Sample 'New Old Sounds' by Music From MemorySample 'New Old Sounds' by Music From Memory


Sample 'New Old Sounds' by Music From Memory

Take the road less traveled with Amsterdam’s Music From Memory. The label’s sonic palette includes ambient works, euro-funk, new-wave, psychedelia, and African experimentalism. It’s as Music From Memory co-founder Tako Reyenga recommends best in this feature: “By deep listening, you get exposed to creative ideas. Even when the music is outside of your go-to genres.”




December 16, 2022

An act like The Zenmenn sounds both old and new. Can you please tell us a bit about them, and what producers can find in their music for sampling?

We recently put out their new album Hidden Gem which features John Moods on vocals. We are very proud of this album as they’re all really talented musicians with a pretty unique vibe. Berlin's The Zenmen are more or less a kinda classic band—drums, bass, and keys—recording in an amazing studio in Berlin so their ‘sound’ is pretty great.

Sampling-wise I’d say you find the classic 70s AOR, jazz-rock fusion elements, and the odd euro-funk vibe in their music. As with any band from classic recording days, it would provide for deep-sounding recordings you couldn’t just easily produce such as Rhodes, live drums, synth pads, beautiful melodies, and steel guitar.

There's a wide variety of music to discover. From experimental works by Geoffrey Landers to Vito Ricci’s ambient to synth-funk by Leon Lowman. What's the common ground in terms of a sound?

Our label has always been a reflection of our personal tastes in music and digging for records. We are always looking for "new old sounds": music that stood the test of time; maybe even music that was ahead of its time. Mostly the atmosphere and ideas but also discovering the wealth of 70s, 80s, and 90s productions.

There is such a huge undercurrent of obscure music, one-off artist LPs, privately pressed albums, music for film and theatre, library productions—you name it. We have always been looking for odd things like crazy productions that weren’t standard. Like ‘happy accidents’ that happened and turned out well twenty, thirty years later.

"We have always been looking for odd things like crazy productions that weren't standard. Like 'happy accidents' that happened and turned out well twenty, thirty years later."

—Tako Reyenga (co-founder of Music From Memory)

Can you illustrate how you dug up such "happy accidents"?

Generally, we found a lot of music in dollar bins or cupboards below the bins that people weren’t interested in back then in the early 2000s to mid-2010s. New age and ambient music are good examples of that. We were really into labels like Innovative Communications and Sky Records, for instance, and stepped more deeply into those (electronic) genres after we found out that a lot of countries had their own 'scenes.' Not really a surprise these days with all that knowledge that is widely available, but back then it was great diving deeper into Spanish, Italian, and Greek experimental and ambient music. There was so much unknown and deep stuff to be discovered!

What do you think discovering that "deep stuff" can bring to producers’ creative process?

Diving into the unknown, experimenting, and trying things out along the way. Like learning how to best wire your equipment, or listening to other music to find out how they might have produced and made their music. The way music is mixed, how certain sounds are created or manipulated, or how instruments are mic-ed… By deep listening, you get exposed to creative ideas. Even when the music is outside of your go-to genres.

There's also music by Dazion on Tracklib, available as part of your sublabel Second Circle. What can you tell us about his A Bridge Between Lovers release, and what do you love about his music?

Chris [Dazion] was introduced to us via a common friend and after a nice meeting with him he send us quite a large batch of music that he had made in the period before. A Bridge Between Lovers is a selection of tracks from that batch. You could say it’s a compilation of sorts. We were struck by his inquisitive mind and experimental approach to music. He samples a lot of odd sounds and uses everyday objects to create his music. He also has a knack for finding and using obscure, weird, and interesting synths and drum computers. The combination makes up for an interesting and creative sound.

What does the art of sampling mean to you, and to Music From Memory as a label?

When sampling is done in a way that the sampled part takes the new composition to a higher level—that’s what I consider "good" sampling. When the song wouldn’t be as good without the sample which would be the reason for sampling something in the first place.

Are there any previous examples of artists sampling MFM music you can share?

One famous example is Björk sampling Gigi Masin’s “Clouds” for her track “It’s In Our Hands.” After contacting her about it she didn’t end up paying any sample royalties for using it. Instead, Björk sent Gigi an unreleased vocal-only version of the song as a thank-you. He is the only one that has that version!

How do you think Tracklib can change the way people sample?

I think it’s great to have a music portal and a company that makes it easier for producers to have access to music that might otherwise prove tricky to find and clear. It’s a great way to avoid long quests as Tracklib takes this out of the producer’s hands for an easy transaction. Getting multitracks to favorite parts of the music is also a very interesting feature if you ask me.

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