Gesellschaft Zur Emanzipation Des Samples | Circulations

Faitiche (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  June 2, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars

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My friend Robbie and I once had a brilliant idea: we were going to put out a field-recording LP called Sounds of Guitar Center, 70 minutes of us walking around the monopolistic retailer with a microphone to capture the cacophony of dozens of teenagers testing Fenders with lame renditions of "Stairway to Heaven," detuning basses to "Blister in the Sun," and talking all manner of shit about fuzz pedals and the neo-baroque stylings of Yngwie Malmsteen. Now, had we ever gone through with this harebrained scheme, would we have owed any "sampling" money to Led Zeppelin, the Femmes, et al.?

This is the basic question behind Circulations, an intriguing album by the mysterious "Society for the Emancipation of Sampling" put out by Jan Jelinek (a/k/a Farben): exactly how public is a public space? If, as this release's notes point out, you make a recording near a carousel that's spinning to Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and then sample that recording, do you owe money to anyone? This loophole, the GES argues, "could be a potential solution to the criminalization of sampling."

But for all that Circulations is a record with an agenda, it also works as a very nice series of ambient collages, manipulating these "public" samples into tracks reminiscent of Carl Stalling ("Birds of Heraklion"), Satie-by-way-of-"Revolution #9" ("Mount Zermatt"), Delia Derbyshire ("Im Schlif," "Schlaf"), and Brian Eno ("Hong Kong Cable Car"). The sole bum note is "Samplecredits (Manipulated)," where one of those now-clichéd computerized voices reads a long list of samples, something that would have been cringeworthy enough as an album closer but is even more annoying and mood-wrecking as Track #5.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Business, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye,  More more >
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