WHY DISCO DOESN’T SUCK: A Guide to EDM for Metalheads

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“I’m supposed to hate this stuff….so why do I keep hearing things I like?”

If some sort of artistic holocaust wiped out all music besides heavy metal, I’d still have most of what I need. My CD collection would be largely spared. But I’ve learned through experience that EVERY genre of music has something to offer – even ones I can confidently say I’m not a fan of: jazz, reggae, hip hop, country and western, surf rock, pop punk, urban, or most fine music. Those all have a few artists – even just a few songs – that I enjoy. We all have our non-metal diversions, even if we have to rationalize them as guilty pleasures, or explaining that “It’s just a break from what I usually listen to.”

So far, so boring. But few of us – even music critics – seem to examine the building blocks of what we like. Many record reviews I’ve read are just comparing one metal record to another, often by the same artist. Why that critic, or you the fan, should be listening to a metal record at all, is just a given. If people didn’t like metal, they wouldn’t be reading a review in Kerrang!, right?

Consider this: You’ve read plenty of doom metal record reviews that compared aspects of the music on offer to Black Sabbath since that’s a likely reference point for the readership. Whereas Slayer or Darkthrone reviews don’t tend to feature comparisons of their art with Diamanda Galas or Tori Amos – even though we’ve known for years that there are many listeners who enjoy all four, and presumably get something similar out of them.

What got me pondering this is my receptiveness to a genre  many metalheads seem not to enjoy: Electronic dance music. I’m ready to be corrected; if you personally love dance music AND metal then cut me down in the comment thread. But I think the stereotype of the ’70s hard rock fan with the “Disco Sucks” T-shirt is still prevalent enough today to justify me blogging about it.

First, some context: I don’t actually have more than a handful of dance music CDs in my collection. I can’t dance and I’ve never been to a rave. I don’t hang out with ravers or follow developments in that scene. My engagement with EDM amounts to little more than occasionally hearing a song I like, tracking it down on the Information Super-Highway, and bunging it on a mix-tape for the car.

And yet – force me to listen to a dance music radio station for an hour and I’ll be less irritated than having to sit through an hour of radio rock; even though conventional wisdom dictates that radio rock is closer to metal than dance music, however risible. Moreover, there are some EDM numbers that I never get tired of hearing, that resonate with me just as deeply as any classic metal song. I’ll share some here.

But what I really want to do is examine, in depth, exactly HOW it’s possible for a metalhead to like “disco” in a methodical way which might reveal something about your own tastes across any and all genres. If you’re partial to a side-order of bluegrass because “it’s a break from what I usually listen to”, maybe you’ll discover you like bluegrass because it’s not such a break at all.

Have you ever broken down what you like to hear and assessed it the way a student of composition, a musicologist or a record producer might? I have. I came up with nine criteria…

 

1) I usually prefer music with a prominent back-beat.

This one’s self-explanatory: Banging your head to Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” is easier than to Strauss’s “Blue Danube”, right? So in other words, I favour music where the percussion is driving the music and controlling the tempo rather than just accompanying, as in folk music, or “skittering around” like in polite jazz.

Obviously there are exceptions. Everybody’s heard some marvelous classical piece with no percussion, where the orchestra is oozing creamily around your head like a dream of the Arctic Sea melting – something like Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack to the movie Birth:

 

So with that preference established, does electronic dance music have a “prominent back-beat?”

Well, it isn’t colloquialized as “doof” for nothing.

 

2) I prefer music which is composed, not improvised.

Music doesn’t have to be conventionally-structured to interest me, but the majority of my record collection features material presented in verses, choruses, bridges, breakdowns, intros, and codas. The structure can be one-riff simple or three-movement complex, but I definitely prefer something that sounds planned. Jammed out music, I find, tends to overstay the welcome afforded whatever idea the musicians cooked up. Plus, if I like an idea or phrase, I usually want to hear it again; improvisation doesn’t guarantee I will. My preference here also ties into my enthusiasm for music which progresses within the repetition of motifs, rather than wandering around a scale, as in blues. And the repetition of motifs (ie: riffs) is what separates heavy metal from its acid rock ancestor.

Again, there are exceptions. I quite enjoy Indian ragas for example. More to the point, I don’t expect a guitar shred solo to be planned right down to the finger-tap. But having a consistent riff or bass line underneath that is the usual convention, which I’ve gotten used to.

To an extent, even I’ll allow that great musicians have a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to jamming. Especially when they’re Terry Bozzio, Gordon Liddy Tony Levin and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol’s guitarist with the Nikki Sixx hairdo…who’da thunk the guy who played the “Top Gun Anthem” hid such versatility?!):

 

So does EDM feature composed songs?

Programming is just computer-age composition.

What’s interesting about electronica is that the production techniques are part of the composition: There are a lot of “sculpted” sound-effects used like phasing, panning, variable delay, pitch-shifting, gating, modulation, you name it. Drum sounds are switched or layered to create a sense of “stepping up a gear”, textures drift in and out of view, and hook-samples hang around to run a gauntlet of sonic mutation. The most compelling stuff is invariably the least human-sounding. And the oft-derided repetitiveness can have a hypnotic quality: The less there is to focus on, the more you find within it.

A deeper level of interest is added by the fact that EDM numbers are often remixed many times, decades after initial release. Such versions can be radically re-worked; really teasing out the compositional possibilities only hinted at within the constraints of a 4-minute pop song.

Take for example Ce Ce Peniston’s fairly innocuous 1991 hit “Finally”, which in the ‘00s resurfaced in a moodier, slightly more edgy version – taking a song I never liked and turning into something I did despite having basically the same hook:

 

3) I favour music – just barely – with a consistent tempo and time-signature.

This one’s a bit contentious: Obviously there’s plenty of notable metal out there with time-signature changes (Try “Black Sabbath” for a start), and you’ll find plenty in my collection; probably at least half of it. It can make for interesting listening. But honestly – as much as I enjoy Iron Maiden’s “Can I Play With Madness?” I’d probably enjoy it even more without the middle gear-shift. I also prefer Judas Priest’s ’80s records over their ’70s ones, when their song-writing became more streamlined. Unless the “feel” of a song is predicated upon unpredictability, surprise or cleverness, I sometimes think that the groove can be destroyed by drastic change of any sort, really. What tempo changes I do prefer tend to be ones that are mathematically divisible – like the many death metal songs that switch from a 200 bpm skank beat to a 400 bpm blast beat. There are plenty of reasons I can get bored with a song, but sticking to the same tempo throughout honestly isn’t one of them.

