Tag Archives: dubstep

The Rise of the Artist

At the suggestion of a drunk friend, I have decided to make a documentary about electronic music. It’s gaining real popularity and it’s a topic that I find myself diving into constantly. But the idea of writing interviews and monologues; talking to various interested/qualified individuals over the course of months or even years seems like a dauntingly boring task. And one which, I truthfully fear, will fizzle and never come to fruition.

Therefore, with the mindset of the researcher, I will be committing this blog to my findings and speculations. But I have no intention of limiting the scope to my own eyes. I encourage any/all readers to challenge my assertions, to enlighten my short-sightedness, and to formulate their own opinions based on my findings. I have no point to prove, merely many stories to tell. The first of these seems naturally appropriate: Skrillex

He’s tours the world, he’s won three Grammys, and many see him as the sole pioneer of Dubstep to “mainstream” America. He’s become a household name, of sorts. And just like any wunderkind, heaps and heaps of hate, flak, and inexhaustible trolling have been sent his way. This is normal, though quite astounding. Read through the comments section of any YouTube video about Skrillex and you’ll find four or five degrading remarks on the first page alone. It’s a little bit sad and certainly a waste of time.

Taken from Skrillex’s twitter

There are only so many ways to spin a sentiment. The arguments against Skrillex primarily fall into one of these categories:

1. He’s not a real musician

2. Anyone can do what he does

3. He’s a sellout

4. His style is ugly/ridiculous

These are not sparse. They are so prevalent, in fact, that it all jumbles into babble – like a lunatic raving about the end of the world. There’s too much shouting, so no one’s listening. But the constant flow of hate towards this EDM champion actually proves a larger point. He’s doing something right!

So, to address these points:

1. (He’s not a real musician) That’s what they thought about rock n roll. They thought it was strange, demonic noise. He doesn’t strum a guitar, but he’s a rock star! His music is loud, energetic, and POWERFUL. He’s draws in massive crowds and blows their fucking faces off. Skrillex is keeping his head outside of the box, for the sake of his art. Watch this video, and you’ll see that he’s a humble, hardworking artist. He spends all of his time manipulating sounds in a way that he understands and excels at. Many who feel that his art is not music claim that all electronic music is lifeless, vacuous. Understandably, Dubstep requires a certain palette to appreciate, but music holds no power if the listener won’t surrender themselves. Yes, an artist can arrange and compose wondrous things; a poet can pour their soul into lyrics, but the listener must accept what’s being presented before it can resonate.

[Additionally, the reason any song seems to “emote” is because of the change in dynamics, that is to say, the change in the levels and presence of each of the instruments. Computers make the emulation of this capable with imperceptible replication.]

Creating music is just like creating anything else. At some level, you are using resources provided by someone else. An architect draws up the plans of a building, but he doesn’t pour the cement, he doesn’t craft the wood or nails, nor spread the mortar. Using a computer to make music shows hunger for more than what one man can do with his fingers. A conductor would not be disgraced because he does not play all of the instruments himself; in fact, quite the contrary. The ultimate say comes from him; and therefore, he is responsible for what is happening on every level.

2. (Anyone can do what he does). Then do it! You don’t think plenty of people would want to tour the world, seeing everything there is to offer, as a professional entertainer? Yes, it’s taxing – but it also sounds like the one of the most rewarding experiences. Skrillex flourishes by being himself, and no one else would be a better Skrillex. A local DJ friend recently lamented “every kid with a macbook and a Traktor has become a ‘professional DJ.” They see what he’s got and they want it.

3. (He’s a sellout). In case you haven’t yet watched the video above, he talks about how he’s not trying to make money. He’s not trying to sell anything, really. He’s on the ride of his life doing what he loves and simply wants to keep that train-a-rollin’. That said, of course someone is making money off of what he’s doing, both directly and indirectly. But who would want a silly thing like money when you’ve got the life he leads? I earnestly think he’d be doing the same thing he is now if it meant he were still only playing local clubs for drinks. The kid wants to party, and he does it well.

4. (His style is ugly/ridiculous) Of course it is. Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Madonna, Moby, Daft Punk, Nikki Minaj, Coolio, Snooki, Carrot Top, Katy Perry, Dennis Rodman, Russel Brand, Kat Williams, Larry the Cable Guy. All of these people have a certain level of outlandish/unique style – they are instantly distinguishable from everybody else because of how they look. That’s brand marketing 101 people, and Skrillex is no fool. He wants people to hear his music, he wants people to know his name, and he wants to leave behind a legacy in a world where everyone’s only got a 30 second window. Again, I assert: he is himself.

More importantly, why would that even matter? I don’t care what he looks like, I like the juicy morsels that comes out of that black-framed noggin of his.

So what? Why should anyone care about Skrillex?

Skrillex is more than a DJ/Producer, he is a harbinger of the future. Without individuals who are constanly pushing the envelope; who stretch the imagination and blur the lines between reality and fantasy; who live to love and spread their message, we are doomed to rot in comfortable complacence. He is a symbol of the rise of the artist. We don’t want money and we don’t want power. We want love, community, and some FUCKING BASS!

Who’s with me?

