Written by 8:31 pm Electronic, Hip Hop, Sampling

Sampleface Five: Harmonic Samples


We look at harmonic samples for our Sampleface Five.

I do love harmonic samples. You could catch a riff and transform it into an instrument or use it as a counter melody. The possibilities are endless. For our latest edition of Sampleface Five, we look at five quality examples of what can be done with harmonic samples by some of the best producers around.

1.  Abjo – AGHT (“Caddyshack” Intro Flip)

I waxed lyrical about this yesterday and I’m gonna do it again. I actually wanted to flip this myself (the sample being I’m Alright by Kenny Loggins, used for the intro of comedy film Caddyshack) but never got round to it. The vocals were actually edited from the original for the film and AbJo rightfully turned it into an atmospheric masterpiece.

2.  Nameless – Dream On

As one of the commenters rightfully pointed out, this was on a Dilla – Flyyyyy tip. Stretching out a vocal chord and adding drums sounds simple but with the off kilter beat that Sampleface favourite Nameless laid over the top and the spacey piano near the middle, this is beyond simple. It’s cosmic.

3.  Flying Lotus – Massage Situation

This has been my ringtone for quite a while and unlike other songs, that hasn’t taken away the majesty of it all. When you hear the original, you’ll get the gasface like I did (perhaps with extra goosebumps). As to be expected, FlyLo pumped through his heavy drumming and thick bassline.

4.  Slum Village – Players

As intricate sampling goes, J Dilla was one of the kings. For Slum Village, much like Massage Situation above, Dilla flipped Singers Unlimited, pitched it down and rearranged the parts. The beauty of it all came from how he managed to turn the original “Claire” vocal sample into “players”. I’ll never know how he did it.

5. De La Soul – Rock Co.Kane Flow

Hard like crack cocaine. That’s pretty much epitomises this whole track, from beat to lyrics. There’s a video of Jake One recreating the beat, showcasing how it was flipped and the equipment used. The pièce de résistance, however, is the inclusion of MF Doom (who had already released an album with Madlib that year, the latter also appearing on the album as a producer). Although his flow pretty much lends itself to most beats of a high calibre like De La’s do, this track really was DOOM territory with its solid knocking beat and haunting harmonies.