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Bo-oo-ring
Old 29th July 2008
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Bo-oo-ring

Hello!

How many of you would agree when I say that "I think that this era is the most boring ever in electronic music". Go to Beatport.com which I guess is the biggest MP3 site for these genres, and have a listen to the top 100.
All(or at lest a very high %) uses the same Vengeance samples = the same/similar sound. And a lot of the tracks sounds unfinished too.

I find it scary , and it feels nothing creative about the scene at all right now. Of course it's hard to invent the wheel over and over (although it should be the way producers/writers think) , but I really look forward to some changes in the sound soon, anything!

I'm talking about the Club / DJ side of electronic music, so ambient etc. isn't included in my thoughts, my apologies. But the "major underground"(is that a good explanation) labels, producers , radiostations (radio 1) etc. doesn't feel that fresh! Tracks sounds the same now as stuff that felt a bit exciting in the first years of 2000 , when "euro-trance-like" sounds found it's way into house for example, and a new dancechart mania followed, and still goes on. Visit Midem and get a bunch of samplers that sounds the same. And I think people buy it because it's on the charts and is what is plugged by the dj's at the clubs.

It's like no one really dares to follow his/her own way and just do something different these days. Might be me Mr.Grumpy I know. But isn't that statement true in some sense?

Now, all genres have it's sounds, but as electronic music have so much different ways to go and it's easier to experiment with than a guitar and a drumset, - it's a bit strange that so many producers/labels/dj's stick with this sound. I know many of you are working with creating backingtracks on a daily basis and need a quick sollution - Loops etc. But is that fair to yourself and others? Why not try take things to a different exciting level and present something new to the A&R next time.

Create - something - new

Have a nice day
Old 29th July 2008
  #2
Gear Nut
 
cebec's Avatar
 

first, don't go to Beatport.
second, what's stopping YOU from creating something 'new'?
dig a little deeper -- you might like what you find...
Old 29th July 2008
  #3
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bleepbleep's Avatar
 

yeah - why beatport? thats for DJ /dance/club music lovers

go to bleep / boomkat / addictech etc if you want to experience a diverse range of electronic music
Old 29th July 2008
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Right,

I did write ; "I'm talking about the Club / DJ side of electronic music".
But I wasn't clear enough I think. It was wrong of me to write just "electronic music" .

Let's call it the mainstream side of electronic music.
That is what I was talking about.

That beatport site is one of the biggest sites that DJ's uses to get their tracks for the weekend. At least in Europe. Correct me if I am wrong, I don't have the figures. But if you go through top 100, like I did and had to write about -the development feels a bit scary and just like the topic said: pretty boring.

Same sounds and samples over and over.

Soundwise it feels like its getting worse and worse each year.

Major labels gladly license these tracks to their compilations because it's what sells.

Why does it sell? Is it really the clubcrowd that want a whole night with sidechained sawtooth bass + pads, and a vengeance house loop(+nexus synth riff) or is it just something you do as a producer, because the labels think "it should be like that"?

I wasn't talking about experimental electronica.
Although that feels a lot fresher for me personally but in the end maybe haven't got the same commercial potential like the genres I was talking about. I'm not sure of that either, but I think electronica needs a more dedicated crowd and club. (sidenote: I just remembered a gig I had some years ago on a festival and a guy that played right before me used 2 cut off sound cables and made a electric Zzzzzz sound in the mixer and used that with a delay mixed over a drummachine. That was very experimental and felt very cool. heh )

This is only a Personal reflection and I'm sorry if anyone feels offended.
I wrote this because it would be interesting to hear some different point of views. And also because I felt frustrated. Not that much in what I produce myself or what I work with, more about the overall "development".

It's around 12 years I released a record the first time, maybe not that long ago, but at least I've been involved and seen some sort of development in the overall club scene for a while. I have heard a lot of creativity and soul from different producers. Is it only me that think that this have been changed just within a couple of years?

And where is the love in some of the productions? Sometimes it feels like some music is made just because the producer can and want to show the skills.

PS. thanks for the tip on these sites


Quote:
Originally Posted by bleepbleep View Post
yeah - why beatport? thats for DJ /dance/club music lovers

go to bleep / boomkat / addictech etc if you want to experience a diverse range of electronic music
Old 29th July 2008
  #5
Moan Zoners

I like this kind of threads. There's a similar one about dfegadMySpace.
And Yes, those mp3s shops just suck to me,too. The Net is a better place for particular kind of music,as small netlabels - if I go to the mainstream it's like being stuck into the highway:

the problem is that everyone it's there...

