“Sampling is a new way of doing something that’s been with us for a long time: creating with found objects. The rotation gets thick. The constraints get thin. The mix breaks free of old associations. New contexts form from old. the script gets flipped. The languages evolve and learn to speak in new forms, new thoughts. The sound of thought becomes legible again at the edge of the new meanings. After all, you have to learn a new language. take the idea and fold it in on itself. Think of it as Laptop Jazz, cybernetic jazz, nu-bop, ILLbient- a nameless, formless, shapeless concept given structure by the rhythms. And that’s a good start.


In the hip-hop community there is a school of thought vehemently opposed to sampling, calling it lazy and rudimentary. “Learn some Fu**ing chords,” Tyler, the creator tweeted once. I take issue with the idea that originality can somehow morph into remixing. Sure, I’ll concede that what Girl Talk, and similar mash-up artists do is clever, and sometimes interesting, but it doesn’t compare to creating something. I think the argument that every melody we could make is a remix of something else is short-sighted in that it doesn’t account for the nuances of someone specifically playing a tune. Cover bands never sound like the original.

Alot of the intellectual talk around remix culture and the effects of the internet on creativity still fail, in my opinion to come remotely close to understanding how quickly things move. the artists being talked about most on the internet now are returning to ‘classic’ form with familiar guitar melodies filtered through a generation who had the internet. I’d argue that this isn’t remix. The first bolded portion is where my problem lies. Marvin Gaye is suing Robin Thicke for stealing his melody for the track ‘blurred lines,’ the context of that melody is forever associated with the former now, that is doing more than a disservice to Marvin.


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