Image: Johan Prag.
A record producer. One of several dreamjobs I often fantasize about but will never have the guts to actively pursue. All said and done, I’ve actually been collecting throughout the years songs I’d love to sample if I were in fact a producer. I wont spill all the beans in this post but I will share with you 8 songs that I guarantee will get you enough money to buy at least 100 persian rugs and a yacht if treated properly. If I start seeing some of these choices in popular hip hop songs two or three years from now I’ll probably die in an envy fit. Do we have any producers amongst our readers? We do have Andras Fox posting awesome playlists every now and then over here and he makes some great sample-based music. Will he take my sample advice?
Either way, producer or not, these songs are amazing on their own and you wont regret adding any of them to your collection.
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Observatory Crest
Bluejeans & Moonbeams (1974)
It’s strange having the Captain showing off a romantic mood. This is such a lush intro, the first time I heard it I looped it about a dozen times thinking about all the little details and melodies you could add on top off it. To my knowledge no one has touched it yet which feels unexplainable to me (although Kid Loco did sample another mellow Beefheart song off this album for his track “she woolf daydream” and made a good job with it).
Dennis Wilson – The Dreamer
Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)
We really need to have more bass harmonicas in pop music. The funky riff in this song sounds more akin to Steely Dan or Little Feat than the Beach Boys. It’s almost heavy metal blues albeit with a gorgeous, relaxed groove. I feel like you could amp this up a bit to create a badass loop.
Psychedelic Furs – Dumb Waiters
Talk Talk Talk (1981)
Another badass intro. At first I thought it was a synthesizer but I think it’s actually a saxophone and a guitar played at the same time. The whole mood of the song is very vicious so I think this one could fit a sleazy mood if it comes to that.
Jacqueline Taïeb – Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts
Bravo / Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts 7″ (1967)
I’m always raving about this song. Not only is this one of my favorite songs from all time, the horn section is completely sample-worthy, very catchy and upbeat. I’ve heard some edits of this one on soundcloud but nothing that makes me go crazy yet. I imagine it would fit best in an R&B track, it’s got that loose-limbed, organic quality that made ‘crazy in love’ and ’1 thing’ such huge hits. It also has one of those jumpy ye-ye basslines that stands pretty well on its own. Check out her ‘Bravo’ EP for extra horn goodness.
Lucio Battisti – Ancora tu
La Batteria, Il Contrabbasso, Eccetera (1976)
This is such a corny song but those flamenco disco guitars and that vintage synth figures on the verses are too catchy to be wasted. I’d love to isolate those and give them a better backbone, the drums and bassline are there but they don’t do anything special and they sound very tiny.
Marcos Valle – Parabéns
Contrasts (Far Out, 2003)
Smooth Brazilian-disco. This song is actually based around a sample of Marcos Valle’s own track ‘Wanda Vidal’ from 1971. I chose this one over the original since I like it way better and it has been remastered already. They also added a funky bassline and percussion to the mix. It gives you a better chance to pick whichever version has a better chance of clearance.
Esmeray – Ayrilik Olsa Bile
Unutama Beni / Ayrılık Olsa Bile 7″ (1974)
I might be wrong but I’m fairly sure this song is actually a cover from an english song, I can’t find any information on it but I’m almost positive I’ve heard it in some other shape. I think it was even sampled on a hip hop record already? (I don’t know if I just dreamt about it, if you have any additional info on this one I’ll be infinitely grateful). Either way, despite the recording being lo-fi, this one oozes a subtle, domestic psychedelia vibe that it’s hard not to fall in love with. Also handclaps + humming.
William Onyeabor – Better Change Your Mind
Atomic Bomb (Wilfilms records, 1978)
Well, the production on this one is very low budget so it sounds very dusty, but there’s plenty of tidbits on this one that if mastered properly would make for some really funky loops. That intro alone is worth enough to bring it back from the dead.