That said, as I write this, I’m reminded of Deicide’s awesome Legion album, which absolutely relies on tempo changes for its sense of demonic possession, or Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Part I” which is just a masterpiece by any measure. But put it this way – whatever the many merits of At The Gates’ With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, I’m one of those boring posers who happens to think Slaughter of the Soul is the stronger record thanks to its compositional economy. So my music doesn’t have to have changes in tempo or time-signature, and if you attempt them, you better be able to execute them without sacrificing your groove.

For the exception, this time, let’s visit some mathcore mercenaries who barely know the meaning of “consistent time signature” (I dig the atonality and microtonality on this one too but that’s another story):

 

So does EDM have a consistent tempo/time-signature with a predictable flow?

For dancing, naturally.

And yet, even DJs can throw the odd curveball into a groove every now and then – though not always strictly dance music per se – as in the cut-up, glitchy feel of Aphex Twin’s “Equation”:

 

4a) I prefer music with narrow dynamic range…

By which I mean the music gives consistent energy, volume and timbral coloration, unlike a lot of jazz, world, and fine music.

4b) …and I usually prefer it loud.

Meaning I don’t prefer shy singers, light strummers or drums played with brushes.

Just to clarify: I’m not saying I prefer music which has been – in those phrases you’ll read all over the internet nowadays – “heavily compressed” or “brick-wall limited”. That refers to an audio production technique whereas I’m discussing performance. Hearing jazz, one of the things that always irks me is that the drums aren’t being hit hard enough constantly, or at least when I expect them to be; my imagination always wants more. Quiet sections in a song can often defuse momentum to my ears, and since I do a lot of listening in the car or in busy work environments, I like it when things I want to hear are heard easily. I favour music which is overstated.

Before examining the exceptions we should probably unpack this by distinguishing macro-dynamics and micro-dynamics. “Macro-dynamics” refers to a song’s volume over time or in different sections. An obvious example would be Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which has choruses played louder than the verses, creating a sense of alternating impact.

“Micro-dynamics” refers to the volume variations of the performance note-by-note, such as a snare drum pattern which has lots of off-beat ghost notes or swing notes, like this:

 

I don’t have a problem with macro- or micro-dynamics. In rock they’re often the indicator of a great band over an average one. But there’s a limit to how much of either I want.

Micro-dynamics I actually wouldn’t mind hearing a bit more of in metal. It’s what people are getting at when they start complaining about “robotic, triggered drums” with no accented beats. Although I’ll maintain that Hate Eternal is the most relentlessly brutalizing live band I’ve ever watched, admittedly I can’t often get through their albums in one sitting. But that’s as much a result of the density of their music created by the tempo in conjunction with their lack of dynamics – micro and macro.

As for macro-dynamics themselves, Slint’s Spiderland album is an excellent example of a rock record that spends most of its duration below the red. But again – it’s not one that gets over the engine noise, so I leave it at home:

 

Is EDM loud or “overstated,” with narrow dynamics?

See “doof” characterization above.

Which is not to say that EDM can’t feature dynamics, especially of the micro-kind. Example: Drum and bass was a rave sub-genre that I really dug; being a drummer myself. I’ve often fancied that DnB occupied a similar place in EDM as what death metal did in our neck of the woods: It was borne of earlier sub-genres but seemed to be a quantum leap sideways in some respects; and, not withstanding some very obvious commercial appropriation at the time, from what I gather wasn’t universally accepted by ravers – just like death metal was considered “too much” by some metalheads I used to meet in the ’90s.

The one DNB artist I paid most attention to was the British DJ, Goldie. The Optical Remix of his 1998 single “Temper Temper” is an improvement on the slightly ham-fisted Britpop crossover that the original cut was, IMHO. Just imagine a band with a real drummer playing this – it wouldn’t be impossible. In fact, it didn’t take long before DnB’s signature rhythms and sounds started being explored by acoustic (and often necessarily rather skilled) drummers. Johnny Rabb made a particularly thorough study of the adaptive possibilities – his instructional book (Jungle/Drum and Bass For the Acoustic Drum Set) makes a revelatory read even for the curious non-drummer.

But I digress; back to “Temper Temper” – this is what I had in mind when I said I like some micro-dynamics in the rhythm section:

 

5) I prefer arrangements that exploit the full frequency range.

I’m sure most of you know what I mean here: Woofer, squawker and tweeter  more-or-less in balance. Audio guru/author Bob Katz once stated that most ensemble music – be it a symphony orchestra or the Pet Shop Boys duo with their synths and drum machines – adheres to pretty much the same tonal balance regardless of instrumentation, but with a few variations by genre.

In other words, if you were viewing a spectrogram of music which displays all the frequencies used without hearing that music, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to distinguish an orchestra from a rock band. There are some variations: Reggae is like an orchestra but with more bass, punk rock is like an orchestra but with more treble. Heavy metal, in case you were wondering, isn’t one of the variations.

Needless to say, I don’t tend to favour music which deviates much from the “classical balance” if we can call it that; which perhaps explains why I first got into underground music by way of punk but quickly defected to metal. Also, you won’t find any solo flute records in my collection; because that instrument, alone, isn’t covering the full sonic rainbow. What solo instrumentation I can tolerate tends to feature the instruments that are pretty broadband in their own right: Guitar, drum-kit or piano/organ. Chances are you feel the same way; because there’s a lot more solo piano records in the marketplace than there are solo triangle records.

Is EDM arranged in an ensemble format with full-frequency range?

Yup. It might all be electronic or virtual instruments, but it certainly encompasses the sonic palette.

I could have used any number of examples here, but I knew what I wanted first: Groove Armada with “Easy” from Lovebox. Masterful orchestration courtesy of the bass, string arrangement and rich piano lines – very reminiscent of the disco that started it all. Sometimes I never want this song to end – think of this track as the ‘70s, and me as Disco Stu:

 

6) I like an equal emphasis on tone versus texture, but I’ll accept a bias in favour of texture.

This one’s interesting. All sounds are just combinations of sine waves at different frequencies, amplitudes, phases and periods – they’re the only existing ingredients which comprise every sound you ever heard. However, in music I tend to hear sounds as belonging to two distinct types, or a combination of the types: tone, or texture (the official term is probably “timbre” but I prefer “texture”). I’ll explain:

Tonal sounds, in combination or series, tend to be those which the listener describes by referring to emotional or psychological feeling – sad, hypnotic, scary, happy, triumphant, joyous, urgent, maudlin, etc. They’re also where most of the melodic aspect of the music resides, which is why we typically describe scales and chords – which are just combinations or sequences of tones and semitones – using those same terms.

