Pete Samples
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Pete Samples

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative EDM

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Jun
19
Pete Samples @ Cameron House

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
16
Pete Samples @ The Apollo

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Feb
11
Pete Samples @ Lo Pub

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Music

Press


Pete Samples is the kid you played with in the sandbox who was always building his sand castles a little more intricate than you ever could. By no means was he ever re-inventing the wheel, but whatever he came up with, you always wished you thought of it first.

Much like his electronica peers RJD2 and Caribou, Montreal-based (by way of Winnipeg) DJ Pete Samples is playing in a much larger sandbox now. Gone are the days when a DJ’s arsenal consisted solely of two turntables and a microphone. Even with the expanded versatility of new technology, though, electronic music where choruses aren’t just rote musical gestures and live instruments aren’t just copy-pasted into loops is still hard to come by. After all, how often can you find a sing-songy chorus in an electronica album, never mind an auto-harp or a glockenspiel?
“I don't like to think of an instrument as being hip and deserving of being hated on,” Samples says of his unusual instrumentation. “However, I am aware that it happens. I generally use the old rule of thumb that if something sounds good, that it should probably be used in a song, regardless of certain connotations associated with the sound. The glockenspiel was used quite a lot on The Jumper Cables, mainly for esthetic reasons. The album itself was inspired by all sorts of whimsical [sources] — Rube Goldberg, for one. He was the inventor and cartoonist that created useless inventions that achieved a simple task in a roundabout method. I think that everyone can agree that the glockenspiel is the epitome of a whimsical instrument, and is inherently child-like.”

This whimsical quality runs through much of Pete Samples output, first popping up on his debut album, 2004’s An Unsent Letter. Though he wore his hip hop roots more clearly on his sleeve back then, those influences were folded further back when Yours Makes Mine followed in 2007. The album was a departure from the beat-heavy, sample-driven sounds of An Unsent Letter, and though the Phil Spector wall-of-sound approach and live instrumentation were there in full force, Samples chose the unassuming form of a mini album to show how far he’s come in the past year.
The Jumper Cables may be small, but it is mighty. Within the confines of five songs (and one secret track, because he’s cheeky), Samples deftly masters shifts between the epic and the subdued. Most of all, it’s fun — and Samples is having a blast touring Canada in support of the mini album. Instead of going solo, he’s bringing along friend and musician John Ward to play guitar for a show with more than a few surprises. In fact, the tour’s opening night surprised even Samples.
“We played Duncan [B.C.] for the first night of the tour,” says Samples, “and there is no better place to kick off a tour than at [Duncan club] the Duncan Garage. Aside from the Garage being a bizarre and amazing space, [club owner] Longevity John was quite the character, [and he] made the trip out to Duncan worthwhile. Longevity John did not waste any time proving that he was an interesting fellow. He immediately pulled out his famed sterling silver nose flute and began to play some intense songs with his nose for us. He then gave us both our very own nose flutes and some lessons to take along on the tour, so you can expect a little nose flute action at the show.”

Those nose flutes will join the magic tricks, balloons, bubbles and “everything wonderful” in Samples’s stage show. Just like those days in the sand box, Samples still seems one step ahead of the curve. - FFWD Weekly


This record kicks off with a dark bass line that makes me feel like I’m listening to the beginning of a shootout in a Western flick. The mood turns dimmer with the addition of a speedy piano key sequence that sounds like the noise teardrops would make if you could hear them hit glass — sharp and high-pitched. To top it off, rock guitar strumming and distorted guitar bending are added to the mix. And this quickness is Pete Samples — he is capable of creating a soothing potpourri of sounds that you would never imagine fusing together in the first place.

From the sampled harp and beat box and low distorted male laughter on Phlegmatic to the smooth jazz-like trumpet and sampled violins of My Favorite Record, Samples shows us that when some artists add a variety of sounds it doesn’t create noise, but in fact, makes an interesting symphony of tones.

The highlight track is Two Thirds — one of three tracks that has vocals —which features the k-os-sounding MC Expedyte. But Samples also adds choir vocals that sound like the howling wind, and amazingly the song remains a hip-hop track even with all the eerie singing.

Samples keeps the album interesting by using everyday sounds such as a dial tone, chimes and the all-too-familiar sustained beep you hear when a hospital patient flatlines.

Refreshing, moody and diverse, An Unsent Letter is —with its hip hop and jazz influences — a heaven-sent masterpiece of electronic music.

Jeanne Fronda - the manitoban


Talented young cat from Winnipeg, Canada, this instrumental EP calls to mind early Mo'Wax with songs like "Phlegmatic" and "Lady Luck," but my choice is the warped, indie rock guitars of "Awkward Goodbye," with more than a slight nod to DJ Shadow.

- Toph One, XLR8R



Pete Samples - An Unsent Letter
Review by Quiet Light


”Pete Samples. Indeed he does. The Winnipeg resident’s debut for his hometown’s Vinyl Republik label will surely garner comparisons to DJ Shadow; he has the same cinematic flair for sample-tweaking that Shadow exhibited on his breakthrough album Entroducing though Samples’ songs take a more straightforward approach.

