Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mother of all music mashups

Every once in a while (or in my case, every few minutes) an artist does something that makes me feel both insanely jealous and hopelessly inadequate.

When I were a wee lad, there were these devices called "samplers." They recorded short (usually 1-2 seconds) recordings of sound, which could then be assembled into songs. Beck uses them to death, and Primitive Radio Gods (actually just one guy) made his living, and his one-hit wonder album, from samples.

Samplers came about because rap artists began manually "sampling" bits of songs in their acts, by spinning turntables to replay a short groove over and over, or to add a horn blast, or other riff, at just the right time during their song. Other artists decided this would be cool, too, but they weren't as skilled at turntable manipulation. Besides, that was limiting, and digitally recording the sample allowed more possibilities. You could sample the song, then play it back via a keyboard! Sampling keyboards like the venerable Korg M1 were staples in most of the recording studios I haunted, back in the day.

But now, Kutiman has taken this art to a who-nutter-lellel. Damn.

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