20 December 2010

Alex Kenji release removed from Beatport for sampling Carl Craig?

Alex Kenji, sample, carl craig, Paperclip people
Should we be worried about the state of music when the number one track on Beatport a few days ago was heavily based on another track - in this case a sample of Carl Craig's early 90s classic Paperclip People 'Throw'?

'Throw' is firmly part of electronic music folklore so it's no surprise to see some pretty harsh criticism pop up on various websites of Federico Scavo & Alex Kenji "Gimme Five" which owes a large part, maybe most, of its appeal to the main groove from 'Throw'.

On twitter Alex Kenji defends the release saying he sampled the original 1970s Loleatta Holloway release (which Carl Craig also sampled). The difference to me is: Craig used half a second of it and added his own drums (kick, snares, hat) and filter - creating something completely new which most people wouldn't recognise even if they listened to the original. Scavo/Kenjo on the other hand didn't - a point not missed by Craig himself who tweets about it. "...a track that rather liberally samples Paperclip People's 'Throw.'..."

It would be easy to dismiss "Gimme Five" as throwaway party house and say sampling is fine, which it generally is in my books - dance music wouldn't be anywhere without it. The points here for me are: how obvious is too obvious - especially when potentially a lot of money is involved? And: why bother denying it? If you make obviously sample-based music - as Kenji has done a number of times - own it.

Personally, I think it's a bit lame that overt sampling has become so common amongst many McHouse producers. Interestingly, it seems Beatport agree and have now removed the track from the top releases chart.

Note: I'd post a link to the Scavo/Kenji release but don't want to show support to McHouse. The sheer number of comments removed from the Youtube video of the Scavo/Kenji release clearly show more than a few people side with Carl Craig here.

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