The album gets off to a quiet start with “Awkward Goodbye” whose opening somber piano lick is knocked in the noggin by a mean ‘lectic guitar toward the end. “My Favourite Record has a sub-zero Hoover bassline and Samples, who makes like a less spastic Prefuse 73 and does a beautiful job of slicing them into gossamer threads overtop a bed of acoustic guitar and cello.

If there’s one bad spot here, it’s “Picturesque” where the world turns flat and the corners fold into each other as bagpipes, metal percussion, sitar, flutes, and more partake in a global jam session that just sits unappetizingly like molten Velveeta for nearly seven minutes, though the final section is undeniably pretty swanky. But the finale, “Nineteentwentytwo” more than makes up for the crud before it and is a strong finish to a high-quality record.”

- Quiet Light - XLR8R


I think most people who are into indie Canadian music know that Maybe Smith is a band you should check out live... But the real revelation was Pete Samples, a one-man dynamo who absolutely stole the show in his opening slot, using a set-up that included an iPod attached to what I think were mini-effects pedals as a backing band, bubbles and a lightbulb in place of smoke and lights, and a whole lot of exuberance to own the stage. With music that ranged from indie-dance to Neon Bible-esque buildups, this guy likely has a killer album lurking within him. I would have bought one last night, but he forgot them, fortunately you can download some free from his website-- bearing in mind that his best songs aren't recorded yet. See him now, brag to your friends later.

- NXEW (North by East West)
- NXEW (North by East West)


"Seemingly out of nowhere comes this killer, no filler, samples and beats release titled An Unsent Letter by the
appropriately named Pete Samples. Who the hell is this guy and where did he come from? His bio states
Winnipeg born and raised, although he’s now in Montreal pursuing a fine arts degree. Beyond that I can tell
you nothing more. The music itself is at times weird, interesting, and dense. It speaks volumes and once it
starts, you are sucked into its vortex. Hypnotic rhythms...I’m hooked, I’m hooked.”

- CBC Radio 3

(Pete Samples was rated as one of the top 20 albums of 2004 by CBC Radio 3.) - CBC Radio 3


If there’s one thing I love, it’s having my aural senses cosseted and caressed. This is exactly what happened when I put in the new CD from Pete Samples and was greeted by the amazing, if a little short track “Bouquets of Balloons”, which really appeals to my love of the repetitive. Listening to amazing sounds and music that just roll in and out, like the serene majesty of the sea.

I’ve mentioned frequently my love of what I can only call the repetitive. One of the greatest examples is the first 30 seconds of the Who’s, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” which I’ve always wanted to splice together into a track that lasted an hour or so, but just never got around to. That same itch is ever present throughout this album. “Standing Upon the Shoulders of Giants”, is simply an amazing track that has all those early mentioned traits, but also has an almost hypnotic beauty. No complexities, no over production, just sheer magic.

All through the album, there’s the unmistakable sound of vinyl, the crackles and pops, that remind me so much of listening to Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd. Indeed there’s a very strong 70’s flavour to many of the tracks, or rather influence, that combines effortlessly with the sound of the naughties. “Angered Man: Novelty Store” is probably the most intense track on the album, which is hardly surprising given the title, which certainly does little to hide it’s wrath.

The 10 track album ends with “And All the Kids Smile” which feels very much like a reprise of sorts. It’s interesting to hear so many different elements of the album converge on this one track. Kids singing, repetition, harsher sound. Although I said this is a 10 track album, on my pressing there are in fact an extra 3 tracks. Track 11 seems to be a reworking of “Standing upon the Shoulders of Giants”. I say reworking, but it’s probably just a different mix sans vocals, as it lasts the exact same amount of time. Similarly for the other two tracks, which are different mixes of “If Something Changed” and “And All the Kids Smile”.

This is such an interesting album, from so many different viewpoints. I love to put this album on to unwind and just let me mind go soaring. If you are into the ambient and mellow, there’s so much here to enjoy. - Indie Launchpad


Pete Samples

Layering Live instrumentation on top of sample-driven rhythms, Pete Samples applies his imagination into melodic and electronic experimentation. Check out music from the new album, Yours Makes Mine.

(Pete Samples was the featured artist on the home page of Myspace Canada in May 2007) - Myspace.com


A good song flood's your brain like a drug.

It's been a few years now since I first heard "An Awkward Goodbye" an electronic composition from a then-Winnipeg artist who called himself Pete Samples. I was immediately transfixed. The brooding, haunting song included crunchy guitar riffs, spaghetti western sound signatures and bits of film dialogue from On Golden Pond.

Since then I've been an avid fan of Mr. Samples, who is now calling Montreal home where he is doing an arts degree. Last March during an interview he told me he would have new music by the summer, then it was the fall, then it was...

