Sampling hardcore punk – Bombardier picks 10
Following some late night Twitter exchanges on the general subject with Bombardier’s Jason Snell we invited him to select some of his favourite hardcore and punk tracks for Darkfloor. We’re talking Midwest US bands when Snell lived there and Southern California 7″ inch EPs.
He chose 10 such tracks that he’s sampled over the years that he has now collected together in the suitably named Punk Remixes: 1996 – 1999.
With all of these tracks, I was using an Akai S01 sampler from the mid 90’s. These things had a 24 second maximum, up to 30 second with the expansion card, and a max of 8 samples banks, all saved on 3.5 inch floppy disks. Really one of the most basic samplers on the market. So when sampling a track, I had to choose each second of sample time prudently. The best riffs, lyrics, bass lines, and assemble the remix from there.
I was exposed to the majority of this material from Jake Reif, a house producer who used to play in punk bands in Southern California and had an excellent 7″ vinyl collection. Prior, I hadn’t heard any rock harder than Fugazi or Nine Inch Nails.
Babyland – Stomach (1993)
Babyland is the best balance between punk and techno out there. The bass line under the chorus was brutal, and that was my starting point for the mix.
Tit Wrench – Ex-Mutant (1995)
Tit Wrench is one of the projects of Bob Barely, who ran the punk-techno label Vinyl Communications. I had sampled a ton of their 7 inches before ever meeting him, and later when I sent him a demo, I figured he’d either sue me or sign me, and fortunately it was the latter. This track has him hollering “All standing by the water cooler, mildly shaking what used to be fist” but totally incomprehensible. I grabbed the vocal for it’s energy, intensity, and the beat underneath.
Minor Threat – Stepping Stone (1984)
A remix of a my favourite cover this song. This was the first punk remix I did, in a gabber style. Minor Threat was intense, fast, and not necessarily consistent in tempo. I had to program tempo changes through the chorus so my drum machine would stay in sync with it.
Wipers – Return of the Rat (1979)
Of course the first time I heard this was the Nirvana cover, and later found the original. The guitar riff became the basis of my track DC.
Locust – We’ll I’ll Be A Monkey’s Uncle (2000)
In the genre of horror punk, I was asked to remix this by Kid 606 along with several other artists. The original track is about a minute, and I grabbed a few of the screams and wrote my own percussion. I changed it so much it barely was recognizable, and didn’t make the remix comp. I renamed it Primal and it came out on Addict Records under my industrial moniker, 13th Hour.
Butthole Surfers – Goofy’s Concern (1993)
Screaming California surf punk. The chorus grabbed me the first time I heard it, “I don’t give a fuck about the FBI, I don’t give a fuck about the CIA, I don’t give a fuck about LSD, I don’t give a fuck about anything“. That, along with the scream after the chorus became the foundation of my breakcore mix, FBI.
The rest of these songs were from rare 7 inches. Just a step above completely insane guitar noise, I went through each record, looking for hooks and screams that could be incorporated into the hardcore I was working on at the time. The cacophony of all of them worked together in an intense, driving, industrial sound.
Dropdead – self titled (1998)
Wicked noise from a New England hardcore band. Fast and insane, 15 tracks in 24 minutes. Grabbed several samples from this album.
Born Against – Born Again (1990)
Sampled the main scream from this track, which gave my track Kamphetamine its intensity and heart.
Rorschach / Neanderthal (1991)
These tracks are fast speedcore and the arrangements as intricate as glitch, but all using live drums. Completely depraved music.
Crossed Out / Man Is The Bastard (1992)
A staple in hardcore, alternating from electric noisescapes to intensely fast bursts of screaming and guitars.