22 Mar 2011


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So basically The Weeknd is being called the “future of R&B”, and I can see why someone would believe this, however I don’t agree that any genre can progress on it’s own. Instead, I believe music progresses collectively. Music in part is a derivative of an artist’s influences, among other things. Listening to The Weeknd clearly sampling Beach House on their track The Party & The After Party exemplifies my thought process on the conclusion that pop music will become more and more of a sample-based world. I realize The Weeknd is R&B, but all genres converge to pop music at some point in time. Pop music is the music of “pop culture”, a summary of general influences on pop culture.

Not sure if you remember but a while back Altered Zones profiled James Ferraro and had asked him about his sample-based music where he responded:

I use samplers, but I make everything from scratch. I’ll sample my voice– anything– to create a certain texture. I love sample-based music, but I think that in the post-sample world, people automatically register certain sounds as samples. Because they’ve never worked with a sampler, they don’t realize that using sampling doesn’t mean that you’re sampling someone else’s work. Achieving that effect is about spending a lot of time on the details, wanting to have a specific texture. If you were to look at my studio, I’d have my 8-track and keyboards and guitars [on one side], and the other side would be an effects portion where I have this thing… It’s like a bucket that you carry dishes in, with water in it, or microphones, or different things like hair gel– different things to create certain textures.”

Sampling first and foremost is known in signal processing as the number of samples per unit time taken from a continuous signal (such as a sinusoid) to create a discrete signal. When sampling, a general rule is to sample at least twice the frequency to obtain a relevant discrete time signal. Sample less than twice the frequency, and you get aliasing. Sample too much, and your new discrete time sequence will not be accurate. While oversampling and undersampling in signal processing do have some practical uses, for this argument I’m using the two to show how a nice ‘balance’ of sampling will result in solid pop songs. I realize my reasoning may seem a bit convoluted, however it seems to make sense when relating my thoughts to science. Essentially, sample too much and you’re a rip off, sample too little and the pop mob may find your track boring (assuming you are aiming for some sort of electronic sounds with your music).

There is of course nothing wrong with sampling a large portion of a song and merely speeding it up to achieve a certain aesthetic for your track, and that’s what’s great about music, there really are no bounds. I believe that in the future music will progress more into a world where song samples are more noticable. It’s been done, DJ Shadow’s 1996 LP “Endtroducing…” was a record completely composed of samples from other records. When listening to The Weeknd, this music has so much potential for mainstream media, remixing, a bro grinding on a girl while she texts her friend to get her another drink in the club.

Ian Paul Roger Celtics Nelson noted that he disliked The Weeknd’s Wicked Games because it was boring, and I can definitely see where he’s coming from. This is the type of track that would become popular in the mainstream media, because it’s so straightforward it’s easy to relate to. For those looking for meaning throughout this track, no need to search far, it’s pretty clear and obvious. It’s the straightforwardness is what will appeal to the masses, hence why The Weeknd has infiltrated MTV, and the creatively done tracks that surround it make me want to listen.

After listening through The Weeknd’s free nine track mix “House of Ballons”, it is surely a very solid release. The Morning, What You Need, and House Of Ballons – Glass Table Girls stick out as obvious stunners. It’s no doubt that this release is interesting enough, in general, to keep your “repeat all” turned on.

The Weeknd – The Morning by The_Weeknd

written by Louis
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  1. Reply Mark says:

    Great stuff Lou. Love yr thoughts. I do love The Weekend – that mix is the bomb…

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