My best experiences are done via shoutcast: I find some cool/wicked radiostations thru shoutcast... These radios aren't listed into the iTunes highway: iSuck

Last edited by tribeofenki; 29th July 2008 at 02:41 PM.. Reason: aesthetics
Old 29th July 2008
  #6
Deleted e49beec
Guest
I don´t understand why you critisize the mainstream club top 100 on beatport for being boring and using the same predictable vengeance sounds.
Ofcourse they do !
It´s mainstream !

Spend some time digging around in the more experimental labels.
Perhaps perlon,cadenza or oslo ?

there´s (usually) love in those productions although it may not be to your taste from the get-go.

Listen without prejudice :-D
Old 29th July 2008
  #7
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
 

I am not certain if the top 100 displays what is out there. It definately displays the lack of originality in djs at this moment. To me everyone is trying so hard to fall into this or that genre in order to be like "what's hot".

I like Beatport, but I feel that most of the stuff that is real popular right now sounds like it's trying too hard to be like a Hawtin, Oxia or Basic Channel record from back in 95-00'. Am I alone here?
Old 29th July 2008
  #8
Registered User
Much of the genre seems to be obsessed with taking a really cool musical idea, and then playing it for 3,291 measures.

Yes, I exaggerate, but...
Old 29th July 2008
  #9
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The Architecture's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zchwing View Post
Right,

I did write ; "I'm talking about the Club / DJ side of electronic music".
But I wasn't clear enough I think. It was wrong of me to write just "electronic music" .

Let's call it the mainstream side of electronic music.
That is what I was talking about.

That beatport site is one of the biggest sites that DJ's uses to get their tracks for the weekend. At least in Europe. Correct me if I am wrong, I don't have the figures. But if you go through top 100, like I did and had to write about -the development feels a bit scary and just like the topic said: pretty boring.

Same sounds and samples over and over.

Soundwise it feels like its getting worse and worse each year.

Major labels gladly license these tracks to their compilations because it's what sells.

Why does it sell? Is it really the clubcrowd that want a whole night with sidechained sawtooth bass + pads, and a vengeance house loop(+nexus synth riff) or is it just something you do as a producer, because the labels think "it should be like that"?

I wasn't talking about experimental electronica.
Although that feels a lot fresher for me personally but in the end maybe haven't got the same commercial potential like the genres I was talking about. I'm not sure of that either, but I think electronica needs a more dedicated crowd and club. (sidenote: I just remembered a gig I had some years ago on a festival and a guy that played right before me used 2 cut off sound cables and made a electric Zzzzzz sound in the mixer and used that with a delay mixed over a drummachine. That was very experimental and felt very cool. heh )

This is only a Personal reflection and I'm sorry if anyone feels offended.
I wrote this because it would be interesting to hear some different point of views. And also because I felt frustrated. Not that much in what I produce myself or what I work with, more about the overall "development".

It's around 12 years I released a record the first time, maybe not that long ago, but at least I've been involved and seen some sort of development in the overall club scene for a while. I have heard a lot of creativity and soul from different producers. Is it only me that think that this have been changed just within a couple of years?

And where is the love in some of the productions? Sometimes it feels like some music is made just because the producer can and want to show the skills.

PS. thanks for the tip on these sites
I feel the same way, in a way.

It does seem like were finally getting some fresh music in the late 2000's here. I can safely say that most of the early 2000's was a continuation of the 90's, but you can say that for quite a few things when you look at it closely. Alot of what developed in the early 80's was going on since the late 70's and so on. Its usually at the end of each decade where things really redefine themselves musically.

Look at Hardcore (now oldskool), developed around the late 80's, lasted till almost 93.

I personally got into electronic music around 1999, when I was 13 (yea yea, I know, what does this kid know). And some of the first cds I got were Chemical Brothers Surrender (still vastly different from ANYTHING I have heard, 10 years later) and Mr Ozio Analog Worms Attack (Still stands out from most electronic records).

One group I suggest checking out would be Twine, especially their newest cd, definitely one of the fresher albums Ive heard in a while.

