Oliver $ Explains Doin’ Ya Thang To LWE

Oliver $’s “Doin’ Ya Thang,” with its generous samples of Moodymann’s signature patter, has caused quite a stir since being released in April on Play It Down. While club audiences, Beatport shoppers and RA charters ate it up, many (including our own reviewer) felt the track exploited Kenny Dixon Jr.’s bountiful personality without giving him any credit. So when LWE was offered the opportunity to interview Oliver “$” Siebert by his management, we knew it was important to ask the man responsible about the arrangements, motivations, and ethical quandaries behind one of 2011’s most notorious records.

I only have a few questions, and I actually primarily wanted to focus on your track “Doin’ Ya Thang.” Because I know that’s been a really big track for you, and it’s the one that’s of the most interest to us. I wanted to start by asking you what your thinking was behind the track when you were making it?

Oliver Siebert: To be honest with you, it was that kind of, like, quick ones. I mean, I basically heard that vocal and I thought, “Well, I have to use that.” I tried to produce a really nice DJ tool. It was not really, like, where I thought, “It’s my next single,” or something really big. I just made it like my other records.

So you would say it was pretty similar in the way that you made it to your other tracks, then?

Yeah, most of my stuff are DJ tools, and this one is a tool as well so.

Were you intending to release it, or was it originally something you were just going to originally save for your own sets?

First I just had it in my own sets, and then I showed it to Jesse [Rose, of Play It Down] because I just thought maybe it’s a nice bootleg idea or something. But that was like the very first version, and there was a lot of more talking in there. So I basically cut it down to the max. [laughs]

I see. So I was curious, did you ask Kenny Dixon Jr. or the promoters that the vocal was sampled from to use the — did you ask their permission to use the recording?

Not really. [laughs] To be honest, they’re clearing it right now — and the thing is in the beginning we thought, “OK, that’s a little thing for us to play out,” but nobody thought [about] it getting that intense, you know?

Yes, I understand. That being said, the track has caused a little bit of an uproar, especially among our readers, mostly because of the extensive use of Kenny Dixon Jr.’s vocals. And some people thought — and I know you weren’t thinking, necessarily, that it was going to be a track you were planning on releasing — but you took advantage of his live performance for your own benefit. And I was curious what you thought about that sort of reaction to your track.

Um, yeah, to be honest, man — I don’t know why it blew that crazy up, but in the end of the day it was just a quick idea, and Jesse liked it very much, and, yeah, that’s basically it.

I can understand that. Even still, though, after you and Jesse talked about it, obviously it became commercially available, and it did quite well on Beatport. And I think maybe the reason why some people have been maybe a little upset by it is because it’s mostly his vocals — with your beat — but it’s mostly his vocals that sell the track. When you were working on it and when you were deciding on whether or not to release it, did you feel any ethical concerns about whether or not to put out a track that was based mostly on Moodymann’s vocals?

Yeah, I mean you’re right — it’s definitely living out of the vocal, that’s for sure. But I never thought it’d go that big, and I thought, like, “Well, maybe we sell our 200 vinyl copies, and then maybe just a few digital things. [laughs] It’s quite crazy how that track blew up, I know exactly what you mean. That track is living out of the vocal and it’s basically my beat, and yeah, it’s really hard to say like– I mean, the vocal is definitely 60 percent, I would say, of the whole production. Yeah.

Would you say that when you’re producing, or when anyone’s producing, do you believe that anything is fair game for sampling, whether it’s someone else’s performance or someone else’s beat or —

To be honest, look at Kenny Dixon Jr.’s productions, you know what I mean. So he’s basically living that what I’m doing, you know.

Yeah, that’s true.

He sampled Chic, he sampled basically everything; and I guess that’s kind of an art, to grab samples from everywhere and just create something new out of it. That was basically my style back in the days when we started with that fidget house thing, and basically we grabbed samples from everywhere, and tried to make them a bit fresher, cut them up just a bit, and twist them, and — yeah.

