Best electronic music samples | News | MN2S

Electronic music and samples have always gone hand in hand. Samples of singers, samples of beats, samples of other house tracks. Wherever they are from, samples can elevate a track to a new level, and the sample itself can sometimes sound even better in its new sonic home. Here are 5 of the best electronic music samples of all time.

1. ‘Pump Up the Jam’ by Technotronic samples ‘Move Your Body’ by Marshall Jefferson

Two MN2S legends collide on this 1989 classic. Marshall Jefferson’s original is one of house’s most seminal tracks and it can never be topped. Luckily Technotronic never tried to beat Jefferson at his own game (and with his own beat).

‘Pump Up the Jam’ instead takes the sounds in a different direction. The track samples some of the drum programming and one of the synth/piano riffs from ‘Move Your Body’ and focuses less on the club and more on the charts, with additional catchy vocal lines and a more conventional structure. There is no need to pit these tracks against each other, though. The songs are both classics in their own right.

2. ‘Needin’ U’ by David Morales samples ‘My First Mistake’ by The Chi-Lites

‘Needin’ U’ is one of the definitive summer party tracks, delighting festival-goers worldwide year after year. But it would sound very different were it not for a relatively unknown track by 1970s R&B act The Chi-Lites.

‘My First Mistake’ gives ‘Needin’ U’ its vocal hook, the hook that ties the whole track together. David Morales’ expert production, arrangement and piano chords truly bring out the emotion of the original track’s lyrics and melody.

3. ‘Praise You’ by Fatboy Slim samples ‘It’s a Small World’ from Mickey Mouse Disco

Sampling other house tracks and old soul tunes, as above, is standard practice in electronic music. Sampling soundtrack LPs from Disney cartoon characters is more unusual. But that didn’t stop Norman Cook from dusting off his copy of the 1979 kids album Mickey Mouse Disco for what became one of his biggest hit songs.

With ‘Praise You’s epic gospel sound, listeners would be forgiven for assuming the samples used came from a 60s or 70s soul record, but that couldn’t be further from the truth; the funky wah-wah guitars and percussion come from a disco version of Disney’s most infamous theme park ride song. The success of this sample raises the question of how many other untapped gems are hidden in the long-forgotten grooves of records for children. Though, after the success of ‘Praise You’, Norman Cook probably checked.

4. ‘Aerodynamic’ by Daft Punk samples ‘Il Macquillage Lady’ by Sister Sledge

Daft Punk’s 2001 hit album Discovery is packed full of perfect sampling, but the use of a clip from Sister Sledge’s ‘Il Macquillage Lady’ on ‘Aerodynamic’ is one of the finest examples. In the original song, the guitar frills and synth stabs are part of the background—a springboard for the melody.

Daft Punk put their sample of the song front and centre, looping it, processing it and building on it with their own synths. The result is one of their most danceable tunes, and proof that Sister Sledge’s music in 1982 was so ahead of its time, it can still sound futuristic two decades later.

5. ‘Go’ by Moby samples ‘Love’s Gonna Get You’ by Jocelyn Brown

The majority of the samples in Moby’s 1991 track ‘Go’ come from ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’ from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, but the most important one is a simple clip of a Jocelyn Brown ad lib from her 1987 song ‘Love’s Gonna Get You’.

Appearing late in the track, there is no clear reason why this particular vocal clip would stand out to the listener, but to Moby it did. ‘Go’ brings out the complex layers of Brown’s vocals, making her sound confident but unsure, positive but troubled. Considering ‘Go’s meditative quality, it’s perhaps surprising that its lead vocals come from such a foot-stomping banger. But then, that is what sampling in electronic music is all about.

Book Technotronic, Marshall Jefferson, David Morales, Sister Sledge or Jocelyn Brown today for the chance to hear these tracks, or at least the sampled elements, at your venue.

Header image is Akai MPC Renaissance by Matt VanacoroDSC02933, CC BY 2.0, Link

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