Two, totally unrelated news bits:
First, a great article on sampling in this month’s Spin magazine, reproduced here. Following on the auto-tune, sample-freeness of 808 Heartbreak we get this:
“Right now, without sampling in hip-hop,” RZA says, “it’s really a soggy-ass form of music.”
Faring better is micro-history, history of my most favorite kind. Shout-outs here to all my favorites, and a ditty by Msr. Ginzberg:
Man has been a hunter for thousands of years. In the course of countless chases he learned to reconstruct the shapes and movements of his invisible prey from tracks on the ground, broken branches, excrement, tufts of hair, entangled feathers, stagnating odors. He learned to sniff out, record, interpret, and classify such infinitesimal traces as trails of spittle. He learned how to execute complex mental operations with lightning speed, in the depth of a forest or in a prairie with its hidden dangers…
The hunter would have been the first ‘to tell a story’ because he alone was able to read, in the silent, nearly imperceptible tracks left by his prey, a coherent sequence of events…
What may be the oldest act in the intellectual history of the human race [is] the hunter squatting on the ground, studying the tracks of his quarry.