To be fair, I was kept in the loop, about all the frustrations, new directions in music stylings - less sampling, more original music and even singing. There was also a new name: Yours Makes Mine.

Then one day a package arrived. I opened it and found a beautifully wrapped and decorated CD with 3 songs.

It was finally done. And now it can be shared. - CBC Radio 3


Rating: B+

Not only is The Jumper Cables a departure from his former label Vinyl Republik, it also represents a departure from the style Samples developed on An Unsent Letter (2004) and Yours Makes Mine (2007). I had to double-check Samples' website to ensure this was the same artist, as he eschews the pastiche-work of the past in favour of pop songcraft with subtle electronic elements deftly incorporated into the song structures. The Jumper Cables could comfortably nestle between The Hylozoists and Beach House on a playlist. This is a surprising and interesting change in direction.

— Michael Elves - Uptown Magazine


As hard the music industry is today Pete Samples is truly unique individual who takes pride in his efforts. It’s easy to see when you get one of his 200 hand made CD’s with a sewn in patch and Velcro arm to keep the vital contents from spilling into the bottom of your back pack or the floor of your car. On this recent mini album is the exact proof from diligently working through the Canadian arctic winters honing his craft of flavorful down to earth mixtures of electronic, broken beat and sampledic rarities. Through each of the six tracks you’ll feel a sense of calm and tranquility with a lot of the instrumental choruses and tones. Vocals do play a major role as well with Crystal Huba lending a joyous verse on Bobby Raindrop. The soothing nature of this song takes your for a walk down a bright path filled with cheery marching band sounds. A familiar name that appeared a lot in Winnipeg years ago from the group Pope’s Hill is Sherry St. Germain. On Between Exhales Pete & Sherry sing alongside each other over a mellow dramatic downtempo piece. After so many years it was nice to hear how her voice has matured and taken on different forms fitting in quite nicely with Pete Samples ideology and character he exumes in his music. The Secret Song fills that void you longed for throughout the rest of the album with a slew of samples and trip hop groove. Old school vinyl flutters and an errie arrangement of keys whirl around the catchy vocal ‘Strangers in the street’ but soon after it morphs into a cavernous and dark piece and again changing once more to a vivid dreamscape of soft piano keys drifting off much like an epic movie coming to its finish. With all this creativity locked into six songs it’s hard to believe there isn’t more but patience is a virtue when it comes to a refined sound much like this. - !Earshot


Discography

Pete Samples - Unsent Letters e.p - 2004 - Vinyl Republik

Pete Samples - An Unsent Letter - 2004 - Vinyl Republik

Northern Faction 3 Compilation - 2005 -Balanced Records

Fear of a Digital Planet - Compilation - 2006 - Vinyl Republik

Pete Samples - Yours Makes Mine - 2007 - Vinyl Republik

Manoeuvres 2 - Compilation - 2008 - So Called Recordings

Pete Samples - The Jumper Cables - 2008 - Independent

Pete Samples - Bekonscot - 2010 - Independent

Photos

Bio

Pete Samples is on his way out.

Working as a one-man creative force, Pete Samples mindfully crafts each of his albums as an author would a storybook set for a grander life. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, he approaches his music as a production – not one song thought of without the others, not one album released without the pure and fantastic experience of a live show taken into account. His approach to music production is simple, refreshing, and powerful. It is of a fan first and musician later: always creating for the shared, yet intimately individual experience that music has the magical ability to locate.

Bekonscot, Pete Samples’ latest and final album, is an ode to memories past – a summary of ideas, of concepts, of visual and auditory experiences. As a maker of miniatures, Pete Samples was inspired by the album’s namesake, Bekonscot Model Village, the world’s first outdoor miniature landscape. Just as the model village is placed in a natural environment, taking advantage of each of the senses in unison, this album assumes a similar approach. It is the spirit of Bekonscot, with its charming imperfections and ability to be both small and grand that make it special. Featuring out-of-the-ordinary instrumentation and unusual production techniques, this is at once a delicately lush soundscape and an aggressive beat-heavy pop experience. Included in the release of Bekonscot, the album, is a collection of new and old songs, a tiny book of a series of miniature models, a 45-minute concept video, and a handmade embroidered leather case, bound together with a personally-chosen button and string.

“There is only so much a one man circus can accomplish”. This is Pete Samples’ final album, one that reflects his last 8 years, and one that finally feels complete. He asserts that it isn’t a dramatic ending, it is simply the beginning of something new. After playing alone for this long, Pete Samples is on his way to play with others.

Bekonscot will be released November 23, 2010, in a limited edition run of 200 handmade copies, and will also be available as a free digital download on www.petesamples.com. A tour will follow in the spring of 2011.

Festival showcases include:

Canadian Music Week - 2006
New Music West - 2006
Mutek Festival- 2007
New Music West - 2008
North by Northeast (NXNE) - 2008
Halifax Pop Explosion - 2008
Pop Montreal - 2008
Sled Island - 2009
Pop Montreal - 2009