dub

Educational Remix

Posted on 13 May, 2008. Filed under: chillout, Dance music, dub, Dubstep, Electro, Electronic Music, Electronic Music Genres, hard trance, house music, Music, Music Genre, rave, remix, Techno, Trance, Uncategorized |

Understanding the unique components of a style of electronic or dance music can be pretty hard, especially if you aren’t familiar with many (or any) other styles of electronic music.

For me, one of the easiest ways to figure out what makes a particular style is by comparison. I listen to a song I know well (particularly something not electronic or dancey) then listen to a remixed version of it.

For example, one non-dance song I was really into in the mid-90’s was a song by Arkarna, called ‘The Future’s Overrated’. Due to my lack of fundage at the time, all I could afford was the single. A few singles of this song came out, each with a few different remixes – my favourite being Amethyst’s Past, Present and Future Mix.

Around this time, I wasn’t particularly familiar with many styles of electronic music. I knew basic tech and listened to the more commercial stuff like Snap, C&C Music Factory, The Prodigy etc etc. I hadn’t come across much progressive electro trance stuff. This remix was a great intro. It helped pique my interest in those styles and was the start of my journey in to chill-out and trance.

Knowing the original version helped highlight the slower, more atmospheric sound of trance, as well as the synthetic beat/tune sounds and resonating, floatey vocals. *sigh* Beeeeyaddaful…

Track details: Arkarna – The Future’s Overrated (Amethyst’s Past, Present and Future Mix)

Also have a listen to:
Justin Timberlake – My Love (RYF Dubstep Remix)
Beverly Hills Cop – Axel F (Hard Trance Remix)

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What is dubstep?

Posted on 20 February, 2008. Filed under: ambient dub, chillout, Dance music, dub, dub techno, Dubstep, Electronic Music, Music, Music Genre, sub dub, UK Garage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Last year I came across some music that quite caught my fancy. I’m not sure if it was the smooth hypnotic feel it gave me or the waves of bass, but I LIKED IT! It had the smooth, sustained feeling of dub-ey reggae but with bass lines that couldn’t help but evoke  a little movement of the hips.  The sound was Dubstep… makes sense really.

Dub is a form of Jamaican music, which evolved out of reggae in 1960s Jamaica. The dub sound is usually accomplished by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and adding extensive echo and reverb effects, and occasional snippets of lyrics from the original version.

Dubstep is a genre of electronic music which has its roots in London’s early 2000s UK garage scene. The genre’s name was coined by Ammunition Promotions. Musically, dubstep is distinguished by its dark mood, sparse rhythms, and emphasis on bass. In late 2005 and early 2006, dubstep steadily became more popular, expanding beyond small, local scenes thanks to coverage in music magazines such as The Wire, as well as the internet. Interest in dubstep grew after BBC Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs began championing the genre, devoting a show to it, entitled “Dubstep Warz”, in January 2006. By October 2006, the genre was being covered by the Daily Telegraph, which wrote of “the latest development in British dance music… yet another sound stemming from London’s garage scene, a bass-heavy instrumental form rather confusingly known as Dubstep.”

Big thanks must go to radio program RTR FM, Underground Solution. Without shows like this we wouldn’t have exposure to so many awesome and ear-opening sounds. It’s programs and radio stations like these that make for a richer, more rounded community.

In general, these ‘alternative’ radio DJ jobs can probably seem a little thankless, so THANK YOU to all those guys who sit behind a mic, in often cold and empty radio studios, at excessively random hours of the night, talking to no-one yet sharing their fantastic love with so many people.

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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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