. I heard this in Salvation and it was like ‘woah! I know this!’ It’s such a tiny part and S.P.Y used it in a really clever, creative way.”
Gene Wilder – The Wondrous Boat Ride sampled in Pendulum – Through The Loop
Appears at 0.23
“When I watched Charlie & The Chocolate Factory as a kid I always thought this bit was really lame and weird. But Pendulum took it and made it creepy and horrible and mindboggling, creating this massive banger in the process. I’d never heard anything like it before. Taking such a silly sample and making it into something so dark and horrible is the height of sample creativity!”
Jeff Wayne – The Red Weeds sampled in Pendulum – Another Planet
Appears at 1.34
“This tune wouldn’t be very much at all without this sample – the creepy outer space and dark commentary. The calm before the storm. It’s that moment just before all the crazy shit happens… A drop in a track is like the action bit of the film really isn’t it? It’s where all the shit properly kicks off before we get some resolution. This really sums up the type of sampling I love.”