Is dance music really "a walk in the park"?

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Over the next five Fridays, inthemix will be getting involved with a series of hot-topic debates. Each week we’ll chew over topics ranging from the state of weekly clubbing to where trance is at in 2012, with prizes for getting involved in the debate. All this is powered by Hyundai Veloster, and of course the need to stay entertained on Fridays. Here’s the first in the five-part series.

If you care to trawl through 11 years of inthemix editorial (don’t; get some sun instead), you won’t find much mention of the name Noel Gallagher. Despite the occasional hook-up with electronic titans like Goldie and The Chemical Brothers, the former Oasis co-anchor rarely raises a blip on our radar. In October 2011, however, Noel Gallagher made it to the ITM homepage with some eyebrow-raising comments about the current state of dance music.

“There’s too much shit now,” he mused in a video interview. “I had a house in Ibiza for 12 years, and you could just feel the change one year. From nobody knowing what they were doing with these machines, to somebody mastering it and the machine makers making it easier for people to use. Dance music sounds like a walk in the park now. Any fucker can do it – and quite frankly, every fucker is doing it. Back in the late ‘80s, songs like Pacific State, Voodoo Ray and Strings Of Life were just amazing pieces of music.”

Naturally, Noel Gallagher isn’t who we’d consider an authority on dance music, but our curiosity was sparked less by his comments than by the response to his comments on inthemix and beyond. For all the people giving Noel the back-hand, many others conceded that the man’s got a point. Maybe making dance music these days – and even achieving a level of commercial success with that music – is too easy, too formula-driven, too cut-and-paste. In other words: interesting argument, wrong mouthpiece.

Someone whose opinion does hold weight around these parts is house original Francois K, who foreshadowed Gallagher’s comments when we interviewed him in 2010. “When I look back at the ‘90s, it was a time when bedroom studios were not so prevalent,” he said. “In those days, they were spending quite a bit of money in recording studios. Today there’s 100,000 bedroom producers trying to make that magic track that becomes number one on Beatport. They’re basically all sampling the results of those expensive recording sessions that they can’t afford to do themselves for the most part. A lot of people are taking what was expensive to make so that they in turn can make it very cheaply.”

Comments

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Conor-

Conor- said on the 5th Jan, 2012

Dave still has it...
I think that you need something new to make it - an edge, a snappiness about you - that's what Madeon brought.
But then again, everything 'used to be better'. Talk to any reggae, rock, hardcore, hiphop or indie producer and they will tell you the same thing - Everthing used to be better.
I guess we have to just keep going in the commercialised world of ours, and adapt.

andosound

andosound said on the 5th Jan, 2012

Is that Zwelli in the pic? lol

andosound

andosound said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Good to see Kyson get a mention, he does some great stuff.

SlicyDicer

SlicyDicer said on the 6th Jan, 2012

If it's a walk in the park then why isn't everyone successful?

Partyman Lex

Partyman Lex said on the 6th Jan, 2012

With the quantity far outstripping the quality for dance music recently, more and more people think that they have the ability to match it the name stays of the genre. Although some of them are able to break out of the basements, the vast majority of them remained unknown to the masses with a small underground following. It gives them a sense of achievement that they have a few hundred people around the world listening to their music. Occasionally they may just stumble across the perfect beat to bring the dance floors back to life, and that is what their fan base is for. They should not be discouraged from making their individual tunes, nor should they be encouraged into believing that they are as popular as their idols. The big names of the genre still need to spend time and invest effort to create tunes that keep them at the top of the game. It ultimately comes down to the individual listeners to decide which tracks to listen to and which to let others listen to. The huge quantities of tunes available are and will continue to be an asset to the dance genre; although it would never hurt to lose some of the basement wannabe%u2019s who believe they are entitled to the fame and recognition of talent.

mocha66

mocha66 said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Noel does have a valid point; dance music is completely saturated right now. But it’s no different from the 80s when every kid picked up a guitar and started a band in an attempt to live the dream. All it takes now is for a kid to invest about $1000 and watch a few tutorials on youtube on “how to make their favourite artists sound” and they think they can produce. Sure they might crack the top 100 on Beatport or get a few followers on soundcloud but what next? It takes originality and perseverance in order to establish a career as a legit EDM producer.

Madeon is a good example of someone who gained recognition from the scene from his insane remixes of pendulum and deadmau5. Only reason being is his sound is original and sophisticated. His productions are on another level and one of the hardest to replicate, very reminiscent of daft punk.

Skrillex is another example who exploded last year simply because his productions are original. Giving dubstep the melody, filth, structure and credibility it deserved and establishing it as a valid genre.

