The Winstons – Amen Brother

Did you know, that almost every a lot of drum’n’bass tracks are based on a single break in a funk song recorded 1969 by The Winstons ? Unbelievable, that I didn’t know that before. A brilliant video explains the history of the ‘Amen Break’. Thanks Mikko for the pointer :)


You can download the original sampled break and a lot of modifications on freesound (need registration).

I setup a small arrangement in Reason without any further additions:

7 thoughts on “The Winstons – Amen Brother”

  1. just ask me! :) been through that all during the 90ties. Though I have to say that the amen break is totally overused by now so most people don’t want to hear it anymore (same as what happened with the 303 acid stuff before). However Drum’n’Bass for me is still the ultimate dance/party music. If the sound system is right (and has enough deep frequencies) the wobbling bass stuff can still shake a hall (and your bone mark)! ;)

  2. About “almost every drum’n’bass track”…

    Sure, a lot of dnb tracks have been based on the chopped up amen, especially during the early days in the 90s. But those really count for just a few percent of all dnb tracks out there.

    Still an interesting old story though, and that amen brother track is one sweet tune :)

  3. I wasn’t a fan of drum’n’bass around the 90s, since most drum’n’bass stuff was overloaded with ugly high-pitched vocals (remember prodigy’s ‘send me to outerspace’?) and with more than 160bpm actually to hectic to dance to. In this time I favour minimal progressive house, techno ala Jeff Mills, Maurizio, I needed the __ground__ of a 4/4 bassdrum below 135bpm. But you are right. The TB303 sound as well as the TR909 highhats really fucked me up after a few years.

    Listening to drum’n’bass sound is actually new to me. The first time I heard Squarepusher really pushed me forward. The combination of some sort of serious harmonics (jazz, experimental) and that aggressive modulation of the drumloops playback are really cool and diversified.

    In general, it is amazing that all that ‘future’ music styles are based on sounds created long before the names for the music were invented.

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