This DJ found the song that Daft Punk sampled to make “One More Time,” their hit song that me and only about three other people in the world are not sick of (I could listen to that song every day until I die and never get sick of it).

Start watching the video at 1:40.

I don’t know about you, but when he played the introduction to the original song “More Spell on You,” I had no idea where the “One More Time” sample came from. I’m certain that if I had heard that song twenty times but no one pointed out to me that Daft Punk sampled it, I never would have known.

Not to mention, you can tell that once Daft Punk was done altering the sample, it sounded nothing like the original recording. Even after the DJ changed the sample a little, it still didn’t sound like “One More Time” at all. (Compare “One More Time” and this DJ’s re-creation of it side-by-side if you don’t believe me.)

That is effective sampling, and to me it’s incredibly impressive. It requires a lot of musical knowledge to find the sample, musical sense to realize how to use it, and creativity to put it in a completely different musical context but still make sense.

It also requires a lot of technical skill. Clipping the sample out of a song is relatively simple, but adding tons of effects and using different production tricks to completely change how a sample sounds is hard.

Sampling sometimes gets a bad reputation among people who don’t understand it and only see the obvious bad examples of sampling that exist in pop culture. For example, the use of sampling in “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy is so blatantly lazy that I would hesitate to even call it sampling. You would be right to say that Puff Daddy just ripped off Sting, because he just took out Sting’s vocals and put in his own.

What many people don’t realize is that an effective sample is not necessarily even noticeable. A song produced Dr. Dre might have five or six samples, even if only one is obvious.

Even if a sample is completely unaltered, using it in a completely different musical context is undoubtedly a difficult skill. For example, “Bros” by Panda Bear contains an unaltered sample of “Red Roses and a Sky of Blue” by The Torpedos (the sample is at 0:50). But the two songs are obviously completely different.

The examples I’ve used so far have been from white musicians making electronic music. Of course, sampling was actually developed in hip hop. I’ll talk about hip hop sampling in another post. For the moment, here’s an example of a mostly unaltered hip hop sample that I nonetheless think is very creative and effective: “Top Billin'” by Audio Two samples the break at the very beginning of “Impeach the President” by the Honeydrippers.

(“Impeach the President” has been sampled countless times in hip hop. And “Top Billin'” was itself frequently sampled later, recently in “I Get Money,” 50 Cent’s single from last summer.)

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