Q

An introduction to the Amen break, one of music's most sampled pieces

Artist and writer Nate Harrison breaks down the history of the Amen drum break, which originated from a Winstons number called Amen Brother.
Sixties funk and soul band The Winstons were the originators of the famous Amen drum break. (Wikipedia)
Listen9:13

Originally published on April 18, 2017

For decades now, sampling has been changing the sound and feel of the music we listen to. Taking a small part from an earlier piece of music, looping it and using it to create something new. 

Some of the most popular samples of all time have their own iconic status. Take the "Amen break" for example, a drum part played by G.C. Coleman with a band called the Winstons. It's a snippet of sound that connects acts like Salt-N-Pepa, David Bowie, N.W.A and even Slipknot.

To take a deeper look into the history of this famous drum part, we asked Brooklyn-based artist and writer Nate Harrison to tell us about the long and fascinating history of the "Amen break."  

Produced by Ben Edwards

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