Spoken samples

        I like songs which include samples of bits of speech from other sources. In some cases, the samples are barely perceptible; in others, they help framing the song and its theme; in others still, they are its main component. It makes me feel like the song is facing outward, not inward; that it’s referencing, and connecting to, a certain real person or several real people in the real world, the world which we live in and which exists outside the song-world. It can feel a bit like cheating, of course: isn’t music supposed to be self-containing? to evoke and represent whatever it means to say, rather than to import it directly from reality? We’ve certainly gotten used to it being so, though we don’t have any issues with music samples: music referencing other music. I disagree, however: for me, music is not only important enough to encompass whatever it means to, but those samples help giving me a feeling of coexistence with the song: they bring it forth into the same world I inhabit. The young Scottish (one assumes) people’s voices scarcely buried amid Boards of Canada’s Turquoise Hexagon Sun, the news report of a teenager killed in a car crash in the middle of The KLF’s Madrugada Eterna, the crazed survivalist rants of the song’s namesake in Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s BBF3, are all so many tiny bits of our world that these three bands — the only such bands I know, actually — piece together and render into art and onto us.

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