That’s understandable. I guess the distinction some people would draw between some of Moodymann’s productions is that although a lot of them had identifiable samples — especially his Chic samples and stuff like that — a lot of them weren’t played out, you know? It wasn’t like a long sample that just played out; it tended to be something he’d cut up real fine and then added his own things to it. So that’s sort of the distinction I think some people would see. I wondered how would you react if someone were to have a big sample of one of your tracks for their own record and then became successful?

To be honest, I would be honored, man.


I mean, so many people took my bass drums, my hi-hats, you know. On the other side it’s like when they’d be creative and do something out of it then it makes totally sense, but when they’re doing like a complete four-bar loop, then it’s maybe a bit boring. And I also cut a lot of his vocals together from different sessions, and I don’t know if you heard the DJ set of him.

I can’t say I’ve heard the whole thing, no, actually. So was it a pretty long set?

OK, so it’s basically like cut together here just a bit out of it, and yeah, I had to take out some other crazy words he said in the set. It’s not really like I took, like, a five-minute sample of him and — you know what I mean?

Yeah. I guess it’s sort of hard for listeners to tell, I guess. For people to think, you know, ‘Is this all one long thing or is this — ‘

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I guess that’s a credit to the way that you arranged it because it sounds like it’s, like, one long piece of a set, you know?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I totally understand what you mean. The people on YouTube, they are also commenting, “Wow, he put some crowd noise in the back, and –” you know what I mean? It’s like they’re talking all good. [laughs]

Yeah, I understand.

So it basically wasn’t one sample like the crowd in the back. I mean, it’s basically like a live DJ thing.

One of the reasons why that song caught my attention is because it sort of takes the DJ set out of the DJ’s hands and gives it over to Kenny Dixon Jr. and lets him sort of play for the period of time. I wonder what that says about modern DJing and about the tools that we make for DJs to play when we’re sort of saying, “I’m going to use a track that sounds like someone else’s DJ set.” I wonder what you think about the idea of literally using someone else’s DJ set for your own DJ set, basically. ‘Cause that’s kind of sort of what this track is. And obviously it’s been arranged, it’s been changed, and I won’t say it’s the same thing. But it does have that sort of vibe, and I was curious of your thoughts about that.

Yeah, you’re right. It’s a bit of the DJ set, right? Like, that kind of live thing, and there were so many people [with], like, crazy reactions when I played it out, and people thought, like, ‘Wow, shit, put the microphone down,’ but it was basically in the track. And I think that makes it so real, you know? So it’s not really like [I] cut out some bad parts or something so it’s like, I think, raw shit.

Were you actually at the set that that was recorded at?

No. No. No, no, no.

So someone gave you the recording, and you were just really enamored with it.

Yeah, basically everybody in the world had the chance to do that.

Oh, OK. I saw someone on Twitter, one of the promoters who was put on that Moodymann night, and he said that no one had asked to record that, and it was sort of like a bootleg recording. And so he was almost a little surprised that it was available for people to, you know go ahead and make into other tracks.

Basically I’m never sampling out something out of DJ sets, but I thought that was too perfect, you know? I mean just check the DJ set out. Listen to it, and then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

nick  on August 27, 2011 at 10:03 AM

good on you kdj – payback time !!!!!!!!!!!!

Si  on August 27, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Got this through in our recommendations system from one of the big record stores – £15 if bought from Juno!!


what ever  on August 30, 2011 at 11:32 AM

No, I haven’t heard Oliver $’s track yet but I find this discussion absolutely pathetic.
Mr. Dixon Jr. himself steals(!) from other artists as well and NEVER mention the origin of the samples. So why can other people not do just the same? Just because KDJ is a self-proclaimed “God”? F*** that and wake up people, HE ISN’T !

keepdoingyathing  on September 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM

ridiculously funny how annoyed all of you real house music heads get, when one of your gods is sampled by someone not THAT underground..

tiddlerz  on September 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

just to throw my 2 cents in

first time i heard this track sven weisemann played it and i though ‘whoa (not wow ye yanks) wtf is this’

the penultimate time i heard it, it was rocking the fuck out of the berghain garten after being dropped by the drumpoet boys

and then a (good) few hours later i heard it in the new bar 25 place with the oliver himself there on the dancefloor. good fuckin fun. what a nice, friendly, genuine and humble chap he is.

and that is my 2 mf cents bitches.

cha cha  on September 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I thought it was a crappy interview. Dude asks the same question over and over expecting to squeeze a different answer out. And Oliver politely tells the guy to listen to the original track. Interviewer seemed unprepared with only one question to ask. Oliver isn’t hiding, and I liked the track. My head bobs, and my body sways. Music is about the feeling, not about who sampled what and who should get paid.

littlewhiteearbuds  on September 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Congratulations, you don’t know how to read.

