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Toronto Sun

Decline of the Jedi Knights

"And now," to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first Star Wars installment, "the Jedi Knights are all but extinct. "

So it goes that on the eve of The Phantom Menace, there really are no Jedis anymore.

Especially not after George Lucas' Empire was through with them.

As Liam Howlett, main man behind U.K. techno outfit The Prodigy, explains, you should never take without asking.

"I always ask permission before sampling other people's records," Howlett told me during a recent discussion about his new remix album, Prodigy Presents: The Dirtchamber Vol. One. "You have to cover your ass. "

Sadly, that's just what a London electro group called The Jedi Knights forgot to do when they went after Howlett for nicking a sample from their record and using it on Prodigy's 1997 album, The Fat Of The Land.

"There's a track called Traumatized where I lifted a track off The Jedi Knights," Howlett explained. "I recognized the loop from this old '70s group, The Incredible Bongo Band, so I took it. In no time The Jedi Knights were on the phone: 'You sampled our beats.' 'No I didn't, you've lifted this from somewhere else.'

"I searched for about a month. I had to find out because they wanted to sue us. I found a copy of The Incredible Bongo Band's album, and there it was -- the loop, lifted straight off a track called Bongolia.

"So, my man from our label, XL, went over to America, bought the rights for the track, and we told The Jedi Knights we were going to sue them! Y'know, just to freak them out.

"The Jedi Knights later caught into trouble with George Lucas over their name. I felt a bit sorry for them.

"It shows you've got to be careful. "

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