There’s no denying that we have illegal sampling and remixing to thank for a lot of the genres which have evolved during the past years. As Dr. Andrew Whelan explains, we have a single drum sample, the so-called The Amen Break, to thank for large part of the first hip hop scene and also an entire genre, Jungle, which has helped influence other contemporary genres such as dubstep and breakcore. And with dubstep coming into the mainstream scene at the end of the last decade a lot of mutations started to happen. Today we have chillstep, future garage, post dubstep, brostep, raggastep, gamestep(<3),metalstep and the train just keeps going. There is no limit to what you can mix together and call it a -step and there are of course wild comment-field debates on how to categorize all of this. But is there really a need for structure?
With easy access to a diverse library of different genres through streaming platforms we can rapidly shift between unexplored areas and find our way to our preferred style. Spotify doesn’t even put out the genre in your search results or in your playlist, perhaps because it is really only up to you to decide what genres you would like to categorize your music in.
The more we share and spread the content, the more opportunities we create for further development in styles and creativity. The remix is now a rule more than an exception. Many Dj’s have their first breakthrough with remixes of other content and this is also encouraged by a lot of artists, who provide their stem recordings upon request. This allows for their own practice to grow. And why don’t rights holders realize that their work won’t be copied, it will be transformed into another product. And if the remix is more successful than the original, so be it. Let the best man win. I want to close this reflection with a quote from Gregg Gillis a.k.a. Girl Talk in an interview with Lawrence Lessig (Lessig, 2008):
“From a financial perspective, this is how the industry can thrive in the future… this interactivity with the albums. Treat it more like a game and less like a product.”
(And for anyone who again didn’t make it in the guess-the-title-game: Miss Sinatra)