- “Sampling is not real music!”
- “Loops are for cheaters!”
- “If they had any REAL talent, they’d learn an instrument!”
- “Classical composers would never have used cheat tools like synths!”
These are all things I have heard people say about digital music over the last…Thirty or so years. And they are all wrong, mostly. While it IS true that non-musicians (like myself) can use looping and sampling tools to write complex music without true skill, for the most part, they are a door opening, world expanding tool set for working musicians.
Today, our podcast guest proves this. Danielle Mohr has been playing guitar, singing, and writing songs for several years, now. The looping station she uses (the Boss RC300 shown below) allows her to create vocal harmonies and rhythm tracks to enhance her already stellar songs. You’ll get to hear it in two of the songs she performs for us, “Core” and “Goodbye Love”.
The prejudicial view of sampling and looping tools is based on an assumption that musicians have money for accompaniment, and to hire ‘side’ musicians…And the more you know about how little musicians get paid, locally, the more ludicrous you’ll find the idea that they CAN pay for others to join them. One of the reasons you find so few bands with more than five members is the cost of divvying meager bar band pay six or more ways…Oh, how I miss seeing more bands with full brass sections!
Danielle is busy 20 or more gig days a month…So she must be doing something right. It is hypnotic, watching her start a song…Working it up like clay on a potter’s wheel, until it is a full tilt roar. She layers harmonies very nicely, too!
If you like what you hear, and you’d like to engage her for a gig, contact her via her email address:
Or at her excellent new website:
In the podcast, I make mention of a couple of sampling masters and masterpieces you may want to check out.
Reggie Watts, MASTER of looping using only his voice. Amazing.
This second piece is more complex, and requires a 60 minute commitment. It is called “Raiding the 20th Century”, by DJ Food…And includes literally DOZENS of mashups, bastard pop mixes, and spoken word pieces by Paul Morley, a noted music writer and member of 80s group Art of Noise…Who did music for the “Max Headroom” ads and songs.
It’s heavy stuff, so get out the headphones, chill and take it all in:
Raiding the 20th Century, by DJ Food. A complete list of the tracks used for this amazing work can be found here:
And finally, a book that changed my whole worldview of sampling and avant garde music:
I know this last bit is far afield, but sampling has a deep and meaningful place in modern music, and we should respect it in the same way we respect synthesizers, and electric guitars.