Textural sounds tend to be those which are characterized by resorting to physical feeling, ie: hard, harsh, noisy, solid, brittle, grainy, warm, icy, and so on; or by analogizing with other non-musical sounds in daily life, such as: “That guitar sounds like a chainsaw”, “Those are thunderous drums”, etc. Usually this is where the rhythmic aspect of the music resides.

Most instruments have degrees of both tone and texture. The distorted electric guitar is perhaps the quintessential example of the 50-50 tonal/textural instrument. Others, like the flute, lean heavily to tone, while the castanet is all texture. Rack toms can be used to play rhythm (as usual in rock) or melody, and thus skew either way depending on how you tune them. Have a listen to the drummer from Finnish jazz group Trio Töykeät try his hand at covering Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” using his toms to convey the melody – not something you often hear from actual metal drummers, but possibly the coolest thing I’ll post here!

 

As suggested by its name, heavy metal would be nothing without texture. Well, it’d be something, but not metal. Since the percussion in metal isn’t very tonal, you’d have to eliminate the drums completely. You’d also have to bypass the distortion pedals and take all the grit out of the vocals. Basically, if you “shaved all the edges off”, metal would sound like an early-generation synthesizer playing minor-scale runs with nearly pure tone. In fact, “The Dream is Always the Same” by Tangerine Dream is easy to picture as an instrumental speed metal song (of sorts) if you listen and imagine adding drums, plus envisioning the texture of several metal guitars handling the various melody lines. I like this song – but I’d probably enjoy it at least as much if a metal band covered it:

 

Now, for balance let’s have something exclusively textural – Merzbow’s “Woodpecker No.1”. I think you’ll get the idea!

 

Does EDM boast plenty of texture as well as tone?

Sure; especially in the less mainstream stuff. And plenty of variety in texture is featured, too. Again, there’s plenty of examples I could have picked; so it’s a bit of a cop-out to nominate an artist I’ve already cited – but I’ll revisit Goldie via another cut from his sophomore album because it effectively showcases an artist boasting mastery of both tone and texture. The album in question, Saturnzreturn, was an ambitious double-CD, and the opening track on the first disc was an hour-long piece in four movements which segued between ambient noise, orchestral fine music, nightmarishly textural jungle, and then back to orchestral again.

I don’t think he got the aesthetic balance quite right. The DnB makes up barely a third of the composition, and I gather many listeners find the orchestral sections cheesy and prolonged. But the idea is inspired, and the transitions between the various movements are, as I said, masterful – if you can get through it:

 

7) I prefer melodies that use minor – rather than major – intervals, keys and chords.

I’m betraying a lack of formal training in musical theory here; so jump in and correct my assumptions – but basically, in Western music as I understand it, “major” scales are those which suggest happiness, contentment, or celebration, whereas “minor” scales suggest sadness, tension, or anger. No prizes for guessing which side of the ledger most metal lands on: Plenty of Aeolian hurt, Phrygian pain and suchlike. For me, these provide timely foil to metal’s obligatory helpings of chromatic riffage, power chords, atonality and dissonance.

For example, the Aeolian mode’s compatibility with metal is well-demonstrated by Lacuna Coil covering REM’s “Losing My Religion” (which utilizes Aeolian). You mightn’t like either band, or the song (I certainly never enjoyed the original); but listening to it easily shows how Lacuna Coil could accomplish this “metalization” while barely having to alter the melody lines:

 

There aren’t many exceptions for me on this one. I like shit to be dark, evil, brooding, or at least having a lousy day. I can’t STAND Green Day. I don’t much get into stuff which is emotionally laid-back, relaxed, or celebratory, like zydeco, latin, or jazz (or at least the “soft jazz” that I’m always running afoul of), or which seems frivolous, like Mozart.

Can EDM be minor key and moody?

Well, some of it is – the stuff that I like.

For this one, let’s cite “The Price of Love” by New Order; seminal EDM forefathers. For a somewhat impersonal band who sometimes used to finish concerts by exiting the stage with the programmed arrangements playing on for 15 minutes afterward, New Order could make some genuinely emotive songs:

 

8) I like it when music employs counterpoint and pedal-point melody.

Counterpoint is where the treble line (or riff) and bass line diverge to create melodic variation. I find this really catchy and compelling. It doesn’t always happen in metal; usually the bass line is just following the riff – although that in itself can invoke a pleasing sense of cohesion and “purpose”. Ditto the two-guitar format that most modern metal is arranged in: They play identically when they’re laying down the law, and diverge when they’re attacking you from different flanks.

The aforementioned With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness is a whole album’s worth of the most explicit use of counterpoint melody between rhythm guitars I’ve ever heard in metal. The guitar lines are so divergent, if you listened to the record with just your left earbud in, and then started again with just your right, it’s almost like you’re hearing two different records:

 

Pedal-point melody is something else: Where the bass line holds the same note instead of following the treble (guitar) line. Depending on where it’s used in a song, pedal-point can be an effective way of expressing tension, anticipation, finality and other portentous stuff. A self-contained example of pedal-point would be the keyboard line of Van Halen’s “Jump”; but for a more typical version utilizing bass and guitar, look no further than Judas Priest, who couldn’t get enough of it in the ’70s and ’80s – as on “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” (the pedal-point starts at 7 seconds in):

 

How much counter- and/or pedal-point melody is there in EDM?

There’s a lot of both.

I’ll nominate just one contrapuntal example which is ideal because it commences with a lone treble line, and is then accompanied by a bass line that provides the counterpoint exactly as I described above. For the verses, it then changes that bass line while maintaining the treble phrase – a simple yet very catchy song when I first heard it. (Of course, the fact I first encountered it in a strip joint over a typically bass-preponderant sound system certainly caught my attention. I could barely restrain myself from approaching the young lady afterwards and exclaiming “But it’s true! The music really did sound better with you!”)

 

9) I prefer equal or more emphasis on instruments, versus voice/lyrics.

I like the vocal to be treated as just another melodic or percussive instrument in the mix – rather than a distinct entity or personality on top, which is supposed to be conveying a “message” or something that transcends the music’s presentation.

