List of Recoil sample sources by album/Ebbhead

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Glossary
Terms used in this article

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.

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.

Information

This page aims to document all verifiable sound sources utilised by Alan Wilder in the production of the 1991 Nitzer Ebb album Ebbhead.

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.

Ebbhead (1991)

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.

Nitzer Ebb's Bon Harris on Wilder's musical prowess in 1991: "Alan has a very musical ear. He's classically trained, so he knows what he's doing when it comes to melody, but has no tolerance for pop - that's quite a good combination."[1]

"Lakeside Drive"

"Lakeside Drive" - Nitzer Ebb
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Cymbal crash with descending pitch "Lakeside Drive" utilises a cymbal crash originally used throughout "Never Let Me Down Again".
Synth bass A synth bass part originally recorded for use with "Sweetest Perfection" is used throughout "Lakeside Drive".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Rusty Bryant - "Fire Eater" - 1971
Confirmed
A drum break derived from Rusty Bryant's "Fire Eater" is utilised throughout "Lakeside Drive".

"I Give To You"

- Nitzer Ebb
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Harpsichord-like instrument "I Give To You" utilises a textured harpsichord-like stab originally recorded for use in "Enjoy The Silence".
Synth bass "I Give To You" employs a sampled synth bass part throughout its verse sections. Notably, this sound would later be used in the Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" starting from the third verse.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Fancy - "Feel Good" - 1974
Confirmed
The classic "Feel Good" drum break is used throughout "I Give To You". This loop is also notably used in the chorus sections of "Walking In My Shoes", "My Joy", and its "Slow Slide" remix.
John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1986
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in a variety of Depeche Mode songs. The snare is used throughout "I Give To You".
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in Depeche Mode's "Halo", "Get Right With Me", and later Nitzer Ebb's "I Give To You".
Orchestral hit, pads Barry Adamson - "The Man with the Golden Arm" - 1989
Confirmed
A sampled orchestral hit and pad derived from the latter half of Barry Adamson's 1989 cover of "The Man with the Golden Arm" is utilised following the second chorus section of "I Give To You".

Credit to Ricardo López for this discovery.

Various one-shot orchestral strings Unknown, presumably an orchestral performance recorded and commercially released prior to 1991
Unknown
"I Give To You" utilises a variety of one-shot orchestral string parts, including a solo violin string staccato with a root key of C5; a brief solo viola recording playing a descending A4 > A♭4 > G4 phrase; and a brief violin trill with a root key of G♯6.
Exotic percussion loop Unknown
Unknown
"I Give To You" utilises an "exotic" percussive loop comprised of a percussive instrument with a high pitch timbre, best heard around the three minute mark of the "Elemental" remix. This loop appears to also be used throughout "In Your Room", and is most clearly heard in the "Apex" remix starting from 1:45.

"Sugar Sweet"

"Sugar Sweet" - Nitzer Ebb
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Reverberated piano stab "Sugar Sweet" employs a one-shot sample of a piano stab processed with heavy reverb. Notably, this sound would later be used throughout "Get Right With Me".

"DJVD"

"DJVD" - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Wailing" synth siren N.W.A - "Dopeman (Remix)" - 1988
Confirmed
"DJVD" employs a manipulated sample of a "wailing" synth siren sound derived from the intro of the 1988 N.W.A song "Dopeman (Remix)".

"Time"

"Time" - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Variphon pad Talk Talk - "The Rainbow" - 1988
Confirmed
"Time" employs a Variophon pad with a unique distorted texture derived from Talk Talk's "The Rainbow" (approximately 0:55). Notably, this sample is also used during the first verse and outro of "In Your Room", as well as the third verse section of "Mercy In You".

"Ascend"

"Ascend" - Nitzer Ebb
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Metallic clap A resonant, metallic clap sample is utilised throughout "Ascend". Notably, this sample would later see use in the Devotional tour arrangement of "Enjoy The Silence".
"Watery" piano stab "Ascend" utilises a textured, "watery"-sounding piano stab originally recorded for use with "Waiting For The Night".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Guitar hook Television - "Marquee Moon" - 1 April 1977
Confirmed
"Ascend" utilises a sampled guitar hook derived from American rock band Television's 1977 song "Marquee Moon", recorded for the debut album of the same name.

"Godhead"

"Godhead" - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum/synth loop Kraftwerk - "Home Computer (The Mix Version)" - 1991
Confirmed

"Trigger Happy"

"Trigger Happy" - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"When The Levee Breaks" snare drum Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1986
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in a variety of Depeche Mode songs. The snare is used throughout "Trigger Happy".
"When The Levee Breaks" snare drum Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official

Unknown

Unidentified song - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Prince - "Kiss" - 1990
Unknown
In 1991, a fan contest was held where the winner would have the chance to spend a day in the studio with the members of Nitzer Ebb and Wilder during the recording of Ebbhead. During their time in the studio, the contest winner was played back a variety of samples by the group to see if they were able to identify their origin. One sample played to the contest winner was from Prince's 1990 single "Kiss", which the fan had difficulty identifying. This sample may or may not have made it onto the completed album.

Notes

References