This site is supported by Nobility Studios.

electronic music

7 posts in this topic

Posted

This came up in chat. I was surprised scotty and david didn't know what "EDM" or electronic music was at all, dafuq? I just assumed everyone on the internet has heard it lol.

It's hard to explain what electronic music is... it's evolved so damn much, and genre-creation in the electronic music world is ridiculous. Now that electronic music has gone mainstream, and we're in the midst of a tech-savvy/internet-savvy/remix culture, the music evolves so fast and there's an unbelievable volume of fucking songs being made all the time.

I hate genre labeling personally. It's full of elitist/pretentious bullshit to be honest. And I will shy away from any argument about what a genre is, exactly, and what song should be pidgeon-holed in which genre(s).

Does electronic music require 0 talent to make? I'm not sure how to answer that. The process by which a typical electronic music track is made is quite different to ... songwriting when you're playing in a band or something.

One of my good friends, when we were in junior high, we downloaded fruity loops, a popular software suite among amateurs for all kinds of mixing and sound creation. Now, this guy had several years of experience playing the piano, and a few years playing the guitar and was well acquainted with music theory. He was no noob to music. Even though we worked together, we never made anything good, it all sucked. I tried really hard to learn and he taught me some basic music theory. Sometimes we spent an entire weekend trying to come up with something, and barely getting a single layer worth keeping. It just didn't compare to a professional production at all.

People who aren't familiar with electronic music don't understand the extreme patience required to learn and familiarize yourself with the software (it's VERY complex...), and usually they don't notice how much is happening in the song, and therefore it's just a blur of sound and it's like, "wtf anyone can do this". Professional producers use hardware in conjunction with some software suite btw.

I recommend a high quality pair of headphones while listening to electronic music, as well as 320kbps mp3s if possible.

Here's armin van buuren and ferry corsten working on a song:

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEl0k5PFEgQ[/hidden]

You're right, learning what all the buttons do on a software program is nothing like mastering an instrument say. But, I mean... even then, you could say the instrument is the computer.

At the end of the day, the limit is not the tool, but the human. Make sense?

First, I would recommend checking out this link: http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/

This goes through the history of electronic music through roughly the mid 00s.

Why are all the kids these days loving this kind of music suddenly? It all started with dubstep exploding in popular on the internet around 2008 I'd say?, which coincided with rave culture becoming mainstream IMO. Promoters finally figured out how to successfully market the music to a wider audience or something. I believe certain pop music started to incorporate electronic dance music elements into their music. You started hearing the music played in advertisements and what-not, and almost overnight it became the new cool thing.

It's about the loud music, the droning thump-thump at a party, it's easy to dance to, it's new and constantly evolving, there's a massive variety of sound for any mood and situation, it's cool as shit and the music of the 21st century. What's not to love? It doesn't matter whether or not someone has "talent", it's about the music, the fun, the moment, the beauty itself. Let's not pedestalize artists and musicians too much, but just enjoy the fruits of their labor, however that labor came to be. Why get into a dick-measuring contest about who has more talent than another?

I was born in 1990, I've been listening to some kind of electronic music since I was 8 or 9, and my exposure to electronic music was fairly limited until about 13ish when I really started seeking out new music on the internet.

I used to listen to a radio station in my area that played cheesy commercial dance music when I was 9, and they occasionally broadcasted live from a nightclub that was playing house/trance music.

Here's an example. Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the Sky

[hidden]

[/hidden]

This was the shit man, back in the day... LOL. I'm getting tears listening to this again. When this track came out at the turn of the millenium, this was the music of the future to me. Pure magic and energy.

When I first got internet access at about age 11, I looked up producers I heard on the radio. I listened to a ton of vocal trance tracks similar to castles in the sky and lots of cheesy commercial dance.

Here's some modern vocal trance from 3 big names. Definitely one of the most beautiful tracks I've ever heard.

Vast Vision feat. Fisher - Everything (Aly & Fila remix)

[hidden]

[/hidden]

When I was 13ish, I discovered www.di.fm, which opened up a whole new world to me of many different kinds of styles.

There's too many, jump around on youtube and listen to random stuff in the related videos. I don't wanna get into it too much. The following is the sort of music I enjoy these days.

Here's some trance. Just pure, uplifting, powerful trance.

