Sample magic: (Conjuring) phonographic ghosts and meta-illusions in contemporary hip-hop production

Exarchos, Michail ORCID: (2019) Sample magic: (Conjuring) phonographic ghosts and meta-illusions in contemporary hip-hop production. Popular Music, 39 (1). pp. 33-53. ISSN 0261-1430

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Sampling has been criticised as “a mixture of time-travel and seance”, “the musical art of ghost co-ordination and ghost arrangement”, and a process that “doubles (recording’s) inherent supernaturalism” (Reynolds 2012, pp. 313-314). Yet out of all the sample-based music forms, hip-hop receives the lion’s share of attention in popular music literature; critics are puzzled by its appeal, scholars identify a plethora of problems in its function, and practitioners and audiences alike are mesmerised by its effect. Rap producers attribute an inherent ‘magic’ to working with past phonographic samples and fans appear spellbound by the resulting ‘supernatural’ collage. The author examines the music’s unique recipe of phonographic juxtaposition, exploring the conditions of this ascribed ‘magic’, investigating gaps in perception (Lehrer 2009) between emotional and intellectual effect, and deciphering parallels in the practice and vocabulary mobilised against a range of genres in performance magic.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1017/S0261143018000685
Additional Information: Please note the the pdf version has been updated to correct a minor typographical error that was discovered.
Subjects: Music
Music > Musicology > Popular music
Music > Record production
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Michail Exarchos
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 14:20
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:10


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