Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Rebuilding songs from scratch

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If you cast your mind back to 1997, you may remember the release of The Prodigy’s controversial song Smack My Bitch Up. Like all songs by The Prodigy, it’s mainly made up of samples from other songs. Wouldn’t it be cool to listen to the original samples and see how they fit in the song?

Well, we’re in luck. This YouTube video (also embedded above) features all of the samples, and shows screencaps of the samples being arranged in Ableton Live to recreate the song from scratch. It’s kind of like taking the source code of a computer program and compiling it yourself to see how it all works.

In particular, the misogynist lyrics that give the song its title come from a song by the Ultramagnetic MCs, and other parts from songs by Kool and the Gang and Rage Against the Machine. Some of the samples sound really different – old funk songs, and not dance music.

Jim Pavloff, who made the video, is still doing these ‘Making of’ videos, and more recently posted the making of Firestarter, from the same album. You may remember the song from the PlayStation game Wipeout 2097, probably one of the best games ever released for that console. And others have done similar videos – here’s one for Daft Punk’s One More Time, for example.

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