You may not recognise the name Enoch Light, but one of his songs has arguably become one of the most recognisable beats in hip hop.
Enoch started out with his band, The Light Brigade, performing in theatres and on radio in the 1930â€™s. In 1937, they had a hit with the songâ€ Summer Night,â€ sung by Johnny Muldowney. The Light Brigade disbanded and Enoch dabbled at being a session musician on various broadcasts and recordings. His own material rose to popularity in the mid-â€˜60s with the recording â€œPersuasive Percussion and Proactive Percussion,â€ pioneering studio techniques like â€œping pongâ€ stereo and using 35mm film as a recording medium.
Enochâ€™s release, Big Hits Of The 70s Volume 2, was an easy-listening big-band album covering excerpts of film scores such as the Godfather and other hit recordings of the time. The LP contained the song â€œHijackâ€, its punchy flute and funky feel sampled by the Beatnuts for their classic â€œWatch Out Nowâ€. Adding some gritty drums and a still unknown vocal sample (the â€œwatch out nowâ€ bit), they made a rock-solid banger. The Trackmasters cheekily sampled â€œWatch Out Nowâ€ for the massive J-Lo hit â€œJenny From The Block,â€ but gave no credit to the Beatnuts for digging up the break or to Enoch Light for writing it. This has left many people never knowing the origins of the flute-driven instrumental. Sadly, Enoch passed away in 1978, so he never got the chance to see his work charging up a party or J-Lo shaking her booty to his beat.
Artists sampling Enoch Light:
K-OTIX â€“ â€œLegendaryâ€
Beatnuts â€“ â€œNo Escaping This â€œ
J-Live â€“ â€œStir Of Echoesâ€
Lifesavas â€“ â€œFa Shoâ€™ â€œ