Obviously it’s impossible to completely divorce the character and temperament of an artist from his/her vocal style; but I’m not terribly interested in (say) Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, rap, or country music – or anything where the lyrics are considered more important than the music (I rarely bother reading lyrics); or the music is relegated to backing the voice. This might also explain why I, along with many others, find a lot of shock rock such as the Butthole Surfers or G.G. Allin unconvincing on record. The live show might be remarkable, but the music is obviously secondary.

This might seem odd because heavy metal, as a rock sub-genre, has always been as much about a “cast of characters” – hence all the fan-bitching when a “pivotal” member leaves the “classic line-up”. But there’s the distinction: It’s a cast. Heavy metal’s approach to the vocals at the mixing stage is best typified by Motorhead’s maxim “Everything Louder Than Everything Else” – which is to say that the vocals are mixed loudly – but so are all the other instruments too, nullifying the sort of vocal dominance that you find in pop or the folk tradition.

Whoever  your favourite metal bands are, can you honestly say it’s only the vocalists that sold you? I can’t. Put it this way: I like bands with vocalists; they’re interesting and emotive. But if I had to choose between instrumental music or a cappella, I’d definitely choose the former.

In EDM, are the vocals just another instrument, without hogging the limelight?

Invariably. Very often just another repeated sample, in fact. It’s fairly impersonal music compared to rock – there isn’t a lot of storytelling. For our last exception I can, however, immediately come up with an electronica track where the lyrics have everything to do with the appeal:

Any self-respecting Morbid Angel fan would be familiar with the Slovenian art collective Laibach – noteworthy for their highly entertaining, sternly Slavic re-interpretations of Western pop songs. I can’t imagine their take on Pink Floyd’s “Dogs of War” being half as emotive without the narrative element; it adds a gravitas to the lyrics the original lacked:

 

So there you have it! One closet EDM fan exposed.

In defining my preferences, I’ve really just been describing perhaps 95 percent of heavy metal – and probably at least 50 percent of rock – in a nutshell: Prominent back-beat; composed songs; consistent tempo with divisible time-signatures; loud with narrow dynamics, ensemble format with full frequency range; plenty of texture to complement the tones; minor-key; counter- and pedal-point melodies; and vocals that are just another instrument among the others. If you’re a metalhead too, then congratulations: your choices probably look similar to mine – at least, when you’re listening to metal.

It might all make my tastes seem pretty narrow, and they are; but it also hints strongly at what I might like if I bothered investigating other genres.  As I’ve tried to show, that’s where dance music comes into the equation.

Put all this in a historical context and it’s hardly surprising that a metalhead my age might be comfortable with EDM: I was reared on “disco”, in the broadest sense of the term, as were most of you under 40. “Disco Sucks” metalheads of the ’70s are old enough to remember a time when heavy metal was the newborn descendant of acid-rock a’ la Cream or Led Zeppelin: jamming-derived, loud but still dynamic (ie: quiet sometimes), and organically-executed rather than electronically- or digitally-generated.

But change was afoot in the early ’70s with the emergence of multi-track recording, synthesizers and so on. Whereas rock at that time was still largely using the recording studio to capture a performance mnemonically (a band playing in real-time), disco was the first popular genre “born” in the studio rather than just paying a visit for the day: Disco took full advantage of the ability to build, generate and edit music from foundational beats and phrases.

I started paying attention to music in the ’80s and by that time, these disco production methods were dominating other styles of popular music too. You need only hear a ZZ-Top record from the ’70s and then listen to 1986’s Afterburner to hear the difference. In the digital age, that process hasn’t let up – equalizing recordings far beyond the bounds of their real-life timbral limits (eg: the good ol’ “typewriter” double-kick drum sound), sampling, quantizing, editing, filtering, over-dubbing, auto-tune and all the rest.

Congruently, the blues-rock origins of metal music so obvious in the ’70s have steadily dissipated. Live, heavy metal remains a form of rock’n’roll. On record, you know as well as me that in the majority of cases, heavy metal is a form of disco, albeit an undanceable one – purpose-built, formularized, and corrected. A sizeable amount of the metal you consume was brought to you that way.

If you don’t tick all the above boxes in the same way I do – eg: You sometimes like improvisation, or major key melodies, or subdued delivery, or you insist on reading the lyric sheet to enjoy the experience – then it demonstrates that your tastes are probably truly broader than mine. Unlike me, you’re perhaps a fan of Frank Zappa, or Kanye West.

In my case, the similarity between what I often like in dance music and what I often like in metal – and in ultimately anything else I listen to provided, apparently, it’s got enough of the same sonic qualities I prefer – reveals an uncomfortable question: Was my discovery of metal simply a process of exposing me to certain qualities in modern popular music but packaged in a manner that appeals to “angry white males” or something? Is Satan really just a marketing gimmick after all?

Getting into metal was never much about spiritual rebellion or social non-conformity for me, despite being teen-aged. I was intrigued by the music first and foremost; and my adolescence wasn’t that difficult. But getting into punk rock via skateboarding, which I did beforehand, certainly was about questioning authority; and at any rate there’s no denying that even twenty years later my enjoyment of metal still has a strong element of cultural belonging involved – I haven’t cut my hair yet, for one thing. Perhaps broadening your listening habits as you age is really just letting your guard down in terms of self-identity – if you’re predisposed towards general musical properties which coincidentally featured in whichever subculture you latched onto first. Back in high school I would have told you that techno sucked and worn the T-shirt. But who was I kidding?

 

Over to you – what’s your criteria of musical enjoyment? Are there commonalities in the musical qualities of your favourite, supposedly disparate, styles? Or are you one of those worldly paragons whose preferred styles really are all “a break from” each other?

 

Group photo of Rush via “Origins of fear/hatred of disco” on http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=41&threadid=40065

 

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  • Edward Meehan

    I’ve been waiting for this article for a month at least!

    Max >>>>>>

  • NefariousDude

    Well written Muad Dib.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Usul has written a big one! Again, it is the legend!

  • Elite Extremophile

    I go to a college with a fairly high amount of metalheads relative to its size (about 6000 students or so) and nearly all of them are also huge fans of Dillon Francis, Aphex Twin, etc. Another genre I’ve found friendly to metalheads is indie rock. I’ve been listening to Speedy Ortiz pretty non-stop because while it’s fairly mellow by our standards, it has traces of atonality, sludginess (dat distortion doe) and just a little sloppiness. Also they’re one of those “the singer is super cute but they don’t mention it because it’s not their entire advertising strategy” bands.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V3hM-YDsOk

    • Guppusmaximus

      Yea, this is totally the return of Grunge. Besides the mis-categorized bands like AIC, Soundgarden, etc… I was never really into it the first time around.

      • Elite Extremophile

        I dunno, I like it. Also absolutely agree about Soundgarden and AiC getting lumped in with their much less talented contemporaries.

    • HessianHunter

      Genres are stupid and yatta yatta yatta, but I think calling Speedy Ortiz “indie rock” is REALLY not doing them justice. It’s grungy math rock, or mathy grunge, whatever. I usually describe math rock as “indie prog” so I smell what you’re stepping in, but imo Speed Ortiz has a lot more to do with Shellac than with Deerhunter.

      • Elite Extremophile

        Sorry, I’m a little new to indie and it’s subgenres.

  • Metaphysical Anus

    Talking about dance and electornic music and not mentioning Kraftwerk must be illegal.

  • Wubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwubwub

    boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwww

    Dubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdubdub

    • Guacamole Jim

      Dwee dwee dwee dwee dwee blumblumblumblumdweeeeeeeeee

      Actually, all of this onomatopoeia could be a tech death song.

      • Max

        See? I was right!

      • JWG

        Only if that entire line is 1 second (maybe up to 1.618 seconds) long…

  • SMOHLG

    I don’t even know where they fall into when talking about EDM, but I’ve been. Long time fan of VNV Nation. Electronic duo from Germany.

  • The Satan Ov Nvklear Hell

    No Aphex Twin? INTO THE LOO IT GOES, FLUSH!

    • God

      There is a video of an aphex twin track literally in the middle of the article…

      • Metaphysical Anus

        Shit just got awkward.

        • God

          Only awkward if you make it awkward *rubs nipple*

  • “verses, choruses, bridges, breakdowns, intros, and codas.”
    I DON’T KNOW WHAT ANY OF THIS MEANS!!!

    Too much jargon…If it “chugs”, i like.

  • W.

    Max for hero of the day.

  • Matt Damon
    • Jormungandr

      Yeah! Get some Matt!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      M DAMON!

    • Lord Ov Kapsko

      Go Damon! Go Damon!

  • wholly cow, are you the Sex and the City guy?

    • W.

      Vee are just like ze Sex and the City girls.

  • Homo sapiens metallum

    I like classical music and metal. It seems that this is a not so uncommon combination. Both genres are very rich on different varieties and full of emotions.
    Sadly, both are not very popular.
    Therefore I am often forced to listen to music I don’t like so much. I can listen to electronic music for a while and sometimes I enjoy it.
    But in my motherland Germany, Satan has formed a style of music that is everything I hate, it tortures me. By combinating awful rap with german lyrics he formed my personal hell.
    Search for ” Deutschrap ” and suffer with me!

  • Tyree

    Tangerine Dream >>>>>>>>>

    • W.

      You and Edward are getting a bit carried away with the >>>>>>>>>>>s.

      I don’t mind, though.

      • Edward Meehan

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>s are here to stay W!

      • Tyree

        I learn from the best.

        • currently jamming Lies We Live by Svffer; it’s great.
          the girl in your avatar becomes increasingly attractive.

          • Tyree

            Ooooooooo, great album Jimmy, glad you like it. That’s Mia Farrow from Rosemary’s Baby in my avatar. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time if not my favorite.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            As much as i detest polanski ( he cheated constantly on sharon tate – have you ever seen a photo of her, easily one of the most beautiful blondes of all time) & that whole underage thing. But then again how many bands like kiss and motley crue molested underage girls in the 70’s and 80’s. I am 100% sure they all did and got away with it. I am not condoning it but polanski is just the one who got caught.
            The movie is up to that point in film history the best occult/satanic thriller. All with no blood , just a brooding atmosphere that makes you feel the fear of an expectant mother in that situation. And the ending is masterful, not showing the baby is a textbook lesson in restraint that is sadly missing from today’s film makers. The idea of less is more is completely lost as well.

          • Edward Meehan

            I really enjoyed Lies We Live.

    • Wizard Aura

      Cluster

    • Wizard Aura

      Ash Ra Tempel

  • As far as electronic music goes, i prefer ambient to dance.

    http://youtu.be/iKDD9SoYPvg

  • NefariousDude

    HAXAN CLOAK: EXCAVATION. DANCE TO THAT, FUCKERS

    • Edward Meehan

      I just played that for the first time… a week and a half ago. Bomb.

    • Haxan Cloak makes me rill uncomfortable.

      • NefariousDude

        My jimmies were never the same

  • Gloryhole Castration

    Any industrial/synthwave fans in here?

    • Metaphysical Anus

      Industrial you say?

      • Gloryhole Castration

        Yeah. Bands like Skinny Puppy, FLA, Throbbing Gristle, Cyanotic, etc.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          Hmmmmmm, Throbbing Gristle truly makes me feel good. D.O.A is their best album imo.

          • Gloryhole Castration

            For sure, my love for industrial is parallel to my love for metal, I think both genres share similarities even they can be very different sonically.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            Who doesn’t love industrial?

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I love stuff like Static X, Fear Factory and the other combinations of nu metal and industrial metal. I hope that the article I submitted here gets posted already because I thought it was well written.

    • Max
      • I sure do have high hopes for “A World Lit Only By Fire”

        Please, Godflesh, don’t let me down.

    • Virgil the Ghost Poet

      Here’s one! I love that stuff.

  • W.

    I can dig on some Orbital. Halcyon and On and On

  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    TL;DR

  • Guppusmaximus

    I loved me some Portishead, Lamb, Depeche Mode but I was never really a fan of the monotonous club tracks aka Rave music. *BTW* The Disco of the 70s wasn’t “Electronic”. Granted, I couldn’t stomach a lot of it but those guys could play their instruments. I was more into Michael Jackson’s brand of Disco which I think is considered Funk…

    • Wizard Aura

      On a whole you are correct, however the first all electronic disco song was “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer, produced by Giorgio Morodor and released in 1977.

      • Max

        I bow to your superior expertise in all of this. I really should have included “I Feel Love” in the write-up somewhere.

        • Wizard Aura

          Nah, dude of the blue with blue, your article was awesome! You can save it for the “History of EDM” or something like that

      • Guppusmaximus

        Oh, most certainly there were some artists who were dabbling with newer technology. I should’ve clarified that a majority of the Disco we’re used to hearing from the 70s was analog. Though,one quick Google search shows that Giorgio Morodor is pretty much considered the pioneer of the electronic movement…

  • Speaking of Tangerine Dream, that gta v soundtrack (not radio) was good. And speaking of soundtracks for stuff, Vangelis’ soundtrack for Blade Runner….HOLY FUCK, not only is Blade Runner the best movie EVER, but it has a badass soundtrack.

    #1 movie of all time: Blade Runner
    You won’t change my mind.

    • Might as well list my top 5 movies as well…

      #5 Legend (1985)
      #4 Alien (1979)
      #3 Return of the Jedi (1983)
      #2 Empire Strikes Back (1980)
      #1 Blade Runner (1982)

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        No phantom menace ? kidding great list. Basil poledouris score for conan is awesome, recently bought a 3 disc expanded edition. Of course goblin for deep red , suspiria and the european release of dawn of the dead (78) Argento produced with the stipulation goblin music would be used in europe. Romero used stock music for the US release which was the shits compared to the genius of goblin. The european cut was also longer. A good rule of thumb is if goblin does the soundtrack to a film watch it, just the music alone is worth the price of admission.

        • Lol Phantom Menace….going back to the subject of star wars fan edits, there a cut of ep. 1 where jar jar is killed by going over a water fall in the Gungan submarine.

          I’ve heard that goblin score, but not to the movie itself. I wonder if there’s an edit of that somewhere on youtube or something.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            i saw there was a version of the extended cut on there the other day, should still be up.

        • Scrimm

          Goblin is bad ass. I found a box set my local store, but they want 75 bucks for it used, fuck that. I regret not catching the tour they just did.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            It’s that much new on ebay.

          • Scrimm

            Exactly. I love that store but sometimes their prices are bs.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        Also i hate all the alien sequals, yes even the much praised aliens, cameron can suck it for all i care. The original stands alone.

        • Defintely, i prefer the sci-fi horror of Alien vs the sci-fi action of Aliens.

        • Scrimm

          Fuck I love the second in spite of the jackass Cameron, but for completely different reasons than the first. If you watch Galaxy of Terror you can see several things about the look of Aliens Cameron ripped off from that film. Speaking of Alien…

          • Scrimm

            Damn Disqus, I have no idea why it turned the pic sideways.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            yea, i have never seen that happen before. I guess it’s the same situation as where some people like terminator but not terminator 2, there is a few of them, i have never been a huge terminator fan though. More of an arnold fan in general. He was really firing stuff out fast for a while there, red heat, predator, commando, raw deal, running man, total recall, all those were really good. Too bad expendables 3 was such a CGI soaked disaster. Wesley snipes was good but banderas was horrible. Plus stallone brought in a bunch of new characters that stole a huge amount of screen time from the regulars. Stallone also wrote himself into virtually every scene. Guy has no self control even after nearly 40 years in the business.

          • Scrimm

            The only thing I like about T2 is Arnold. Cameron is an over hyped hack who has been lucky enough to be save by his cast on a couple occasions. I agree about Expendables. I’m happy pretty much any time Arnold is on screen but Banderas was complete garbage, the only good thing was Snipes. Oh, and I’ll watch Rhonda Rousey do just about anything.

      • Metaphysical Anus

        Excuse me, but The Seventh Seal is the best movie ever.

        • Scrimm

          WRONG

          • Metaphysical Anus

            It’s good that you acknowledge that you’re wrong.

          • Scrimm

            Pffft, I don’t even much care for Blade Runner but it’s amazing compared to that pile of boring shit you keep harping about.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            Well excuse me if it doesn’t have explosions and naked ladies every damn second!

          • Scrimm

            Nice try, none of my favorite movies are about that. They’re also not a miracle cure for insomnia.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            Well, different strokes for different folks.

        • Because your previous alias was Death? That’s a bit biased. :

          • Metaphysical Anus

            My previous alias was Death because of The Seventh Seal.

          • I’ll check out that one this weekend. Hopefully i can rent it somewhere.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      wouldn’t try , my dad took me to it at the theatre in 82 , i was 13 and it was rated R. First time i saw boobs on screen. Joanna cassidy in that see through number.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        …………

        • Max

          “Of course they’re real! Do you think I’d be working in a place like this if I could afford fake breasts?”

    • Wizard Aura

      There is no fucking with Tangerine Dream because they are OG synth dudes to the max, but my favorite soundtrack dude is definitely John Carpenter. The Escape From LA soundtrack is solid gold and the assault on Precinct 13 theme is out of control.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        Carpenter is just as good as a composer as he is a director. The last great thing i saw from him though was that masters of horror episode pro life with ron pearlman, that was one of the best of the series.

        • Gurp

          That the one where his daughter goes to an abortion clinic to try and get her rape baby aborted and he holds the clinic hostage, only for said babby to be a demon?

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            Yea, that’s it , really great twist, m. night could have learned something.

  • I’m 21, what is disco?

    • Max

      It’s like metal, except it sucks.

      • Cock ov Steele

        Sooooo, Metalsucks.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Disco was dance club music made on 1970s analog equipment for people who wore cream, brown, avocado and gold-colored clothing and smelled like BO.

    • Virgil the Ghost Poet

      Kiss is a disco band at one time. Not kidding.

  • Gurp

    I absolutely love this song here (don’t let the cover scare you off) but I have no idea what subgenre it falls into or what other artists sound like it. Most of the rest of the EP is just repetitive hardcore/raggacore/whatever. Someone help pls
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzw88BCUE7g

    • Max

      A bit “happy”-sounding for my tastes, but good production/programming-wise.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        man that article was intense, i think i am going to have to re read it a couple more times to fully digest it !

        • Max

          Probably a little too intense, but cheers for indulging me!

  • So do u like the Browning then? Not judging, just curious.

    • W.

      I really cant think of very many bands I dislike more than the Browning.

  • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

    stayin alive employed the first drum loop. ozzy/dweezil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0GWWuwJOho

  • Wizard Aura

    Patrick Cowley was San Fransisco’s most innovative dance music producer in the late 70’s early 80’s. Spacey as fuck synths and how could you not be into lyrics like:

    “The boys in the bedroom lovin’ it up, shooting off energy”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCcaqZF7OqA

  • W.

    @disqus_tQGvq7i64T:disqus, great work. I finally finished reading it, and I feel that I definitely learned something. Regarding music that doesn’t fit your typical tastes or acts as a “break” from the norm, I’ve made it pretty obvious on here that I’m a hip-hop head, and a lot of the reasons I like hip-hop are different from why I like metal. I enjoy the focus on voice and vocal delivery present in good hip hop. I like the major key tunes in a lot of more positive or upbeat songs (see Jurassic Five). Plus, I feel that good hip hop artists have a technical ability to them that is reminiscent of the instrument prowess you find in metal (see. Busta Rhymes’s ability to rap in high BPM triplets). But I’m with you on hating country.

