The Amen Break - The most sampled 6-seconds in music

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The Amen Break - The most sampled 6-seconds in music

Postby Bean on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:17 am

http://nkhstudio.com/pages/popup_amen.html

This is the most interesting 20 minutes of music history I've ever heard. The 'Amen Break' is a drum beat first made in 1969, and has since been sampled and deconstructed in thousands of other recordings. Listen to the drum beat, you'll instantly recognize it.
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Postby TonyWilson on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:23 am

Cool link Bean and very interesting mini doc, I had no idea that the break was so old. Great little history of dance/hip-hop too.
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Postby Seppuku on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:26 am

I thought that honour went to James Brown's Funky Drummer...Obviously not. My personal favourite sample is Public Enemy's hard piano licks used on Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, the original came from Black Moses (Isaac Hayes). Also I've heard some Honeydrippers extracts used over and over, I think the original track was called Impeach the President.
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Postby vicious_bastard on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:29 am

Cheers for that. Interesting. Drum & Bass owes it all to that break. I haven't heard Original Nuttah for years! No mention of the Futurama theme.

Which came first, Amen Brother or Funky Drummer? Both were 1969 but that's all I can find out. I think the latter is officially the most sampled record ever - more than just the beat is sampleable. All of Brown's grunts have been used as well as the horns which gives it the edge.
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:45 am

Cool! Thanks for the link Bean! I wasn't sure where the Amen Break came from... now I know!

Now to track down that Winston's CD...
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Re: The Amen Break - The most sampled 6-seconds in music

Postby buster00 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:49 am

Bean wrote:http://nkhstudio.com/pages/popup_amen.html

This is the most interesting 20 minutes of music history I've ever heard. The 'Amen Break' is a drum beat first made in 1969, and has since been sampled and deconstructed in thousands of other recordings. Listen to the drum beat, you'll instantly recognize it.


Cool as hell. Crucial info for any music history fan. Thanks, Bean!
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Postby John-Locke on Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:44 pm

Jeebus thats a cool link Bean me old pal, seeing as that a lot of my teenage years was spent listening to that beat in Drum & Base it's fascinating to hear all that.

As for the public Domain thing, well I don't know, where do you draw the line, I think the Winstons should have made some money out of it but worse things have happened, then again I didn't like the fact that the Stones made all the money out of The Verve song Bitter Sweet Symphony and I have asked people to point out the bit and ever after heariing the answer I still cant seem to recognise the bit they ripped off.
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:54 pm

John-Locke wrote:Jeebus thats a cool link Bean me old pal, seeing as that a lot of my teenage years was spent listening to that beat in Drum & Base it's fascinating to hear all that.

As for the public Domain thing, well I don't know, where do you draw the line, I think the Winstons should have made some money out of it but worse things have happened, then again I didn't like the fact that the Stones made all the money out of The Verve song Bitter Sweet Symphony and I have asked people to point out the bit and ever after heariing the answer I still cant seem to recognise the bit they ripped off.


And the really irritating thing about that is the fact that the Bitter Sweet Symphony sample wasn't from a Rolling Stones recording, it was from some kind of Orchestral cover album of Rolling Stones songs! Which makes the Stones money-grubbing offa the Verve that much more infuriating.

Perhaps they should sell some more of their music to Coke or Pepsi? Sell-out suckas...

Seriously, for as much as I love olde Stones (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Exile on Mainstreet), I have no respect for them at all. How much more money do they really need? I mean, seriously!

Although I guess that reanimation fluid they use to keep Keith "Skeletor" Richards alive must cost a fortune...
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:06 pm

Bean givin' a shout out to hip-hop and coming out against strict copyright law?

What's next, DerLangharie lovin' QT?
Adam Balm admitting his man love of Warren Ellis and all things post-modern?
Dino loving musicals?
MasterWhedon admitting that non-linear narrative is just as good as 3 part structure?
Leftnut bursting for broads?

Cool beans, Bean.
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Postby MiltonWaddams on Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:19 pm

neat little tidbit. it's not that the drumbeat was so good, just so easy to steal and duplicate/edit.

that guy needs to tone the pretentious down a bit.
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:21 pm

MiltonWaddams wrote:that guy needs to tone the pretentious down a bit.


Yeah, the film itself is totally dorky / filmschool, but the music history lesson is neat-o.
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Postby John-Locke on Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:46 pm

keepcoolbutcare wrote:MasterWhedon admitting that non-linear narrative is just as good as 3 part structure?


IPAMPILASH KC

Not until hell freezes over buddy or I like the Firefly theme song. :)
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 5:04 pm

Intriguing. Very very intriguing.

Thanks.
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:35 pm

ZombieZoneSolutions wrote:And the really irritating thing about that is the fact that the Bitter Sweet Symphony sample wasn't from a Rolling Stones recording, it was from some kind of Orchestral cover album of Rolling Stones songs! Which makes the Stones money-grubbing offa the Verve that much more infuriating.


