8/12/10

The "Amen Break" - Sampling continued

Continuing on from my recent post The Phenomenon Phenomenon, in which I traced that musical phenomenon's development and reappearance in new contexts, I'd like to share this little documentary/video about the "Amen break" with you.
Wiki has this to say; The "Amen break" was a brief drum solo performed in 1969 by Gregory Cylvester "G. C." Coleman in the song "Amen, Brother" performed by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons. It gained fame from the 1980s onwards when four bars (5.2 seconds) sampled from the drum-solo (or imitations thereof) became very widely used as sampled drum loops in hip hop, jungle, breakcore and drum and bass music.

This 2004 documentary by Nate Harrison traces the reemergence of the amen break from the 1980's onwards and also features some interesting perspectives on intellectual property etc. It ends with these quite brilliantly put words from Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals;
"Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Culture is impossible without a rich public domain. Nothing today, like nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new. Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stiples the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture."

I just gave away the very last sentences, but give this a good listen anyways. Thoughtful and fascinating stuff.

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