[rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal

Nicola Battista [rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 01:20:59 +0200 (00904116059,

Hi again,
looks like I moved something by instigating this thread. And this is great. :)

>On Wed, 26 Aug 1998, Boster, Bob wrote:
>->>what is a "musically dependant" use of a sample, and what is not.
>->Yes, I'd say there is room for some kind of standard to be set about
>->what qualifies as dependent. For me I would say the leverage of the
>->decision rests on "using the sample for it's connotation IN THE SAME

wait a sec - this could be because of my crappy English (I'm Italian) :) -
I thought Bob meant "connotation" as leaving the sample in its original FORM (i.e. uneffected, unchanged, unmodified)-- in a word RECOGNIZABLE. Am
I wrong, Bob?

Steev wrote:

>oh no, no sir, you're wrong about this "connotation" rule. Have you ever
>really listened to Puff Daddy? That song that samples "Every Breath You
>Take" for instance - it has a TOTALLY different connotation than that of
>the original - Sting's song was about a narrator gone slightly
>obsessional, perhaps even stalking, his lover. The Puff Daddy track, on
>the other hand, is basically a eulogy to Tupac Shakur

another example: Hall & Oates' "(I can't go for that)No can do" was about a possesive woman or something like that. De La Soul's "Say no go" is an anti-drug track.
The words "Don't even think about it - say no go" are completely recontextualized.
Maybe Bob meant MUSICAL connotation (i.e. the breaks, the melody, a

>Though even the courts make me

the courts make me worried too (and I'm a law student ;)))

>However, given 2LiveCrew's success in a court of law (the Pretty
>Woman case), maybe there's hope for that kind of ad hoc line-drawing...

I heard of this case but never heard about its solution. Do you have more
info on that?

>However, talking about guidelines for this kind of thing strikes me as one
>of the most interesting topics we could discuss here. Anyone want to try
>to improve on Bob's attempt? What *should* be the distinction, or should
>there even be one?

>The motivation for drawing this sort of line, for me, comes from fear,
>fear that once, if ever, the sampling paradigm shifts completely out of
>the bag, it will just explode and become totally obnoxious. Everyone from
>Madonna to Aerosmith to whoever will start using overt appropriation. It's
>happening already, but what happens when it really gets blown wide open?

uhmmm... is sampling something for an elite formed by a few folks like you,
me, Negativland, Coldcut and a few other? I don't have anything against the
diffuion of sampling.
Plus, as you said, it's happening already (when a friend of mine heard one
of the last Madonna remixes he told me "hey,did you do that one?" and laughed, because he had recognized drum loops I had on some cheap sample cd).
Yup, if sampling goes mass-available (at it's already happening!!) everyone
will sample everyone else. What will happen them? More cover stuff and/or
tracks that sound all the same. Until some folks will say "no, that has been already used, let's do something else". The Timelords said that you can use a beat like the Gary Glitter beat the sampled only once in a
decade. Sometimes I need a breakbeat and I go through my wav samples, cds,
and other stuff, and I say: "no, I've already used the funky drummer too many times, and it's already on too many tracks"; or "hmm, everyone used it at this speed, let's try using it at 33rpm instead than 45" etc. Coldcut used to say "We never sample the obvious, we leave it to someone else" or something like that. There will always be *intelligent* samplers trying to do something more crerative than the others.

On another side, let me tell you a story. In 1994 I bought a Pianoman cd
single, in London, that was basically a dance remix of Blur's "Girls and boys" with a vocal Blur sample, a beat and a housey piano loop. I thought the piano loop was original, has they had cleared the Blur samples. Months
ago I bought a few used 12" and one otherm was called "40 miles" (can't remember the act name now) and it had the same identical piano loop. Only
that 40 Miles was 3 years older. Now Fatboy Slim has came up with a track
that has the same piano, a bit slowed down and altered but still clearly
recognizable. Probably the guys who made 40 miles also sampled it.
Things like these are already happening - now if I had to sample a piano
loop for a seriously creative track, well, I'd definitely skip that one!

>Should there be a way, is there a way, to distinguish between "gross,
>crass exploitation of past works" and the sort of "true art" that so many
>of us love and cherish? Or are we doomed to a future choked with music
>like "Ice Ice Baby" and "Hippychick"?

who knows, maybe for someone "Ice Ice Baby" is actually "true art" ;))) but that only *depends on the way you do it* - the way you use the samples.
Uhmm... I think I am quoting Arthur Baker or Negativland or someone else.
errr. :)

>I have an answer but I'm going to wait till someone else speaks up. ;-)

well if you have an answer, please illuminate us ;)
Nicola (Dj Batman) Battista