‘Sample Fear[ory] & The Ark-Hive’ is a multimedia mixtape, an ode to TDK C60’s, passed among friends, added to, erased re-recorded on, lost and then found again. A visual document of a sonic exploration of the digital archive, littered with the ghosts of nostalgia and sonic triggers that activate the collective memory. It is a mixtape that serves as a time travel device, celebrating the wow and flutter of a cassette tape, the crackle of a needle on a record, and the tracking on a VHS. The work investigates sampling as a form of communicative re-creation, marrying cultural artifacts left in the digital realm to create a broken narrative for a generatin born into the digital advancements of musical and visual production. It is a fragmented historical record. It is the frantic scrawls on the producers track sheet and the songwriters notebook. The work raises questions of appropriation, copyright, copyleft, and cultural and intellectual property. It looks at music of black origin and the influence it has had on the artist and on the art form. Without being explicitly political, it is attached and observant of the politics it belongs to. And though it is all of this, it is also a disregarding of the intellectual and conceptual context that can be attached to it, and hails back to the DIY ethos that the likes of Grand Master Flash put into use at the birth of Hip Hop and DJ culture; to take a “break” and make it their own. Repetition with a difference, as 9th Wonder calls it. Copyright was never considered, permission never sought, the objective was to make something new of what was to hand with limited resources and make it fresh and exciting and new.
The artist leaves the first side of the cassette half finished. The batteries ran out in the portable boombox, or perhaps the FM signal has become nothing but static.
Video & sound by Bill Daggs © 2021