Everyone is in it for the wrong reasons. Kids just want the fame and glory and start imitating their favourite artists and as a result the music is becoming watered down, dull versions of popular artists. If it’s a walk in the park then why isn’t every kid on the block successful? It’s only the select few that come out each year who have poured sweat and blood into their productions who reach the bills of major festivals around the world.

libby

libby said on the 6th Jan, 2012

I think it has become too easy - but that's inevitable with the proliferation of technology (and its affordability). The plethora of rubbish tracks isn't the problem - curation makes it pretty easy to find a lot of good things. The problem is more about what happens when you don't have careers that develop over time and become increasingly more interesting. it's happening with rock & other genres because record companies haven't been investing in career artists either (look at Idol as a case in point - it's so completely disposable). Without career artists are the headliners of the future all going to be one-hit wonders? where is the depth

Henry Johnstone

Henry Johnstone said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Dance music's always been easy to make, it's just not easy to make GOOD dance music, and that hasn't changed, even with the proliferation of technology.

The fact that anyone can release music today means that labels are now more important than ever in helping filter through all the crap. I think Libby touched on a good point in that without record companies investing in artists, where will the Chemical Bros and Prodigys of the future be?

Heist9000

Heist9000 said on the 6th Jan, 2012

I'm getting the producers of ITM to put their money where their mouth is on this one... http://www.inthemix.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=300699

If it really is so easy, it should only take an hour to show the big guns who's boss!

GoodLove

GoodLove said on the 6th Jan, 2012

The only reason i would want to find myself in the category on the hundreds of thousands of bedroom producers who just want to crack the big time is to have that shot to be onstage in front of 100 000 punters, whose collective esctasy, energy and euphoria from dancing to your track is funnelled straight back to you, overwhemingly; surely there would be no greater feeling on earth.

Wowk

Wowk said on the 6th Jan, 2012

I think Henry Johnstone has it nailed: "dance music is easy to make...but GOOD dance music is difficult to make"

IMO Noel's comment regarding "any fucker" is referring to those people who download a sample pack and use a cracked version of Ableton to chuck some loops together that they don't even bother to try and edit in any way. That IS incredibly easy to do. Shit, I just used some some of the pre-loaded samples/loops that come with Reason 5 and had the basis of a track in about 10 minutes. It was a shit track though.

GoodLove

GoodLove said on the 6th Jan, 2012

relevant --> http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/01/digital-music-sales-beat-physical-music-sales-for-the-first-time/

DJ KnightSA

DJ KnightSA said on the 6th Jan, 2012

It is easy to make a one hit wonder.

It is amazingly difficult to put out a track so good that people will actually pay attention to the next one.

Most producers nowadays are actually just producers.
They find some samples, arrange them and then mix and (maybe) master them.
Very few people have genuine audio engineering skills. Understanding synthesis is rapidly becoming a lost art.
The real geniuses out there are making loops for sample packs.

The music is now about how many people you can get to turn up to your gigs and how many people will buy your track, not at all about how talented you are as a producer.
And because of this, we're seeing people get into the industry because they're popular, not because they're good at it.
These same people fade away by the time they release a second single and are, basically, never heard of again.

I'm glad that I can afford to make music nowadays.
However, it saddens me that because I'm individually not that popular, people lump me in with the enormous amounts of sub-par music out there, and choose not to listen to me because of that; rather than acknowledge that I genuinely have some level of ability (I've been studying music and learning instruments since I was 7).

And that's a depressingly common problem for talented nobodies.

raymo009

raymo009 said on the 6th Jan, 2012

A little off-the-topic here but.... As much as the idea of mixing sounds of different genres sounds like a terrific idea; nothing pisses me off more. Sampling, I acknowledge great thing to do, but can't we just keep that for the live performances (done by the likes of DJ Yoda and alike)? It's becoming more and more common for pop artists to take a nice instrumental track and chuck some poor lyrics over the top, and not even have them mastered in nicely. Two recent examples (and yes, I acknowledge they're somewhat commercial... but perhaps not if it weren't for the pop artists :P) Brazil by Deadmau5 (my fav. song destroyed by whatsherface) and Bromance by Tim Berg (also reuined). Collaborations too; great in theory, pretty good in practice, but it's f'ing irratating. When Rap artists start borrowing sounds from trance, like Eminem and Rihanna. If this was a crime, David Guetta would be facing life in jail for his serial-collaborations. he's a whore in that regard... though Kudos to him, he's done pretty well for himself to make it to No.1..... I would love to share a more articulate and credible opinion with you, but when I get a hot head, there's just so much going through it, i can't compose myself. apologies.

justeNyc

justeNyc said on the 6th Jan, 2012

It comes to down to one thing: everybody is upset that the secret is out.