You have to remember, Zombie, that broadcast royalties for music are paid to those who hold the publishing rights, rather than the performers. Forty years down the road, the Stones aren't making any money when the radio plays their music unless they are the writers credited. Which is to say that Mick and Keef got dick from radio play all those years Andrew Loog Oldham held their controlled rights and the non-composing members of the band got absolutely nothing. This being the case, the performer whose work is sampled is not legally the victim, thus the Verve sampling the orchestral album is just as guilty as if they'd pulled the sample off an actual Stones recording.

No matter how rich someone is, I believe that person deserves to be paid for her/his work. I've downloaded a couple (literally) files from the internet, but I'm not using these commercially or distributing them via P2P or other means. I wouldn't think of sampling someone else's music, video or text, for commercial purposes, without paying (or at least getting permission to use a sample for free).
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
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Postby El Scorcho on Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:39 pm

That guy has a creepy voice...

But, quite interesting.
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:47 pm

DennisMM wrote:You have to remember, Zombie, that broadcast royalties for music are paid to those who hold the publishing rights, rather than the performers. Forty years down the road, the Stones aren't making any money when the radio plays their music unless they are the writers credited. Which is to say that Mick and Keef got dick from radio play all those years Andrew Loog Oldham held their controlled rights and the non-composing members of the band got absolutely nothing. This being the case, the performer whose work is sampled is not legally the victim, thus the Verve sampling the orchestral album is just as guilty as if they'd pulled the sample off an actual Stones recording.

No matter how rich someone is, I believe that person deserves to be paid for her/his work. I've downloaded a couple (literally) files from the internet, but I'm not using these commercially or distributing them via P2P or other means. I wouldn't think of sampling someone else's music, video or text, for commercial purposes, without paying (or at least getting permission to use a sample for free).


Good point, Dennis... and I agree that artists should get their full due.

In addition, I didn't realize that Oldham owned all their publishing rights!
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:50 pm

ZombieZoneSolutions wrote:Good point, Dennis... and I agree that artists should get their full due.

In addition, I didn't realize that Oldham owned all their publishing rights!


For a long time he pwnd them, man. They were the biggest band in the world and making pennies on their publishing dollar because of a contract they signed with Oldham when they were young and stupid. A big court battle too many years later got Mick and Keith more of the publishing money, but far from all.

John Fogerty was in a similar situation with his early manager, Saul Zaentz. Creedence Clearwater Revival were naive when they signed with Fantasy records, which was primarily a jazz label. Zaentz may have been sole owner, I can't remember, but he was the controller of the label. When Fogerty asked to leave the label, Zaentz wound up owning the band's songs outright. He was such a filthy fuck that when Fogerty got back into music in 1985 with Centerfield, Zaentz sued him. The melody of Fogerty's solo "The Old Man Down the Road" was very similar to CCR's "Run Through the Jungle," and Zaentz sued Fogerty for plagiarizing his own song! Fogerty wound up on the stand for a full day demonstrating his signature riffs that formed "swamp rock," and the jury came back in his favor. A couple of years ago Fantasy was sold and the new owners worked with Fogerty to get his rights returned. Fogerty now has another contract with Fantasy.

Saul Zaentz, now in his '80s, owns the worldwide stage, screen and merchandising rights to LOTR and The Hobbit and so is richer than ever.
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:27 am

keepcoolbutcare wrote:Bean givin' a shout out to hip-hop and coming out against strict copyright law?

What's next, DerLangharie lovin' QT?
Adam Balm admitting his man love of Warren Ellis and all things post-modern?
Dino loving musicals?
MasterWhedon admitting that non-linear narrative is just as good as 3 part structure?
Leftnut bursting for broads?

Cool beans, Bean.


One could argue this points out the lack of creativity in rap. And by 'one' I mean me. :P
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:29 am

HIPPIE!
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Postby bluebottle on Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:38 am

El Scorcho wrote:That guy has a creepy voice...

But, quite interesting.


it's a computer...
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:02 am

Bean wrote:
One could argue this points out the lack of creativity in rap. And by 'one' I mean me. :P


As if the latest 30 minute generic noodling guitar solo from Anonymous Jam Band #8536 just screamed innovation.

:P :wink:
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:09 am

ZombieZoneSolutions wrote:
Bean wrote:
One could argue this points out the lack of creativity in rap. And by 'one' I mean me. :P


As if the latest 30 minute noodling guitar solo from Anonymous Jam Band #8536 just screamed innovation.

