Here’s a story which happened around September last year which I thought would be interesting to share.
Around September last year, I was listening to some random Touhou songs made by some circles. You see, despite never having played the Touhou series, I figured the games have a great soundtrack. I did by chance hear some of the music ports hosted on SMW Central, after all. After I looked up the original Touhou soundtracks, I took notice of their unique style, not to mention the huge “Dōjin” music community for Touhou.
At some point I really took a liking to the stuff “Alstroemeria Records” produced. Look at the amount of albums they have. They’ve been busy. Either way, while randomly clicking through one recommended song after another, I happened to come across this one:
Suddenly, the feeling of nostalgia overwhelmed me during the first few seconds. “I could’ve sworn I heard this in my early childhood” I thought to myself. What are the odds of coming across this song among all of the things they’ve produced, inducing a feeling of serious nostalgia? I then looked at the release date of this song: 20th of May, 2007.
There are 2 distinct associations I have with that sample in the opening of the song:
- I remember it from my childhood, let’s say around the age of 10, and;
- The sample kept repeating over and over again.
I thought 2007 is too recent. That’s 12 years ago and I was 15 back then. I would hardly call it “my childhood” at that point, so I decided to look further.
Reading the comments, I was lucky to come across a comment mentioning that the opening of the song sounded like “ARASHI – FACE DOWN”. Now there is a lead! Looking up that song back then hardly brought up any results on YouTube as the song kept being taken down. Copyright, I imagine. Apparently YouTube finally decided to autogenerate that song last month, so here it is in its 1080p, correct-pitch, no-camcorder-pointed-at-a-tube-television-glory:
The song is catchy I have to admit, even though I have no clue what they’re saying. Then I looked at the release date of this song. The video description says May 9th, 2012. I was far from being a child at that point, so that song couldn’t be it as well. Many of the uploaded “Face Down” videos had no leads in the comments for similar-sounding songs so I thought I hit a dead end.
Enter content ID
I don’t remember when exactly this happened, but at some point YouTube started displaying detected content below videos, including sounds. On one of the many “Face Down” videos, I came across the following detected content ID:
“Plana” by Jeff Gold. I looked it up on YouTube and indeed, that song also has the sample. Here’s a link to the video rather than an embed because the static image used in the video is not exactly safe for work in my opinion. A quick Google search suggests that it got released in 2011. Still too recent.
This song also had a content ID match:
And it gave me this song:
According to this source, this song got released in 2008. It’s 1 year after the Alstroemeria Records song release, so this result isn’t satisfying either.
The content ID match gave me an idea.
Enter audio search
At this point I was somewhat desperate, so I turned to audio searching. I was trying various audio search engines and I didn’t really keep track of which ones I’ve tried. I think I tried one as a Chrome extension and had to hold my headphones at max volume right in front of my condenser microphone. It provided me with one miracle of a result: “Shane ‘n Roon – Never”.
This result was satisfying enough, as this video matches my association of the sample continuously repeating. The year is the same as that Alstroemeria Records song, but there is a catch with this result: The video description is also partially German. It could mean that I maybe heard this in Germany somewhere, as I frequently visited my uncles there when I was a kid. Maybe I heard it on the radio or elsewhere, I wouldn’t know. What I do know is that this is the closest match to what I remember.
What on Earth is this sample?
So far, I went through 5 songs with a sample that got reused multiple times and at this point it makes me wonder what its true origin is. It’s not the first time a sample is being reused in the music industry. A good example is the “Woo! Yeah!“-sample which got even used in the rather infamous Action 52 for the NES. It makes me wonder what this sample in particular officially is called, or if it has a name at all.
While writing this post, I came across two more songs using this sample:
I’m just going to leave it at this, before I go down even deeper into this rabbit hole.
I’d laugh if it turns out to be some super famous sample and I simply didn’t know about it.