Now we have new entrants, in both fans and hopeful producers, that are diving head first into a scared realm of music without earning their stripes. The veterans are pissed. My biggest annoyance isn't their lack of music education as their lack of PATIENCE. They want big drops- distorted bass- snazzy riffs- and constant vocals. God forbid a DJ hold a beat for 8 minutes, building tension and melody. It's music for an A.D.D. generation. This is even evident in the dancing (wild fist pumping and quasi moshing vs steady gooving and 2 stepping).

But fuck them. Let them have Alesso, Calvin Harris, and Dirty South (which IMO, has had the biggest decline of any artist). I'll take Luciano, Cox, Sasha, Voorn, Hernan, Sander. K etc..... Let them crowd the main stage. I'll be in the Sunday School Tent.

Dance music is such a broad and deep genre that we have to accept the fact that not every follower marches to the same beat.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

What do you think? Post your comment...

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Hmmmmmmmm

Since the early 2000%u2019s dance music%u2019s popularity in the mainstream and the expansion of the scene; that is those who consume, create and collect this type of music; has seemingly grown endlessly. Yet that%u2019s my personal opinion; but I think from the onset dance music has had forays into the popular culture notably house music and hardcore (here%u2019s Johnny track for example) and trance. It%u2019s only now that in Australia and other countries electronica has taken the path from relative obscurity to a well known scene. Now there are 1000%u2019s enjoying and part of this music when before it was 100%u2019s (okay shit with numbers). This explosion in the scene has resulted in more creators and more consumers%u2019 as well as a growing trend towards mixing with other genres notably hip-hop and pop music (mainstream). Electronic Dance music has gone form relatively small consumer group associated with drugs and raves and predominantly from the middle classes of the West to being huge music styles and finding a way into the huge countries of China and India.

This associated increase in consumers and %u201Ccreators%u201D has led to some argument over the quality and quantity of music.

I%u2019ve decided to look at some aspects I think are important in this discussion. Of course this is really opinionated and not researched or educated and could be wrong. But please feel free to correct or expand.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Technology

One thing that has facilitated the expansion and cheapness of electronic music has been the rapidly expanded affordability and access to technology. Firstly in the creative sense and then an outlet to communicate and share such music (the interwebs).

When Detroit techno came out it was kids/young people experimenting and playing with sound in their rooms (apparently/if I%u2019m not mistaken). Their dedication, time and genius have made everlasting waves in the world of music. In fact much of electronica%u2019s early history was young people or young at heart (generalization and maybe incorrect) creating. In a similar fashion, do the youth of today create the music in the same way? Yes and No. Now it%u2019s easy for anyone to cut and paste samples and anyone with a decent computer and some time can do this. In some weird ways the techno based culture that electronics would bring to the world (utopian and democratic ideals) has really come to the masses like never before. But has this at the same time cheapened the music?


I don%u2019t know but I%u2019d guess it hasn%u2019t, but as others have pointed what%u2019s changed is the huge amount of shit music coming through. And what%u2019s new too is that before there was a great deal of time involved in getting your track made and out there and then it growing. Now it%u2019s simply a matter of create and upload and then marketing as such come into play (discussed later). Before I think it was a lot more work for your track to make it and there was more work involved in getting the music from being made to being consumed by the home listener. Another factor is that before people actually bought your music, the age of digital still has a lot of buyers but I also question aspects of it. I guess this change in digital has also meant people can now own music and more of it whether legal or illegal. That said I%u2019m a purist- CD%u2019s and Vinyl for me (no cassettes please).

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

This is going to sound weird but I think electronica has gone from being an %u201CAdult sound%u201D to an everyone sound. Before electronica was associated with drugs and clubbing- adult pursuits, thus not really kid friendly. The music played did play in ads but to actually listen to it properly you%u2019d have to be awake in the middle of the night for many radio stations or watch on Rage. And early on where the fuck would you buy it? Not HMV I think.
For me my foray into electronic sounds was driven at a young age and my first CD would be a collection of dance sounds with my two favourite songs Being CJ Bolland track and The Orb%u2019s- Toxygene at 10 (I bought it cause the store guy let me play it and I liked Toxygene lol). For 4 years I didn%u2019t get any electronic music (no money) but listened to it regularly but only on Video Hits and a radiostation, I was really clueless. At 14 I started buying a couple of Chemical Brother CD%u2019s and similar Bigbeat and bigger artists it was only till I hit 16 with the help of alchemy TV show, triple J and RAGE that I started to get into electronica hugely (I didn%u2019t have net and when I did it was slow and even then it was hard to find out about music and there was no YouTube etc) another factor was the access to Mixmag. I was I guess was part of the first group to get easy access to electronic unlike those before me and the kids nowadays can easily find out about it and it%u2019s more mainstream at a younger age.


