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Sample This - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Sample This
I'm really enjoying the new Jason Forrest record Shamelessly Exciting, released on Mouse on Mars's German label Sonig. Imagine the offspring of a typical Tiger Beat 6 record and D.J. Shadow's best work of the 1990s: less piecemeal than the former, less laid-back than the latter. Forrest, who used to go by the name Donna Summer, reminds us how much hip-hop culture has lost with the turn away from sampling. My present favorite, for obvious reasons, is the track "My 36 Favorite Punk Songs," comprised of bits and pieces from -- you guessed it -- 36 different songs. More than a few of them are pretty easy to recognize. Nifty. For a taste of Forrest's approach to sonic collage, download this track from his previous album, The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash, or, though it is perhaps less representative of his sound, this remix of "Nightclothes and Headphones," another track from Shamelessly Exciting, featuring Laura Cantrell. And if you really must hear "My 36 Favorite Punk Songs," send me an e-mail to my LJ address and I'll arrange to play it for you over the phone.
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From: (Anonymous) Date: September 27th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I think your point about Summer making up for the sampling deficit in contemporary hip-hop is key. Bravo! You should get a copy of Wobbly's Wild Why?, which Tigerbeat6 brought out a couple of years ago. Its a CD length fusion of samples derived from Clear Channel urban playlist stations. Makes a similar comment to what you say here about Forrest. However, the added layer of meaning suggested by the choice to use Clear Channel recorded material makes the Wild Why? that much richer.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 27th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Sampling

I'd love to hear that. Might you be willing to play it for me over the phone? I trust you have the Jason Forrest already.
From: fredoluv Date: September 28th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm not sure what you mean by "hip hop's turn away from sampling" -- Kanye West, Lil' Jon and Dr Dre are all still ruling the hip-hop and Billboard charts, and they all are pretty samplecentric (as are their proteges like Just Blaze, David Banner, etc.). I'd argue that what Lil' Jon does (taking the Miami records he produced in the early 90s for So-So Def, productions very rooted in electro/krautrock sampling...then slowing them, cutting them up, re-presenting them as new) is a much more sophisticated usage of sampling than what you get from Jason Forrest or the turntablists. Sampling's just not as transparent as it used to be. You have to have a deeper lexicon to pick apart productions now, it's not all "Funky Drummer" beats and Ronnie Hudson choruses.

If you think of "hip-hop" as a chronotope for "the urban," then things like Jason Forrest aren't even on the map obviously. You're not going to read about Forrest in Mass Appeal or ego trip, certainly not the kind of focus he gets in Spin Magazine at least. The biggest thing I can think of in underground hip-hop right now is the proliferation of mixtapes that's being facilitated through file-sharing and cd-burning. These mixes are a great blend of standard artist introduction or album previewing, sure -- I was given no less than *six* mixtapes of the new Kanye before it came out, starting back in March; you could clearly see the way that album evolved through street feedback into a #1 hip-hop phenomenon -- but there's also a ton of things that just aren't as possible in a proper "rights clearance" world. Freestyles over existing rap tracks, bizarro sample crashes, etc. The sample is very much present there, be it in simple mash-up form or something more elegant (or frightening, as with The Game/Nu Jersey Devil mixtape of The Game rapping disses over the backbeats of G-Unit songs, coming hard like Biggie's "Goin' Back to Cali" callout in operatic longform).

I like Forrest okay, but there's an element of the novelty there that doesn't reward multiple listens for me. In a way it's like guitar players like Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai; they have their technique mastered but the songs just aren't hitting me. "My niggaz had Pro Tools, I had no tools," Kanye raps in the mixtape favorite "Keep the Receipt." "Fuck it, I'm old school."

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 28th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I generally agree with you on everything you say here. I do think that mainstream hip-hop, led by Mr. West, is more sample-friendly than it was a few years back. And I'm aware of the way that mix-tape/mix-CD culture complicates the landscape, that what is for sale is just a small percentage of what's out there. But the audacious sampling that wears its collage-aspect on its sleeve of the Public Enemy era had disappeared for a long time and is still not back in full effect. That's a big reason why The Gray Album was such a smash, I think. There's a desire out there to have easily recognizable samples. Jason Forrest responds to that desire. He does sound a bit dated to my ears. And I agree that repeated listenings might prove less fun, though I have yet to reach that point. Anyway, the real question is whether I can get some of these remixed versions and mix CDs from you for a small fee!

