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So much for electronica being under-represented on the list...  :)

On Mon, 4 Aug 1997, Ian///Shakespace wrote:

> But the whole idea of (re)contextualising comes from how the sample is 
> in another piece of music. Sure 5 guitarists will play "Black Dog" 
> differently, and 5 techno artists will use the sample from "Black Dog" in
> different ways in wildly varying styles, but the guitarist is still just
> playing "Black Dog". 

And the DJ is still "just" sampling it!

> So in a way, just as the guitarists sensibilities
> affect how he plays the guitar riff, a DJ's sensibilities affect how he
> uses the sample in a song or dropped into his set.

But again, the "sensibilities" that are at work with a guitarist are an
intangible, organic, built-in thing, and they're there from the crack of
the cosmic DNA.  It's a fundamentally different sort of thing than how a
digital recording of someone else's music is being played back.

It's like the difference between a painting and a photograph.  Different
photographers will take different sorts of pictures of the same thing, but
the degree of implicit, preliminary variation and distinction just isn't
on par to what you'll get if different painters work off of the same

> I'd love to see someone, given the same bank of samples and even the same
> gear as me try to duplicate what i do in the studio. Easily 75% of what i
> do is live, tweaking synth filters and delays, fading bits in and out,
> manually triggering samples, guitar work... the "editing process" is just
> as live as if i sit down with my guitar and play the same arpeggio over 
> over, slightly different each time because my hand cramps up.

This is all very true.  I think for me the bottom line is that if you're
working with samples, even if you're tweaking and recontextualizing the
thing to the nth degree, you're still working with blocks of other
people's material, in a way that's far more overt and undiluted than if
you're translating that material through your own performance.  This is
really the crux of a lot of this thread: The difference between working
with someone else's performance as opposed to working with your own
performance.  This is ultimately a very personal issue, and for some
people there's basically no difference at all.  For myself, I know that
there's a sense of satisfaction and reward that I get from playing guitar
that I definitely *don't* get from sitting in front of a computer screen
for a few hours.  Both methods of making music are very important to me,
but if I had to choose between electronic music or guitar, the Mac would
be out the window in a heartbeat. 

> >Look at the John Lennon song "Come Together."
> Apples and oranges, my friend. Kim was stating that creatively there's no
> difference between a sample of him and a sample of someone else, even if
> they're both playing the same thing. I understand your point with the
> Lennon example, and its a valid point, except it's not. Look who's
> recontextualising now... :-0

Hmmm...  well, if Kim (or whoever else) really doesn't see a difference
between those two things, I can't say he's wrong.  I personally would feel
very uncomfortable with inserting a sample of someone else's music into my
own; even the recent slew of sample CD-ROMS is non-kosher for me.  I've
heard some great things done with them (the drum tracks on the last Torn
album come to mind), but for my own part, I just can't bear the thought of
literally buying music off the shelf.  I can live with using the basic
samples that are in my sound modules, but when it comes to the actual
gestures and rhythms, I don't feel right unless I'm setting them in

> >From Part 4:
> >I would go on to say that tape-and-razors looping is the "classical"
> >precursor to MIDI-based sequencer editing.
> Hmmm... try and remove one note from a sequence and one note from a tape
> (and retain the loop length integrity) and then maybe you'll see why i'm
> taking issue with this.

I'm not saying that each format is identical to the other in terms of what
you can do.  Your observation is absolutely spot-on, but I still think
that when you drag a mouse over a section of a sequence to copy it to
another location, then there's a historical precedent for that in people
splicing reel-to-reel tapes.  It's the same with looping: you can't do the
same sort of looping with a JamMan that you can with two Revoxes, but I do
think that the former represents the evolution of an idea developed by the

> >Just look at where the term
> >"cut and paste" comes from!
> If you must know, the term comes from the graphic design field, and was
> cross-polinated to the music world with the first digital editors.

I stand corrected.  One day musicians will get out of our centuries-old 
habit of waiting for the visual arts world to come up with terminology 
that we can then rip off!

> If you're looping your guitar and I'm looping your guitar, we're doing 
> same thing. given, we're doing it with different tools, but the fact of 
> matter is, we're both using the same technology to varying degrees to the
> same ends (making music).

True, but within that general realm of similarity is contained a universe 
of different possibilities.  (This is getting a bit high on the "muso" 
scale...  maybe I'd better go watch "Contact."  8-/)

> Man I really gotta say here that I _hate_ the term electronica and the 
> that the media has pigeonholed anythig with a dancey beat and synths as
> "electronica". Its too wide ranging I really can't see how anyone can put
> the Metalheadz in the same category as Future Sound Of London... But I
> digress...

I feel a bit funny about the "electronica" tag myself, but I do think it
makes a certain amount of sense.  The first serious "rave culture" mag I
checked out was _URB_, and (coincidentally to your example above) there
were articles on both FSOL and Metalheadz in the same issue.  It's a
wide-ranging category, but I still think that you can put those two groups
in the same general territory, just as you can put Charlie Parker and
Ornette Coleman in the same area, or Chuck Berry and Eddie Van Halen.  And
in the case of electronica, I think it's a territory populated by people
who subscribe to a different philosophy than I do. 

BTW, if you've got a better suggestion as far as terminology goes, I'd 
genuinely love to hear it.

> The whole point of electronica is accepting what others do and seeing how
> people change whats previously been done. 

I don't know if everything I've seen in electronica supports your claim. 
A lot of people within that community have written off Prodigy as being
showbiz distillations of the more superficial aspects of that scene.  (And
these claims were around a long time before _Fat Of The Land_ was a hit). 
Then you've got people knocking groups like Everything But The Girl and
David Bowie for allegedly jumping on the proverbial bandwagon to try and
graft some contemporary relevance onto themselves (whether or not that's
the case is a matter I shan't attempt here).  

I must say that I see quite a bit of disagreement and dispute in *any*
artistic scene, and electronica is no exception.  That's healthy for any
artistic "scene": different ideas get tossed around, and sometimes the
different perspectives form the basis of some pretty vehement
disagreement.  That's not a bad thing, but I think your assessment of the
electronic dance culture as being inherently open to anything is
unrealistic.  If that were indeed the case, it would likely be a lot less
interesting than it is.  (Which reminds me, I've got to start looking for
loop gigs at techno clubs, if only to see the looks on people's faces when
I walk into the gig with a guitar instead of a turntable). 

> But slowly, the electronic music "scene" (and i'm using that broad-based
> word very dangerously here) has just expandced and expanded...

I read an interview with LTJ Buken where he said that he wanted his music 
to go global.  Well, when he's got former shred-head guitarists from Iowa 
programming jungle rhythms, he might well reconsider the wisdom of that 
wish...  :}

> And
> obviously we're taking things too seriously if we get all bent out of 
> here.

I'm pretty sure we're taking them too seriously anyway!