Bok Bok talks: the art of sampling

Ahead of his appearance at Love Saves The Day, Bok Bok, AKA Alex Sushon, enlightens us to his views on sampling.

First and foremost, he emphasises the importance of respecting the original track: “When you sample, you’re borrowing from a piece of music that already has a soul. Sometimes if you play a synth yourself, it doesn’t have soul yet, maybe you’re not feeling anything that day, so you go back to your vinyl collection and find a moment when someone felt something you can relate to.”

The producer can bring magic to parts of a song which may have been otherwise missed; he says: “The great thing about sampling is you always get a little bit of debris in the sample: an extra hi hat, some bass underneath, whatever, but when you start repeating and playing with that, that’s where the magic happens.”

He explains that using the power of the original artist works by adding the passion of the old song to the new song, mentioning ‘Candyman’ by Mary Jane Girls: “It’s this turnt-up, funky 80s synth that banged so hard, all I wanted to do was to hear it again and again. In the original song it was something nice, pleasant and only happened once and then I turn it into a torture track.”

Believing in the magic in samples and sampling stimulates his own personal challenge to make a song, which he loves, work in a new way “I have already a relationship with the records I sample, contextualising its [the samples] ‘inner dialogue'” and using this to create his own dialogue”. He stresses that there is an ‘art to sampling’: the ability to make others see the sample as the producer does too.

Bok Bok’s five songs with big samples:

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