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What's that sound? Experimental hip hop track samples Vancouver's SkyTrain

The SkyTrain shows up on all sorts of tracks in music history, actually.
Several groups including Californian experimental hip hop group Death Grips have sampled Vancouver's SkyTrain in songs.

Death Grips have been a part of the experimental hip-hop world for more than a decade.

The Sacremento group doesn't have a lot of mainstream success but has carved out a solid following including former vampire Robert Pattinson, one of the guys behind English rockers Kasabian, and, apparently for a time, David Bowie.

Given their location, it seems pretty unlikely they'd use Vancouver's transit system as a sample on their debut album, but "System Blower" exists, and, in it, the unmistakable whine of a Mark I SkyTrain car can be heard.

While other transit systems use the same cars, Vancouver's system is the one often cited as the source of the sound.

The sound is most often heard by users of the SkyTrain system, but "System Blower" has been heard millions of times, so it's the second most common place people hear it.

While it appears that's the most popular, and unusual, place to hear the SkyTrain "sound" sampled there are several songs that do so. Most are pieces by local bands.

The SkyTrain shows up in several Vancouver bands' songs

For example, local indie band Young and Sexy also used a sample, also on their debut. It's the intro for the song "The City You Live In Is Ugly" from 2002.

And just a couple of years later, another indie band, Winston, used a similar sample for "Long Way from the Wrong Way."

Of course, there's Emotionz "Skytrain" (warning: NSFW lyrics) which not only samples the SkyTrain but is also mostly about trips and activities on the transit system.

A couple of years ago, local solo artist Steve Jensen joined the unlikely group with his ode to a woman he'd seen on transit called "Skytrain Babe" which includes some of the most lovelorn bus and train-related lyrics to date.

Oh, you want an example? How about: "I've got a ticket to ride, your one-zone stop, my three-zone love, dying on the inside."

There's also A Carriz's "Sky Train" which really is a remix of A-Trak's remix of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's Heads Will Roll mixed with the Skytrain's chimes and other pieces. Skip to the 29-second mark to catch the sample.

Other songs go further than intergrating a sound bite, and instead use the sounds and chimes as the basis of the track. Steve Pridgeon made a dark, synth-filled track (which transitions to something that sounds like a Dr. Who theme song).

And, a decade ago, IFHT Films produced the short film Sampled Vancouver which uses sounds from across the city to create Avicii's "Levels."

However, perhaps the most unlikely place to hear something from the SkyTrain is an episode of My Little Pony spin-off Equestria Girls, but yes, that's a thing.