Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cassette Review: Splice Girls "Spliceworld" (Suite 309)

On this cassette you will find a heart shaped sticker which reads "363 Tape Loops Banned From Bandcamp".    The idea of being banned from Bandcamp is always interesting to me because you can put almost any shit you want up there so I don't know why something would get banned but after listening to this cassette I would assume it was due to copyright laws.    I know there could be an entire book written about this subject (Maybe there is?) but as Splice Girls samples various existing songs, how does that differ from a different artist covering a song?

Sure, when Limp Bizkit covered "Faith" and Alien Ant Farm covered Michael Jackson they likely went through the proper legal channels but would you not also attribute their "success" to those covers?   It's like they paid for the covers, sure, but did George Michael get money based upon the fact of how many people became fans of Limp Bizkit because of a song he wrote?   Probably not.

Then I question whether or not one can really, truly own music.   If you're going to sue for sampling, where will we draw the line?   Can one say that they used a G chord and so did someone else and sue?   A lot of what can be done in music because of how limited the amount of sounds we possess compared to the number of people making music is has already been done and will just continue to be done over and over throughout time.   At least Splice Girls isn't posing as something they are not- like so many bands just living off the sounds of other artists but claiming to be original.

363 tape loops is quite a lot and if you don't recognize one of these songs than I'm not sure what to tell you because as someone in their teens in the 1990s I recognize just about every single song sampled on here, as it was once on the radio or on some "NOW That's What I Call Music" CD.    Knowing that this has songs from hip hop, R&B and Fastball on it you must be wondering what exactly makes this not a mixtape and that is the component in which Splice Girls has crafted their own sound through the sounds of others.

Sometimes a certain part of a song will repeat, as if a record is skipping.   Other times it will just be on a loop for a line or two, as if someone just selected that part of the song and put it on repeat for four times in a row.    The thing is, there is a very specific rhythm to it and the way each piece is manipulated and put back together not just from an individual song but as the collection of songs overall is delicate and requires precise timing and a bit of genuis really.   I often listen to music and think "I could do that" and this may seem like something- if you're just reading about it- that you feel like you could do.   But when you hear it, you'll understand the complexity of it, the layers, and begin to appreciate how old sounds can be turned into something new much like the way old cassettes are dubbed over.

No comments:

Post a Comment