The Story of the Amen Break

In 1969 the drummer of a band called The Winstons performed a 6 second drum solo in a track called Amen Brother. He could have had no idea how that break would go on to become one of the most used samples of all time.

It was used in early hip hop records during the 80s, it cropped up in loads of old skool rave tunes and became one of the foundation stones of Jungle and Drum & Bass – not to mention all the other tracks which feature it in one form or another! There are loads websites, databases and facebook groups devoted to the subject, for some reason Djs and producers are TOTALLY obsessed by it.

Crissy Criss explores the legacy of the Amen Break and tries to track down one of the original members of The Winstons to find out how he feels about creating the most influencial 6 second break in music.

Can I Get An Amen?

Can I Get An Amen?
Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drums beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break. It begins with the pop track Amen Brother by 60’s soul band The Winstons, and traces the transformation of their drum solo from its original context as part of a ‘B’ side vinyl single into its use as a key aural ingredient in contemporary cultural expression. The work attempts to bring into scrutiny the techno-utopian notion that ‘information wants to be free’- it questions its effectiveness as a democratizing agent. This as well as other issues are foregrounded through a history of the Amen Break and its peculiar relationship to current copyright law.

Whau… tämä 17-minuutin video kertoo pienestä mutta tärkeästä palasesta elektronisen musiikin historiasta ja kyseenalaistaa tekijänoikeutta tästä kuuden sekunnin sämplestä.

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