The Cinematic, Remixed
This chapter explores “the cinematic” in new electronic sample-based music. Branching off from early hip-hop, sample-based electronica such as trip-hop rearticulates cinematic aesthetics such as montage, looping, and film noir across new soundscapes. It critically probes the visual underpinnings of digital music sampling and reckons with the return of “cinema” across digital culture. Early sections recover various theories of the cinematic from film history: montage and close-up from the silent period; looping and reflexivity from avant-garde cinema; sinister narrative connotations from film noir and other B-movie genres. By the mid-1990s, a significant strain of instrumental, experimental hip-hop incorporates not only actual film soundtracks and samples but also the style of film soundtrack music. The chapter’s second half considers three prime examples of such cinematic musical sampling: Barry Adamson’s Moss Side Story (1989), DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing (1996), and recent silent film scores by Cinematic Orchestra (2003) and DJ Spooky (2008).
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