Often when I’m jamming to something new, a part will pop up that undeniably reminds me of something I’ve heard before. Some things are just too familiar, and damn it, it’s time to do something about it.

Step one is always identifying the original work the new exposure harkens back to. Once that’s settled, the debate begins. Is this a rip-off, or something else?

I’ve started mashing together pieces of audio that I can’t help but think are linked in some way. Of course, even if something does sound scarily like something already established, it doesn’t mean it’s a rip-off.

Take a listen to this track, and let me know which category you think this example falls into:

  1. This is a rip-off! Some bastard stole some other bastard’s jam!
  2. This is an homage. This is too similar. The artist is merely giving a wink and nod to a predecessor.
  3. This is a coincidence. Louis Daguerre and Henry Fox both invented photography independent of each other, after all. There are only so many ways to make music.
  4. This is an accident. Yeah, it’s probably inspired by the older piece, but they probably didn’t even realize it.
  5. You are smoking. Don’t even see it.

JODI BENSO – “Part of Your World” vs. IHSAHN – “Twin Black Angels”

I know TLM is pretty brutal, but is it really brutal enough for IHSAHN to rip it off? You tell me.


  1. This one’s a solid 4. The intervals are different–but the general rhythm/upbeatness + the final phrase definitely have me raising an eyebrow.


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