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Thread: Head Like A Hole-source for "chanting" samples

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    Head Like A Hole-source for "chanting" samples

    Not sure if this has been posted before, but someone mentioned it over at the Litany forums.

    This track appears to be the source for the "chanting" samples heard in Head Like A Hole.



    I'm almost positive this is the exact track Trent sampled from, if the NIN Wiki teams wants to make an entry for it.

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    Neat

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    I think I saw this posted one before, though I don't think a new post is a bad thing.

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    We had a mention of this on the wiki, but it wasn't quite properly executed. I've done some fixes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by piggy View Post
    We had a mention of this on the wiki, but it wasn't quite properly executed. I've done some fixes.
    ninwiki = "The tribal chants are sampled from "Samburu Warriors' initiation (Kenya)" - East Africa Ceremonial & Folk Music."

    Here's the full information:

    David Fanshawe
    Samburu Warriors' Initiation (Kenya)
    (East) Africa Ceremonial & Folk Music (1975)

    Performed by the Samburu Tribe of Kenya

    And the "official" version uploaded to YouTube:

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    Annnnd re-tweaked. Thanks for that.

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    *bump*

    In case anyone else is interested in the significance of these sounds that we've heard so many times, here are the details from the original liner notes:


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    It's kind of fascinating to imagine finding shit like this in 1988 or 1989. Assuming Trent didn't specifically go looking for Masai warrior chants, it makes one wonder how much art has been awesomely shaped by nothing more than happy accidents?

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    Wouldn’t this now be looked at as ‘cultural appropriation’? Ha

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Wouldn’t this now be looked at as ‘cultural appropriation’? Ha
    Maybe. I'm no expert but I took some ethnomusicology classes in University and I personally don't see what if any specific harm befalls members of a pastoralist society in Kenya having two or three seconds of its music (even ceremonial or sacred music) incorporated into the background of a Western dance beat. It is appropriated, in the sense that they didn't have any say in its use. But do they care? I guess the answer would depend on the circumstances surrounding the original recording, and that's something TR had no control of. The list of other Western pop culture appearances of the Samburu on Wikipedia is interesting...
    Last edited by botley; 07-17-2020 at 05:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Wouldn’t this now be looked at as ‘cultural appropriation’? Ha
    From what I have seen most accusations of cultural appropriation as an act of blasphemy are pretty dubious. I'm sure it wouldn't be all that difficult to get some people on social media fired about about this.

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    ^ Hmmm. Well, whenever I do see it (and, bear in mind, these controversies manifested as more intense brouhahas on places like Tumblr, five or more years ago), usually the outcry is about some tangible harm done to individuals, most often because they are in a marginalized group that is ridiculed or shamed or otherwise disrespected when their cultural practices are used by someone from a more dominant — or, more particularly, colonizing — culture, where said practice is often then subsumed into a frivolous or malign context. It can be complicated, untangling the power dynamics of all that; but at heart, either the harm to those whose culture is being appropriated is real, or it isn't. Judged on a case-by-case basis. And that tends to get lost in the toxic backlash of "what the woke Left seemingly wants is for everybody to shut up and not like stuff", which wasn't really what the people complaining about genuine harms were suggesting. And yes, it gets to be a bit of a pile-on, even in illegitimate cases, so we've got to be careful and nuanced about this.

    If you think about how bad some NIN fans felt about Miley Cyrus covering "Head Like a Hole" for Black Mirror, that's probably how some Black hip-hop fans felt about her entire aesthetic back in 2013, particularly now that she drops it and puts it back on whenever, like stepping in and out of a costume. Except it's much worse, because Black people routinely get criticized by White people as being "uncivilized" or other nonsense, for doing the same shit. So this is a real thing.

    Anyway, we could go on at length about this, particularly if you wanted to unpack all the imagery in NIN's music video for the song through this lens (suffice to say, it doesn't look like respect for the Samburu ceremony was really at the top of anyone's mind, though probably not many Samburu watched enough MTV to give a shit about being disrespected), but I think @WorzelG was just being flippant about a very minimally harmful case of what we might put under this umbrella. At the end of the day, it's a short sample in the background of the track. NIN's tradition of sampling is an anonymized, "plunderphonic" approach, most notably with the barely-recognizable movie loops peppered through The Downward Spiral purely for added texture. As @Sesquipedalism points out, it was probably more serendipitous crate-digging discovery than conscious lift. Rolling Stone called HLAH a "modern folk song" last year when it was on Black Mirror. I think that's true with or without the sample.

