Start at the very beginning….

“…it’s a very good place to start”. I guess I should have followed that pop culture advice in crafting your remix eduction. Lets rectify that, particularly now sample culture and remix is back in the news thanks to some copyright liberties on the backing track for the Harlem Shake meme. The trouble is, there are several interwoven beginnings to this particular story.

I’m going to look at an artist who has been called the “unwitting inventor of turntablism” Christian Marclay. Never heard of him? No surprises there, although Newsweek named him one of the top 10 most influential artists of all time. He started out working with sound collage in the 1970’s, using scratched loops on records as percussive elements. Like many people since, myself included, his creative journey led him to incorporate visual elements.

Marclay came at this from an avowedly arts perspective. He wasn’t that interested in entertaining, he was making art. Perhaps the culmination of this is his 24 hour remix, The Clock, which uses samples from films to create a clock. Yes, that’s right, an entire day of samples. The Clock won the official selection prize at the 2011 Venice Biennale , as if you needed proof of his arts cred.

But I cant show you that, as Marclay is strict on the situations in which it can be viewed. Instead, lets look at some of his earlier work, Telephones from 1995. You can very much see this as the grandaddy of the latter supercuts such as Hello that I kicked this series off with.

I love how he creates an entirely new narrative from the samples, which is pretty much what I am doing in my live shows, creating new narratives from existing work.

Next up, we’ll look at some other remix pioneers, who were more party than arty…


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