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The Amen Break

The above 20 minute documentary was made in 2004 and it’s all about what is likely the most famous sample ever recorded, the “Amen Break,” pulled from a hit, then forgotten, record from the 1960s. That single, the song “Amen, Brother” was performed by the The Winstons. This film honors it.

The narration is in a monotone, almost computer-generated voice. It lends to the story of appropriation in electronic music. It’s been used extensively in hip-hop and was the basis for the dance music genre drum-and-bass/jungle.

It’s a great history lesson on where a very recognizable sound came from and how electronic music, originally at least, was not suspected of being the money making giant it is today. You’ll never listen to the “Amen Break” again without recalling this film.