Julio Bashmore Apologises For Sampling
Julio Bashmore’s legal trouble over an uncleared sample of the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s ‘Troglodyte’ serves as a timely reminder of sampling laws.
Bristol-based house producer Julio Bashmore has issued a formal apology to the Jimmy Castor Bunch, whose track ‘Troglodyte (Cave Man)’ he sampled on his own ‘Troglodytes’ last year.
The statement from Bashmore was particularly interesting in that he not only apologised, but acknowledged that the sample had been indirectly used “to promote [his] label and [his] own career”.
Bashmore’s legal bother serves as a reminder that so many dance music producers still don’t understand the intricacies – or even some of the basics – of sampling law.
Industry veteran Dennis Collopy – who has extensive experience in the legality of sampling thanks to his time spent managing acts including the KLF – isn’t surprised that Bashmore got caught out: ”I read the comments [on his Facebook page] about the sample and a lot of them hit the nail on the head: if you base your music around samples you will not get far unless you start clearing them.” Whether you sell your music or give it away for free, the simple message remains the same: the only way to avoid running into legal bother is to clear your samples in advance. ”That said,” Collopy admits, “some of the genius records I have worked on would never have seen the light of day if we had [tried to clear the samples].”
So is there still a way to sneak under the radar with uncleared samples? The only obvious solution is white label vinyl (and in this case that means truly anonymous white labels which can’t be traced back to you, not hipster house ‘white labels’ with your Twitter username and SoundCloud account hand-stamped on to them). ”Promoing on white labels is smart,” Collopy adds, “but in an era of immediacy and social media that approach must seem old school. At least it meant you could get away with a lot more than you can today.”
Logically, the greater an artist’s success, the more likely that they’ll eventually get found out. Just ask Baauer, whose ‘Harlem Shake’ was initially released for free on Mad Decent’s Jeffrees imprint, but eventually embroiled him in a controversial legal dispute. Or Nicolas Jaar, whose album Space Is Only Noise was re-pressed without ‘I Got A Woman’ after Jaar and Circus Company failed to clear the track’s Ray Charles sample.