– W

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ear Noms: Adventure Club

This is gonna get stuck in your head. You’ll forget about it, it’ll rattle around and fuck shit up! Adventure Club in one of the premiere names in Dubstep this year; every track they release is just “dripping in gold.” Below is a link to their Facebook where you can download a healthy chunk of their music for FREE just for liking them. And honestly, who wouldn’t? Put this on to become Mechagodzilla and rearrange some Japanese infrastructure.

W

Adventure Club’s Facebook

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Get The Funk Up!

Here’s  some goodies you can take with you. A ten song playlist filled with spectacular electronic grooves. Some are uplifting and motivational, others are heartwrenchingly beautiful. They’re all worth a listen. Put this on while exploring jungles, perhaps concrete jungles.

– W

Tracklist:

1. Fracx – For The World

2. Deep Focus – The Truth

3. Ramses B – Lone Wanderer

4. Yume – There There

5. Foxes – Youth (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)

6. Ollie Macfarlane – True

7. Mr FijiWiji – Apathy ft. CoMa

8. Krewella – Alive (MitiS Remix)

9. MitiS – In My Eyes

10. MitiS – Live Long

Download via Mediafire

For more bass heavy playlists, click here or here
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

LoveLoveLovestep!

This track gives me hope! Hope for the new direction of EDM; hope for a newfound joy of life; hope that some day soon, glowing purple will descend from the clouds and take all of us funky, groovy, party people to a musical utopia. Put this on while waiting to board.

He’s calling his genre Lovestep, which is pleasantly appropriate. Visit his Soundcloud for more tracks and some free downloads.

Also, be sure to follow MrSuicideSheep on YouTube to up your daily dosage of bumpin beats.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Candadian Folk-Pop goes Minimal goes Glitchstep

Some backstory: the soulful British singer/producer James Blake released an 11 track self-titled album in February of last year. He has a distinct style that fuses the icy chill of minimalist with the groove and feeling of R&B. Categorized as Dubstep/Post-Dubstep, this a silly misnomer made by silly people. This label doesn’t do his uniqueness justice, and would turn off many a listener who are looking for more depth in their electronic music.

30 seconds into track one and I was already sold. It’s a brilliant album that magnificently ebbs and flows with expertise; one that you’ll leave on repeat because the songs provide something fresh each listen.  Contained in this album is his rendition of a Feist track, “Limit To Your Love.” He slows down the already melancholy tone to a creeping pace, giving the listener time for contemplation and tension to squirm. The bass submerges into something primal at points in the song; it feels tasteful and creative.

Here is James Blake’s version:

For fans of Inception, below is a remix of the cover, sampling Blake’s vocals but redefining the structure of the song. The beat is different, the flow is different. There are at least a half dozen remixes of this song on youtube and this was only one that seemed to do it justice. To create a successful cover, the artist must take only the best aspects of the original and turn the rest into their own work. This gets more complicated as the song delineates from its origins. Put this on while reanimating.

W

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

IDM: Dance Music For Your Brain, Not Your Booty

Repetitive kick drum, heavy baselines, glowlight accessories, alcohol, drugs, LOUD, LOUD, LOUD! These are all commonly associated with modern club music, also known as EDM (Electronic Dance Music). This is not a new trend; anyone walking into a club should expect to be hearing this genre of music played at the highest possible volume.

EDM DJs/Producers have become the rockstars of the 21st centuries, selling out massive venues to thousands of bass-hungry youths. In recent years, the genre’s darkness has become more mainstream with the emergence of subgenres like DrumN’Bass, Dubstep, and Electro that push the levels of what is acceptable, what is palatable, and what the coked-out kids want pumping into their ear holes.

Photo courtesy of brobible.com

“But I don’t like blaring noises, chest-crushing bass blasts, drinking, darkness, dancing, sweating, designer drugs, or other people and the monotony of traditional instruments makes every song sound the same,” you may be whining to yourself. Fret no longer, complainer of the arts, there is a solution for you called IDM.

IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) arose in the early 1990s with artists who were intrigued by the capabilities of what could be accomplished by making music using computers, but felt that following the guidelines of pre-established musical genres did not fulfill their potential. Focused on individual experimentation of sound rather than repackaging a successful product, artists such as Aphex Twin began releasing tracks that combined elements found in House music with ambient tones and soundscapes. The result has a home in both nightclubs and living rooms.

The term IDM has been met with some disdain, especially from EDM producers who are put down by the implied elitism of the genre’s moniker. As I see it, the label refers more to the audience than the musicians themselves, but Mellow, Intellectual, Loner-Stoner Dance Music doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. IDM artists are not inherently more talented, nor have they necessarily crafted their skill more aptly than EDM producers – it is merely a way to distinguish partying noise-addicts from subdued sonic-sculptors.

The key distinction here in tonality. Does the song make suburban mother’s shake their fists and neon hooligans run rampant? Then it’s EDM. Does the song build slowly with subtle changes in melody and rhythm, giving you space for contemplation and would probably sound better after a joint? That’s IDM.

Below is some IDM 101, because music was meant to be listened to. Put this on before thinking-over a decision.

-W

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Week 1: New Playlist

This is the first in a series of weekly playlists. Sometimes they will be themed, this one is not. I will try to upload playlists of 12 tracks or more, every Wednesday. This week features a simply beautiful acoustic piece by The Narrative, a smoothed-out bass heavy Bon Iver remix, and more. Enjoi
-W

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: