Courtship Dating vs. Ayo Technology

by Winston "Stone" Ford

I’m so late to this, so excuse me.

But anyway, I asked a friend to suggest some new music for me to pursue (that was completely outside the box) for my 9 hour drive down to South Carolina next week. He suggested I check Crystal Castles, a techno outfit from Toronto. So, I went to their MySpace page and the track that played first was “Courtship Dating.” From the first 5 seconds, I was like…..hmm….this sounds familiar.

Doesn’t this sound Timbaland/50’s Ayo Technology?

A quick Google search revealed the opposite. Apparently, Timbaland sampled the Crystal Castles song which was originally done in 2006 for the 50 beat which dropped in 2007. There are also Internet rumors that Timbo had to settle out of court for the whole thing. And course all these little scenster kids who know nothing about sampling are all up in Timbo’s grill about it.

Of course, on the Wikipedia page for Ayo Technology, gives Timbo more benefit of the doubt, but not much:

The intro and lead synth were created with the Elektron SidStation, an 8-bit sound synthesizer. Because of this, it is remarkably similar sounding to Crystal Castles’ “Courtship Dating” from their self-titled album, released the following year. Despite the album not being out until nearly a year after the public debut of “Ayo Technology,” there was still controversy over the alleged “sampling” of this song on “Ayo Technology” perhaps because of the negative reputation Timbaland has garnered recently over sampling 8-bit musicians uncredited and with an attitude of entitlement and defiance. Until someone who actually owns the album Crystal Castles reads the liner notes and edits this page with reliable information on whether the band sampled “Ayo Technology” or if they merely are using the same electronic instruments as Timbaland, this issue will remain unresolved and contentious.

Damn, so even Wikipedia doesn’t even know. (And isn’t the whole “until someone edits this page” thing breaking the fourth wall or something?) I did find this video of the track without the infamous sample that may add fuel to the fire.

So who knows what’s up. Personally, I think both versions are pretty dope, and I’m surprised no one has created a mashup of the two. As for Crystal Castles, most of the tracks I heard so far suck to me. Some of their more mellow stuff is nice, but the rest sounds like a crackhead screaming over an Atari 3000. Not my thing.

(If this was resolved months ago, let me know in the comments.)

Full video for Courtship Dating and Ayo technology below:

  • himalaya

    these hipster dudes need to shut the fuck up!

    timbo took their shit, flipped it and made it a hot song.

    this chick prob. got a mil out of the whole thing

  • LA’s Finest

    That’s an ill sample. No one can doubt that Timbaland has an ear for music. But people are mad at him because he has no respect for the artists he samples. Like it or not, you have to go through the proper channels and get clearances. It’s bullshit, but that’s the way it is. This is the second time Timbo got caught not crediting someone for a major song. The first time he went on radio and cursed them out. Timbaland gets $250,000 minimum to walk in the door before he lays down a single track. Ayo made millions in record and ringtone sales. He surely could afford to pay these dudes their proper compensation.

  • Lady Glock

    I agree with LA’s Finest.

    This is not the first time Timbo has been caught sampling stuff without acknowledging the artist’s he sampled. He did it on Nelly Furtado’s track “Do It” except he sampled a song by a Finnish composer, perhaps under the impression that no one would recognize the song. Maybe that’s what he figured here too, that he has the right to sample an indie hipster group because they aren’t internationally well known.

    But Crystal Castles have a really strong following and it was bound to happen that the sample would be recognized.

    Seriously, for a producer who likes to work with so many different musical acts from different musical backgrounds, Timbo should know better. I mean, if someone sampled his stuff without going through the proper procedures, he’d have a team of lawyers on it in no time.

  • http://www.k7 Stephen Bolles

    Had no idea that the Crystal Castles song came first, totally thought they were doing a riff on Timbo’s track. That’s really a trip. Nice post.

  • Oasis

    It’s too close for comfort. Timbaland is a greedy bastard no matter what. I say this because of the Nelly incident a few years ago. All these rap artists just think its ok to sample and sample but really what they’re doing is reinventing a song in a negative way. It’s sad to think there are all these “drones” listening to ayo tech without a clue in the world that sample that made them addictive in the first place belongs to someone else.

  • sf

    Anyone with an NES Emulator VST can replicate this melody. Its 2 fuckin keys. 3 in Timbo’s case.

    I’m not buying it. I don’t believe Timbo even addressed these kids regarding this. Its clearly not sampled

  • Pico

    as soon as i heard crystal castles i knew it sounded familiar!
    looked up for comparisons and here we are i’m not crazy!
    and here i was thinking ayo had a nice sound to it.
    all sampled of course.
    good post, i agree

  • Catch22architect

    The Crystals had Courtship on their MySpace page long before their album ever saw light of day and certainly long before Timbaland thought about stealing it. Hope he had to pay out a wad of cash.

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