We breakdown 10 classic house music tracks and the origins of the samples used to make the iconic tracks. From Daft Punk, Paul Johnson, Armand Van Helden and more, the list is a comprehensive look at some of the most quintessetial sample flips in the house music history.
Sampling in music refers to the process of using a portion of audio from another source, in many cases from an existing song and modifying it to create a new sound. House music has been at the forefront of creative sampling since the birth of the genre, and we break down some of our favourite house music tracks that creatively used samples to form seminal pieces of dance music history.
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray [Rham Records]
A Guy Called Gerald‘s hit track ‘Voodoo Ray‘ came out in 1988 and reached number 12 in the UK charts and went onto become an acid house classic, popularly associated with seminal Manchester club night, The Haceinda. The vocal sample for ‘Voodoo Ray’ stems back to 1976, sampling cockney punk and alternative comedy duo Derek & Clive from their debut album ‘Derek & Clive – Live’.
Skip to 7.33 to hear the original sample.
Paul Johnson – Get Get Down [Fuel Records]
One of Paul Johnson‘s most famous track’s ‘Get Get Down’ came out in 1999 as a single as part of his ‘The Groove I Have’ album. The single went on to top the US dance charts and peaked within the top 10 charts in France, Greece, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The house music anthem’s famous bass and string loop dates back to 1978, sampling disco king Hamilton Bohannon on his club classic ‘Me & The Gang’.
Sample appears at 0.00
Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me Feat. Duane Harden [Armed Records]
‘You Don’t Know Me‘ is undisputedly Armand Van Helden‘s biggest hit, in a career that has supplied anthem after anthem. Released in 1999 on Van Helden’s imprint Armed Records reached number 1 in the UK single’s chart and quickly became a house music classic. The sample root’s back to a disco anthem from 1979 from Carrie Lucas with her track ‘Dance With You‘.
Skip to 2.00 to hear the sample.
Daft Punk – Crescendolls [Daft Life]
It’s no secret that Daft Punk are the kings of creative sampling and largely changed how modern day producers think about their creative process. While the duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have an abundance of charismatic sample flips, their straight forward use of a guitar lick, vocals and chants make ‘Crescendoll’s‘ a bonafide party starter. The simplistic yet progressive approach to sampling takes a shrewd pair of ears to capture moments like this. The sample dates back to 1977 to a soul track from The Imperials, ‘Can You Imagine‘.
Skip to 2.04 to hear the sample.
Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts #4 [MCDE Records]
Jumping towards a more modern day classic from Danilo Plessow formally known as Motor City Drum Ensemble as he featured on his own imprint MCDE Records with his Raw Cuts series. One of the producer’s most famous tracks that captures house music at its very essence was ‘Raw Cuts #4’ and the sample dates back to 1976 from Margie Joseph on her track ‘Prophecy’ from her album ‘Hear The Words, Feel The Feeling’ as Danillo samples Margie’s voice absolutely perfectly, injecting a copious amount of soul into the track.
Skip to 2.34 to hear the sample.
Modjo – Lady (Hear Me Tonight) [Sound Of Barclay]
‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)‘ is a French house classic from Parisian duo Modjo that captured the world in a slick loopy groove upon its release at the turn of the century. The track went onto top over 10 music charts, including the national charts of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The sample dates back to 1982 as the duo sampled Chic‘s smash hit ‘Soup For One’, as the pair perfectly transform the tracks guitar riff into house music gold.
Skip to 00.02 to hear the sample.
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You [Roulé]
French house trio Stardust remain somewhat of an enigma, as they only released one song, ‘Music Sounds Better with You’ which came out in 1998. Stardust was comprised of Daft Punk producer Thomas Bangalter, DJ Alan Braxe and the vocalist Benjamin Diamond. The sample dates back to 1981 as the group flipped a guitar riff from the queen of funk Chaka Khan on her track ‘Fate’.
Skip to 00.03 seconds to hear the sample.
Michael Gray – The Weekend [Eye Industries]
Michael Gray‘s club classic ‘The Weekend’ has been burning dancefloor’s since its release in 2004. The track which featured vocals from English singer Shèna peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart and has remained a definitive feel good anthem since then. The sample comes from another cult classic that echo’s enthusiasm around the weekend, as it samples Oliver Cheatham‘s 1983 hit ‘Get Down Saturday Night‘.
Skip to 2.45 to hear the sample.
Junior Jack – Stupid Disco [Defected]
Italian producer Junior Jack had a string of massive house tracks, but his most notable single will be his hit ‘Stupid Disco’. The track is heavily influenced by French house and its loopy, disco influenced nature, making it hugely popular across the globe. The single notably reached number 1 in the US dance charts. The sample dates back to 1985 as it samples the vocal and guitar riff from the Point Sisters track ‘Dare Me’.
Skip to 0.56 to hear the sample.
The Bucketheads – The Bomb (These Sound Fall Into My Mind) [Henry Street Music]
We end the list with an an out and out house music bomb from the American group The Bucketheads as they perfectly execute sampling, looping, groove and swing on their track ‘The Bomb (These Sound Fall Into My Mind)’. The single was a commercial hit and notably reached number 5 in the UK singles chart. The sample dates back to 1979 on Chicago’s dancefloor hit ‘Street Player‘.
Skip to 0.01 to hear the sample.