List of Recoil sample sources by album

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In audio production, sampling refers to the use of a portion (or sample) from a sound within another recording. During Alan Wilder's tenure with the group, Depeche Mode were among the most prolific acts to make use of sampling technology within a traditional pop music format. Following his departure from Depeche Mode in 1995, Wilder would continue to employ sampling as a means to enhance the atmosphere of his music through the Recoil project, including passages of contemporary music, film soundtracks, sample library audio, and samples from his past work with Depeche Mode. The analysis of these sample sources and how they are manipulated is a popular topic of discussion amongst fans of both groups.

Glossary
Terms used in this article

Information

Key
Official
The sample is confirmed to have been used in the specified song by a past/present member of Depeche Mode, an individual involved in its production, or band archivist Daniel "BRAT" Barassi.
Confirmed
The sample is independently confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Likely
The sample is likely to have been used in the specified song but has not yet been confirmed.
Unconfirmed
The sample is not yet confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Disproven
The sample is confirmed to not have been used in the specified song.
Unknown
It is unclear if the sample was used in the specified song.

This page aims to document all verifiable sound sources for many of the musical parts utilised by Alan Wilder for the Recoil music project in the production of its studio albums, official remixes, live performances, and other works.

Due to the manipulated nature of the samples described in this article, there is unavoidable potential for error or sample misattribution. To ensure accuracy, this article strives to use verified quotes from band members and recording personnel with citations wherever possible, audio examples, and independent research voluntarily contributed by Depeche Mode and Recoil fans across the world. This article serves to provide an interesting document on this topic in a tabular format that is organized, well-researched, and reasonably accurate. Please bear in mind that due to the limited number of relevant quotes for each sample from band members or associates involved in the production of the music described on this page, audio samples that lack official confirmation are not guaranteed to be accurate.

This article differentiates samples by their origin: Self-made samples, which describes any material originally recorded by Depeche Mode or Alan Wilder for the Recoil music project, and Sourced samples, which describe samples which were not originally recorded by either group. In addition to confirmed samples, this article also covers samples that are commonly misreported as having been used but have been directly refuted by a member or associate of Depeche Mode or Recoil.

As ever, if you notice an error, wish to contribute or request the removal of information contained within this article, please feel free to contact us.

1 + 2 (1986)

"1" & "2" - Recoil
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Depeche Mode – "Any Second Now" (Altered) - 1981
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "If You Want" - 1984
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "The Sun & The Rainfall" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Oberkorn (It's A Small Town)" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "The Great Outdoors" - 1983
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Shouldn't Have Done That" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Tora! Tora! Tora!" - 1981
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Shake The Disease" (Edit the Shake) - 1985
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Pipeline" - 1983
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Blasphemous Rumours" - 1984
Confirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Radioaktivität" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Uran" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Radioland" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Duet Emmo – "Or So It Seems" - 1983
Unconfirmed
N/A Duet Emmo – "Heart of Hearts" - 1983
Unconfirmed
N/A The Hitmen – "Shade in, fade out" - 1981
Unconfirmed
N/A Hard Corps - "Je Suis Passée" - 1985
Unconfirmed

Hydrology (1988)

"Grain"

"Grain" - Recoil
1988
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bell-like outro "ping" In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Wineglass (106)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a bell-like sample, presumably the sound of a wine glass being tapped. This sample is played sporadically throughout the orchestral outro of "Grain". Notably, this sound is also used in "Strangelove", "Never Let Me Down Again", "Behind The Wheel", and "Route 66".

"Stone"

"Stone" - Recoil
1988

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
French vocal sample French train announcer, unidentified source
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website that "Stone" employs a vocal sample of a French train station announcer, but is unsure of its origin.[1] The announcer says: "Attention! Attention! Quai n°5, départ imminent du Nord-Express à destination de Moscou [...]"

