“Take the funky drummer give him back to james”
In my last post, I was looking at the convoluted relationships between DJ performance in the context of a ‘live’ Hip Hop party and the live musician’s role in the creation of the first Hip Hop records. It’s now time to follow the chronology of the story and deal with the development of digital sampling of the kind any producerw would recognise today. But just before that…..if you’ve read any of my other blogs you’ll know I have a penchant for Igor Stravinsky into the mix- well here he comes again: in a paper from 2005, (The story of ORCH5, or, the classical ghost in the hip-hop machine), Robert Fink has identified ORCH5, a pre-set on the Fairlight sampler. It is a cheesy full orchestral ‘hit’ which Fink convincingly argues was sampled from a recording of Stravinsky’s Firebird Ballet. To hear Stravinsky’s ‘hit’ in action in early Hip Hop you need go no further than Africa Bambaataa’s 1982 classic Planet Rock. Here it is on the invaluable whosampled.com website:
Continue reading Dance to the Drummer’s Beat (Part 2)
In a previous post I talked about ‘keeping the beat’, while rhythmically shifting melodic motifs and accents. One way of shifting was to pre-ordain it through the process of pulse preserving polymeter, as exemplified by Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir and Stavinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet. However, Stravinsky didn’t only use such prearranged processes to create rhythmic displacement; in fact more often he would also just do it.
Histoire du Soldat and Thelonious Monk:
Again, Histoire du Soldat provides some of the best examples of this, partly because, as Lambert said, all those marching band rhythms and pseudo polkas and rags make the pulse emphatically clear.
Here is one of my favourite examples from Histoire:
Continue reading Turn the Beat Around
Let me start this with an excerpt of the guitar work Melvin (Wah Wah Watson) Raglin, on Herbie Hancock’s Hang Up Your Hang Ups from the 1975 album, Manchild.
Continue reading Metric Puns and Rhythmic Tricks: From Hancock to Haydn