V. Vale sent this out in his most recent newsletter (thanks, Vale). It’s a mini-documentary of a six-second drum break from the B-side of a Winstons’ record, a track called “Amen Brother,” that’s been sampled, looped, and reapproriated — by everyone from N.W.A. to car manufacturers — since its release in 1969. This is Nate Harrison’s meditation on that break, the “Amen Break.” It is “Amazing Grace” to his Bill Moyers, and this is a deep monologue on the ownership of cultural artifacts, the legality of sampling, and this six seconds of recorded history.
If you’re interested at all, please watch the whole thing as Harrison has some interesting and salient points to make about copyright law and fostering creativity through cultural freedom. Here is Nate Harrison’s mini-documentary on the “Amen Break” (runtime: 18:08):