707 back at ya.
katieengl From: katieengl Date: September 30th, 2005 05:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

well hello.

sorry, internet stalking is always fun. I took your 380 class first semester last year. I'm Katie Mann, but i didnt do anything too interesting in class so i dont expect you'll remember me. ANYWHO! you are listening to jason forrest which leads me to recomend Architecture in Helsinki (sp?) if you like jason, you'll dig AIH. =)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 05:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: well hello.

I'm not hard to stalk. It's nice to know that someone cares enough to do it, though. So thanks!

I liked you! I greatly appreciated -- and still would, surely -- your acerbic wit. In my memory, though, you were in the fall semester of 2004, not the spring. Or is that what you meant? Is your brother alright?

Feel free to befriend me. I'll do the same if that's ok with you.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 05:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Jason Forrest = AIH

I do like Architecture in Helsinki. They're coming back soon. The 14th? I missed them last time. And I'll be out of town this time. But I'm not sure why you think that someone who likes Jason Forrest would like them. They seem really different to me. Care to elaborate?
katieengl From: katieengl Date: September 30th, 2005 05:22 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

elaboration is as follows: it takes a certain type of person to respect both works. they dont easily fall into the steriotypical electronica genre. so someone who thinks in such a way that they enjoy jason will enjoy AIH. Since im not very good at explaining music i'll leave it at that. but another favorite of mine that falls into the "if you like that you'll like this" category is "The Dismemberment Plan" I can speak with slightly more intelligence about them so if you dont know them, know them. I recomend Emergency and I and change. ("the dismemeberment plan gets rich" is a little less...mature)

and hey, sweet you remember me. too bad my current english teacher doesnt find me so witty!! =) do you teach anything else that i can weasle into?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 05:32 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

489B Contemporary American Fiction (which really means 1960s-onward) in the spring semester.

I love your LJ icon. Are your entries "Friends Only" or do you just not have any? I had assumed the former, but realized you might just use your account for commenting on others' LJs.

I've heard DP, but didn't devote much energy to the task. I'll have to pay closer attention. My mind is limited in scope.

Oh, and I totally understand your Jason Forrest-AIH connection now. That makes sense. I've been writing about music off and on for a decade and reading about it for two decades, so I sometimes have a hard time coming out of music critic mode.

Your brother?
katieengl From: katieengl Date: September 30th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

we're online at the same time.

My brother returns in late october, early november. His wife was living with my mom all this time with their daughter. I'm going up this weekend to see the baby (whos almost two so not a baby) this weekend before they head back to fort gordon to wait for patrick to come home.

My journal entries are actually non-exsistent at the moment. I used to have a "deadjournal" the dark underbelly of livejournal, but i made the fatal error of including remarks about my personal life in it. It lead to a lot of weird unnecessary drama, so i deleted it. Mostly i only discuss politics anyway and no one seems interested in my politics. I only ever got crazy religious whackos telling me i was going to hell. =) but since few people check this journal, and i have some political bitching to do, i might update some.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 06:00 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

I'll read with interest! I should add that I greatly appreciated your class-consciousness as well. It's nice to have students who are grounded in reality from time to time. . . :-)
katieengl From: katieengl Date: September 30th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

maybe its cause its late, or maybe im retarded but "class-consciousness"? do you mean that i was never asleep in class or that im aware of the difference between the rich and the poor? =) your turn to elaborate.
katieengl From: katieengl Date: September 30th, 2005 06:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

PS my examples (not sleeping/rich-poor) are tongue in cheek. but i still need elaboration.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

I recall you making very pointed comments about the cluelessness of some of your more privileged classmates, particularly where politics was concerned.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 30th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Jason Forrest = AIH

Why both, of course! (But it was the latter that inspired my comment.)
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