This factor of access, easiness, easy to share and more people means we just simply have more.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

This is going to sound weird but I think electronica has gone from being an %u201CAdult sound%u201D to an everyone sound. Before electronica was associated with drugs and clubbing- adult pursuits, thus not really kid friendly. The music played did play in ads but to actually listen to it properly you%u2019d have to be awake in the middle of the night for many radio stations or watch on Rage. And early on where the fuck would you buy it? Not HMV I think.
For me my foray into electronic sounds was driven at a young age and my first CD would be a collection of dance sounds with my two favourite songs Being CJ Bolland track and The Orb%u2019s- Toxygene at 10 (I bought it cause the store guy let me play it and I liked Toxygene lol). For 4 years I didn%u2019t get any electronic music (no money) but listened to it regularly but only on Video Hits and a radiostation, I was really clueless. At 14 I started buying a couple of Chemical Brother CD%u2019s and similar Bigbeat and bigger artists it was only till I hit 16 with the help of alchemy TV show, triple J and RAGE that I started to get into electronica hugely (I didn%u2019t have net and when I did it was slow and even then it was hard to find out about music and there was no YouTube etc) another factor was the access to Mixmag. I was I guess was part of the first group to get easy access to electronic unlike those before me and the kids nowadays can easily find out about it and it%u2019s more mainstream at a younger age.


This factor of access, easiness, easy to share and more people means we just simply have more.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Musical Education:

One thing I can say is that there also seems to be a real lack of knowledge on musical theory such as beat patterns, keys, ideas about harmony and melody and so forth. On top of this there are also many people (read producers) who have no knowledge of the history of electronic music let alone a good history of music of the past and other genres (from Classical Western and Eastern (India, China, Japan, Middles Eastern and things like Gamelan), African, Latin, then genres like disco, funk, jazz and so on.

A lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one and say I%u2019m elitist or that it has no relevance at all. It%u2019s possible that many artists and DJ%u2019s don%u2019t need much knowledge of other music and not much on theory and that in fact that%u2019s the one liberating factor of dance music, you don%u2019t need to spend years and money to make music. That%u2019s true and I agree but I think some education in theory and or playing an instrument really can make you a better artist/DJ and also be intrinsically rewarding.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Firstly, I believe that even having some minor musical theory knowledge is really pivotal. You don%u2019t need to be an 8th level pianist doing a Bachelor of Music but some theory would greatly advance and distinguish between a good one off producer and good DJ to those that are subpar. Knowing other genres (bar fucking hip-hop or bogan rock music) would add to some more interesting tracks and a more diverse. Some people will counter this by going on by the amount of remixes %u2013 well%u2026a lot of remixes are shit! Either it%u2019s lame ass pop/ hip-hop/ rock anthems and even in the slight chance they choose something awesome they absolutely butcher it. This remix culture brings a lot of people in (and is some what a testament to electronica) but to me it is shit a lot of the time. It also highlights or adds to the idea of a lack of creativity and was a reason that I don%u2019t like or have been put off sets and styles.

Secondly, knowing other genres can add to elements of your production and better samples even. And for DJ%u2019s it can improve your set. I have a feeling many people don%u2019t know much about old school classics recently and you know what? Some of them can still go off nowadays. Recently I tested some electro jerk by linking him the song %u201CNo Way back%u201D by Adonis. A classic and awesome, I asked him what he thought about it. His response was cool but a bit slow. He didn%u2019t believe that it could have been made in 1988. Instead when he DJ%u2019s he probably plays the same electro shit from last 3-4 years%u2026 maybe that%u2019s the done thing and common; but I think you should be diverse in sets from genres to tempo to mood and age of tracks.

In a last point dance music has always been labelled as button pushing and simple. I disagree with this a lot of the time, but you can%u2019t deny it. There%u2019s more skill in playing a guitar or drums then it is mashing tracks. This will always be a side of elecontrica for better or worse but in this day and age it%u2019s why we have such shit music. Why bother learning a guitar and being a rock star when you can mash a track and potentially make it %u2013 it%u2019s fuck loads easier and cheaper.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Marketing and exposure

I listen to a wide variety of music. I%u2019m not part of any scene; don%u2019t use beatport, MySpace, lastfm, sound cloud. I just use this forum, another one for indie music and 2-3 blogs one is mnmlsssgs, one is for psytrance and one is for indie music. Essentially I%u2019ve never been part of any scenes or been in the know but I still get a lot. That means that while I%u2019m really clueless to trends and no one really suggests me things I can find out heaps. I find my music through labels, mixes (check the track list), YouTube and Wikipedia (recommendations, similar artists, style and artists links) and so forth. Thus the internet has been very good for me and everyone else provided I%u2019m hit with luck or more often searching out of my way for things.

