Amon Tobin’s sampling obsession began by editing Top 40 chart shows
“It got to the point where the point of origin of these samples didn’t really matter, because it’s you creating things sonically, no matter where it was from.”
Get MusicTech breaking news as it happens by following us on Telegram: https://t.me/MusicTechOfficial
Amon Tobin has revealed how he got into sampling, noting that much of his inspiration came from the Top 40 charts when he was a teenager.
- READ MORE: Female and non-binary producers earned less than 5% of credits on 2022’s most-streamed songs, study finds
Speaking on MusicTech’s podcast My Forever Studio with Chris Barker and Will Betts, the electronic musician and producer revealed where his inspiration to start sampling audio came from:
“I started out with tape when I was 13. I washed cars for a summer and I saved up for this twin cassette recorder thing, and that was the dream,” Tobin admitted. “I wanted to record the top 40 that was playing on a Sunday, and make my own top 40 and bring it to school. Because it was a twin cassette, it could do edits, so what I would do is take the top 40 tracks but then the part of the songs I wouldn’t really like, I’d take those out so I ended up with these distilled versions of the top 40.
“Then, this went on and I started to just edit the tracks more and more and more until it got to a collage-y thing,” he continued. “I got really adept to the pause, record, shuffle you have to do with a cassette recorder. That led to sampling in the 90s. There was a natural line to draw between one thing and the other, from taking recordings and manipulating them, and that’s where it came from.
“It was nothing to do with music, it was to do with editing,” reveals the electronic producer. “I wasn’t trying to be a musician, I was just listening to what people were doing with tape or samplers, I had no idea that all of this other shit existed.”
Does he still sample songs? “I haven’t sampled anything for a long time,” he admits. “if you can imagine these big chunks of sampling the top 40 and then you make a song, and then you sample a song and then you make a different song out of it.
“It got to the point where the sort of point of origin of these samples didn’t really matter, because it’s you creating things sonically, no matter where it was from.”
Follow the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Castbox and find the rest of the episodes at musictech.com.
Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.Subscribe