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Amen Brother
June 10, 2011 8:23 AM   Subscribe

The BBC presents The Story of the Amen Break
posted by empath (33 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
previously
also
posted by desjardins at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also
posted by ob at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2011


Not clicking this. I need my hands to type today; I can't spent the whole day just air drumming.

that's what weekends and commutes are for
posted by Eideteker at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I don't need an hour of audio from the BBC on the amen break right now, I should really do work today!
posted by Inkoate at 8:44 AM on June 10, 2011


"This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later."
posted by DU at 8:44 AM on June 10, 2011


Oh man, I don't need an hour of audio from the BBC on the amen break right now, I should really do work today!

Amen.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 8:50 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just in time for a #1 summer jam, too!

(Say it with a flourish!)
posted by Madamina at 8:51 AM on June 10, 2011


Oasis used this? My mind is blown. This is awesome.

I bought a copy of the 7", and I have been thinking about getting an Amen, Brother related tattoo for some years.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2011


Apparently, until that guy made the youtube video about the Amen Break, the Winstons had no idea it had been sampled so much.
posted by empath at 9:07 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, they interview one of the guys towards the end of this.
posted by empath at 9:11 AM on June 10, 2011


I feel like we should start some kind of campaign to pay the Winstons and their families.
posted by empath at 9:16 AM on June 10, 2011


Couldn't get it to play.
posted by cashman at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2011


Again?
posted by GuyZero at 9:24 AM on June 10, 2011


Bowie did DnB? Oh, 1997.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:33 AM on June 10, 2011


Oh wow, they interview one of the guys towards the end of this.

A few years ago, I used to spend a lot of time hanging out on the production forums on Dogs on Acid, the Drum and Bass messageboard, and I remember when one of the producers who posts there actually managed to track down one of The Winstons, who I'm pretty sure had no idea about the status of the break at that time.

I think he knew it had been sampled a few times in HipHop, but had no idea about the prevalence of its use.

Pretty sure they never get a dime from it as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:35 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone got a proxy that works for the US?
posted by bashos_frog at 9:52 AM on June 10, 2011


Hmm. It's only the Chase & Status clip that is not available in my region. Nevermind.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:56 AM on June 10, 2011


PeterMcDermott: Pretty sure they never get a dime from it as well.

It's a short sample. See: Beastie Boys vs flutist James Newton. The Amen Break is 6 seconds long, just like the sample from Choir. As summarized on Wikipedia:
The Beastie Boys properly obtained a license to use the sound recording but did not clear the use of the song (the composition on which the recording is based including any music and lyrics). In Newton v. Diamond and Others 349 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2003) the US Appeals Court held that the use of the looped sample of a flute did not constitute copyright infringement as the core of the song itself had not been used.

bashos_frog: Anyone got a proxy that works for the US?

I'm currently listening to the audio in the US, and it work fine through Chrome.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't religious conservatives been trying to insert an amen break into public schools for decades now?
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 10:32 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the Newton copyright case, the Beastie Boys had a license to the sound recording but not to the underlying composition. I'm not sure the result would have been the same without the license to the recording, which the court identifed as having "unique performance elements." I think the performance in the Amen break has similar elements.
posted by exogenous at 10:44 AM on June 10, 2011


I'm in the US and this audio program is working fine for me without proxy or anything
posted by Bwithh at 10:49 AM on June 10, 2011


I'm in the US and this audio program is working fine for me without proxy or anything
I'm using Safari on a Mac
posted by Bwithh at 10:50 AM on June 10, 2011


I have a copy of the youtube documentary on white vinyl.
posted by tigrefacile at 11:03 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The bit that is cheesily fast forwarded about amen and the golden ratio is illucidated on a website here. Radio 1 really is terrible...
posted by pmcp at 11:12 AM on June 10, 2011


They took his flute sound,
It made the Newt frown,
And stain the back of the trousers of his suit brown,
But they were moot grounds,
No disrepute found;
But then they credited Smith when they did "Root Down"
posted by Sys Rq at 12:53 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sys Rq, that's golden.
posted by exogenous at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2011


Rarebit Fiend: Haven't religious conservatives been trying to insert an amen break into public schools for decades now?

That would be awesome: an education of sampling history, or at least a brief appreciation for seemingly serendipitous moments in music.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:27 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case anyone wants to listen to this without the iPlayer, you can download the entire show.
posted by armage at 6:34 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That would be awesome: an education of sampling history, or at least a brief appreciation for seemingly serendipitous moments in music.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:27 PM on June 10 [+] [!]


I just recently finished teaching an introductory Pro Tools class at a college.

I devoted an entire session to having the students locate, cleanly edit, and loop the Amen Break, with some discussion about why it is such a Big Huge Deal In Music.

One of the kids was a budding drum'n'bass producer. He was exceedingly happy that day.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:09 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is there any more committed a pillager of the Amen break than the great Squarepusher? It's on Big Loada and all over Hello Everything, and those records are ten years apart. I'm really asking--I'm only a fairly casual dnb head. Thoughts?
posted by Zerowensboring at 7:53 PM on June 10, 2011


Pretty much every D&B record from 1994 on was built on the amen break.
posted by empath at 8:15 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think some of my favorite music made with the Amen break is Luke Vibert's nom de plume, Amen Andrews. He did 5 or 6 albums and each song features it prominently.

I've often wondered how the drums were mic'd . What is it about the timing and intonation of it that makes it so universal?
posted by Catblack at 1:22 AM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty much every D&B record from 1994 on was built on the amen break.

The stutter-steps of the Amen are key in much D&B, but are also found in other breaks.

And for posterity: download The Story of the Amen Break.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:49 AM on June 12, 2011


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