No prizes for guessing which part is the Rite of Spring sample – it’s the first minute or so of the song, and runs through most of the rest of it, too. Once it gets going, Anxiety Attack is a superb disco rock track and one of Foetus’s most underrated. It’s a very catchy song with good use of those samples – the way it loops particularly makes clear which part the Jaws theme ripped off.
Yes, I know I blog about Foetus more than any other artist, but they’re also the most-read posts so I’m guessing you’re in agreement here: these are great songs. Anxiety Attack was originally an unreleased Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel song that was eventually featured on 1989′s compilation SINK. I can see why it wasn’t used, since it doesn’t really fit in with HOLE or NAIL - it’s got the raw groove of Finely Honed Machine, but the ear-friendly cohesion of Butterfly Potion, and his voice also echoes the latter with its whiskey-and-cigarettes gravelly drawl.
It’s what I used to think of as “industrial” – the precursor to Psalm 69-era Ministry and those other Wax Trax bands. Most of all, it’s manically, maddeningly funky. I’d have loved to have danced to this, back in the day. Who knows? Maybe I did.
I was going to save this for later, but I can’t hold off any more. The sound quality in this clip isn’t quite enough to really appreciate the song, but it will do to give you an idea. This really is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.
The use of the Rite of Spring sample is clever and somewhat frustrating as though the melody is familiar it’s almost impossible to work out exactly which part of the track it’s from.
The Fountain of Miracles is just as clever, just as subtle, throughout. There are a lot of layers to the song – layers of percussion as twisted and funky as Head Like A Hole, wonderful little grating sub-bassy bits, orchestral bits, catchy guitars and those unforgettable gospelly vocals. Raymond sounds like a murderous Elvis prophesying to a Southern church of noise. He’s channeling JG Thirlwell via Night of the Hunter.
This is an absolutely phenomenal piece of music. It’s obviously iconic – you only ever have to mention the word “shark” and it springs to mind – but it’s also f***ing brilliant as a work in its own Rite.
The “sample” (more like copy) – from the very beginning of The Augers of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls) – appears at around the 0’40″ mark, but the whole thing smacks of Stravinsky. It has the same trick of being grating and lovely at the same time. Hearing this, it’s almost a shame that the tune’s been so overshadowed by the unforgettable film it belongs to.
Remember how I said yesterday that Stravinsky wrote really good riffs? Turns out that I’m not the only one to think so. John Williams thought so, basing sections of Star Wars: Episode IV on Rite of Spring, which George Lucas had used as the temp soundtrack – then, for good measure, biting out chunks of it for his famous Jaws theme. Raymond Watts thought so, using the same sample in different tracks on The Swining. I’m not sure if Sufjan Stevens sampled it, but Foetus certainly did, and the Beastie Boys very definitely did.
The makers of the Fairlight CMI synthesizer certainly liked Stravinsky, since the preset “ORCH5” sample is from Firebird, and thus made its way into … oooh … all of the pop songs of the 1980s. I figured that I would actually run out of enthusiasm for the idea long before I could ever run out of tunes that sample Stravinsky, but thought it would be fun to start tonight at the more tenuous end, with a song by Duran Duran that makes heavy use of the Fairlight.
Let’s get something straight before we begin: I know f*** all about Stravinsky (riot at his second gig; invented modern music?) and less about classical music in general. I’m not a complete monster – I can take Beethoven’s Ninth, but given the choice I prefer Lady Gaga. I can’t offer any sort of informed opinion of whether the Philharmonia Orchestra’s version is better than any other rendition, provided it still has that neeneeneeneeneedihdahdidah bit in the middle that I love so much. I just bought it because I really f***ing love how it sounds. It’s got all the power and beauty of my favourite rock records, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest because half of them bloody sampled this in the first place.
I knew the pieces from Fantasia and enjoying them on YouTube – not really the best way to experience this sort of music! – and the first playing on CD is a revelation. Not bad for three quid.
I was just flicking through clips on YouTube and really enjoying some of the sounds of my childhood, courtesy of a cartoon mouse with a really f***ed up idea of what ‘toons should go with which tune.
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was a literal riot when it came out: apparently it spawned the first mosh pit or something *cough*. Anyway, it kicks so much ass that a number of my favourite rock acts have been sampling the s*** out of it ever since.
So what does the House of Mouse do? Stick this 1913 slab of badassery to a visual of dinosaurs – because nothing is as cool as dinosaurs, right? Dinosaurs … um … dying in agony.