100% Pure Poison: St. Germain, Pete Rock & J Dilla

In the early 1970s, nine American servicemen stationed in Germany formed a soul band.  They called themselves 100% Pure Poison (it was the seventies, after all). After sneaking in to a music industry conference and snagging a deal with British EMI, they released their first and only album, Coming Right At You.  According to All Music Guide, the album features vocal interplay “recalling the Temptations” and “a jazzy instrumental sophistication equal to the Blackbyrds.”  

While I can’t vouch for the whole thing, one track on Coming Right At You has found its way into the catalogue of three of my favourite artists – French acid-jazz producer St. Germain and  hip-hop legends and beat-makers extraordinaire Pete Rock and J Dilla.  All three have sampled the opening few bars of “Windy C,” the album’s sixth track, to great effect.  Lasting only about 10 seconds (from 0:11 to 0:21), the four bar sequence has a mellow, jazzy, slightly-uptempo groove to it that seems perfect for sampling.  Have a listen below (Youtube was the best I could do):

It’s dope, right?  Unfortunately, the opening bars are littered with the kind of clutter that drives beat makers absolutely nuts – ambient traffic sounds at the start of the loop and vocals at the end of it.  One way to get around this without resorting to intense chopping is to filter the sample like crazy.  In other words, instead of identifying, extracting and then reassembling the usable bits of the loop (a time-consuming process), you simply apply a ludicrous number of filters and effects, thereby highlighting the general theme of the sample while obliterating any nuance or variation (i.e. the extraneous noise).

This is apparently how Pete Rock approached the sample, which he used as the backbone for his beat “Get Involved” off the Petestrumentals record.  The first thing you’ll notice is the stark difference in audio quality between the Pete Rock beat and the original, largely a result of the heavy filtration that gives the beat its distinct ‘wah wah‘ sound.  Although present in “Windy C,” Pete Rock’s knob-fiddling has really drawn it out in the beat.

However, that’s not to say he hasn’t done any chopping.  In the opening eight bars or so, you can clearly hear the traffic noise at the beginning of the loop.  Why he left it in is beyond me, but I suppose it adds that element of subtle fluctuation which prevents a beat from sounding too monotonous.  Also, listen for the vocal sample starting at 4:19 – you’ll know why in a minute.  Anyways, check it out:

Pete Rock – Get Involved (Petestrumentals, 2005) 

[audio:http://www.4080records.com/music/pr-gip.mp3]

St. Germain’s take on “Windy C” is similar.  He’s clearly run the sample through some filters, although it’s not as obvious as on “Get Involved.”  Perhaps the biggest difference is that whereas Pete Rock uses the sample as the focus of his beat, adding the occasional scratch here and there, St. Germain relegates it to the background of “Sure Thing”.  Emphasized at the beginning of the track to set the mood, the loop is gradually submerged beneath a wave of other samples – the melancholic blues lament (‘you’re the pretty, pretty, pretty’ (?)) also used by Pete Rock (see above), and the increasingly frenetic guitar solo.  

Although to be fair, this seems to be how most house music is constructed, so I suppose I shouldn’t read too deeply into it.  Get your listen on below:

Finally, the Dilla version, a track called “Lucy” from his posthumously-released Jay Love Japan album.  One of the reasons dude was such a genius is because he did what other people never even considered doing.  In this instance, instead of avoiding the vocals at the end of the loop, Dilla incorporated them into his beat.  He also went the hard route and chopped it up like crazy, replacing segments of the loop with other samples from later on in the original song.  To hear what I mean, listen to the 0:27 mark for the drum roll and the vocal sample at the end of the intro loop, and starting at about 1:17 listen for the short flute stabs and the band members talking.  Shit is absolutely nuts!  

J Dilla – Lucy feat. Bo Bo Lamb (Jay Love Japan, 2007)

[audio:http://www.4080records.com/music/jd-ljlj.mp3]

Album cover image yanked from: http://991.com/newgallery//100-Pure-Poison-Coming-Right-At-Y-328421.jpg

67,897 Replies to “100% Pure Poison: St. Germain, Pete Rock & J Dilla”

  1. I was more than happy to uncover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time just
    for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little bit
    of it and I have you book-marked to see new things in your
    web site.

  2. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my blog thus i came
    to ?return the favor?.I am trying to find issues to
    improve my web site!I assume its good enough to use a few of
    your ideas!!

  3. Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  4. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you
    amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog web
    site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered
    bright clear concept

  5. Hey there, You have done a great job. I’ll
    certainly digg it and personally suggest to
    my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  6. Thank you so much for giving everyone an extremely marvellous possiblity to check tips from this site.
    It is usually so terrific and packed with fun for me personally and my office peers to search
    your website the equivalent of 3 times per week to read the fresh items you have
    got. Not to mention, we’re certainly fascinated for the attractive tricks served by you.
    Certain 3 areas in this posting are indeed the best we have ever had.

    Also visit my web-site: healthy eating diet

  7. Definitely consider that which you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to have in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as people think about concerns that they just do not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as well as defined out the entire thing without having side effect , folks could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  8. Helⅼo there! I know this iѕ somewhаt off topic Ƅut I waѕ wondering which blog
    platform are you usiing forr this site? I’m getting fed Õ½p
    of WordPress becayse І’ve had issues wÑ–th hackers and Ó€’m looking at alternatives for anotÒ»er platform.
    I woulɗ be ցreat if yoս coukd poіnt me in the direction of a goiod platform.

  9. I have been surfing online greater than 3 hours as of late, yet I by no
    means found any interesting article like yours.
    It is beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good
    content material as you did, the internet will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  10. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page
    and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see
    so i am just following you. Look forward to going
    over your web page repeatedly.

  11. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this blog.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future
    as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to
    get my own blog now 😉

    Also visit my web page Cannaleafz CBD Review (Nikole)

  12. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me just as much as this particular one.
    After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would probably have something interesting
    to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if
    you were not too busy seeking attention.

    Here is my homepage :: Cannaverda CBD Reviews (sites.google.com)

  13. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so
    I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent site!

    my web site: Max Thrive Keto Reviews; ketogenic-support.blogspot.com,

  14. First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself
    and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a difficult time
    clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are
    wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
    Cheers!

    My website … purchase hemp

  15. Hi! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

  16. Howdy I am so glad I found your weblog, I really found you by
    accident, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else,
    Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post
    and a all round interesting blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at
    the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the great job.

    Have a look at my web blog :: Mia

  17. Thanks , I havee recently been searching for information about this subject forr ages and
    youurs is thee greatestt I’ve discovered till now. But,
    what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  18. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
    any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something
    like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
    and I look forward to your new updates.

    Check out my website … SleepNow Pillows; jakartaclassifieds.com,

  19. It is in reality a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  20. What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely
    helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & assist different users like its aided me.
    Great job.

  21. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism
    or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or
    outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know
    any solutions to help stop content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

    Here is my website; low carb low calorie diet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *