Archive for March, 2007

Electronic Music Resources – Ishkur’s Guide

Posted on 29 March, 2007. Filed under: Dance music, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Genres, Music, Music Genre |

Many of the people visiting this blog are probably wanting to find out more (than I currently have here) about the development of electronic music and its multitude of genres. As such, I would just like to quickly mention a site that has the most thorough ‘family-tree’ I have ever been able to find.

Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music

This site is very well-known. In fact, it was this guy that inspired me (all those years ago) to look in to the evolution of electronic music further.

This is a pretty flash-driven site and can sometimes be a little hard to reference; but if bandwidth isn’t an issue and you don’t mind a bit of animation, then I urge you to visit!!

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Generation-X sounds for Generation-Y-ers

Posted on 29 March, 2007. Filed under: beats, Dance music, DJ, Electronic Music, Music, remix |

Some musical traditionalists see the ‘remix’ as an abomination.

“Why corrupt and defile a perfectly good song with all those bleeps and rumbles!”

“Why allow the integrity of a song created by people with pure talent (using nothing more than an acoustic instrument and a brain) be destroyed by a tone-deaf, computer-using heathen?!?!”

Well, to me the ‘remix’ is just a different interpretation of a song. An interpretation that highlights the best parts of a song or improves upon its general production.

Take Devo‘s Whip It, for example. (do-do-do-do-do crack that whip! do-do-do-do-do)

It’s a corny-tuned, weird-themed little ditty with synth work straight out of the 80s. Not really a song I enjoy listening to, unless I have something else distracting me at the time.

However, deepen the bass line, bring the guitar-ey tune to the fore, reverberate some of the vocals (while still maintaining the original vocal track) and you’ve got a song I’d put on repeat! Steir and Sakurai have created a version of this song that takes advantage of the broader frequency ranges we can experience on modern sound systems. And the addition of a couple of sounds really appeals to my need-more-info-in-smaller-packages brain. It’s Generation-X sounds for the Generation Y-ers!

Give it a listen. You’ll see what I mean when the bass really kicks in at 28secs. LOOOVE IT!

Track Details: Devo – Whip It (Steir & Sakurai rmx)

If you like that, try: America – Ventura Highway (Deepsky’s Blizzard in LA rmx)

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Killa Kella – Beatboxing Bruvva

Posted on 28 March, 2007. Filed under: beatbox, beats, Dance music, DnB, Drum'n'Bass, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Artists / DJs, Electronic Music Genres, Music, Music Genre |

Being able to sing is a pretty impressive talent. Out of all the people you know, how many can actually sing on key? Maybe half, or 3 in 5… max.

How many people you know can keep a steady rhythm? Hit the symbol or block at the right time, each time? Someone’s always speeding up, slowing down or getting just off tempo.

Imagine being able to do one of those really well. Sing like you’ve had training, play the drums like you have an inbuilt metronome.

Now imagine being able to do BOTH of those really well and AT THE SAME TIME. “She’s talkin’ crazy talk!”

Well, I’m gonna go really loco here…
What about doing BOTH of those things, at the SAME time, with NOTHING but your voice and a microphone.

Beatboxing is one of the most amazing skills I have ever come across. And seeing someone do it right in front of you is even more impressive. I was lucky enough to see Killa Kella when he came to Perth a few months ago and he totally knocked my socks off. My lower jaw has never hung so close to the ground.

Some of my fave beatboxing tunes are:
Killa Kella – Check One
Rahzel – If Your Mother Only Knew
Roni Size – In Tune With The Sound (feat. Rahzel)

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Freq Nasty – Freq’n Awesome!!

Posted on 28 March, 2007. Filed under: beats, booty breaks, Breakbeat, breaks, Dance music, DJ, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Artists / DJs, funk breaks, Music, nu skool breaks, remix |

Freq Nasty is one of those DJs that can make even the most dodgy song sound wikkid.

Take, for example, Kelis’s ‘Milkshake’ – a rather bland vanilla excuse for a woman to sit in a milkbar, shake her boobs and “sing” in innuendos. No strong bass lines, no catchy tune, no wonderful voice control, just a couple of annoying lines that seem to get stuck in your head.

That is until Freq Nasty (aka. Mr Darin McFadyen) gets his hands on it. Within 15 seconds of starting the song, a beat comes in that promises something special. Introduce a little synth work and then drop the heavy, tuned bass drops.

And he doesn’t just put random rumbles here and there; overlay a previously recorded sample and loop it over the top of the track repeatedly. He works with and in to the tunes, not stripping them too far back from their original style.

Add to that some fantastic vocals by Spoonface (haven’t heard an MC as good as him in awhile), and you have one funky, ‘gotta-move-some-part-of-my-body’ piece of toonage.

Track Details: Kelis – Milkshake (FreQ Nasty’s Hip Hall Mix)

If you like that, try:  Freq Nasty – Come Let Me Know (feat. Rodney P)

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Leftfield – genre mashup

Posted on 25 March, 2007. Filed under: Ambient, beats, Dance music, Down Tempo, downtempo, dub, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Artists / DJs, Electronic Music Genres, Electronica, House, house music, Music, Music Genre, progressive, Techno |

During dinner a little while ago, I dragged out Leftfield‘s Leftism album. I love it. It particularly suits any down tempo kind of activity (eg. dinner, study, sleep, work).

Anyway, I was asked what genre it was. Well, at first I thought ‘down tempo/tech’. But then again, it’s kind of ‘dub-ey’. And is ‘down tempo’ even used any more? Isn’t it more ‘ambient’?

Well, here is how the style of Leftfield has been described:

“Electronica artists who were pioneers in the field of intelligent dance music and progressive house. Were the first to fuse house, dub and reggae. Their down tempo style inspired the genre recognised purely as ‘leftfield’ (also known as ‘chillout’).

The album Leftism is said to be a blend of dub, breakbeat, and techno especially called “UK-dub”.

Laaarvley! I realise it’s probably a bit of an ask (and a slack-arsed one at that) to have each artist fit nicely in to a specific genre, but what I WOULD like to have are set specs for the styles – something universal and consistent.

In the meantime, I guess I’m just going to have to sit back and enjoy. Oh, it’s a hard life…

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The ever-spreading branches of the electronic music tree…

Posted on 23 March, 2007. Filed under: Dance music, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Genres, Music, Music Genre |

One of the questions I find most difficult to answer when it comes to dance or electronic music is “what style of music is that?”. Gone are the days of being able to call anything “tech” and get away with it.

I’ve been attempting to put together a comprehensive “family tree” of electronic music. It’s starting to look more like a warren of epic proportions, dug by a rabbit on speed.

What’s also difficult is defining the exact elements of each style and from there placing different pieces of music in to the particular style groups.

So, like any good member of the virtual community, I turned to Wikipedia for some sort of directional framework. Unfortunately, they’re about as far as I am with getting it all in to some sort of order.

It seems electronic music can be broadly defined as follows:
early experimental and classical styles (electronic art music, musique concrète)
industrial and synth pop styles of the 1980s
general dance styles (eg. italo disco, techno, house, trance, electro, breakbeat, jungle, drum and bass, Gabber)
general experimental styles (IDM, glitch, Breakcore, trip-hop)

While I don’t know if I completely agree with this categorisation, it’s a useful starting point for getting your head around the jungle (no pun intended) that is electronic music.

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Electronic Music Genre (R)Evolution

Posted on 23 March, 2007. Filed under: Dance music, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Genres, Music, Music Genre |

I have been listening to electronic music for as long as I can remember. The first CD single I ever laid my hands on was Guru Josh – Infinity (which I realise came out yonks after the likes of The Orb etc etc). I know I’m showing my (young) age when I say this, but I used to groove to the likes of Euphoria and Heaven 17 during my early primary school days.

I used to plough my way through my parents old records, listening to jazz-fusion groups like Focus, who were part of a wave of artists beginning to introduce synth and electronic sound manipulation to their music.

In my mind, the late 80s to the late 90s were THE decade for electronic music. Sure, we had musicians such as Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Vangelis, Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre, who popularised the sound of electronic music, appearing around the 1970’s. And I in no way disagree with that.

But it was in the late 80’s and early 90’s that we started to see the likes of The Prodigy, Orbital and Underworld bubbling up from the raving underground. This was my style of music and, in my opinion, music that laid the foundations for the absolute plethora of genres we have today.

Anyone who has seen the growth and diversification of electronic music over the last 20 or so years has witnessed one of the most amazing evolutions in musical history. The development of the synthesizer and, indeed, the creation of electronically manipulated sound itself was a revolution. An event that spawned a whole new aural experience for the world at large; an event that I will always be grateful for.

Thank you Mr Moog.

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Hi! My name is Kate.

Posted on 7 March, 2007. Filed under: Dance music, Electronic Music |

Helloooo. My name is Kate and this is my first real foray in to the world of ‘blogging’. Personally, I think the word sounds a little too gross to be considered a world-wide phenomenon, but I’m willing to give it a bash!

I think I am going to primarily use this blog to write down random opinions on things, and learn how this whole world of virtual-ness ticks (or doesn’t, as the case may be).

 Given my new-ness, please be patient with me. In the world of blogging, I’m only liddle!

Kate

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  • For all your electronic music qualms and queries!

    Come inside, have a look around!

    The aim of this space is to create a (relatively) comprehensive framework for electronic music - its development and evolution.

    I hope YOU will contribute with questions, random bits of info and opinions.

  • Stuck for a style? Let me know!
  • Have I missed something? Add it in!
  • Does my opinion seem completely warped? Flip it 'round!
  • Basically, in the words of a very wise and noble group of artists...

    "EVERY BODY DANCE NOW!!!"

  • Twitten’ On

  • Operation: Evolution of Electronic Music

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