Tag Archives: Crowdfunding

Pay Your Respects to the Amen Break

It matters little what sort of musician or music fan you are, chances are you have been influenced by the Amen Break.

These four bars, or about six and a half seconds of music, which were found on the track Amen Brother, the B side of the The Winstons‘ grammy nominated single Color Him Father, changed the course of music

It’s a drum break that has been replicated and sampled millions of times, and heavily influenced styles as diverse as hip-hop to rock, and given rise to genres such as jungle.

But the Winston’s never got paid for the track, not a single cent – not for any sales or radio play, and not for the countless times it has been sampled. According to Richard L. Spencer on an interview with the BBC, Gregory Coleman, who played the drum break, died “broke and homeless” around 2006.

But now someone has decided that perhaps its time to do something about this. I think the campaign blurb says it best;

“So here is where all of you come in, if you have ever written or sold any music with the amen break, or even just enjoyed one of the countless hundreds and hundreds of tunes that contain it over various genres and styles of music, please donate towards the good cause of the worldwide music community giving something back to the man behind the legendary breakbeat.”

The aim is simple, lets throw some cash the way of Richard L. Spencer – the person who wrote the arrangement for the track, and seemingly the only surviving member of The Winstons.

To contribute – http://www.gofundme.com/amenbrother

The Radio Show that Inspired this Campaign – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hb618 (Will require an IP proxy outside of the UK)


Subscription Based Vinyl


There is little doubt that subscription services are the new big thing. Whilst Netflix and Spotify are the offering all you can consume music and video through your Internet connection, other mail based services are supplying everything from coffee, to razors, to cured meats. Now we are seeing vinyl enter the mix with the successful Kickstarter campaign from VNYL.

VNYL is a subscription service, similar to the original Netflix model, whereby paying a monthly fee you will be sent three handpicked records based on your chosen ‘vibe’. Once you’ve listened to the records, you can send them back in the prepaid packaging and VNYL will send more records out. Alternatively, if you decide you like the wax and can’t let go of it, you have the option of buying the record to keep for an extra fee.

The selling point is that “humans are at the helm” and it seems VNYL are affectively getting their message across. Their Kickstarter campaign had a total of 777 backers and raised $36,000 – $26,000 more than they were asking.

However VNYL is not the first subscription based vinyl service. Both Vinyl Me Please and That Special Record offer subscription services where for a monthly fee they’ll send out a monthly selection of records for you to keep. Likewise, record labels such as No Sleep Records offer a subscription to their entire annual catalogue for one upfront fee.

The advantage of services such as these is that it takes the effort out of vinyl. In VNYL’s case, you can have a consistent variety of wax without having to spend the time going to stores. Vinyl Me Know and That Special Record allow you to expand your collection and discover new music. However, these services do rely on you trusting your taste in music with another. Also, concerns about the quality of the wax being sent could also be an issue. For this reason it’s unlikely these services will convert anyone already collecting. But they may well open up a new market of people who like the idea of playing records, but have no time for the process involved in collecting.