Crashing the Spectacle

Crashing the Spectacle: A Forgotten History of Digital Sampling, Infringement, Copyright Liberation & the End of Recorded Music. 

The main point I got from this reading was learning about the controversial KLF. I had never heard of them before we discussed this in class and I found it very interesting.
KLF was Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond. They became famous for their debatable use of sampling. The reading discusses the sampling in their song, Whitney Joins the Jams. Throughout the song they ask Whitney to ‘join the jams’ and finally at about 1 minute 40 a snippet of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ ‘breaks through’ and KLF scream out ‘Whitney has joined the jams’.
For the release of their 1987 album, ‘What the Fuck is Going on?’, KLF released a copy, and as soon as legal threats starting coming their way, they released it again with all the illegal samples, but included instructions on how to get the songs with the samples again, although in the 80’s, not everyone had adequate technology to be able to do this so the whole release became a joke.
Their number one hit was Doctorin’ the Tardis which was created from a Doctor Who song.
KLF also released a satirical book titled ‘The Manual (How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way)‘.

The book was filled with instructions, booking details and contact numbers. The tone was satirical which is shown in this text about ‘The Groove.”

In days gone by it was provided by the bass guitar player, now it is all played by the programmed keyboards. Even if you want it to sound like a real bass guitar, a sampled sound of a bass guitar will be used, then programmed. It’s easier than getting some thumb-slapping dickhead in. ‘

I think  that if it wasn’t for KLF becoming famous for their controversial use of sampling and plagiarism, sampling wouldn’t be where it is now and we wouldn’t have websites like soundcloud where you can search through other people’s work to add to your own. In a way they opened peoples eyes to how easily sampling music can be done and without them the policies and laws wouldn’t have been made.


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