Having been blessed with a giant ball of yellow fire shining directly on Manchester’s fat, smoky, head, I decided to get myself to Gigg Lane in Bury to take in the atmosphere of a game of association football. Specifically FC United of Manchester (Google it!) versus Matlock. The result was the right one and the game itself electrifying, but I’ll spare you the details, seeing as you don’t come here to read about that kind of thing.
I found myself in town beforehand with an hour to spare took the rare opportunity to rifle through the bargain bins outside the legendary Empire Exchange on Newton St.
This has been around for…ever? and sells records, thousands of old copies of magazines, football programmes, curios, memorabilia, VHSs, DVDs, CDs, MDs and YMCAs. And a massive load of porn in the back room.
I scurried through the little crate outside, the sun beating a tan into my pale, Saxon hide, only stopping to brush off the advances of two men trying to sell me a stolen phone. What I came out with, for my £1 spend was nothing short of a treasure trove.
#1 Tina Charles – Rendezvous b/w When You Got Love
Kind of generic poppy soul pre-disco from 1976. It’s not blowing me away. This one scores 4 sunny smiles out of 10.
#2 Lol Creme and Kevin Godley – 5 O’clock in the Morning b/w The Flood
A side is a real 10CC-esque piece about working life. If you don’t already know, Godley and Creme were the creative force behind 10CC. Lots of harmonic vocal blasts, haunting solo bits and key changes. Sometimes you get the feeling that they pull their production tricks out of the bag because they can, rather than because they should. The B is a weird instrumental featuring what sounds like a dripping tap but which I suspect is them playing with a synth and a sequencer. It goes round the houses before kicking into a rocking rhythm about 30 seconds before the run-out groove. There’s sample fodder in this for sure.
the version on the 7″ isn’t exactly like that; it’s a bit shorter.
#3 Pussycat – Mississippi b/w Do It
I was expecting (optimistically) some kind of chilled lounge, exotica, funk or something based on those names but I got pop country weirdness. Did not like.
#4 Steve Miller Band – Rock ‘n’ Me b/w The Window
I found it! I’ve been after this The Window forever but it doesn’t come up on eBay so often. The A side isn’t that great but the flip is *insane*. Ridiculously sample-able bassline intro, Zappa-esque bridgey thing (sounds just like part of Florentine Pogen) and a redonculous vocal performance by Steven himself.
All-in-all a very well-spent quid, I feel. Keep an eye-out for one, all or none of these in my upcoming “forty five 45s” mix (release scheduled January 2018).
Slow down: moving towards a new method of assessing 90s hip-hop tracks that used downpitched mid-to-late 80s commercial R&B hooks
So catchy titles aren’t my strong point.
I’m not sure if anybody else follows Ego Trip’s frankly amazing “Producer X’s favourite sample flips” series. Essentially every few weeks a new producer runs down his (for is is always a he) favourite sample flips. So far we’ve seen A-Trak, DJ Spinna, Lord Finesse, Large Professor, J.Rocc, Prince Paul and loads more.
This week sees Easy Mo Bee tell it like it is.
At his number five is Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless by Lost Boyz which samples Jealousy by Club Nouveau. He says:
Timex Social Club made “Rumors.” One of their follow up singles [as Club Nouveau] was this record called “Jealousy.” It’s the same dudes that produced En Vogue, Thomas McElroy and Denzel Foster – way before they did En Vogue. “Jealousy” was obviously meant to sound a lot like “Rumors.” Really commercial sounding record. Drum machine type record, keyboards, everything. I slowed it down. I took this really, really commercial R&B sounding record and was like, I wanna make this dirty, gritty, funky. “Lifestyles” was like ’94-’95. “Jealousy” – somewhere around ’85, ’86. Now back then in that era it was kinda taboo to be using samples that recent. I mean, if you was supposed to be a “real hip-hop producer.” I liked those little keyboard hits [from “Jealousy”]. But my drums on top – they gotta overpower the sound of the drums that they had in there. I’m gonna smother that record so much till you’re not gonna hear nothing else going on really in that sample except for that [keyboard].