So for me I wonder how do artists get big and noticed? It has to be marketing and social media (which I don%u2019t use and can go fuck itself). People get exposed/discovered for whatever reason and means tracks can surge in popularity quickly. Suddenly some kid who%u2019s made 3 tracks can be touring within a year it seems. The age of maturity and having some experience seems gone %u2013 something really only unique to Electronica and Hiphop I think. Definitely this is an area of very low level of knowledge but also one of the most important aspects one which has been covered well.
And to be honest this huge immense amount of music, the thousands of blogs and the thousands of tracks is dizzying and confusing. I don%u2019t give a fuck and don%u2019t care. I%u2019m not a hipster and I%u2019ll let time and some true recommendations sway me on what%u2019s good.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Conclusion

And that%u2019s where I stop my long inane musings and come up with a conclusion%u2026


To be honest I feel electronica is as vibrant as ever but it depends on what you want and how far you go to search and really if you%u2019re a DJ/producer what you%u2019re doing it for. There%u2019s more people making music because of the affordability to make music and the ease at making music in comparisons to before (cheaper PC%u2019s no hardware needed), the increase of popularity for a myriad of reasons including geographic, economic but mainly the internet, coupled with social media and the age/maturity of electronica itself

I love electronica. It ironically made me fall in love with other sounds and it%u2019ll always be special for me. It%u2019s a music that collectively covers many emotions and is for many places. It%u2019ll continue to grow and merge and influence everything and hopefully be reflective itself %u2013 constantly taking from others sounds. For me music been there when I%u2019m happy, sad, stressed, angry, doing stupid regretful things and so forth, I don%u2019t see it as emotionless. To me it%u2019s vibrant and very comforting. It means enjoyment and pleasure of the sounds. It also means a unique way to hear and understand the world. There are tonnes of bad tunes but over 20 years of electronic dance music and a new wave of creator%u2019s means there%u2019s a really expanding of good sounds. Sadly it seems more and more that a lot of the good stuff is overshadowed by rubbish but I think it%u2019s not all bad. Especially if you seek and want music for pleasure itself and are opening your aural palette.

I do have dreams to create music, when I can afford a computer/laptop and good monitors. And basically, I just want to make something I enjoy and some people enjoy. There%u2019s no need for me to be seen and heard by 100,000 people nor to make it into charts and be famous and definitely not bothering/thinking of making money. If 20 people are going insane to my tune at a club or a bush doof that%u2019s more than enough for me. Of course I would love to be labelled %u201Cgenius%u201D and such but even one awesome track is enough.


Also if you guys know good blogs for specific styles etc please please tell me!


hdskp

hdskp said on the 6th Jan, 2012

Hey sorry for that, i wanted to post that long block of text into one thing but it didn't let me 9guess character restrictions) and i also repeated once - if a moderator could pelase delete that it's very wlecome

I wrote that really quickly so there's heaps of errors in gramamr and even what word i should have used but i think at the time and now it's making sense. And yes sorry for a long post. Obviously i love music so hope you're not too annoyed.

Thanks^^

defected819

defected819 said on the 6th Jan, 2012

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Pendulum

Pendulum said on the 7th Jan, 2012

To be honest I'm all for things being easy. Take the most complex things of yesterday and make them the simple things of tomorrow, which will mean that a new 'difficult' thing will evolve from the use of the older techniques. Isn't that what technology is all about? I mean, this is 'computer music' after all, and computers are tech, and tech evolves. Won't be long before the sequencers start writing the music for us LOL.

Honestly though, I have found that while mastering production techniques is easier through tutorials etc, the art of training your ear to create beautiful mix downs is a much more difficult thing - I guess that's why pretty much every budding producer I know pays someone to do the mix down and mastering, which I think is a cop out.

Funkedub

Funkedub said on the 7th Jan, 2012

Why is Francois's opinion more lauded than Noel's ?? Do you know what Noel listens to day and night? And Francois? Perhaps by not being in "the scene" Noel offers a less myopic view?

Anyway ...


Bland dance music has prolifereated because electronic dance music is now very much part of mainstream culture these days and as a result there's more bland people to cater for. More bland people listening to it, means more people making it too.

It's a numbers game. I'd contend that there are as many brilliant and creative tracks being produced now as there was 10-15 years ago .. but the way they permeate the scene and people's tastes has changed ... it's changed a LOT.

Once upon a time the only way to hear the freshest of new tunes was to go to a club where the DJ would be spinning a dubplate or white label ... now you just sit at home and check Beatport charts or go on a youtube adventure.


Also on yutube is a plethora of tutorials on "how to make dubstep" .. is this good? Well, yes and no. It's great that the access to such a creative output has become so much cheaper and readily accessible ... but the flipside is that everyman and his cat are now a "producer" with next to no musical background or interest beyond making a tearout wobblly bassline they can impress their mates with and hopefully get laid.


