The Prodigy sampling Kelly Charles, Nicki Minaj sampling Maya Janes Coles, A$AP Rocky sampling Moby, and of course the infamous Amen Break from The Winstons’ Amen, Brother. Sampling has been around for as long the ability to record music has been around, but at what cost.
If you’re Kanye West or Daft Punk, then you probably have the money and resources to have a sample cleared for release with little to no resistance, but for the wider scope of artists, you’ll likely be met with copyright claims and takedown notices depending on the extremity of your sample and the success of your record.
The argument for sampling is a mixed bag, with some people having the opinion that if you create something, you have the right to protect it and stop others from using it as you see fit, others think the opposite with the mindset that music can not really be owned by any one person, though the majority of people probably sit somewhere between these two points, that sampling a one shot drum hit or a few seconds of a vocal line isn’t really harming anybody.
The history of sampling and its problems have inspired London-based DJ, producer and Glasgow Underground label boss Kevin McKay to launch a new album project, No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of This Album. Kevin has teamed up with creative minds like David Penn, Matt Fontaine and Marco Anzalone to recreate a number of iconic records through the re-recording of their most known hooks.
“My mission with this album was to do what I always have, be inspired by music from the past and make club tracks for today. You might recognise some of the songs on this album, but none of them are the original performers. And the record is 100% legal. And hopefully 100% exciting when you are on the dancefloor.”
Kevin has kindly put together an exclusive mix of tracks from the record, with a few revamped samples that you’ll surely recognise. It’s an interesting bypass of the mess that sampling can potentially become, and one that definitely sounds good to our ears. Enjoy.