RAM - RAMsterdam (Jorn van Deynhoven remix)

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Tech Trance.

Orjan Nilsen - Arctic Globe (W&W remix)

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Full-on psychedelic trance.

Electric Universe - Bodhisattva

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Drum n Bass

Rameses B - Visionary

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Progressive House

Reverse - Absolute Reality (Arty remix)

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Progressive House (I guess)

Mat Zo & Porter Robinson - Easy

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Disco House

Swing Kings - Sledging

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Electro Swing

Jamie Berry - Delight

[hidden]

[/hidden]

Electro

Mord Fustang - Lick the Rainbow

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wkC8vWbFm8[/hidden]

I believe Savant is the one who said, "Fuck genres.", therefore I will not pidgeonhole him.

Savant - Wildstyle

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25_gj_ZswCs[/hidden]

Ya you all know what dubstep is...

A small mix of dubstep.

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF_ISeT6On4/hidden]

Ambient/Space

Tired of the noisy shit above? Relax and sleep to this.

Jeff Scott Castle - The Stars Will Guide Us Home

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsa8qWNJsDc[/hidden]

If you would like to discover more music falling under "ambient" and "chillout" with a psychedelic twist, check out this channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiqS_owY45Eht0_zqXBZ4hg

If you want more pure space/ambient with absolutely no beats or drums or anything, you need Stellardrone.

[hidden]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0mz6ZmDDNs[/hidden]

MrSuicideSheep's channel is the go-to for chill shit. https://www.youtube.com/user/MrSuicideSheep

Browse around, see what you like, jump related videos on youtube and discover new stuff. There's tons and tons of channels on youtube of just music like this.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hmm.... I might go and check a few of those out.

I got into the electronic music around 1972 or 73 (I would have been 13 or 14). German underground (at that time) bands like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh were in vogue and of course, there was good old Frank Zappa. From there, I discovered the great-great grand daddies of electro - Stockhausen and Xenakis. I was excited by their use of electronics to open up completely new (non-pop) esthetics. When pop electronic turned back to electronic pop in the mid 70s (think Giorgio Moroder & Kraftwerk), I was unimpressed because so much of it was essentially just conventional pop songs played on synthesizers. There have been a few electro pop acts I've liked since - e.g. Aphex Twin and Autechre, but even they are probably dinosaurs by now.

Meanwhile, Stockhausen and Xenakis seem as real to me now as they ever did. For Stock, I'd recommend the fully electronic version of Kontakte, Telemusik and Oktophonie. There are some great bits in Hymnen, but the whole thing is huge.

For Mr X, I'd recommend Bohor, Persepolis, S.709 and Gendy3.

In either case, it's best to understand these pieces in the context of their other compositions for acoustic instruments/voices. Their esthetics are not specifically electronic. Rather unapologetically modernist. They eschew pop and classical (and jazz and folk...). In fact, they eschew genre altogether.

I actually dabble in electro a little bit myself (soundcloud.com/earcam). Just a few crappy little sketches there. ('dfr' stands for 'dead fingers rot', the working title of my forthcoming electronic opera on Bill Burroughs and the killing of Joan Vollmer. Just don't hold your breath waiting.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Dude.

I listened to Tangerine Dream's album Phaedra... Damn man. I'm surprised that sound existed back then lol.

It's not something I would listen to casually, for entertainment, but it's interesting. I'll be honest, the biggest reason is because I'm spoiled by the modern computer which can produce extremely clean, perfect digital sounds, and of an utterly massive variety. I'm a spoiled Generation Y.

The mood and style and the actual sounds in Phaedra are very close to a type of ambient/chillout/downtempo I love.

I grew up listening to upbeat, happy/positive music, so I usually don't like dark sounds, unless it feels mysterious and dreamlike, like in a lot of space music. Know what I mean? haha.

Like, some of the sounds used in Phaedra felt really grating to me, but overall it's close to what I like.

Carbon Based Lifeforms & Stellardrone capture that mystery and dream feeling perfectly... When I listen to that music, I feel like going on an adventure through stars and nebulae and galaxies and intergalactic voids and alien worlds and starlight over landscapes untouched by civilization full of mystery and wonder.

Fuuuuck dude.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

When I listen to that music, I feel like going on an adventure through stars and nebulae and galaxies and intergalactic voids and alien worlds and starlight over landscapes untouched by civilization full of mystery and wonder.

