Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Last week I went to the Modeselektor gig at the Twisted Pepper in Dublin. I’ll admit that I knew only one of the DJs playing, Joy Orbison, who’s music I follow and enjoy.

I enjoy electronic music, but equally I know that my knowledge is very much limited to what I know and enjoy, as with many NORMAL music listening people, it takes time to discover music in a way that isn’t forced, but serendipitous. I’m not the type of person that sits on my computer all day trying to discover music, I have far too many things that I do, and I enjoy a healthy life away from my computer.

So the Modeselektor gig. Electronic music fanatics believe the electro scene is split in to two groups: them and ‘hipsters’, I had no concept of what a ‘hipster’ is and I’m still non the wiser. So this very black and white electro world apparently has no place for me, the fairly average guy who has many interests, but likes to go and see DJs now and again.

People behave in two ways when they meet people who share a similar interest to them: they continually struggle with that person to demonstrate their superior knowledge while outwardly being friends (like Verruca Salt and Violet Beauregarde), or dismiss their interest as feigned, merely trend following. And this happened at the Modeselektor gig I went to. The friend I went with is INCREDIBLY knowledgable and passionate about electronic music (I personally could not be arsed with that level of dedication) and he met a group of notably older electro fans there, I found their response a little bit surprising, immediately suspicious, immediately making sure it was clear that this was their exclusive club. How far removed this is from the early days of the electro scene fuelled by Ecstacy in an openly accepting environment. I’m not advocating drug taking, but it’s obviously still a large part of the scene, yet without the most essential benefit: acceptance. Like a giant comedown paranoia is seeping through the walls… See here for perfect example from Human Traffic… (Expect strong drug reference and strong naughty language)

I expect electronic music will reinvent itself as it has continued to do over the past thirty/ fourty years or so, and the previous generation will grow beyond a point where they can attend and police gigs in the fascist like manner they do at the moment.

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Moby popularised electronic music. He did this by creating a very distinct style, with his first successful album Play having a strong ambient feel. This was the worlds first commercial taste of ambient sound, when it appeared in the early noughties it captured the New York/ eastern influenced atmosphere that was impacting western society, a society interested in new age culture. I discovered Moby while I was still at school… For me, a boy never particularly interested in metal and the type of rock that was popular at the time, it was perfect, I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer so the ambient aspect appealed greatly, the richness of the sound, the more sophisticated quality of composition. It was Moby who introduced me to the Electro Genre, an interest which grew wider and further towards the upbeat end.

These days what I particularly love about Moby is the amazing variation of style on each album. My first Moby album was 18, the one after Play, which was heavily ambient then Hotel which again was largely ambient. There was a largeish gap between Hotel and the next new release, and in this time I explored Moby’s back catalogue: I like to Score, Everything is Wrong, Animal Rights and Ambient. This was an entirely new musical education for me as the early albums really help to see the progression in Moby’s work from House towards ambient. Last Night released in 2008 was a tribute to the New York dance scene, a couple of tracks having a heavy disco influence, appealing greatly to House lovers and showing that Moby is a skilled electro all-rounder.

So to the upcoming album Destroyed. Yes an appropriately unusal title, I strongly recommend you download the EP he released, available for free download from moby.com. If this is anything to go by, it promises to be closer in style to 18/ Hotel than the previous two albums Last Night and Wait For Me.  Be The One is a fantastic track and I know that come the middle of May I will be first in line in the music store.

Twenty year old Nicolas Jaar has my respect. The American Electronic music scene seriously lacks the excitement of the European scene, in this one aspect at least, Europe leads the way in creating experimental electronic music, and pushing and evolving the genre it created and nurtured. What interests me inparticular is the grass roots music that is artists at the beginning of their careers pushing their particular sound, a different take on the stuff playing most of the clubs in Germany, London, Paris (and now to an increasing extent Dublin). Ramadanman who I was only recently introduced to definitely does this, I went to see him play a set in Dublin last month, and was inpressed with his distinctive twist on dubstep that he wove into a varied but seamless set.

But New York born Nicolas Jaar creates a sound that is impossible to define, I’m struggling to fit him into a particular category, with a particular genre label because frankly he doesn’t fit into one… This excites me, I think far too many mainstream artists, as they become more established particularly, get scared of being more experimental with their music, of incorporating other sounds, crossing over into other genres and sub-genres, the result of this is fairly ‘samey’ music. Maybe it’s his age then that makes (can I call you Nic?) Nic Jaar’s work so appealing to me? A real wealth of sound across a variety of genres (house, disco, dubstep, bhangra!? et al),  something about being young, indecisive and exploritary, that causes this, but whatever it is, please don’t stop Nic I love it! So maybe the US is finally going to become a challenger to the European scene. What I’d really love to see is a completely fresh scene that is perhaps a little bit less preoccupied with image, because from an outsider that’s how it looks… A music revolution!? Maybe not.

Check out some of Nicolas Jaar’s stuff on youtube…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y_ikBmNeRU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bmG8hgDyP0&feature=related