What I am noticing is that electronic music is branching out from dance music, and putting its foot into other genres. Thats can't be a bad thing, unless you do it absolutely wrong.
Old 29th July 2008
  #10
that magic track you didn't hear?
working on it... heh
Old 29th July 2008
  #11
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The Architecture's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Talbot View Post
You're not alone there.

I've been listening to Groovera for several months, both "Low Mercury" and "Ambient Popsicle", and I've bought probably forty tracks after hearing them there. But the relatively small percentage of boring stuff seems really lame and unimaginative. I suppose they were a great idea late one night, to whomever made the stuff.

I really like some of the downtempo/chill, but I'm hearing very little that ventures beyond that mantle and into actual song/composition territory. Which isn't necessarily what electronic music aficionados are after, though it could help.
What are you exactly meaning by actual song/composition territory?

I give you one genre where repetition is necessary, Trance. now im not talking about that Epic Shiite that out there, im talking about the classic stuff from the early nineties. Music like that is best served with repetition and little changes over time. Case in Point: Humate's Love Stimulation.

Then again, too much repetition can get really annoying really quick. It has to at least be a good musical passage.

But then again, I hear lots of rock music that if it didn't have any lyrics, would be mindnumbing to listen to. most Electronic music haters don't realize this.
Old 29th July 2008
  #12
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Architecture View Post
But then again, I hear lots of rock music that if it didn't have any lyrics, would be mindnumbing to listen to. most Electronic music haters don't realize this.
But that rock music does have lyrics.

Maybe some electronic music would be more interesting to listen to if someone read Beat Generation poetry while the drum machines were goin' round and round....

(Actually, someone has probably done that, it being rather hard these days to think up something that someone hasn't done.)
Old 29th July 2008
  #13
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Architecture View Post
But then again, I hear lots of rock music that if it didn't have any lyrics, would be mindnumbing to listen to. most Electronic music haters don't realize this.
And allot is, even with lyrics.
Old 29th July 2008
  #14
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The Architecture's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
But that rock music does have lyrics.

Maybe some electronic music would be more interesting to listen to if someone read Beat Generation poetry while the drum machines were goin' round and round....

(Actually, someone has probably done that, it being rather hard these days to think up something that someone hasn't done.)
Looking at how lots of genres formed, alot of it was cross over experimentation and taking them to other areas.

One thing I have been making is Industrial RnB. It sounds like it wouldn't work, but it works incredibly well. Im not talking top 40 rnb, im thinking more on the lines of Blues and Soul music, and mixing that with lots of distorted beats and distorted Rhodes pianos. Something im havings lots of fun doing is distortion and mangling acoustic instrument sounds, making them sound totally different from what they used to sound like.

like this
Old 29th July 2008
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Talbot View Post
The answer is in your second sentence above. I'm not against repetition at all, and fully embrace the ethos behind it. I have an issue with stuff where things seem to repeat for the sake of repetition, and the piece doesn't take me somewhere.

An example of what I'm talking about will have chord progressions and some semblance of an arrangement, some melody or something that captivates the listener...then you realize the bass stays in the same key throughout, essentially repeating itself.
thumbsup well put
Old 29th July 2008
  #16
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The Architecture's Avatar
Random genre of the day: Industrial Crunk!

If LiL Jon used alot more distortion, and put insanely angry vocals over them, we might have a new genre there too.

I think I should try and make some.
Old 29th July 2008
  #17
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Two issues with the humungous amount of ****E out there:

A: People wanting fame and accolades without having any interest in gaining talent and learning an art form and with no understanding of the time it takes plus total ignorance of what music is.

B: ready made 'boil in the bag' loops and presets of pre-made tracks broken down into monkey brained blocks so that 3 year olds can re-construct these tracks like sticking lego bricks together.

The end result.... Beans on Toast.. Anyone can make it and it tastes alright but its the same wherever you have it and whoever makes it !
Old 29th July 2008
  #18
Lives for gear
 

what you say is true. While there are some artists and producers that really put out some amazing FRESH music.. Theres TONS that sound like the same "old" New ****.

Anyone want a guide to doing the current "minimal" Sound?

Go buy Vengeance Minimal Pack. Find Any kick. Use it. Drop in a snare. put some conga on shuffle. Drop in tight closed hihat. Put in a second conga or some claves. Drop in percussion full of reverb. Then take it out. Then put it back.

Wanna be "creative"? ;-) Put that reverb on automation. Now.. let this **** run for 60-120 secs. Then drop out the kick and introduce your one note bass or synth line. Then put all in..

