Sunday, March 28, 2021

the sample-glow (ecstatic intertextuality)

Made this massive playlist of 80s R&B club postdisco "boogie" etc type music recently -  a few late '70s crept in here and there, - and while listening to this tune, was reminded how threaded through the whole astonishing vocal performance by Rochelle Fleming was sample after sample - or rather sample-to-be after sample-to-be

This is the opposite of the syndrome I earlier identified as the "sample-stain", i.e. the backwards-through-time contamination of a favorite song caused by someone you dislike sampling it. You can't hear the original tune without thinking of the perpetrator. 

The other syndrome, the reverse effect, could be called the sample-glow.  

An extra layer of bliss and delight - and fond familiarity - irradiates that particular tiny moment in the already fabulous song, because of how it is now wedded to a later fantastic piece of music.  As though, that particular part of the lyric-vocal (or instrumentation) has been highlighted with a fluorescent marker pen. 

It's like you hear with doubled ears. 

The First Choice song is littered with sample-glows

"It's not ov-ah" wormholes through time to the Citadel of Kaos's tune of the same title. 

"Your mind, your body and your soul" appears in a number of hardcore and jungle tunes (Omni Trio "Soul Promenade" particularly lustrous among them)

"Everyday of my life" is another portal to future-bliss

There are several other moments in the performance, sometimes just nonverbal moans and oohs, that you recognise with that future-anterior shiver. Like a non-elegiac form of hauntology. 

Here's another example stumbled upon in the same club/funk/boogie/postdisco playlist, Cheryl Lynn's fabulous "Encore" (produced and written by Jam & Lewis), which I'd only ever heard as the 7-inch version, and bought at the time. 

But in this extended mix the song is presented as if actually a live performance (in keeping with the "Encore" theme / double-entendre, I guess). Right at the end, Lynn calls out to the "audience" with an electrifying shout of  "WOOOH! All right?". To attuned ears, that cry immediately hurls you forward through history to the dozens of rave records that sampled it. Probably they got through this intermediary, a track some folk (including DJ Hype) have cited as a proto-jungle tune.  

So many examples

One more example from my playlist of the sample glow - another Jam & Lewis written and produced classic, Cherrelle and Alexander O' Neal's "Saturday Love" 

A gorgeous, glorious tune in its own right, but now it carries extra irradiation from the reappearance of "still on my mind" (which I always hear first as "stealing my mind" - poetry!)... (Or is it "you stay on my mind" ? either way, works perfectly for the sense of E's duration and afterglow. 

 Other good bits purloined from the original: "Feeling so special"...  "my feelings, can't explain" (ooh gosh) in various rave tunes, most notably

apparently in this other Ibiza/3rd Party family effort

couldn't be more on the nose this next one with its "there's no sniffing, snorting or injecting... just a matter of taking tablets" and "the designer drug craze, Ecstasy" soundbites - in combo with the "my feelings, can't explain" and "feelin so special" bits

Alexander O'Neal was so popular in the UK, where "Saturday Love" was a much bigger pop hit than USA, that he ended up moving there. 

But then he succumbed to sinister artificially induced "feelings so special" - not E but other highs

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