Just reading about the Fairlight CMI, after our friend John Coyle sent us a link to ALL ITS SAMPLES FOR DOWNLOAD.
A bit of Googling just made sense of a tiny Fairlight-related narrative that I thought I’d drop into the blog…
- There’s Fairlight splattered all over Yes’s Trevor Horn-produced album 90125 (talk about guilty pleasures); it’s obvious on tracks like Owner Of A Lonely Heart and Leave It (Spotify links).
- Various members of Horn’s production team went on to form The Art Of Noise, who Fairlighted up some of the drums from 90125 (have a listen around 3:00 of Leave It) to produce Beat Box.
- They remixed Beat Box, then gave it to Anne Dudley to arrange a bit more musically, and out of that came Close (to the Edit), which made me crap myself stupid when I first heard it in 1984. The video’s bananas, too. I didn’t hear 90125 for another 18 months after that.
So there you go: chopping beats out of existing records, re-sampling, constructing tracks from chunks of noise. I don’t know how it feels, that falsetto-harmony-singing prog rockers invented most pre-computer sampling tricks half a decade before electronic dance musicians worked them out. Oh yes I do. It feels hilarious.
Do you have any appalling early attempts at making electronic music? Can we broadcast them?
Send your rubbish tunes