BLABLABLA.

Im so tired of the current trend of most producers doing this "everything in reverb" thing.. ****ing boring.

end of rant.

thank you. ;-)
Old 29th July 2008
  #19
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

We need a baseline. A Standard. What does the OP think is "good."

Zchwing (OP), what would be useful is if you gave us a list of what you think is great electronica... since taste is so subjective, this discussion is semi-useless unless we have some sort of "standard" that you deem as "good" or "bad" and so on.

What do you think is great?

-andrews
Old 30th July 2008
  #20
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crufty's Avatar
One issue, I think anyway, is that somehow it became DJ law that thou shall not change the tempo mid mix.

I listen to mix XYZ and everything has been mixed to a steady tempo of 136.7 to perfection. After 5 minutes of whump whump whump my eyes glaze over. Silence, break and tempo variations are missing in a lot of beatport samples at least--I haven't gone so far as to actually buy any tunes. Whatever happened to smashing the hell out of cymbals, and a dramatic pause? What ever happend to the idea of one track ends, the next one begins? Am I just that much of an old fart?

Other rant is mp3 is an abomination.

But do not despair. Some recent threads caused me to revist some cds I hadn't listened to in ages. There was a lot of crappy music around in the early 90s too.
Old 30th July 2008
  #21
50573
Guest
Need some faith in recent electronic music? The Tuss - Rushup Edge please check it out
Old 30th July 2008
  #22
Deleted User
Guest
I know exactly what you mean. I tune in to the local popular country station and none of the formulaic twangy tunes that blend together one after another are particularly interesting. What happened to the days of Hank Senior, Patsy Cline and Conway Twitty? Worst of all, none of the tracks I labor on seem to make it onto popular country radio! Should I be concerned that the music I write does not conform to the popular genres that I find distasteful?
Old 30th July 2008
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all the great replies!

It's good to see I'm not alone out there on this matter.

Dirty Halo , it wasn't that much about what I personally think is Good, more about why popular music on beatport(and then everything around it, clubs, major dance radiostations like MoS) sounds the way it does. I took Beatport as an example because that is what Club DJ's seems to use the most. Trend. I don't think that a majority of people want the similar sound over and over again. (?) How long haven't we had the electro house boom, with "minimal" and tech-house. It's just too much and as I said it seems the overall sound is degrading more and more.
Old 30th July 2008
  #24
as already mentioned beatport IS the mainstream, what do you expect the mainstream is always banal. and MoS, in my opinion that was always crap even in its hay day.

yes there are two many copy cat producers trying to sound like John Dahlbäck and Switch. I detest this, and yes Vengeance, etc, are somewhat blame. But its too easy a trap to fall into, and it's not the first time the dance scene has come to saturation point within a specific genre with everything sounding the same. Something new will come along to shake things up as it has before.

imho one of the reasons why the major records of the early-mid 90's (ie Leftfield, Prodigy, etc) were so much better is that most of those tracks were made way before the final cd release and played and tweaked at numerous raves and parties. These days most young producers are just "from daw to the dance floor". They are the ones who post questions on this and other forums like "how can I get THAT justice bass sound"!!!

what everybody seems to be forgetting, and if we are really taking dance music here, is the dance floor! The best dance tracks of all time are usually the most simple ones, drums +2-3 sounds max and very very repetitive (ie Underworld "Rez") No tempo changes, no fancy ****, just pounding primal energy. At the end of the day I don't care how they make the track with or without Vengeance. Does it work on the floor?

I think when you've been into dance music long enough (I started in 90') you come to realize that great tracks exist in every genre it just takes longer to find them now. Many posts have been made about this, its one of the down sides of the internet and cheep music software. Too many tracks being released that up to 5-6 years ago would have never seen the light of day. I'm partly to blame myself, I'm involved with a reasonably well known digi label, and we are pulling way back this year. Basically last year just because we could, we released too many mediocre tracks, in the end it was a waste of time and money, and hurt our reputation.

I still hear good new tunes every week, granted I have a lot of dj friends, and granted not many of those tracks are coming from the states lately but I'm still as excited as I was when I was 16 when I hear a new track that works proper on a big system in a packed club.

ok rant over : )
Old 30th July 2008
  #25
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by msl View Post
as already mentioned beatport IS the mainstream
Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time thinking of beatport or the music there as mainstream, as I can only guess, but imagine that that music is listened to by a tiny fraction of one percent of the people in the US. Once again, this is just supposition, but I'd bet you could stop randomly stop 100 people between the ages of 15 - 30 on the streets of Chicago and be lucky to find one single person who'd ever heard of any of the top ten artists on beatport. Maybe they'd recognize a tune or so from a club, if they go to such places, but that'd be about it. I would imagine things are different in Europe.