"The Sermon"

"The Sermon" - Recoil
1988
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Polish vocal sample A vocal sample from a Polish radio broadcast reporting on Pope John Paul II's 9 June 1987 sermon in Warsaw can be heard in the introduction of "The Sermon". Wilder commented on the origin of this sample in a 2008 interview for komarnicki.pl: "I put the microphone on the shortwave radio, I tried to catch some climatic samples and that was the first thing that happened. I had no idea what they were saying! I liked the sound but it wasn't meant to be an integral part of the track, just atmosphere."[2] The two audio samples state:

[...] radcy nuncjatury w Lizbonie, którego Ojciec Święty mianował Pronuncjuszem Apostolskim w Tajla[-ndii...]

[...] wzgórze wypełniło się młodzieżą maturalną… oprócz indywidualnych [inaudible] grup kraj przebyły też dwie pielgrzymki diecezjalne. Pierwsza z Archidiecezji Warszawskiej w liczbie około 8 tysięcy młodzieży [...][3]

English Google translation:

[...] counselor of the nunciature in Lisbon, whom the Holy Father appointed as Apostolic Pronunciator in Tajla [Thailand]...

[...] the hill was filled with high school graduates ... in addition to individual freelance groups, two diocesan pilgrimages arrived in Prague. The first one, from the Archdiocese of Warsaw, was eight thousand young people strong, and they...

Bass guitar In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late 1980s. One floppy disk, labeled "Bright Bass-GTR", features a preset titled "bright bass" that is comprised of two bass guitar samples which are used throughout "The Sermon" starting from approximately the five minute thirty-second mark. Notably, these bass guitar parts are also used during the chorus sections of the album version and throughout the single version of "Strangelove".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Tribal chanting Charles Duvelle, Jean-Pierre Martin, Jacques M'bilo - Musique centrafricaine - "Chant Dakpa pour l'Abbatage d'un arbre" - 1962
Confirmed
A section of audio derived from "Chant Dakpa pour l'Abbatage d'un arbre" as recorded by Charles Duvelle, Jean-Pierre Martin, and Jacques M'bilo for the 1962 Ocora release Musique centrafricaine is utilised throughout the outro of "The Sermon".

Click to display/hide audio example

Woodwind instrumentation Charles Duvelle, Jean-Pierre Martin, Jacques M'bilo - Musique centrafricaine - "Musique de chasse Babinga" - 1962
Confirmed
A section of audio derived from "Musique de chasse Babinga" as recorded by Charles Duvelle, Jean-Pierre Martin, and Jacques M'bilo for the 1962 Ocora release Musique centrafricaine is utilised throughout the outro of "The Sermon".
Snare accent Michael Siegel - The Sounds Of The Office - "Postage Meter And Enveloppe Sealer" - 1964
Confirmed
A mechanical sound derived from "Postage Meter And Enveloppe Sealer" as featured on the 1964 Folksways Records field recording album The Sounds Of The Office.
"Buzzy" synth drone Emulator II factory library disk #37: Electric Guitar - Preset #3: "LoopedGuitar", SAMPLE 5, SAMPLE 9
Confirmed
Two muted harmonic guitar pluck samples derived from the Emulator II factory library disk #37 "Electric Guitar" are individually looped with a tight loop point and layered together to form the "buzzy" monophonic synth drone audible throughout "The Sermon".

Bloodline (1992)

Main article: List of Recoil sample sources by album/Bloodline

Unsound Methods (1997)

Main article: List of Recoil sample sources by album/Unsound Methods

Liquid (2000)

Main article: List of Recoil sample sources by album/Liquid

SubHuman (2007)

Main article: List of Recoil sample sources by album/SubHuman

Other works by Alan Wilder

Ebbhead (1991)

Main article: List of Recoil sample sources by album/Ebbhead

Between the conclusion of the World Violation Tour and the recording of Songs Of Faith And Devotion, Alan Wilder would enter London's KONK Studios to record Recoil's Bloodline between January and March 1991. A month later, he would return to the studio to produce Depeche Mode support act Nitzer Ebb's Ebbhead record in collaboration with producer Flood and mix engineer Steve Lyon.