So in terms of accessability and expense, EDM is a walk in the park compared to how it was 10-15 years ago .. however, i do believe that there is no less inovation and creativity out there, but you have to scratch a bit further down from the surface to surpass the ocean of beige that's consumed dance music.



(a lot of the above applies to DJs as well ... don't even get me started on that)

hdskp

hdskp said on the 7th Jan, 2012

I'm goign to write more, not sure if anyone will read it 9this time is short). Two offtanget questions related:

1. Who and which "genre" or even labels or geographic regions are creating cuttign edge electronica/elecontric dance music?

2. Do you think there is a correlation to politics, socio-economics ontop of technological innovations in regards to elecontric and electornuic dance music?

For me i think certina labels/artists and genres are really hot with some forward electronica and also of course numerous indietronica and experimental electronica groups/artists.

For the second this has really fascinated me. There's two sides one that says elecontronic dance music was really grown out of middle class people who liked drugs but weren't neccessari;ly creating music in a political or anti-system point of view. And those that say much of elecontrica's existance is deeply tied to subversion, aggression to the system, anarchists and socialist perspectives, changing politics and so on. What do people think?

hdskp

hdskp said on the 7th Jan, 2012

I agree it's a number game but why do some artists/types of sound get more praise and such than others?

Personally i'm going for branding. Why artists like Skrillex and the other boring abbrasive dubstep people get more accolades than someone like shackleton, oinch, zomby etc etc really surprises me. And it's no wonder a lot of these guys are dubbed (pun intended) post dubstep and future garage and a lot are now more alligned to minimal (scuba). in dubsteps case i think the idea of subtley and range is also gone, people just want huge bass. There's no idea of a journey with dubstep to me, just a collage of huge bass with masculine and drug references. In 10 eyars time people like Zomby, pinch, Burial will still be regarded and fresh to many ears whereas the others...will be really insignificant like they should be. maybe it's a time game and in the age of instant grattification (mentioned twice above) and social netwroking that's what wins - alebit intially.

Libby, funkedub, Mocha, partyman lex and Henry Johnstone are on the money in most regards.

[Sorry if i'm wrong about the direction/labels of such artists]

Shall

Shall said on the 7th Jan, 2012

I think Moby said it best in an interview with ITM recently...

"Unfortunately the music scene in 2011 involves too many producers making too many compromises."

camlv

camlv said on the 7th Jan, 2012

More players means more competition, The production values of 90's dance is shit compared to what it is now, the lack of musical stuff in beatport charts is not due to the lack of it being produced.

One problem in melbourne that I see is the promoter DJs that rule the decks are now producing and because they have no experience they produce the easiest music that will get people dancing and the "melbourne sound" is born.

annajay

annajay said on the 8th Jan, 2012

Sure, the tools for creating all kinds of music are now accessible to anyone with a PC, headphones and a few hundred bucks to buy a software package. Sooo... many more people are out there creating music. The result is more derivative, unoriginal "noise" (forgive the pun)... but is it really all that different to, say, painting or writing?

Tons of people can buy a canvas, a few brushes and set of paints... but that doesn't mean they'll paint a masterpiece... anyone with paper and pen (or PC and wordprocessor) can write a novel... but that doesn't mean it will be either a piece of literature or a bestseller. So having the tools doesn't make you a great producer any more than it makes you a great painter or writer. It's having original, compelling ideas - and executing them - that makes you great.

The fact that more people can afford to "have a go" is a good thing. It means that creating art is more accessible to those who can't afford thousands of dollars just to get in the game.

Having said all this, I do recognise one drawback though - all the "noise" does make it harder for the quality music to get through...

adrianduff

adrianduff said on the 8th Jan, 2012

Obviously with all the new technology, EDM is getting easier for people to get involved in. That doesn't mean that there are more talented people these days, or even that the people flooding unearthed and the like with tracks 'every three days' will continue to pursue the skills to be successful.

There are two ways to look at it in my opinion...More mediocre music will flood, but at the same time, the greater number of people giving it a try will inevitably lead to some awesome sounds for those who have the talent and do the hard work.

Henry Johnstone

Henry Johnstone said on the 8th Jan, 2012

Something else i've noticed is that today's audio production software and tools etc is such great quality that even mediocre music can sound really great and polished. You almost get tricked into thinking its good when in actual fact its pretty derivative, run of the mill stuff.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 8th Jan, 2012

it's pretty obvious now that everyone is saying that there's more music and production is easier. But then how does one artists get noticed out of the others? What makes artist A suddenly well known when he's shit but artist x has producer an absolute gem of a track?

Is it cause they are DJing, they are signed to a big label? what exactly?

ia rgue there's tonnes of great stuff cause a lot of labels are out there doing great things. Theya re quite consitent. Take lables like Raster-noton, Deepmedi, Hotflush, skull disco, warp etc.