Luke S  on September 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

I hope all you guys complaining pay for ALL your music 😉

keep it real  on October 6, 2011 at 3:51 AM

oliver $ – a brag with lack of respect.
why not using your own f..king voice?!?! “but his voice is so damn cool!” – yes indeed.
there’s a difference in quoting someone’s sample and put it in a new and individual way and plain “lets put this on my boring beats”.

Nick  on November 8, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I love LWE, but reading this interview is just painful on all ends.

Nil Rodgers  on November 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Ok, so it’s basically down to these simpla questions: did moodymann pay for via samples? Or Theo Parrish for that matter if the answer is no, than there really isn’t that much more to say. Yeah O you might not like it, but who cares? A lot of other people apparently did and so the track did pretty good. End of story.

Patrik  on December 16, 2011 at 10:16 AM

the exact same thing with this track. moodymann sampled and pretty much imo makes the track. not sure how I feel about it… sample is from red bull music academy’s interview with moodymann.



Dean  on December 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

All you peeps pissing and moaning about Oliver $ sampling Moodyman like it’s a bad thing are nuts! Every single Kenny Dixon track contains samples! How many of them are credited to the original artist???

Get a grip and move the f**k on…

Sampling is one of the foundations of house music, always has been, always will be.

Anton  on December 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

It’s incredible that commenters are still treating this interview as if it was strictly about the fact that Oliver $ uses samples. Not all sampling is equal or ethical.

rob  on December 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM

don’t mind the song, and can see both sides to the argument…. but the interview was maaaaassivly biased. you basically asked the same question 10 times trying to put words in his mouth… no originality or and poor homework done for the interview before hand.

first time ive been to this site and looks like it’ll be my last.

Granny Peace Brigade  on December 26, 2011 at 1:55 AM

@ anton. to you,
what kind of sampling is ethical, and what kind of sampling is unethical?

Anton  on December 26, 2011 at 2:01 AM

As stated in my review, “Doin’ Ya Thang” is a perfect example of unethical sampling. Taking a recording of a STILL FULLY ACTIVE DJ’S SET and turning into the basis of a track is beyond the pale. Most sampling is fine, and most “bad” samples come down to how they’re used. This is on shaky ethical grounds AND it sucks.

Granny Peace Brigade  on December 26, 2011 at 4:23 AM

i understand your opinion anton, and i just read your review – well written and somehow emotional. great that you feel passionate about this.

My two cents about all this –
(whether i like the track or not doesn’t matter at this point)
I might seem to be biased, because I know oli dollar a little (we have proudly exchanged our first vinyl records in a shop in berlin 6 years ago and played a few times together on the same nights since then) – but this is not about me defending him or whatever. I can’t hear the track anymore myself and am not a fan of his follow up on playitdown!
Nonetheless – i am glad this oli dollar track “doin your thang” exists .