:P :wink:


You're into them too! Wow, I never thought I'd find someone with such good taste. My favourite track of theirs is on their album, Middle Class Suburban Boys, I think it's called something like, You're Just Afraid to Love me Loving You Blues...it's so great. Especially the part where the singer growls really loudly in an agonized voice, I luvluvluv it! I can't believe you're a fan. Did you know that they have the same drummer as AJB #8532? Neat fact, huh? And I especially love their cool and clean-shaven look. I know that people say it's because they're unable to grow facial hair, but they're just jealous.
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:40 am

Well you can argue the same about rap, even though it takes way less musical talent to create it. It came out, it was innovative, and now it's the same shit over and over again. At least jam bands have real musical talent, it's just that a lot of them today don't offer anything different from the other one.
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:51 am

I think thats a matter of perspective isn't it, Bean? Hip hop is a vibrant artform that is constantly evolving. Have you ever been to a freestyle battle show? It's some of the must electric and alive music you will ever hear in your life. The quickness of the poetry and the flow of the mix takes just as much skill as playing noodly jam music; it just has a different set of parameters. You think scratching and mixing doesn't take musical talent? Shit, guys like the Ex-ecutioners are magick on the decks. I'd even go so far as to argue that turntableism is infinitely more difficult then playing the guitar. Of course, there is stale hip hop thats tired (usually everything you hear on MTV), but theres also cutting edge stuff that is on another level...

Be more open minded.

I'd reccomend THE ROOTS. If you don't love THE ROOTS, than you don't love music. They're a full band, they jam like crazy and they get the place moving. I think you would dig them.
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:57 am

I listen to the Roots, and love them. I'm not THAT close-minded when it comes to music, it's just that I almost always find myself cringing at rap. A lot of people say "Well you can't listen to what's on the radio or on TV", and I say, that's the only rap you see played. I'm not the one to go seek out underground rap, it just isn't my thing. The mainstream rap is some of the most untalented insults to music I've ever heard, and a lot of people agree with me on that. My problem I guess is I don't seek out better rap. Old school rap from the 80s is always nice to listen to, I find it way more listenable than today's.
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:59 am

Bean wrote:I listen to the Roots, and love them. I'm not THAT close-minded when it comes to music, it's just that I almost always find myself cringing at rap. A lot of people say "Well you can't listen to what's on the radio or on TV", and I say, that's the only rap you see played. I'm not the one to go seek out underground rap, it just isn't my thing. The mainstream rap is some of the most untalented insults to music I've ever heard, and a lot of people agree with me on that. My problem I guess is I don't seek out better rap. Old school rap from the 80s is always nice to listen to, I find it way more listenable than today's.


Okay, but don't just go off saying rap, the genre sucks. That makes me sad inside. Most of the stuff they play on MTV absolutely sucks. But most of the stuff, period, that they play on MTV sucks, so what else is new?
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:07 am

This is true.

I don't want Ribbons sad inside.

Bro hug?
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:10 am

Bean wrote:Bro hug?


Urgh! Must.... resist...... temptation to..... hotlink.

Bro hug.

It just doesn't work as well without a picture, dammit!
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:17 am

Ribbons wrote:
Bean wrote:Bro hug?


Urgh! Must.... resist...... temptation to..... hotlink.

Bro hug.

It just doesn't work as well without a picture, dammit!


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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:19 am

AaaAAaaaAaaAaaAaaAaAAAHHH!
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Postby Cottonwood on Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:26 am

Thanx for this, Bean, excellent. Always thought it was JB's Funky Drummer too. One learns more everyday.
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Postby vicious_bastard on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:47 am

The way royalties are split up is a bit unfair IMO. Use any part of anything and you lose 90% to the sample rights owner. Fair enough if you are lifting a whole melody or vocals but it's a bit harsh for a drum beat/snare sample.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:53 am

Can't believe I missed a thread about the Amen break. I have spent a ludicrous number of hours of my life trying to do innovative things to that break. I hardly ever produce shit these days, so it's been a while, but it was nice to see this thread nontheless. I think the best processing ever done on this sample was done on Ray Keith's Terrorist. Goldie also fucked it up in a quite a glorious way on some dubplate I heard about 10 years ago, which I don't think was ever released. It comes in and out of fashion on the D n B scene. I think it's currently having yet another renaissance.

Other samples which made D n B what it is: a couple of loops from Apache (now commonly called the Apache break) and James Brown saying "you're dancing" - that one was worked into a billion different breaks - DJ SS used to use it all the time....Ah, sweet memories
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Postby vicious_bastard on Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:57 am

Terrorist was the tune that got me into D&B - rib-shaking bassline which has blown my speakers twice. Both times I was trying to get my own back on my noisy bastard housemates. Serves me right. Met Ray Keith a few times in Blackmarket Records back in the day.

Super Sharp Shooter is another good one which uses that sample.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:52 am

True!

I warmed up for Ray Keith a couple of times when I actually used to get some meaningful DJ work - fairly pleasant bloke towards the other DJs. But there was this one time when I was playing at a club in Leeds called Nato - Ray Keith turned up, announced that he couldn't be arsed to play, then proceeded to start a fight with the promoter. It got pretty ugly, until Ray got paid his wonga, at which point he turned on his heel and left immediately.....
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:14 am

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:Other samples which made D n B what it is: a couple of loops from Apache (now commonly called the Apache break)


indeed.

interesting fact 'bout the drummer on that track...Jim Gordon killed his mum.

NYTimes article All Rise for the National Anthem of Hip-Hop
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