Funkmaster Flex used to love the beginning of that. I had an intro where I doubled up in the beginning [sings beat] and he used to cut up that part of the song. And I’m looking in the club, people dancing, I’m like, yo you did it, man. If any of them sat back and listened to the original record that it came from – the original speed, the original pitch of the record and everything – they woulda had a totally different [reaction]. They wouldn’t get it.
What he says about using “recent” samples piques my interest. Here are the two tracks:
So he’s taken a pretty cheesy 80s R&B tune and just downpitched it to make it a bit more rugged and raw. Reminded me straight away of KMD’s What a Nigga Know off the Bl_ck B_st_rds album.
Which samples Jody Watley’s Looking for a New Love.
again, using a similar technique.
I guess it’s true that most of the sample sources for 90s hip hop came from the more “respectable” areas of 60s and 70s soul, funk and other dusty-finger-inducing genres. Sure, we’d had Spyder D sampling Nu Shooz I Can’t Wait (actually an interpolation if my sources are correct) and Biggy’s Juicy but it wouldn’t be until the later 90s with Bad Boy sampling Diana Ross’s gay anthem I’m Coming Out before this kind of think took off, and it was never really slowed down to the same extent.
And so, as this poorly researched post fizzles out, can any readers think of other tunes where this technique has been used?
I picked up this classic funk joint this week to play out at the weekend (more of which tomorrow, or check my Tweeder feed!).
I just love that three-hit drum intro. D-d-dum. I like to cut that in a bit using my entry level scratch skills. This has been sampled a fair bit in hip hop, including in two of my alltymefaves. Cinderfella Dana Dane
This one slows down the sample quite a lot and treats it somehow to boost and cut certain parts. I’ve also heard it’s a straight interpolation.
The second flip is from No Vaseline by
O’Shea Jackson Icebert Cubington. Ah how I long for hard hitting battle records. And how much of a killer opening line is this? I think Cube is one of the best at delivering an opening line.
“It was once said by a man who couldn’t quit…”
“Here’s a little something ’bout a n!gg@ like me/Never should have been let out the penetentiary.”
“I heard payback’s a mutherfuck!ng n!gg@…”
Any other favourite Brick flips?
THUMP! The primal beat of the drum rings out across the savanna. THUMP! It goes again. Compelling the body to move to its powerful rhythm. THUMP! Like the human heart, the drums counts out the pace at which we live our lives. B-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D WOOOOOOOAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH. A terrible death metal band rehearse in a studio near your house and pollute your precious ears with blast beats.
My good friend, faithful roadie, drum and bass caliph and aspiring Charlie Brown impersonator Cambian has just finished another of his celebrated mixes which contains “more drums”. Once I’d managed to work out what he meant, it got me thinking about how much I love just a drumbeat. I’ve already mentioned my thoughts about putting together a pure drums/vox hip-hop mix because when they’re done well they can carry a song.
I only discovered this track within the last year – Ripple’s A Funky Song. The break at 02:34 has been sampled lots of times in hip hop and with good reason. I ended up playing this out at the weekend and the funkiest part, the bit where you can’t help but move is the break.
Maybe you could get two copies of the record and play on of them so it’s just the break part then quickly play the other record on a second turntable then while that’s playing spin the first record back to the start and play that again after the second break and OMIGODIJUSTHADTHEBESTIDEAEVERTHISISGONNABEHUGE
Whenever I hear a track with a nice break or section in, I always make a note. This isn’t because I’m some superproducer who is making the next Endtroducing. I just imagine myself like that to justify buying ridiculously over-featured production gear if I had the money.
The latest example of this comes from the unlikeliest of places: Jerry Reed’s 1973 cover of Folsom Prison Blues
Just at 4 seconds as the cowbell kicks in for one (or maybe two?) bars…amiright?
I had to revisit this cracking blues number because it was also used in Chubb Rock’s “Just The Two Of Us”. For my money Chubb Rock is one of the all-time underrated MCs in hip hop. His line “she went all Vanessa Del Rio on me” got into my head like an earworm. The only problem was I didn’t know who she was so I Googled her. At Work. Don’t do that.
Sample: Chubb Rock’s – Just The Two Of Us
Check out the frat boys dancing in the Chubbster’s video. Slick. You can also see part one of this “series” here.