We are delighted to bring back one of our favourite features this week, namely Sample This! Previously in the series we have looked at how music has evolved over time thanks to the art that is sampling.
This week we have squished one or two similar genres together only because often there are such fine lines that separate them. So as always, we’re looking at is house music and like musical genealogists, we’re going to take parts of some quality tracks’ DNA and trace it back to its origins – specifically to mid-’70s/early ’80s funk, soul and disco.
Scroll down and gorge yourself on some uber tunage from the likes of Bicep, Romanthony, Alexis Raphael as well as megastars from back int’ day like the diva of all divas Chaka Khan, Gwen Guthrie, Candi Staton and Loleatta Holloway. With such wide-reaching parameters and a seemingly infinite number of candidates we’ve gone for a mix between old, new, deep, acid you name it so we’re put the house tracks in order of their release.
1. So first up is an old classic from the Gypsymen in the punch-packin’ form of ‘Hear the Music’. The track was produced by the legendary Todd Terry way back in ’92 and took its inspiration from New York post-disco act Unlimited Touch and their 1981 jam ‘I Hear Music in the Streets’. The sample is clear once you hear it and appears a couple of times in the track, first rearing its head 55 seconds in.
2. Released in the same year comes a track from one of the most influential players in the history of house. With a list of aliases in the dozens Grant Nelson is a man who’s music you will of heard, whether you realise it or not. From acid to breakbeat, hardcore and garage, his CV is astonishing. Our favourite line on his jam-packed resumé is without doubt the days of 24 Hour Experience – tracks like ‘Alnighter’ and ‘Touch After the World’ speak for themselves. It doesn’t stop there though with releases like ‘Rhode House’ – using his real name – and his work under the monikers Bump & Flex and N’n’G alongside UKG don Norris ‘the Boss’ Windross. The journey all started though with Wishdokta. One of the iconic early ’90s rave cuts, ‘Banana Sausage’ won’t be getting much club play these days but it’s impossible not to appreciate this shit. The sample was taken from 1983 boogie jam ‘I Need You Now’ by Sinnamon. It comes in around the minute mark and then throughout the rest of the track.
3. Fast forward three years and that brings us the late, great Romanthony. He sadly passed last year and will be a sorely missed member of the house family. It’s a tragedy he’s best known to most for his work with Daft Punk but he will always be remembered at TNG Towers for 1999 anthem ‘Hold On’. The track we’re featuring today however is ‘Ministry of Love’ (in turn used by Andre Crom) released in ’95. From around 45 seconds in you will notice the wails of Chi-town, disco songstress Loleatta Holloway, lifted from her track ‘Love Sensation’.
4. Next up is admittedly a bit cheesy these days but anyone who says they don’t know this track inside out either lying or so hip that they’ve only ever played tunes from a gramophone strapped to the basket of their free-wheel bicycle. 1998 all round smash hit ‘Music Sounds Better with You’ came courtesy of the, let’s say, less than prolific Stardust. They lifted multiple elements from the lovely/amazing/absolutely bat-shit crazy Chaka Khan’s 1981 effort ‘Fate’.
5. Mid way through this Odyssean journey and we teleport through the vacuous wastelands of the 00’s (not really, but for the purpose of this article, sort of). This brings us to 2010 and the dawn of a new decade of hope for soul/funk/disco orientated grooves. A treat for everyone here from the Ole Solskjaer of house music, Tensnake. Okay, you might not totally buzz of Tensnake but the Hamburger (with occasional cheese) responsible for ‘Mainline’ also dropped this tune on us four years ago. You’ve probably guessed already, I’m taking of course about ‘Coma Cat’. If Coma Cat is a track with mass appeal then Gwen Guthrie’s 1986 release ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But the Rent’ is a bonafide staple of anyone’s musical education. From the lass who started her career as a backing singer to ginormous names like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Madonna is a voice that was made to be sampled, yet oddly only samples taken from the drums of her track have made it onto our hallowed list.
6. The second half of this list is all tracks from the last 5 years so we’re coming into some familiar territory for sure. Bright-shining Bristolian, Julio Bashmore has shown his obscure hipstability credentials by sampling 1997 dollop of dynamite disco ‘People Get Up’ by Mass Production for his 2011 corker ‘Battle for Middle You’ (intangible flashbacks of Parklife included).
7. Picking up speed nicely now we arrive at certified Hot Creation Alexis Raphael. ‘I Know’ dropped in 2012 and has catapulted the Londoner into forefront of the house scene in the UK and worldwide. We covered a David Penn track on here not too long ago that used the same sample and that is a vocal from the immortal Candi Staton with her 1976 track ‘I Know’ which was actually the flipside for none other than ‘Young Hearts, Run Free’. There’s not a decade of house she hasn’t been involved in somewhere (except obviously the ’00s).
8. Hot Since 82 has been hot since, well about 2011 when he dropped ‘Let It Ride’ (not quite as hot as the Nicholas Masseyeff remix though). Since them has become one of the names on a circuit of extremely talented producers. His track 2012 ‘Forty Shorty’ was admittedly probably not his best, but the track he sampled is one of the greatest tunes ever. The track comes via the scarily charismatic Dennis Edwards and his 1984 cracker ‘Don’t Look Any Further’.
9. Ellum Audio chief Maceo Plex (AKA Maetrik) needs no introduction and neither, we imagine, does his deep and emotional power anthem ‘Love Somebody Else’. Released in 2012, 33 years after the track from which he scraped the vocal. That original was The Jones Girls and their 1979 release ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else’.
10. So last but not least comes from the godfathers of all things funk/soul/disco. This list would just not be complete without them. That is of course house muscle-heads Bicep. Their track ‘Satisfy’ came out last year and lifted the lyrical content from another Loleatta Holloway tune, this time the 1976 cut ‘Hit and Run’.
We thought to finish it all off we’d leave you with a bonus track. This track is a something a little different in that it’s a disco track that actually sampled one of those classic acid house grooves from 80’s Chicago heavyweight Adonis (this shit just got real). His legendary track ‘No Way Back’ was actually raided by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (AKA Chic) for the bassline (the mix-up around 45 seconds in) in their disco staple ‘Jack Le Freak’.