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Amen break

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Amen break

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The "Amen break" (usually pronounced /ˈeɪmɛn/) is one of the most frequently used sampled drum loops in jungle and drum and bass music. It consists of 16 beats of the drum break lifted from the song "Amen, Brother" as performed by the 1960s funk/soul outfit The Winstons. The song is an uptempo instrumental rendition of an older gospel music classic. The Winstons' version was released as a B-side of the 45 rpm 7" vinyl single "Color Him Father" in 1969 on Metromedia, and is currently available on several compilations and on a 12" vinyl rerelease together with other songs by The Winstons. It is unknown, but doubtful, whether the drummer, G.C. Coleman, has received any royalties for the sampling of his drum part.

The Amen break can be found in many different forms: looped straight as in oldschool jungle, or entirely dismembered and rearranged as in some tunes by artists who have started a new subgenre of hyper-edited drum and bass. These artists include Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, ShyFX, and also in some crossgenre artists such as DJ Axera and Gomanda; it is used in literally thousands of drum and bass songs and (notably) many hip hop tunes, such as NWA's "Straight Outta Compton". The Amen break has also been used by more well-known musical acts including Perry Farrell and Nine Inch Nails, and can even be heard in the background of car commercials and television shows such as The Amazing Race and Futurama.

The Amen break's popularity probably lies in both the rough, funky, compressed style that the drums are recorded in as well as the "swing" and "groove" of the drummer who originally played the solo. The original song is also quite fast, making it more suitable for uptempo music genres such as jungle and drum-and-bass. A few other popular drum and bass breaks are sampled from Lyn Collins' "Think About It", Bobby Byrd's "Hot Pants I'm Coming, Coming, I'm Coming" (Bonus Beats), James Brown's "Funky Drummer", and The Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache".

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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