In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Horror Sampled

Have you ever been listening to a song, heard something sampled from a movie or show and then racked your brain trying to remember where it was from?

In 1993, a similar thing happened to a man named Peter Cigéhn, while watching the 1982 David Cronenberg film Videodrome on late night television. After finding out where the samples came from by posting a query on an Internet discussion forum, he had the great idea of starting a website that catalogued the sources of audio samples used in music. And so The Top Sample Sources List was born. For those not in the know, audio sampling is when an artist culls a sound effect or dialogue from a movie, TV show or other media source and uses it in their music. Industrial - the musical genre that utilizes this technique the most – bands like Skinny Puppy and Ministry have sampled hundreds of things from a variety of sources over the years, as have many other artists ranging from Ice Cube to Big Audio Dynamite.

Horror films are an extremely popular source for audio sampling and when my older brother introduced Skinny Puppy to me circa 1990, it was a match made in hell. What a fantastic idea, I thought; using bits and bobs from horror almost like a percussive instrument, much like singer Nivek Ogre’s distinctive vocals. After having devoured their back catalogue, it was always a surreal experience whenever I would hear something Skinny Puppy had used pop up in a flick I was watching. Like this one, for instance.



That was a clip from the 1982 animated film The Plague Dogs. Any Skinny Puppy fan will recognize that immediately, as it was used in the song Testure from their 1988 album VIVISect VI. So, when I discovered Pete Cigéhn’s site in the late nineties – it was a burgeoning database of information by then, with almost four thousand entries – it was absolute bliss. I could find out where all those mysterious clips from Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, Thrill Kill Kult etc, came from and then seek those titles out. This is another reason why coming across Queen and Suspect Video was so momentous for me. They had so many films that I had learned about from the site. My first ever contributions to the World Wide Web were sampling submissions to The Top Sample Sources List.

The reason I am posting about this now is because I recently re-discovered it. Several years ago, it seemed to just up and disappear. One day, my usual bookmark http://www.sloth.org/samples/ came up as a broken link and every web search I tried for years led back to that same dead web page. Then, last week, by total fluke, I’m on Wikipedia and follow a footnote about Blade Runner being the most sampled film of all time and voila, up pops that familiar header for The Top Sample Sources List. It hadn’t been updated since 2004, but the 7836 listings were still there in all their encyclopaedic glory. And I FINALLY got to look up something I had been waiting for since I first laid eyes on the site almost ten years previous.

The sample at the beginning of TKK’s Daisy Chain 4 Satan is from an episode of the seventies TV show The Sixth Sense entitled Dear Joan: We’re Going To Scare You To Death, featuring Joan Crawford in her last acting gig.

What a relief!

So, if you are in the same boat and looking for the source of something that has been clanging around in your brain for ages, be sure check out The Top Sample Sources List. Answers could be only a few clicks away!

1 comment:

snjshr said...

hi jay that is really a great job hats off to you I really appreciated your work well done again for this hard work you have done.