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Thread: Electronic music discussion

  1. #1
    Commodore of Water Music
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    Electronic music discussion

    OK, time to talk about some of the modern stuff

    First of all, here is a definition of electronic music .

    What do you think about electronic music? Do you like it and do you feel that it has contributed to the musical development?

    I know there are many different types of electronic music, but can you try to point out your favourite types of music within the genre?
    When are you listening to electronic music? Only at parties/clubbing or also at home?

    I feel that electronic music is a nice alternative to the acoustic scene and the possibilities within eletronic music are endless! Of course, the really great tracks occur when electronic equipment and acoustic instruments are put together!

    The kind of electronical music that I favour are therefore often a blend between electronic and acoustic elements. These are my favourite genres:

    Ambient and Chill-out: Especially the Cafe Del Mar compilation CD's have caught my attention. The music is so relaxing and that type of music is a good example of the interaction between electronic and acoustic instruments.

    Trip Hop: Haven't actually been listening to that much, but I love a british group called "Lamb". Their percussion and drum programming are the most original I have ever heard and they are also focused on putting a lot of classical and religious elements into their music, which I fancy quite alot.

    House: One of the big electronic genres. I like the Deep House and Electro House. This type of music is a bit more "purely electronical", so to speak, in comparison to Ambient/Chill-out and Trip Hop. There are alot of house artist that I really like: Roger Sanchez, Martin Solveig, Junior Jack, Jon Cutler and the list goes on and on


    But please tell me about your perspectives towards electronic music

  2. #2
    Rear Admiral of O Theatre & the 4 - 1 + a few more Jette's Avatar
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    I used to listen to it all the time but not anymore, but I still enjoy listening to it at home.
    I´m very fond of Killer by Adamski, I`m not quite sure how to categories it (I wouldn`t call it techno)
    Techno is the genre in electronic music, I listen to most. I like the chaos and the weird loud noises
    Some of the groups I like are The shamen, The hypnotist, Acen and Quadrophonia.
    But my 2 favorite groups are Altern 8 and T99 their music is really chaotic and full of weird loud noises and many people would probably consider it as loud awful noise , but I find it very relaxing listening to

    Jette

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    Commodore of Water Music
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    Hi Jette,


    I don't really know any of the artist you have mentioned, sorry... Is it the really hard techno stuff?

    When I want to listen to some monotone music, I normally listen to melodic trance. That kind of music is strongly influenced by classical music in terms of melody and build-up. You should try to listen to some of it
    A dutch classical musician, Benno De Goij, went from composing classical music to melodic trance and you can really hear the calssical influences in his tracks. It's great music!

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    Rear Admiral of O Theatre & the 4 - 1 + a few more Jette's Avatar
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    The reason why you don`t know any of the artist are probably because the cd`s I have with them are 10-15 years old , so I don´t even know if they still excist.
    I don´t know if I would categories it as hard techno, I would say it´s some mellow tunes suddenly mixed with hardcore techno tunes or the other way around, it´s difficult to describe, but it´s like you travel back and forward between heaven and hell ( peace and chaos) .

    I do like the song Angelica by Lamb, the rest I don´t know. But I will try to check out Benno De Gonj

    I forgot to mention So real by Love decade, I also like that, it´s a mix between pop and techno with some nice piano tunes

    You can hear a little bit of killer if you go to TDC music, search for Seal (that´s the guy singing on the track) choice the single version, maybe you even know the song, it was a big hit ( after I done some thinking , I would say this one is electronic pop)

    jette

  5. #5
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    Hi RV,

    Am not entirely thrilled by electronica. I find too many instances that showcase the mechanised possibilities contained therein instead of genuine creativity (I think you have heard the recomendation "use this or that sequencer it can do this and that"- stupid; I want to do it my self) Its really a shame because electronica, if used correctly can be an enhanced platform for creative contemporary artists.

    I am though fascinated by artist that either employ both analogue and electronica or use electronica in a structured old school fashion. It adds warmth to the music.

    Favourite genre would be ambient/chill with either ethnic inclinations or loungey music strapped on a jazzy tip

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster Teo's Avatar
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    PROFESSIONAL NOISE

    HiRune,

    Great topic! I hope I don't get into trouble with my reply... I am a "turncoat" on electronica. I grew up on it. Played Clavinet with Wah-Wah for years, Moogs, Rolands, Yamaha and even tweaked some tones on synthesizers.. boyo this is like a confession!

    I used phase-shifters including Flanger, Chorus, Wah in all types of configurations... even had a left-right pan set to the tempo of my drum machine making wild oscillations...

    Now (thank heavens!!!) I have a "sponsor" who is letting me learn classical piano. I'll never be the same.

    Once I saw Opera and true vocal soloists NEVER USING ANY ELECTRONICS I realized how "fake" all the mike-caressing musicians are. I'm sorry but it seems completely true! People create such beautiful sound, with no electronics, and fill huge halls!

    I have even come to realize that no electric piano is really as good as a real piano. The damper pedal changes the tone by having only one string played instead of 2 or 3. I keep the damper pedal down (trying to be Chopin-quiet) and RELEASE it for volume. Between that and heavy use of the sustain pedal I feel my feet are playing as much as my fingers! I now see that this is REAL MUSIC, a real art, requiring lots of skill and finesse.

    I don't even tell all my huge circles of buddies in the old syles I used to play about what I realize now, it would just make enemies!

    I think electronic instruments are EXCELLENT as composing and practicing tools. Like a metronome, excellent for practicing. When groups replace real musicians with sequencers and drum machines I think that is really sad though. Beethoven could have used (while he could hear) sequencers and heard symphonies before putting it all on paper like he had to back then. And I am completely embarassed that most all of my old songs use dumb-machines (pun intended) even though I used every trick to make them "expressive" and realistic sounding.

    Why not use real musicians? Real instruments? I think electronica is to blame for how people think nowadays. Since calculators no one can do fraction math! Really! It is the same. With arpeggiator buttons people feel it is useless to learn multi-octave runs on instruments, and of course studio recording means you never have to play a whole song. Just like crutches are great for disabled people, cheating tools are fine in some cases, but it is a sad day that people would rather hear talentless toys than well read and practiced artists who carry on age-old traditions of beauty and pleasing skills.

    Just my 2 cents. May people appreciate the hard working craftsmen and not just the gadjets. Amen.

    Love and light being, Teo Do (Re, Mi, Fa...)

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    Re: PROFESSIONAL NOISE

    hmm.. not quite agreeing with you on this matter. I would actually go as far as saying it is a b******t generalisation.

    When it comes to creativity there is no right or wrongs.. sometime using electronic sounds can be the easy way out, but you get your results after what instruments or digital cords you use. Personally I'm a big sucker for the combination of these 2.. but my taste is subjective. There is music that works best when it is only real instrument being put to use and other examples where the music all in all have to be electronic..

    It would be the same as when I paint digitally that someone comes over to me and say that this is not a real picture unless I've painted it with oil on a canvas..

    It is the disgussion that comes up each time something new surfaces.. think of some of the first accusations that came against cars.. not that they later led to a very corrupt oil industry and nasty world leaders which should be hanged, but that is a complete other disgussion..

    It would be a shame if Beethoven had used a synthesizer to play his works on.. and it would propably have sounded silly if Kraftwerk, Bauhaus or so used a harp or an organ..

    Each different type of style, type of instruments have its own way to work.. yes.. it is not the same, it is something different.

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    Re: PROFESSIONAL NOISE

    I think generally electronics have had a pretty positive effect on music. When it all comes down to it, they essentially just add more options for a music-maker. And I don't think we could say a blanket statement that this is a good or a bad thing, it really comes down to context - I mean, for a start, 'electronic music' could cover anything from Stockhausen to Aphex Twin.

    These days anyone with a couple of thousand dollars can start making and recording their own music. This is great for musicians, but unfortunately a whole lot of non-musicians are realising how easy it is to make a 'hit' (especially with programs like Reason), and so there is a lot of bad music around. But I guess this isn't that different to non-musicians deciding that guitar is cool so they're going to have a go.

    Anyway, like Rune, I'd generally go for electronic music that also has an acoustic element. There are lots of great bands mixing it up and resulting in some amazing sounds. For example:
    Mum (Icelandic group incorporating such odd sounds as accordion and banjo with their electronics)
    Cinematic Orchestra (pretty jazzy group with subtle use of electronics)
    Gauche (Australian band throwing all sorts of things into the mix)

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster Teo's Avatar
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    Forgive me you all if I sounded too negative...
    I think I was mainly replying to the exact question Rune asked:
    What do you think about electronic music? Do you like it and do you feel that it has contributed to the musical development?
    I can't see all the posts while I'm in this reply screen, but I think I agree with some of you that there are real advantages to the tools (or toys) that we have available to us nowadays.

    Drum machines and sequencers and the like are awesome for practice, or to make tapes for instruction or to show someone arrangements. I think it a travesty when those tools REPLACE real living, practicing, tradition-carrying-on musicians.

    To specifically answer Rune's question, I remember "I'm Only Human" by ... Eurithmics? Well that is the first "song" that I remember where there is one, count them one, drum machine pattern through the whole song! Granted it is a very creative and "alive" drum machine pattern, but I feel sorry for a drummer who is told to "play it just like the song," may he survive the boredom!

    I don't know if I was inspired by this topic, but 2 days ago I recorded in the computer a classical song I played on a keyboard I have, yes, electronic, and I don't know what this proves about if I really "hate" electronic music, or embrace it? I really dunno!!!

    http://givnology.com/groupee/forums/...mandance01.mp3

    Trying to be specific on the question of the topic: I think electronic music has great potential, and also allows too much opportunity to overlook the traditions and skills so many hard working artists strive to keep alive. IT IS A MIXED BAG.

    Balance and harmony 2 u all, Teo Do (Re, Mi, Fa...)

  10. #10
    Commodore of Water Music
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    Thank you all for some very thorough posts... nice to see a debate of a genre that really has pushed the limits within compostion, as well as perfomance of music!

    Jette -> I'm glad that you have picked up on Lamb - Angelica... truly a fascinating track that also illustrates the possibilities of combining "off beat" melodies (i.e. the piano theme - originally from Debussy - Clair de Lune) and the rythmical aspects in terms of, for example, percussion.

    AM:PM -> I tend to agree with you. It is common that the same hardware and/or software setup is installed in many studios. Though, we have to remember that, when talking about composing electronic music, the level of knowlegde required before you can begin to write/produce music is somewhat higher than in other genres. If you, for example, wish to compose classical music, you more less only need to know how to play a single instrument, while when it comes to electronic music, the instrumental setup is somewhat more difficult. It requires knowlegde of hardware and software and this knowlegde can more or less only come from other peoples experiences.
    In other words you are more DEPENDENT on external knowlegde if you want to compose electronic music. When this is said, I definately agree with you that the processing of knowlegde is way too absolute! Many young producers are often told "use this and use that" and it seems like the sound of their music is being determined by the choice of hardware! This is also the case, but I feel than when these young prducers gain 2-3 years experience they learn to develope their "own sound" and artistic expression...

    Teo -> Thank you for sharing your point of view - even though you knew that your opinion would be questioned
    It is quite interesting that you started out playing electronic and then turned to the classical style.
    I also reckon the "pure" sound of classical music and it is important to realize that this particular sound hardly can be produced with electronic equipment. When this is said I think it is important to look at the objective of the respective styles of music. It is my belief that the "dirty" and "rough" sound of the electronic music always have been intended! Many people like this sound platform where all the instruments are not sounding 100% clear and pure. It adds an underground and clubby feel to the tracks. When you go to a club to dance you probably also expect some sort of synthetic music with lots of filters and effects to enhance the clubbing experience! This is the purpose of electronic music and filters, flangers and blips and blops
    I hope you understand my point! It seems like the sound of classical music are more to your likeings (I can only applaude that, by the way )

    Priest -> I agree with you. Creativity can consist of anything, anywhere! Actually I think that electronic music is the style of music that is the most experimental. If you listen to for example Aphex Twin, you can really see some limits being pushed to absolute borderline! That kind of music can almost be categorized as "audio art"... Personally, I don't like to listen to so extreme experimental "music" as it, in my ears, seems like random samples being put together in random order!!! And you are right, there are still alot of prejudices when speaking to the common man about electronic music (and digital art as well, I guess)... The common commment about electronic music/art would be: "That music is made on a computer - everyone can do that!!".... NO, that is not true! Everyone can only do this if they have the right knowlegde and a musical mind of course That type of comments are very demotivating for young aspiring electronic producers!

    mhoarse -> Yes, the software development has made it possible for almost everyone (reagrdless of social class, income etc.) to make music! But I would not say that everyone experiece how easy it is to make a hit! On the contrary, I think that alot of producers quiclky find out that it demands alot of hard work to produce good music - even though you have programs like Reason, which I, by the way consider a professional sequencing tool as it is being used by alot of professional producers!


    But thanks alot for all your input! It gave me something to think about regarding electronic music!

    Please feel free to post any further comments on this subject

  11. #11
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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    Yes, the software development has made it possible for almost everyone (reagrdless of social class, income etc.) to make music! But I would not say that everyone experiece how easy it is to make a hit! On the contrary, I think that alot of producers quiclky find out that it demands alot of hard work to produce good music - even though you have programs like Reason, which I, by the way consider a professional sequencing tool as it is being used by alot of professional producers!

    Yes I know what you mean about making a hit - that's why I wrote 'hit' i.e. with the inverted commas, though I realise that is a very subtle distinction!

    Reason in the right hands is an amazing tool. But even if you have no idea what you're doing you can come up with something decent with it. That's kind of what I meant, that every man and his dog can now do something that sounds ok using a computer - recently I watched a guy build a piece of house music from scratch and it was painful, he didn't seem to know what he was doing, just trying sound after sound, note after note until it sounded alright...

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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    On a different note, it seems that the discussion of 'electronic music' can get pretty hazy, for example where do we class the Rhodes, or even the electric guitar? Certainly 'real' instruments, but should they be lumped in with drum machines and sequencers?

    And someone said they prefer 'classical music' - well what about Wendy Carlos' amazing syth score to A Clockwork Orange (which was basically reworkings of Beethoven, Purcell, etc)? Or Alarm Will Sound's acoustic renditions of Aphex Twin? What about the use of samplers which are playing back the sounds of live/acoustic instruments? And so on...

    I guess essentially acoustic and electronic elements are merging to a point where we no longer really need to distinguish anymore. I mean, just on a base level I would guess that there are very few albums being made these days that haven't benefited in some way from the use of computer editing, effects, etc.

    I don't know, I could be taking it all too literally. For all I know, most people out there probably think immediately of techno when they hear the words 'electronic music'!!

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    Re: Electronic music discussion

    On a different note, it seems that the discussion of 'electronic music' can get pretty hazy, for example where do we class the Rhodes, or even the electric guitar?
    Rune's initial post has a url refering to a definition of electronica. Thats the definition I referenced to in my reply.

    The definition irregardless, your point about what we see as hybrid today and as naturally founded tomorrow is mind opening (The Rhodes/Electric guitar/Synths). Just think about how many musicians think hard disc recording is a natural studio amenity contra reel 2 reel! Way back a dj in a band was unheard of, Today more and more contemporary artists employ dj's to "bring the noise". Not to mention the fact that some dj have emerged as artists in their own right. Funny....but adds credence to this paraphrased saying "Art is one big tent and alot can be put under it"

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Why not use real musicians? Real instruments? I think electronica is to blame for how people think nowadays. Since calculators no one can do fraction math! Really! It is the same. With arpeggiator buttons people feel it is useless to learn multi-octave runs on instruments, and of course studio recording means you never have to play a whole song. Just like crutches are great for disabled people, cheating tools are fine in some cases, but it is a sad day that people would rather hear talentless toys than well read and practiced artists who carry on age-old traditions of beauty and pleasing skills.
    I agree and disagree with you on this issue.

    I agree that it can enhance talentless 'artists' (such as Paris Hilton) so that they are marketable. I've only heard two of her songs, but it sounded to me as if her voice was extremely enhanced digitally/electronically. I'm just using her as an example, but there are many Paris Hiltons making a decent living due to electronic enhancement. Yes, it can be a crutch for some.

    Where I disagree is that this is also not a crutch for others. I think that this form of music can be an expression from a true artist, used to enhance their works. I think that with every new sound or genre that comes forth, it's a break through of creativity, and it takes music to a higher level. My boyfriend is a talented musician who has been given the gift of picking up an instrument and teaching himself to play. He plays several instrument extremely well, but has experimented with electronic equipment as he wanted to try new creative ventures. I think that using a style to enhance your music and grow creatively musically is a great artistic feat.

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    Electronic music would be nothing if it weren't for Kraftwerk and later, Eno.

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