Archive for the ‘Rants, Raves, and Education’ Category

“Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”     Brian Eno

Technical Definition and Backstory:

The roots of ambient music go way back the period just before and after the first world war which gave rise to two significant Art Movements that encouraged experimentation with various musical (and non musical) forms, while rejecting more conventional, tradition-bound styles of expression. These art movements were called Futurism and Dadaism. Aside from being known for their painters and writers, these movements also attracted experimental and ‘anti-music’ musicians like 20th century French composer, Erik Satie.

Satie utilised Dadaist-inspired explorations to create an early form of ambient / background music that he labeled “furniture music” (Musique d’ameublement). He described it as being “the sort of music that could be played during a dinner to create a background atmosphere, rather than serving as the focus of attention”. From this historical perspective, Satie is the link between these early Art movements and the work of Brian Eno, who as an art school trained musician, had an appreciation of both music and art.

Brian Eno is credited with coining the term “Ambient Music” in the mid-1970s to refer to music that can be either “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener”, and that exists on the “cusp between melody and texture.” Eno used the word “ambient” to describe music that creates an atmosphere that puts the listener into a different state of mind and chose the word based on the Latin term “ambire” which means “to surround”. 

 
Listen to Brian Eno Then                                                                  Listen to Brian Eno Now

  

I’m sure you’re thinking…that’s great, but how does all this relate to EDM today?

By the early 1990s artists such as The Orb and Aphex Twin  were being referred to by the popular music press as ambient house, ambient techno, IDM or simply “ambient” according to the liner notes of Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports:

Later in the period much experimental electronica,  expanded the themes of ‘ambient’ along the lines of earlier 1970s ambient music & dub but with increasingly abstracted sample-based textures and digital electronics that ultimately began to converge with minimalist compositions and music concrete.

Digital era electronic ‘electroacoustic’ artists, including the recent work of Eno himself, are notable in their attempts to create ‘sonic sculptures’ which interact with the physical architecture of the listening space using advanced electronic installations.

 

Listen to Aphex Twin

 

 

 

 Listen to The Orb

Technical definition

Classic trance usually employs a 4/4 time signature, a tempo of 130 to 155 BPM, 32 beat phrases, and is somewhat faster than house music but usually not as fast as psychedelic trance. Occasionally, trance may be faster and slower. A kick drum is placed on every downbeat and a regular open hi-hat is often placed on the upbeat. Simple extra percussive elements are usually added, and major transitions, builds or climaxes are often foreshadowed by lengthy “snare rolls”—a quick succession of equally spaced snare drum hits that builds in volume towards the end of a measure or phrase.

Today’s trance is generally characterized by a tempo of between 120 and 145 bpm, repeating melodic synthesizer phrases, and a musical form that builds up and breaks down throughout a track. It is more melodic than Techno, and the harder styles usually have harder beats than House.

 

Pioneers of Trance

Jean Michel Jarre, a pioneer of electronic music, released two highly influential albums in the late 1970s: Oxygène in 1976 and Equinoxe in 1978.  Oxygène has been described as the album that “led the synthesizer revolution of the Seventies.”

Listen to Jean Michel Jarre

 

Klaus Schulze, inspired by the work of Jarre in the previous decade, composed several albums of highly atmospheric, sequencer-driven “experimental music”, 1981’s Trancefer and 1987’s En=Trance. The albums share similarities with early trance music; and, for this reason, are sometimes labeled as “trance”. Furthermore, it is debated whether the origin of the word trance as a description for the genre came from the Schulze’s albums bearing the name.

 

 Listen to Klaus Schulze

EDM is the blanket term for all variants of Electronic Music not the other way around!

…So what’s Techno?

In general, techno is produced with the intention of it’s being heard in the context of a continuous DJ set, where the DJ progresses from one record to the next via a synchronized  mix. Much of the instrumentation in techno emphasizes the role of rhythm over other musical parameters. The main drum part is almost universally in four to the floor style which  is essentially a disco (or even polka) drum pattern.

Some of the drum programming employed in the original Detroit-based techno made use of syncopation and polyrhythm, yet in many cases the basic disco-type pattern was used as a foundation, with polyrhythmic elaborations added using other drum machine voices. This syncopated-feel, or funkiness, distinguishes the Detroit strain of techno from other variants. It is a feature that many DJs and producers still use to differentiate their music from commercial forms of techno, the majority of which tend to be devoid of syncopation.

Pioneers of Techno

The initial blueprint for techno was developed during the mid-1980s in Belleville, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May (the so-called Belleville Three)



Listen to Juan Atkins

Listen to Kevin Saunderson

i cant remember what or why .

Listen to Derrick May

Que es House Music?

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Rants, Raves, and Education

So if you’re a novice to EDM you’re probably wondering what exactly is house music anyway? Let’s explore…

The Technical Definition:

The common element of house music is a prominent kick drum on every beat also known as a four-on-the-floor which is a steady, uniformly accented beat in 4/4 time in which the bass drum is hit on every beat (1, 2, 3, 4) in common time.

Example

Pioneer of House


House  may have its origin from a Chicago nightclub called The Warehouse which existed from 1977 to 1983. It was  frequented primarily by gay black and Latino men, who came to dance to disco music played by the club’s resident DJ, Frankie Knuckles, and then followed him to his new club, The Powerhouse, in 1983.

Listen to Frankie Knuckles