I am not a young person, but my son (who is in college) and all of his friends mostly listen to hardcore metal. They are totally into many different kinds of music but none of them listen to anything remotely electronic. My daughter is in high school, and she (and her friends) listen to hip hop and pop rock.
Old 30th July 2008
  #26
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The Architecture's Avatar
I think what might be part of the reason why electronic music has stagnated, is that there has been little to no innovation in gear of late. The most innovative gear I can think of off the top of my head is the Evolver, That synth sounds like nothing else out there.

And I think the other thing is, we need to leave the 4x4 stuff behind, we've exhausted that. Maybe the key is to start trying odd time structures, experimenting with the actual song writing process as well.

First I need to learn how to play in 5/4ths time!
Old 31st July 2008
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

There's a lot of wisdom in this whole thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
One issue, I think anyway, is that somehow it became DJ law that thou shall not change the tempo mid mix...I listen to mix XYZ and everything has been mixed to a steady tempo of 136.7 to perfection. After 5 minutes of whump whump whump my eyes glaze over. Silence, break and tempo variations are missing in a lot of beatport samples at least--I haven't gone so far as to actually buy any tunes. Whatever happened to smashing the hell out of cymbals, and a dramatic pause? What ever happend to the idea of one track ends, the next one begins? ...Other rant is mp3 is an abomination.
I agree with you on this Crufty. I also agree with the idea that we shouldn't be surprised that mainstream music is, well, lame. They ought to call it Lamestream.

Good music is out there, but you have to hunt for it and find some decent sources.
Be willing to try new things too, as a listener. Personally, I think "experimental" music is very marketable. Just like any other genre there's good and bad stuff measured subjectively.

By the way,
Here's some good music that doesn't get enough praise:

shulman - discography :: albums :: random thoughts
shulman - discography :: albums :: in search of a meaningful moment
shulman - discography :: albums :: endless rhythms of the beatless heart

Take a chance on those guys, they make quality tunes in my opinion.
Old 31st July 2008
  #28
Im not saying this is the case with all electronic music - but in many ways dance music as a whole is limited by the basic rule that it has to sound good on the dancefloor - and unfortunately it doesnt sound good if you try to throw too much melody or too clever 'chin stroking' production onto the dancefloor. The majority of ears on the floor are fairly un-educated musically and respond to the same basic cues - buildups-drops etc. Thus explains the success of MoS and things like Hed Kandi.
I think part of this bordom is due to the range of producers fulfilling the basic dancefloor formulas.
But I dont base my perception of where dance music is by the Beatport top 100. If I did my DJ sets would be very short.....(!)
Its there if you know where to go for it....but sometimes it feels like there isnt enough stuff I like. But then I'll find a track by an artist and another world opens up....

Electro House was new and interesting. Now its been beaten to death. Producers like Deadmau5 still worth listening to. Theres a fair amount of innovation from producers on 'Made To Play', 'Dubsided' etc IMHO
Old 31st July 2008
  #29
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The Architecture's Avatar
Listening to some old Cosmic Baby here, it has occured to me that even in the early 90's, there were many sounds that were used alot in other songs. For example, there this 4x4 beat, but it doesn't sound exactly like a 909 or an 808, but a real sampled beat.



listen to this song at 2:23, this is the exact beat I have heard in hundreds of rave tunes from this era. Its a great song none the less, but I couldn't help notice the very typical 90's 4x4 break beat esque sound to it. I just can't put my finger on it, but can't begin to name how many tracks from this era has this same kind of beat.

Not to Mention the Lately Bass patch from the TX-81Z, Ive heard that on too many tracks to name as well. So even then, we had the same problem with people trying to imitate each other, but back then it was all developing and exploding so fast, no one really noticed.
Old 31st July 2008
  #30
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crufty's Avatar
even then... maybe even ESPECIALLY then. Throw down any 91 "Rave" tune and you'll hear 909 + hoover w/a tv sample. I think part of the reason why techno, as it was, got a bad rep in the states is those "ravey" songs really did sound very similar.
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