    • Max

      Props to you for absorbing it all, Dubya! I knew the length would deter some. But I had faith in you and Edward especially.

      • W.

        Thanks, man. It was definitely a compelling read. You should be proud.

    • Gurp

      Technical ability coming out of the ass

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPIZ_tqoxRw

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that John Haughm of Agalloch is a big Laibach fan.

  • Lacertilian

    Not sure if I have posted this here before but Navene Koperweis from Animosity & Animals As Leaders does this now..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6OLCwUvjWA

    this was one of his first tracks, the Human Design EP is awesome along with Microcosm.

    https://navenek.bandcamp.com/

    • Max

      Fuck, I love it!

      • Lacertilian

        Microcosm is real upbeat.
        The Warrior/Secret Police pack is a bit more experimental and the latest EP ‘Mind’ is slightly more chilled but still interesting.
        For $4, you cannot go wrong.

  • Simon Phoenix

    This is a well written article. What many people don’t realize is that the good disco artists, like Chic and A Taste of Honey, played actual instruments and were pretty accomplished with them. They had a very good sense of rhythm and structure, but also had the advantage of much better studio trickery than the genres that came before them to enhance those skills.

    As far as electronica, I enjoy the more”laid back” genres like downtempo and trip-hop. The often repetitive rhythms combined with the more subdued melody and instrumentation sounds good to my ears.

    • Max

      Yeah, the Chic guys were amazing. Tony Thompson is still a favourite drummer of mine. It sucked about his car accident; maybe he could have been the catalyst to get Led Zeppelin flying again permanently. RIP.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        He really gave the power station album legitimacy by appearing on it as well. At least to those who knew about true pro drummers.

        • Max

          Robert Palmer would be put into what used to be called the “blue-eyed soul” genre. A lot of Phil Collins’s solo work fits that category too. Stevie Winwood, Simply Red, even Annie Lennox; basically white British singers who grew up on Motown etc.

          Interesting story about the line-up: Although John Taylor is credited for the bass playing, apparently the majority of it was done by Guy Pratt, who you’re probably familiar with from his live work with Pink Floyd. All Pratt gets on the record is a composition credit for “Go To Zero”, but I actually met him once and he told me this. Apparently he had to sign a contract as thick as the phone book not to get the performance credit, though I think I recall him saying he got a good paycheck in lieu.

          They actually did a second record in the mid-90s with Bernard Edwards (also of Chic, and who co-produced the debut), but unfortunately it didn’t have the same inspired spark – and naturally it didn’t have the same ’80s production values either. Which is hardly surprising of course, but in the Power Station’s case it was a drastic omission; because their sound was very much based upon the classic ’80s “gated reverb on the drums” techniques, whereas other bands just used it because that was what was trendy among the producers they worked with.

          In fact, as you might know, the band was named after the NYC studio they recorded in. The Power Station was owned by Jon Bon Jovi’s uncle and was famed for being very acoustically reverberant, unlike most dry, carpet-on-the-walls studios of the ’70s. It’s really where the signature sound of the ’80s originated. I could write another article about this stuff but I think everybody’s probably had enough of me for one day!

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            I love those kind of factoids. They always make my day. The first time i heard the bass work on the powerstation album i was thinking holy shit when did john taylor become a master of funk bass. He has been living a lie, hahahhahhhah. pratt is good but i don’t particularly like how he changed some of waters bass lines when playing the classic tracks. But that was no doubt in the hands of gilmour ultimately. No disrespect to his talent. In what connection did you meet him ? As a drum professional what are a few of your favorite drummers or is the list to long ?

          • Max

            One of the places I work in Adelaide is a theatre complex which, every year, puts on what’s called the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, inviting notable axemen/women across the genres (though sadly not much in the way of metal). One year Guy Pratt was one of the artists featured; he was doing a question-&-answer session which I operated sound for. He mentioned the Power Station during his talk so I got talking to him about it afterward. An amiable and interesting chap in my experience.

            I ain’t a “drum professional” dude! I’ve only played drums in a band once; it was a local pop-punk band. Punk’s actually good for drummers because musically there’s no rules or expectations about how good you have to be, but I took the remit a little too liberally! Lars Ulrich was once described on Kill ’em All as sounding like “exactly what he was: an over-enthusiastic amateur who doesn’t know when to stop.” That’s a pretty good description of what I was like at the time. The next time I play drums in a band it’ll be better, I swear!

            Favourite drummers? Easy. There’s a ton of great ones besides Tony Thompson, but I’ve got a shortlist:

            1) Hellhammer from Mayhem. The guy’s fuckin’ amazing; I could listen to a Mayhem record with all of the other instruments taken out and enjoy it just as much or more; that’s how good he is.

            2) Pete Sandoval. In fact, on Heretic there IS a song which is just Pete doing a solo and it’s my favourite track on that record.

            3) Lombardo. Self-explanatory.

            4) Alex Van Halen is underrated, I always thought. Easy to be when you’re in a band with Eddie, but even so…

            5) Derek Roddy is my favourite of the new-school death metallers though obviously they’re all really good.

            6+) Paul Bostaph, Chuck Biscuits, Johnny Rabb, and it goes on…

            Here’s another factoid for you, Conan: The picture at the top of this article was helpfully chosen by Papa Thrashnkill because my choice was too small. But here was my original choice, in honour of you!

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        He died? That’s tragic because I loved the Power Station as much as the other Duran Duran based supergroup Arcadia.

        • Max

          About ten years ago, yeah. It is tragic. Not in the car accident, I hasten to add; that happened in ’86 and stopped him playing for a while.

          In fact Bernard Edwards and Robert Palmer are dead too; so there’s not much of the Power Station legacy left.

          I guess Palmer mainly lives on through his video concept for “Addicted to Love”, which seems to get appropriated pretty regularly!

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            When did Robert Palmer die? I thought he was still alive as well.

          • Max

            2003 – same year as Tony Thompson, in fact. He was only 54.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            Damn. That’s a shame because I thought he was catchy.

  • Poseur Diposeur

    This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on a metal site. I really hate a lot of the “bumpy” (wompy) EDM music, but I dig more relaxed and groovy kinds (like Thievery Corporation and Gramatik). I see the crossover between super wompy dubstep music and the various “core” genres because of their emphasis on building up and breaking down, but I don’t like much of either.