Fuuuuck dude.

And yet, now that you have the chance, you don't want to work your way up to be an astronaut: Michio the Martian. :wtf:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's not that I'm completely unfamiliar about this music, it's just that I'm of an older generation to which this music doesn't really speak.

It was actually a pretty interesting chat, we covered early rock, classical, jazz, opera, ragtime, 19th century music (modern recordings of which can be heard online; Civil War-era music was just out of this world), reggae, disco, etc. However, :michio: and I agreed on key points: disdain of modern pop music (Lady Gaga, hiphop, etc.) and an appreciation for Pink Floyd. :yup: Too bad Norman Swartz no longer posts; he was a classical music aficionado.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for the links, I’ll definitely have a listen. :) Every once in a while I hear a piece of electronic music I like and, excited, I go looking for more songs in hopes of finding a new genre to explore. I haven’t been successful so far, but you never know.

I find I do better with purely instrumental electronic music: manipulated vocals are very hard to get into. (Of course, everything we listen to nowadays has undergone serious editing—what I mean is the choppy or robotic-sounding voices.)

What I mainly grew up with was classical music, as well as whatever happened to be on the radio at the time. Even then, I was mostly indifferent to the latter. My younger self seems to have had a very strong preference for minor keys. :violin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Of course, everything we listen to nowadays has undergone serious editing—what I mean is the choppy or robotic-sounding voices.

This is where I deviate from some people who don't care for contemporary music. I grew up on electronic music, and all vocals are heavily edited and sampled. Despite the fact that I like certain singers in electronic music, I've never heard their real voice, because I know the producer has heavily edited it to sound good.

But this isn't like pop music where auto-tune is a thing. I don't hear that generic auto-tune sound in electronic music. The singers do know how to sing, but contemporary electronic music is characterized by digital perfection. The producer will strive to make everything perfect.

The voice is edited so that it becomes another instrument in the song, it's not the focus of the song. When I listen to electronic music, the vocal samples don't feel human to me, it is on the same level as all the other sounds in the song. The lyrics can even be totally nonsensical or indecipherable, but it's fine, as long as it sounds good. Even in vocal trance, I feel that the function of the vocals is to provide texture to the overall track.

I don't listen to electronic music to admire musical talent or listen to genius lyrics.

Does it sound enjoyable to me? If the answer is yes, I consider it a good track.

This isn't limited to electronic music, but I think electronic music culture has more of a populist character to it than other popular music cultures. In particular, there aren't many "rock stars" in electronic music.

I wasn't around at the time, but I heard that in the 80s/90s, the underground house music scene was the epitome of this populist ideal. You would go to these nightclubs that played house and the focus was on the dance floor and the music. You often never even saw or knew who the DJ was.

You wanna be famous? Get your ass up there and dance. Now you too can be rock star.

Only recently with electronic music going mainstream did the rock star persona on the big stage come back. Go to any large electronic music festival these days, and you have famous producers on the big stage, and everyone's bodies are pointed toward the stage, the DJ, not toward each other. People who are 30+ years old that have been in the electronic scene a long time lament this state of affairs.

Anyway, I think contemporary electronic music is still very populist and also... depersonalized?

(1) low barrier of entry, all you need is a half-decent computer which everyone has these days and you can make a great song if you work hard, you don't need a full band, just yourself

(2) ease of music distribution (soundcloud, youtube etc.), a lot of electronic music artists enjoy distributing their music for free and don't care too much about money

(3) streaming sites like to promote amateur producers and DJs

(4) mixing and remixing is big, people are cool with you modifying their song and releasing the remix, just put "your_artist_name remix", a lot of electronic music artists are friends with each and share ideas and music

(5) there is a massive torrent of good music, and many of these artists are completely faceless... I've heard hundreds of good artists and I have no idea who these people are. Most of them have an artist name or a fictional persona rather than attaching their name to their music.

(6) one-hit wonders, you don't have to create a full album and sign onto a label to get your name out there, make a single good song and it might get blown up online

(7) the vast majority of electronic music producers don't play an actual instrument in their songs, it is programmed, therefore there isn't a culture of talent, this causes people to focus more on the music than the person who made the song... they may use a MIDI controller or something, but this is different than a band of instruments being completely controlled by humans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now