I think there's a huge schism between commerical and udnerground to this thing. I'm a pretentious chin stroker so maybe the commerical aspects don't bother me much cause i seek what i want. I'm not forcefed shit not do i trust my mates opinions (if i had friends T.T)

Maybe this is overblown?

djredeye

djredeye said on the 8th Jan, 2012

I agree somewhat, but i would like to add this. Back in the rave days the same thing happened. Although it wasnt as portable. Everyone went and found themselves a Roland W30 sampler, and MAYBE an extra synth and started making 100% sampled breakbeat and "hoover noise" tracks. Novelty, knockoff tracks were EVERYWHERE..and were actually EASIER to make than now IMO..I think the big difference now is that there SO much shite out there that the new kids dont even know how to decipher what is actually good anymore. Its so watered down on every level...pop music sounds like it took an hour to make...dubstep used to be an amazing artform of crafting sound, now we have brostep which sounds like everyone is using the same sample pack to kick out a new track every 30 minutes. Making GOOD dance music is just as hard (creatively) as its always been. Making crap is ALWAYS easy, especially if youre just copying the crap thats already out there. I actually work in a musician/studio shop and a couple of kids came in to sell their miniKorg because "making music wasnt as easy as it looked"...so they were gonna "go back to skating"....their words. There used to be a bit of self-imposed quality control in the market simply because of the financial investment that went into the endeavor of making music. That plus someone had to be interested in your track enough to sign/release it. With those two barriers now, for the most part, goneanyone can put their crappy little bedroom project out...sign of the times. Can't stop it. But what you CAN stop doing is PLAYING crappy music as a dj. Its a djs job to filter through the dung and showcase the heat. THAT, to me, is where the real problem is. But I guess thats why we love the underground. Knowing that when i go out, no Guetta, Skrillex, or Deadrat will sully my earholes is a great feeling.

s2b69

s2b69 said on the 8th Jan, 2012

the fact that any one can do it is kind of a punk rock ethos, it cant be a bad thing. no need to complain , just get sifting and find the good shit!

SpaceMonkey

SpaceMonkey said on the 9th Jan, 2012

As has been said, it's not exclusive to EDM. The sdame happenned in the rock/metal scenes a few years back when CDRs and software-based recording systems drastically dropped the cost of recording demos and albums, in the 80s bands often slaved away for years recording shitty demo tapes on 4-tracks before finally landing a record deal and subsequently their debuts were usually well-played and composed of songs that had been honed for years, if poorly recorded. A few years later you got a rash of bands recording debuts on tiny labels after only being around a year or two, and the scene became saturated with dross. EDM is going through the same sort of thing, it'll sort itself out.

xtigga

xtigga said on the 9th Jan, 2012

It used to be a DJ's job to sift through the crates at the record store searching for hard to find vinyl. But, now that all songs by established artist are available to everyone on beatport, a DJ's job is to shift through the mass amounts of shit on the internet to find those gems from an unknown bedroom producer.

robohan

robohan said on the 9th Jan, 2012

Some factors of Dance music can be a walk in the park however it is so identifiable when played its easy to look the other way or not even look in the first place!

Try being a DJ and trying to sort though all the crap to find the gold or try being a producer who has to find new sounds that havent been used in production already...definately NOT a walk in the park...bloody tedious!!!

Just go with the times whatever stage it is at, Viva musica electronica!!!

DirtieClouds

DirtieClouds said on the 9th Jan, 2012

Can i spend the $350 voucher on some more production gear?

JackT

JackT said on the 9th Jan, 2012

DirtieClouds - a worthy recipient of my thumbs up. Haha

pEAkeR_hAT

pEAkeR_hAT said on the 9th Jan, 2012

article is retarded. How about guitars? Everyone has one, but it has just raised the bar for guitarists who want to stand out.

Bruno from Burwood

Bruno from Burwood said on the 10th Jan, 2012

I find these pieces dishonest. I can't help but feel that, in general, they are informed by elitism from within electronic music that is otherwise afraid to come out and be critical or genres, artists and labels. The outcome is this all encompassing crap that could not apply less to the music I listen to...made by artists who use vintage analogue setups (e.g. Dozzy & Redshape); or artists who push digital equipment to its limits and/or use their digital setups to make sounds that are well and truly their own (e.g. Tommy Four Seven, Speedy J [although his current direction is testing my patience] and Radio Slave [see 2006-2008]).

I still appreciate Gallagher's comments because they are honest (if not too simplistic). As a musician (which he clearly is) he can hear that music at the "commercial / manistream" or "trendy level", which is what Ibiza is aimed at, sucks. I agree. The comments of oldies like Francois K who are generally pissed off because they didn't receive royalties for the music they created in those recording sessions don't really help that much.