i’m glad because it’s a truly “modern” (aka 2011) example of how a piece of music gets created and travels the world, what part the internet plays in the way people can access music & sounds nowadays, how put their own touch to it by remixing / reediting, how the “old” gets recycled into something “new” younger people or people new to dance or house music might not have heard before, how these people might be turned on to the “old” by this creative recycling and remixing process and rediscover it, how the boundaries between edits, remixes and original tracks seem to blur more and more the older dance music grows and the more it gets sampled and resampled and rereresampled, and finally: what kind of debates might arise between those who get offended by the use of material from their heroes – and those who have a little bit of a “lighter” perspective on this whole dance music “scene”…
(a “scene” which to be honest is among the most luxury first world things out there, and the first thing that will be gone once after the next meteorite falls on this planet.)
In this case oli had a short moment of creativity and fun making a track / edit / bootleg which finally ended up in many djs’ record bags (or rather, on computers and CDs in fact) and got played all over the world. I’m respecting your opinion anton, i’m respecting that people have a personal taste and think a track is good or bad. but personally i think an artist should not be discredited for something one might cathegorise as “unethical” sampling – after all it was not oli who bootlegged the vocals from the moodymann gig himself, no it was out there in cyberspace. It was not him who released it, but a label. owned by a total house music freak and probably a moodymann megafan. charted by the “tastemakers” of the “scene”. pushed by beatport. bought and downloaded and shared and charted by djs. written about on blogs and magazines. we are all adding to the fame / infamy of this track!

All i’m trying to say is, i think the “scene ” is taking itself (way) too seriously. I find it very sad that once a track gets successful, the hating starts, the shitstorm spreads, the holder of the holy grail of ethical sampling embark on a bit of a crusade. There is a lot of bad music out there, and definitely far worse than “doin ya thang”. Why spend so much time on negative thoughts about it?
I’m a KDJ fan myself, but i don’t mind the vox being sampled this way. As I said I might appear a little biased -> I witnessed how oli played a tryout version of the track out on a berlin dancefloor and what an amazing impact it had that night six months before it came out. After i got the playitdown promo I played the oli track out exactly twice pre release and then never again because I got tired of the vocals pretty quick.. it worked well though. Peeps came up and were like “wow what is this”. Not random people – house music lovers with knowledge, Moodymann lovers. i play a lot of Moodymann tracks myself! Don’t get tired of them. But that’s not my point..
Nowadays everyone can make and release a track in no time, that’s why there is so much crap out there and that’s why people think of a track that’s a month old as an OLD track. (which is terrible in my opinion). The competition between djs slash producers is huge. The more there are djs slash producers out there, the more there will be sampling and resampling from old sound sources. Music and genres have become like fashion, like the fall / winter collection from 2002 is totally different than the summer collection of 2003.. dancemusically speaking, a few years ago minimal was popular, then came sth like new rave, dubstep, 90s, 80s, trumpets, tropical, blah blah. Now it’s down to slower house that sounds like it has been produced 15 years ago, music which gets produced by the SAME djs slash producers who made new rave 3 years ago. In 2012 hell knows what’s going to be popular, Happy Hardcore? But I guarantee you -> you will have slow house music producers from this year making Happy Hardcore and telling you how incredibly real and true to this style they are and always have been. You will have journalists who LOVED slow house music in 2011 absolutely hating it in 2012.

I totally get lost in all these fashions, that’s why i rarely read any reviews or magazines or blogs or check their top tracks. In some cases I follow debates, like in the case of this oli track, because i think it’s an interesting one (and because I witnessed everything from the creation of it to it being in the RA top 50 of the year).
I can only explain that to myself this way:
As boundaries between genres blur, as there is so much music out there and copyright in dancemusic is more and more loosely defined, as producers and labels see less and less of a need to pay sampled artists or their publishers money to clear samples for (mostly) digital tracks (which will in most cases sell a max of 100-200 units on beatport IF LUCKY!), the “old” and “credible” and “proven” values tend to get held onto and ideologically protected moreso.. (like in this case: KDJ). The definition of “value” of music shifts..

Mind you, it’s great to have people who do debate and think about things like ethical or unethical sampling and quality control, it’s great that there is writing and journalism about music.
(that’s why i am writing here in the first place -> I just checked out the RA top 50 2011 tracks and clicked on the LWE link @ oliver dollars track.)
On that note: reading the RA top 50, I thought that there are a lot of tracks in there i didn’t think of as meaningful as RA did.. at least to my sets.

I’m going to stop now because my plane is leaving in a couple of hours –
I had to smile after reading the last sentence of your review on LWE Anton…
because I thought to myself, that nowadays you don’t even have to save your money to go to see moodymann live, by not buying the oliver dollar track .. you can do both -> just download “doin ya thing” on zippyshare AND go and see moodymann live. 😉 full circle.

