This show looks at how the technique of sampling, using bits of recorded sound or borrowing fragments from existing records, created a new genre of music and sparked a musical revolution.




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dermot Mulroney ... Narrator (voice)
Jimmy Jam ... Himself
Michael Simpson ... Himself
Esperanza Spalding ... Herself
Eddie Kramer Eddie Kramer ... Himself
Moby ... Himself
Q-Tip ... Himself
Afrika Bambaataa ... Himself
Chuck D ... Himself
DJ Spooky ... Himself
Jason King Jason King ... Himself
Fredara Hadley Fredara Hadley ... Herself
Hank Shocklee Hank Shocklee ... Himself
Darryl McDaniels ... Himself
RZA ... Himself


The sixth episode of Soundbreaking looks at a musical revolution that was not only inspired by recording but born from its history: the art of sampling--a kind of musical equivalent of Adam's rib. Beginning with the pioneers of hip hop (Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, Rick Rubin), the episode tracks the way in which the practice of borrowing fragments from existing records created a new genre--a potent musical form that emerged from the margins, up-ended the establishment, and set in motion a controversy over copyright that has yet to be resolved. As we survey the development of sampling and its multiple, varied incarnations over the years since, Episode Six explores the complex sonic landscapes which, by their very existence, pay tribute to the art of recording itself, and examines the eternally blurred line between theft and homage.

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Release Date:

21 November 2016 (USA) See more »

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Show of Force See more »
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Fascinating Move to the Future
11 January 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is another view of the contemporary music world that I've not experienced before. It involves "sampling." Pardon me for being a middle class white guy whose tastes aren't exactly urban black (though my tastes are very broad). What's wonderful about this series is that it doesn't insult our intelligence. It looks into what the music is. Sampling, as I found out here has to do with taking previously recorded music and manipulating it with technology to create something new. The series takes us to the roots of particularly inner city African American music and shows how all this transpired. They mention that this has been going on forever. When a group has a beat, particularly if it is appealing to dancers, and their vocal rhythms are unique, they are set up to be "sampled." Some artists talked about going to concerts and saying that the underlying track (performed by a DJ) was actually their song. I was thinking, there must by some dicey things going on with plagiarism.

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