Songs to the Siren

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Time Is Hardcore

High Contrast ft. Kae Tempest and Anita Blay

12th August 2020 (single), 13th November 2020 (LP)🇬🇧 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

High Contrast (aka Lincoln Barrett) is a Welsh electronic music producer and DJ.

For his 2020 track Time is Hardcore, he teams up with Kae Tempest, who contributes spoken word and rap - and by singer Anita Blay (formerly CocknBullKid) who provides the chorus vocal.


Ride on Time

Black Box

1989 (Single), 1990 (LP)🇮🇹

Another sample-heavy song, this time taking vocals from an a cappella mix of Loleatta Holloway’s 1980 single Love Senstation. Along with an Italian House backing track, the result was a pop dance hit, which still sounds great to me, thirty years on.



Public Service Broadcasting

26th March 2012 (single), 6th May 2013 (LP)🇬🇧

Continuing the theme of sample-based tracks, next up is Spitfire, by Public Service Broadcasting. The song would work absolutely fine as an instrumental, but the samples from the 1942 film “The First of the Few” add so much more.


Pump Up The Volume


3rd August 1987🇬🇧

Shortly after sample-heavy Hot Doggie by Colourbox appeared on the 4AD Compilation “Lonely Is An Eyesore”, the label released a collaborative single between Colourbox and label-mates AR Kane as a Double A-Side. The result was less of a collaboration than intended. One side was nearly all AR Kane, the other side was nearly all Colourbox. It was the latter side that got the airplay, and that took the song to the top of the UK Charts.


Hot Doggie


15th June 1987🇬🇧

Featured on the 1987 4AD Compilation “Lonely Is An Eyesore”, this track showed the sampling skills of brothers Martyn and Steven Young, recording as Colourbox. Soon after, under the M|A|R|R|S guise, they would have a UK number one hit single with a tune based largely on samples from other records - but Hot Doggie samples from TV and film.


Something Good ’08

Utah Saints

1992 (single), 1993 (LP), 2008 (remix)🇬🇧

This record takes a sample from Kate Bush’s single Cloudbusting, and builds a new song around it - though my preferred version is the 2008 remix that replaces Bush’s vocal with a re-recorded part.


Glory Box


22nd August 1994 (LP), 3rd January 1995 (single)🇬🇧

The Bristol Sound, aka Trip Hop, was the dominant sound of this era for me. Grunge was still hanging in there, but this really was something new, and Portishead were at the forefront of it. This song is built on an Isaac Hayes sample that became quite ubiquitous, and is still making an impact on popular music today.


Into U

Richard X ft Jarvis Cocker

23rd August 2003🇬🇧 🇺🇸

A song by producer Richard X featuring a vocal from Jarvis Cocker and a sample from Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You creates something even greater than the sum of its parts.