Happy 2012 :) I probably won’t check this thread anymore as i’m off to do some highly unethical sampling in the next few weeks. 😉 Thanks for this interview LWE and thanks for your review and thoughts anton. Greetings from Brooklyn

Levi Herpel  on January 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Wow good for Oliver $ to not lose his cool… who is this guy who has never made a track in his life to call out Oliver $… Critics are snobs

littlewhiteearbuds  on January 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

You must really know the guy who did the interview! Oh wait, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Max Tkacz  on February 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Oh the irony of the song title “Do Ya Thang,” but actually Mr $, do your own thang..

mdot  on March 1, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Why don’t you guy stop for a minute and look at the history of dance music. It started with drum machines and sampling. its a hot ass sample wtf do you want this guy to do chop it up like it’s a dj premiere hip hop beat? fuck you guys are waisting your time crying about bullshit, sampling is an art in which you should all respect becasue without it “house” music wouldn’t be here today. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU TALK SHIT. House music came from sampling records just like hip hop.
I think that he should’ve cleared the sample before releasing it for sale and mentioning Kenny Dixon on the release. Other than that , I’d rather hear dope house with samples that this fucking over synthesized garbage that you have to drop pills to enjoy.

anon  on March 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM

i am a founding member of the band chic and would like you all to forget about oliver $ for a moment and interview kenny dixon jr about his unethical sampling of he’s the greatest dancer in his single one night at the disco….i never got paid,he didnt do anything creative with the sample and most comments on here are basically a load of shit wrapped up in fake pseudo intellectual blankets……house music has always sampled other forms of music and sounds so there’s not much room for debate on the matter really.

littlewhiteearbuds  on March 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM


Your email address indicates you were definitely not in Chic. You can state your opinions without lying about your identity.

Gare du nord  on April 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Lol – I thought the subject of the interview was supposed to do more talking than the interviewer … Oliver did well not to call out the obvious agenda, the interviewer comes off like a wanker and just another hater

If people put as much effort Into making their own art as they do into criticizing other’s, we’d still have too many critics… Those who can, do – those who can’t, bitch about those who do haha.

None of this would have been an issue if Oliver hadn’t made money off the track, so clearly it’s not an ethical issue. It’s a commercial one – all’s well until you profit, then everyone has their hand out for a taste.

makeitgood  on August 2, 2012 at 4:20 PM

i also got the feeling that the interviewer was totally biased.. the interview was not even live, it was on the phone, so of course oliver’s answers don’t look so collected when he can’t even see the face of the person who’s attacking him. you could re-write the answers if you had a bit more sympathy or make the interview via email but of course you didn’t… also a) you say that moodyman was not ok with recording being available when someone here points out otherwise b) you say he doesnt take long cuts of samples but good example of “black mahogani” will prove you wrong… i don’t think interviews like this should even be published-its like propaganda. :/
anyway, i heard the live set and there’s A LOT of talking there. i think it takes some skill to take out the best shit and put it together like that. and the beat and chords, everything is really together, it’s a perfect puzzle. sampling has been there and will always be there. at least oliver’s honest – he makes dj tools. he is a great samples selector. he doesnt claim all parts to be his. and im cool with that. the track saved many parties for me when i played it out so for that, i’d like to thank him! and moody man is just moody. he should also be grateful for bringing a bit of hype back to him on this occasion.

Max  on September 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Good interview, but it was unnecessary to try so hard to make Oliver look bad. I mean, honestly! Oliver, big respect to ya!
-Max (Bali, Indonesia)

Fire  on January 1, 2013 at 10:37 PM

If u dont like the track dont listen to it. Stop crying like little school girls, ur not in north corea where ur forced to listn selected music, i would of never heard about moodyman if it wasnt for this song

Kappy  on January 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Used correctly as a DJ tool: http://soundcloud.com/jnglhaus/pacifico

Mariano  on June 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Hey, nobody hear that the vocal is not the only thing he sampled??
The bassline and everything else (almost everything) you hear in the track is made with Wahoo – Don’t make it personal, the last minute you can hear.


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