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The most influential six seconds of music in music history

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac

Long video, but worth watching.

Explains how the world's most-sampled drum beat has spawned entire genres of music and challenged the validity of modern copyright laws.

I am prejudiced toward all music containing this beat. It sounds like crap and reminds me of crap people. The music that uses this is crap.  I even avoid the Godflesh tracks that use it.

So like the blast beat has sorta become the same thing?

Didn't Black Sabbath's "Wall of Sleep" (self titled) use a similar beat at the same time period?

Didn't Black Sabbath's "Wall of Sleep" (self titled) use a similar beat at the same time period?

Behind the Wall of Sleep didn't use the same snare pattern. And I think that's what this video is all about.

I am prejudiced toward all music containing this beat. It sounds like crap and reminds me of crap people. The music that uses this is crap.  I even avoid the Godflesh tracks that use it.

So like the blast beat has sorta become the same thing?

How can you feel this way about an entirely neutral six second sample? Thinking the amen break is "crap" is like thinking any other fairly neutral stylistic paradigm is crap. Almost or entirely identical drum beats are regurgitated over and over again in metal, as you've pointed out by mentioning the blast beat. It is more interesting to me to see how people have used the break since sampling and musical technology has propagated it and thereby made it so sterile, in addition to the questions that arise about copyright issues in the exponentially growing digital age of music (among other mediums). I can't feel phenomena like this are good or bad inherently, it just makes me wonder what it is that truly sets apart the underground metal I find to be the exact opposite of the music from that car commercial, for example. I think it's just complete extraction from the source of inspiration that created it in the first place, stripping the music of any meaning by taking it completely out of context, let alone the original intentions of the creators. Music like Squarepusher that was played in the video, in my opinion, offers almost an artistic scoff at that entire process of taking original creations and turning them into simple commercial devices by warping them so far out of context and seemingly advancing into a whole different realm of music, although I think the narrator may have considered this unnecessarily masturbatory.

On another note, what do you (anyone) think about copyright laws and the music industry and underground metal? Obviously underground metal artists barely scrape by in most cases and/or live pretty standard lives in which they can't solely rely on their music, so I believe in buying metal albums and supporting the artists for this reason. But I also think on some level, although I'm appreciative of artists like Beithioch who have released their albums for free download, considering the long history of record sales and the monetary value we naturally impute on someone else's efforts (whether artistic or not), giving away albums for free somehow cheapens the work involved. Without doubt people underestimating the work and thought processes involved in composing (good) black metal has led to tons of people cashing in on the perceived "simplistic" minimalist and low-fi nature of the music. I know a guy who runs a mainstream radio station who knows tons of, what I consider to be simply popular "entertainers," and it seriously sickens me every time I talk to him because you can automatically tell he sees artistic merit and large amounts of money to be pretty much inseparable. If you think about it, compared to every other genre of music like those of which the amen break has been integrated with over the years, underground metal has arguably avoided mainstream infestation for the longest time. Do you think given the general attitude of people like that guy I know (or any similar people you may know in the music business) that it's just a matter of time and interest that decides whether underground metal is adopted in the same fashion as other genres have been by mainstream media? Or that underground music has a limiting factor to it's popularity until it becomes too popular to sustain its initial integrity? Or perhaps that underground music itself is the outcome of mainstream media pushing those who retain some artistic and philosophical integrity up against a wall? Also, do you think for these and other similar reasons that underground metal in particular will be left behind or evolve into some new entity?

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How can you feel this way about an entirely neutral six second sample? Thinking the amen break is "crap" is like thinking any other fairly neutral stylistic paradigm is crap.

Nope. A martial type of drum beat has an inherent character that differs from the amen, for example. We react physically to the beats in different ways physiologically; our “neutral” or “at rest” dispositions ie. regular heart beat is our point of reference. So maybe our war rhythms are the way they are, and galvanize us so, because of this, and the amen beat draws hipsters and druggies due to its character.

Quote
How can you feel this way about an entirely neutral six second sample? Thinking the amen break is "crap" is like thinking any other fairly neutral stylistic paradigm is crap.

Nope. A martial type of drum beat has an inherent character that differs from the amen, for example. We react physically to the beats in different ways physiologically; our “neutral” or “at rest” dispositions ie. regular heart beat is our point of reference. So maybe our war rhythms are the way they are, and galvanize us so, because of this, and the amen beat draws hipsters and druggies due to its character.


Good point, I hadn't thought about that. However, it's still just a drum beat and I wonder if it's really so much an inherent quality as it is our identifying it with a certain type of music, crowd or movement? Consider it out of context, in another time period for example. I could easily see it being as harsh and alienating a couple hundred years ago as metal beats may be today. I think at least it is a combination of an inherent quality and how we associate it within the context of our culture.

Case in point:

Tangerine Dream - Dream of Trance (10 seconds in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omeQiW2xq4Y

Ubiquitous, yes. But what has that beat actually influenced, i.e. what minds has it changed outside of entertaining people with a bad taste in music?

The difference between taking influence from and just stealing a short sequence of music. The difference between an influencial style or specific scale or chord change that many bands have borrowed. The difference between a drum loop or a whole selection of drum beats that make up a style of drumming. This sequence is to do with technological influence, not musical influence.