The Library of Congress is launching an open-source archive of hip-hop samples dating back more than a century

Citizen DJ is the brainchild of Brian Foo, a 2020 Innovator-in-Residence Program at the U.S. Library of Congress. The goal of the project is simple: to provide free audio and video samples to encourage creativity through remixing. Or, in Foo's words:

Cultivate the creation of new and transformative music using free-to-use audio and video materials from the Library. Connect the general public with culturally significant, underutilized, and free-to-use audio and video collections available from the Library. Engage communities, such as secondary school students and amateur musicians, that may have a strong relationship with hip hop music, but little to no existing relationship with the Library or the Library’s materials. Provide the general public (in particular, those with little to no formal research training) with the tools and resources to navigate the United States copyright system in the context of sample-based music creation. Contribute to human-computer interaction research and best practices for search and discovery of large audio and video collections.

As for why, specifically, to take a DJ/hip-hop approach to this kind of project?

Today, collage-based hip hop as it existed in the golden age is largely a lost (or at best, a prohibitively expensive) artform.

I believe if there was a simple way to discover and access free-to-use audio and video material for music making, a new generation of hip hop artists and producers can maximize their creativity, invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures, and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.

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The ten types of movie: orange and blue, sexy legs, blurry cop...

Lee Steffen's glorious Twitter thread about "the ten types of movies" (as determined by similarities in their poster art is quite the little design project, building on similar work from the likes of Christophe Courtois and others. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Podcast: Don't let the EU ruin the internet for everyone else!

On the latest Copy This podcast (MP3) (previously), the amazing Kirby "Everything is a Remix" Ferguson talks to Paul Keller about the new EU Copyright Directive, which will impose mandatory copyright filters on all online platforms, opening the door to rampant censorship and ensuring that only the biggest (American) tech companies will be able to afford to operate in the EU. Read the rest

Everything is a Remix, including Star Wars, and that's how I became a writer

Kirby Ferguson, who created the remarkable Everything is a Remix series, has a new podcast hosted by the Recreate Coalition called Copy This and he hosted me on the debut episode (MP3) where we talked about copying, creativity, artists, and the future of the internet (as you might expect!). Read the rest

Auctioneer beats: videos of auctioneers backed with sick beats

You might could also try Gangstagrass. Read the rest

Everything is a Remix on "The Force Awakens"

Kirby Ferguson's amazing Everything is a Remix series (previously), turns its keen eyes on JJ Abrams's record-breaking reboot of Star Wars, itself a mashup of classic films, and shows what happens when a mashup artist remixed a remix of a mashup. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Star Wars retold with pieces of other movies

Kyle Kallgren's Star Wars Minus Star Wars is an amazing remix of dozens of media snippets from other soundtracks, shows and movies. The result is an unambiguous patchwork that adds up to the original—so long as you've seen it, too.

It’s impossible to overstate the impact of Star Wars. Its arrival in theaters on May 25th 1977 marked the end of one chapter in film history and the beginning of another. It’s a hinge on which film history swings. Upon its release, critic Pauline Kael derided the film as “an assemblage of spare parts—it has no emotional grip… an epic without a dream” Twenty years after its release critic Roger Ebert remarked that the film “colonized our imaginations, and it is hard to stand back and see it simply as a motion picture, because it has so completely become part of our memories.”

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Everything Tarantino is a remix

In the vein of Everything is a Remix, this short film catalogs a non-exhaustive list of Tarantino's easter eggs/film-nerd love-notes/homages in his films. Read the rest