VARIATIONS #5 The Discipline
Curated by Jon Leidecker
As art and industrial practitioners formally map out the discipline, hip-hop's discovery of digital sampling technology in the mid-80's provided a reintroduction its original roots in block party DJ collage. The international success of the new genre then prompts a legal backlash against the art form, with a rash of lawsuits filed against both commercially successful pop artists like De La Soul, Biz Markie & 2 Live Crew and left-field provocateurs like the KLF, Negativland and John Oswald.
The audience that had come of age during the era of the studio-produced pop song was ready for a genre of music which made explicit use of earlier recordings to construct new music. A song with recognizable but altered samples reveals to the listener the same editing techniques used by engineers to compose music from disparate elements in the studio.
The audience's growing comfort with the definition of a recording as the true site of a musical composition, instead of merely a document of a live performance, gives rise to a music that can now be made from any sound, including those made by any previous artist, sourced from any recorded age.