Spirit of Talk Talk (2012)

"Dum Dum Girl feat. Shara Worden"

"Dum Dum Girl feat. Shara Worden" - Recoil
2012

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Reversed orchestral ambience A.R. Rahman - 127 Hours: Music from the Motion Picture - "Acid Darbari" - 2 November 2010
Confirmed
A reversed section of audio derived from "Acid Darbari" by A.R. Rahman as featured on the 2010 127 Hours film soundtrack is utilised in the intro of the 2012 Recoil cover of Talk Talk's "Dum Dum Girl".
Percussion elements Depeche Mode - "Nothing's Impossible" - 2005
Confirmed

"Inheritance"

"Inheritance" - Recoil
2012

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Depeche Mode - "Nothing's Impossible" - 2005
Unconfirmed

Remixes by Alan Wilder

"Time Turns Around (Eurotech Version)"

"Time Turns Around (Eurotech Version)" - Toni Halliday
1989
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bass synth Alan Wilder's (Eurotech Version) remix of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around" utilises a four-note bass synth sequence derived from a longer seven note sequence originally recorded for use throughout Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Snare drum Fine Young Cannibals - "She Drives Me Crazy" - 26 December 1988
Confirmed
A manipulated snare drum audible likely derived from the opening moments of the Fine Young Cannibals 1988 single "She Drives Me Crazy" is utilised throughout the "Eurotech" remix of "Time Turns Around". Prior to any editing applied post-sampling, the original snare's characteristic "pop" effect was achieved by recording the snare separately, then placing a speaker on top of the snare drum and a microphone below it, with the original recording played through the speaker and re-recorded.[4] Notably, this sound would later be used throughout Depeche Mode's "Halo".
Piano/bass guitar stab Emulator III OMI Universe of Sounds Volume 1 - Funk Bass
Confirmed
A bass guitar stab heard throughout the "Eurotech" remix of "Time Turns Around" is likely derived from the Emulator III Universe Of Sounds Volume 1 voice "Funk Bass". Notably, this sound would later see use throughout Depeche Mode's "Policy Of Truth".

"Come Alive"

"Come Alive" - Nitzer Ebb
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Rhythmic synth Bassomatic - "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass" - 1990
Confirmed
A filtered rhythm element derived from a synthesizer heard in the intro of the 1990 Bassomatic song "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass" for the album of the same name is time-stretched and re-pitched for use in "Come Alive" starting from the four minute ten second mark.[5]

"In Chains (Alan Wilder Remix)"

"In Chains (Alan Wilder Remix)" - Depeche Mode
2011
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bass element A textured bass element originally recorded for Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration" is confirmed by Wilder as having been re-purposed for his remix of "In Chains".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Ambient pads Depeche Mode - "I Want It All" - 2005
Official
A synthesized pad phrase originally recorded for Depeche Mode's "I Want It All" is confirmed by Wilder as having been re-purposed for his remix of "In Chains".
Orchestral strings Depeche Mode - "I Am You" - 2001
Official
An orchestral string passage originally recorded for Depeche Mode's "I Am You" is confirmed by Wilder as having been re-purposed for his remix of "In Chains".
Orchestral strings Massive Attack - "Paradise Circus" - 2010
Likely
A series of orchestral string phrases derived from "Paradise Circus" by Massive Attack is likely utilised in the outro of the Alan Wilder remix of "In Chains".
Drum loop UNKLE - "Keys to the Kingdom" - 2007
Confirmed

"I Am Undone (Alan Wilder Remix)"

"I Am Undone (Alan Wilder Remix)" - Nitzer Ebb
2011

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Scott Walker - "Manhattan" - 1995
Unknown

References

  1. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : Recoil : 1 + 2 / HYDROLOGY
  2. Sources: Interview with Alan Wilder for Wyborcza Poland, 2010-04-19 + Interview with Alan Wilder for devotees.pl, 2008-02-21
  3. Transcribed by Aleksandra Lech for DMLiveWiki on 2019-07-30
  4. Daley, Dan (1 March 2001). "Classic Tracks: Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy"".
  5. Credit to 'Fatherless Child' for this discovery.