403 of the Most Sought After Samples and Scratches
Reviewed by John Brady
Monday, May 8 2000, 1:52 PM
Hip-hop and electronica producers live and die by the sample; a large part of their job entails searching for the funkiest break-beats and the most attention getting vocal snippets. With just the right sample, an adept producer can trigger that moment of recognition in consumers, the moment that will send them down to the record store, cash in hand, and demanding "That track with the wicked break." This anonymously produced CD is designed to make the producer's job a little easier. Instead of plowing through yards and yards of vinyl, tomorrow's hip-hop star need only slip this disk into the CD player to have 403 funky, quirky, dirty, jazzy, silly, stupid samples at the ready. Think of it as a labor saving device, break-beat style.
Producer beware, though! The label "most sought after" is more than a slight exaggeration. Among the 403 sound-bites there's loads of filler. There aren't nearly enough break beats or musical riffs. And, if that weren't enough, many of the samples have been shoddily recorded, making them ultimately hard to use. Women producers won't find much of interest here. A more or less pronounced misogyny runs through this entire sampling of samples. Almost all of the voices sampled are male, many of the samples highlight macho fronting, and more than a few play on the denigration of women. Finally, producers interested in laying down tracks with political content, won't find much of interest here either. In these selected snippets one hears only the echo of hip-hop and electronica's hedonism, not the echoes of its passion for rebellion and subversion. Chuck D, where are you?