Detroit lord of techno Kevin Saunderson released a majorly disgruntled letter today, pointing out that the Italian electronic music duo Supernova’s hit single “Beat Me Back” is basically a sample of his classic 1987 track, “The Sound.” As a result, he is giving away both songs for free as a kind of retaliation for what he says is an unauthorized sampling of his music. In the letter, Saunderson declaims, “We cannot continue to let this kind of wholesale rip off go unchallenged and tolerate “artists” who completely sample recordings, add nothing of their own and then release the results as their own work.” Damn.
Given a listen, there are some distressing similarities between “The Sound” and “Beat Me Back,” which Saunderson has uploaded to SoundCloud under the title “The Sound rip off/now called Beat Me Back By Supernova, what the hell.” It could be construed as a copyright violation to upload someone else’s song, but considering that Saunderson claims ownership anyway, he’s probably not too concerned. And should any courts get involved, all Saunderson has to do is play the part of “Beat Me Back” that samples the hook of “The Sound,” which kinda means he’ll have to play the entire track. If there are any differences at all between the two, they are superficial; it is possible that this is a larger hook-mooch than the Black Eyed Peas’ last single.
“It is just not cool to take someone else’s music, create a big old loop of it and then put your name on it and try to have success entirely off the back of another artist’s efforts,” Saunderson continues. “This really has got to stop.” Saunderson is easily one of the most influential Detroit techno producers of the 80s; he is responsible for songs like “Good Life,” under the name Inner City. So it’s sort of shocking to hear him call out other producers, which he probably wouldn’t do unless he felt they really deserved it.