    Also, I appreciate how you define the various terms you use, because some are esoteric or often misused

  • Scrimm

    Did someone say disco? I know I posted this once before but screw it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xihGJveutQ8

  • MoshOff

    @Max Question: do you listen to stuff in lossless formats or are you a TOTAL POSER!!??!??

    It would be nice to know I’m not the only (sort-of) audiophile on here. Good article, btw!

    • Max

      I do only listen to stuff in lossless formats (put that down to growing up in the era of cassette tapes – I used to hate how the sound seemed to degrade nearly every time you ran it).

      That said, I’ll be honest: I can’t usually tell the difference between a .wav file / CD and its 320 kbps .mp3 equivalent (unless I do a null test, which is hardly relevant to real-world listening experiences for most people; just a fun exercise, really).

      I mean, if it was music I knew really well, and I was listening on a high-end system in a quiet environment and blah, blah, blah, then yes, I probably could tell the difference. But my ears are no better than anyone else’s; it’s just how you train them.

      The main argument I’d make in favour of lossless formats is purely down to how well they’re catching on: If we’ve got the storage space for them (we do), if we’ve got the transmission bandwidth (we kinda do), and if everybody can agree on a consumer format (and .flac seems to be winning that war lately), then why settle for lossy .mp3s when you don’t need to?

      Look, the .mp3 has its place in history. It was a breakthrough in online music distribution and storage at the time. It is in some ways unfairly maligned. But all things must pass, and I guess debates about bit-rate soon will.

      You need to visit Metal-Fi (http://www.metal-fi.com) if you have a burning interest in this stuff.

      • MoshOff

        Absolutely man. I have a 2 TB hard drive currently half full of flac rips, I have a problem right?

        And about the mp3 thing, I actually found an encoder that makes it REALLY hard for me to tell the difference between the flac originals and the 128kpbs transcodes. So now I source all my mp3s (for my iPod) from flac files, you never know where those internet mp3s have been!

        • Max

          It’s an interesting issue, isn’t it? Nobody denies that 128 kbps .mp3s can sound pretty ratty; we’ve all been there. But not all 128 codecs were conceived equally and there are some pretty astonishingly good ones out there that are battling the negative stigma of the astonishingly bad ones.

          For example, a lot of .mp3 codecs used to have options for squeezing the file size yet further by lowering the actual sample rate (not the bit rate), mixing the channels into mono or pseudo-stereo, and all sorts of other shortcuts. Of course those measures ARE going to affect the sound quality in easily-heard ways; but they don’t actually have ANYTHING to do with the .mp3 format itself; they’re just add-ons. Hence my phrase “unfairly maligned”.

          What is that encoder you found, out of interest?

          • MoshOff

            For the life of me I can’t remember what it was called, it’s the default one that comes with a program called Total Audio Converter. Maybe you can find out here:

            http://www.coolutils.com/TotalAudioConverter

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    I like music that has a good beat but it’s mostly stuff like New Order, Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. Those three artists have good beats.

  • TL;DR

  • JWG

    I recall having a bunch of my colleagues and acquaintances who are into dubstep and EDM trying to find stuff I’d like, and a few coming up with ‘Grimes’ based on what they saw as very “metal”-like cover art for Visions: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c1/Grimes_-_Visions_album_cover.png

    I didn’t really have the heart to tell them they were clearly confusing ‘metal’ art with a visual style more suited to something on the ‘mallcore’ side of the metalcore spectrum. Nor did I offer my actual thoughts on the album or sound thereof, which even to an untrained outsider ear like mine is “EDM” in only a very loose sense of the term.

    The same people are actually at it again, based on her current overexposed single, which seems like an even larger leap away from the darkness, at least in musical sound. So synth. Very pop.

    …But apparently a metal guy like me should appreciate it solely because the video begins with the opening lines from Dante’s Inferno…

    • Max

      They are rather missing the point, aren’t they? Here’s my advice, JWG: draft yourself up your own version of the nine criteria I listed according to your preferences, and present that to your friends with the brief that that’s what they’ve got to look for, and see how they fare…

  • Link D. LeonhⒶrt V.

    this is not my perception, and i’m not a theorist (more an musical empirist).. but this article was so much fun to read, even when it’s not in my mother language :P.. i suppose you’re a percussionist/drummer.. those bitches love electronic bip bip bop music, jajaja

  • If i wanted to hear beep-boops I’d just play some vidya, yamean?

  • Cito Kurrukan

    Disco rarely sucks. I really love music with a strong and lively beat.

  • j7ndominica0

    I heard on the BBC and read that _Disco in America sucked_ because a *disgruntled DJ* said so, after he got fired from a disco radio station. And the crowd followed this evil man under an illusion of free will.

    I am ready to admit that I can’t tell a Major from a Minor. Perhaps you could describe me as “tone-deaf”. I hadn’t had much experience with music when I grew up, because I didn’t even own a tape recorder. Compression artifacts affecting music do not disturb me to the same degree as those harming human voice, which everyone recognizes.

    I also tend to enjoy fun stuff done with voice samples in electronic music. Scooter, prodigy, happy hardcore, hands up. For example, when they twist a voice to say achee-achee-achee-hey-achee-hey-hey-hey, or something. Rap, not necessarily gangsta, but that heard in Eurodance, Pop rap and Old school Hip Hop is interesting. There are no or few notes, but mostly the rhythm.

    Harmony from Soul (slow songs on disco albums – I guess) and R&B has something magic in it. The group of singers surround and tickle me, the listener, from all directions much like the “Deep Note” does. Except I don’t hear notes or special relationships between them. I have read on Wikipedia that the this kind of synchronized singing is called Harmonized. So be it.

    I tend to perceive a switch in genre or tempo as a sort of excercise in dynamic range (range of ‘punchiness’). It is refreshing. I don’t understand metal or listen to metal, but I have heard a few albums in full. Dawn of Dreams – Amber springs to mind. To me the music is sad if it slow, or if it is played by a voice that can be howled along.

    Easy Listening arrangements (example, The Shadows) of popular music, as well as some film scores reveal more clearly the pattern in melody, which I tend not to hear when the same part is peformed by singers and stepped upon and iterrupted by drums and noise.

    I believe I can thank Grand Theft Auto for bringing me closer to Hip Hop as well as New Jack Swing. Yeah that’s right. Only now. Kinda late. I always liked “the rhythm of the dancer, which was serious as cancer”, but couldn’t predict I’d also like Old School Hip Hop. Real proper like.