[iDC] The Remix discussion

Gere, Charlie c.gere at lancaster.ac.uk
Sat Apr 15 13:54:12 EDT 2006

In his post Al Larsen wrote...

"In Digital Culture Charlie Gere draws a history from Cage and
Stockhausen to the Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk and, from there,
straight to techno, sampling and etc. This drove me nuts.  I can't
really separate the modern proliferation of sampling, looping, and
sequencing in contemporary music from hip-hop and Jamaican DJ and dub
styles. (And I actually see from his recent post to this list that Gere
recognizes this history as well...)

The thing is, it's not a straight history. Was King Tubby or Lee Perry
following Cage? Does Musique Concrete figure in? I am going to guess no.
They were responding to their own social and technological contexts. You
can't really draw a line of influence from Cage to Perry.  You can
eventually draw several lines from Jamaican DJ and dub to early hip-hop,
from Jamaican DJ and dub to UK post-punk underground music though. In
the late seventies and early eighties you see the circuit starting to be
completed in different places and ways... in the US, Afrika Bambaata
samples Kraftwerk for "Planet Rock," in the UK Cabaret Voltaire issues
singles pulling machine noise together with secondhand dub sense."

Apologies to Al for driving him nuts and its a fair cop, guilty as charged etc... That's the danger of trying to boil a complex history down to 70,000 words, but of course he's right. The history of sampling, dj-ing etc... is both far more complex than my account suggested and owes considerably more to non-caucasians than I show. 

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