The "Amen Break": the world's most important 6-sec drum loop

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2007 02:22 pm
Found on YouTube.. the one drawback of this video is that the narrator has a robotically boring voice. But its really interesting.

Video explains the world's most important 6-sec drum loop

Description from the poster (mobius32):

This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute... This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music -- a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.

I commented (or tried to):

Great vid. The exposition on copyright and how the use of it determines/stifles cultural development is interesting of course - and an important message to get out. Nothing to disagree on there. But Ive got to admit it was the first half, about the actual history of the loop, that I enjoyed the most. Not least because the examples practically mirror how my own musical interest developed, from 3rd Bass to NWA to Shy FX to Squarepusher - was listening to it all, at the time, and yet would never have suspected that all the while, it was the exact same loop I was hearing. Fascinating.
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Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2007 08:30 pm
The Amen break is from a style that is a bit fast for my taste...I tend to go for the "slow and low" simple beats. But I will agree with ya {Habeebee} on the history of the sample, as well as the whole copyright dilemma.....Fascinating.

There is a song out right now that heavily sampled...don't really know if you could call it sampling, the melody and the chorus are verbatim....an old Supertramp song..."Breakfast In America".

Gym Class Heroes - Cupids Chokehold

I love the song, both incarnations, and I'm sure Rick Davies was well compensated for what was used....I don't want the original artists to get totally ripped off, but I hate to see creativity stifled as well.
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