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    @botley @mfte yes I was being flippant, but I do acknowledge cultural appropriation, one of the most egregious to me, for the way the perpetrator not only appropriated black music but also turned round and said some of the most awful racist things was Eric Clapton. What he said was just unforgivable but he has been inducted in the RRHOF several times I believe
    https://www.insidehook.com/article/m...clapton-racism

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Wouldn’t this now be looked at as ‘cultural appropriation’? Ha
    Who cares?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Wouldn’t this now be looked at as ‘cultural appropriation’? Ha
    I mean, you can follow that thread in a few ways on Pretty Hate Machine. There's a lot of uncredited hip hop samples there. I'm sure you could write a PhD thesis on sampling in music and colonialism and cultural shifts in western thinking in the late 20th century if you wanted to, and there would be some interesting and compelling stories that arose from that. Trent was what, 23 years old in 1988 when Pretty Hate Machine was being recorded? I'm heavily critical of people who absolve attitudes towards slavery in the 18th century as "everyone did it" because if you look a little deeper, history shows that there were some pretty radical abolitionists in America even before it was "The United States of America" - there is still truth in the saying of a thing, "it was a product of its time." A man takes a tape recorder with him to Kenya and documents ritualistic music, brings it back home and presses records to sell. How that sample went from that record onto the front of Head Like a Hole is going to be impossible to follow, but you can bet that no one involved in that record, and certainly no one in Kenya, saw any financial benefit from Head Like a Hole. Is it reasonable to expect them to? Is it reasonable to expect them not to? When the sample surfaced for inclusion in the record, was there even an indication of its origin or context, or was it ripped and renamed and thrown onto a random collection of interesting but uncredited sounds?

    To answer WorzelG's question - I think that had Head Like a Hole been released today, with an opening sample taken from field recordings of Kenyan ceremonial music, there would be conversations about it. To what end, I don't know. People still love all kinds of awful popular culture regardless of the abuse and appropriation that the institutions marketing them support.

    And when you ask "Who cares?" @adamsrib , with the implication being that no one cares, it's actually far more interesting to find the real answer to that question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post
    I mean, you can follow that thread in a few ways on Pretty Hate Machine. There's a lot of uncredited hip hop samples there. I'm sure you could write a PhD thesis on sampling in music and colonialism and cultural shifts in western thinking in the late 20th century if you wanted to, and there would be some interesting and compelling stories that arose from that. Trent was what, 23 years old in 1988 when Pretty Hate Machine was being recorded? I'm heavily critical of people who absolve attitudes towards slavery in the 18th century as "everyone did it" because if you look a little deeper, history shows that there were some pretty radical abolitionists in America even before it was "The United States of America" - there is still truth in the saying of a thing, "it was a product of its time." A man takes a tape recorder with him to Kenya and documents ritualistic music, brings it back home and presses records to sell. How that sample went from that record onto the front of Head Like a Hole is going to be impossible to follow, but you can bet that no one involved in that record, and certainly no one in Kenya, saw any financial benefit from Head Like a Hole. Is it reasonable to expect them to? Is it reasonable to expect them not to? When the sample surfaced for inclusion in the record, was there even an indication of its origin or context, or was it ripped and renamed and thrown onto a random collection of interesting but uncredited sounds?

    To answer WorzelG's question - I think that had Head Like a Hole been released today, with an opening sample taken from field recordings of Kenyan ceremonial music, there would be conversations about it. To what end, I don't know. People still love all kinds of awful popular culture regardless of the abuse and appropriation that the institutions marketing them support.

    And when you ask "Who cares?" @adamsrib, with the implication being that no one cares, it's actually far more interesting to find the real answer to that question.
    Goddamn. That might be my favorite post ever from ETS.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 07-19-2020 at 01:40 AM. Reason: Emphasis added

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