As much as I want to rant on and on the reality is that there is nothing to add to this topic. If you want to make brilliant, timeless electronic music good luck because it is as difficult to make as anything else. The ideas creative people have are no easier to contrive. If you are happy to be part of the mindless drivel aimed at the gold fish attention spans of commercial markets; or the identityless hipsters it is easier than ever to make a functional track that fits into a DJ set.

The only thing I can add is that it is the personalities who sit at the top of their respective scenes who are responsible for that state of the scene to which they belong. Their attitudes are far more important than a piece of equipment used to make music. The commercial sell outs and the entrepreneurs (afraid to promote distinctive music at the risk of alienating fans) set the trends. If they ask for creativity they will get it and a lot of the shit will fall by the wayside. I am probably just biased but I can't help but think that, for example, Liebing's change of direction and decision to push him and his label creatively has been a huge driving factor in the renaissance of techno. Sure it has cause a saturation of certain sounds but the overall quality has significantly improved. At the same time it seems as though the creative streak in Coocoon and Get Physical (as a few examples) had well and truely run out. Trance's creative streak ended in 1997.

DirtieClouds

DirtieClouds said on the 10th Jan, 2012

To all you writing extremely long detailed responses.

NOBODY CARES! Chill out a bit.

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 10th Jan, 2012

Given some of the above comments I'll try and keep mine short and sweet. So here are a couple of my observations.
1. The elevated status of dj's is not something I understand. To be a dj, all you need is a little patience and a head for good dance music. The rest is a complete no brainer. There is something wrong with an industry that perpetuates the myth of the dj.
2. Because its a male dominated industry, its bound do be dominated by ego. There are a few exceptions to this, but not many.
3. Too many drugs. Unfortunately I didn't make the rules here. Its simply a fact. Too many drugs keep a person in their ego.
There are some comments above re dance music that are very valid, but, if you look closely, it all boils down to ego.
The reason the industry is the way it is is because the industry has created it.

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 10th Jan, 2012

Ps If you want the evidence of what I am saying re male dominated industry, have a look at dj mags top 100. Its no more than a "how big is my dick" list.

Bruno from Burwood

Bruno from Burwood said on the 10th Jan, 2012

AllintheMind, that is some of the laziest feminism I've seen. Congratulations, the Herald Sun has previously monopolised the title.

If you'd like to talk about ego in the music industry lets take a look at "Divas".

jimmenyC

jimmenyC said on the 10th Jan, 2012



You see, I believe ears and personal taste (or a distinct lack thereof) are to blame ;) Someone needs to get Noel off trawling beatport....


As Libby pointed out, we live in an age of disposable culture, where production is easily acheived through increased accessability. No need to wait for Christmas for software - simply crack a copy. The advantage is, it's levelled the playing fields for someone with less opportunity before, and we

It's easy to polish a turd or a track in this case, by sticking to safe formats, production techniques, marketing etc. It applies to whatever the heavyweight genre at the time is.


If you listen to WSFM or other stations enough, you'll develop a repetoire of a rock music or disco classics, but if you had the time to dig deep, you'd find in the 50s, 60s and 70s there were thousands upon thousands of the 'same' bands coming out, but in time forgotten just like the slew of EDM we are barraged with today, will be forgoten - we're just n the thick of it with Noel - I understand his frustration. I wonder why he isn't lamenting all this 'hipster bands' rippinf off previous rock outfits


In time, as always, quality will always stand with longevity over quantity, and our learned ears will tell us. Like the development of culture, palates will refine and the unworthy will take a dive, paving the way for something innovative and new again - it's the nature if the beautiful beast, called the 'Underground'. She spawns her little proteges, who spread like vermin everywhere, until a few of the blacksheep stand up and make their presence known. the blacksheep, are obviously the worthy producers.

jimmenyC

jimmenyC said on the 10th Jan, 2012

DaverH - if I may pose you a question and slightly derail from the main discussion:

You made a point about 'rushed' tracks in the article, and I feel a lot of what you're saying on the 'quality' of tracks, but how can you comment on the rate at which production is churned out as a factor?

A lot of producers have very different approaches to production. Some will churn out a full album as quick as they can, and some sit and rework single tracks to death. It's such a personal thing, when it comes to someone's individual talents and work stratergy.

biggusso

biggusso said on the 10th Jan, 2012

I reckon that some of the most given advice to new producers is "copy your favorite track" or "use a ghost track" i beleive that helps immensly when you are starting out, BUT too many ppl continue to do so after getting their head around the DAW of choice.
Making music is a fun, emotional, creative and therapeutic experience for me. If Ppl experience happiness from what ever they do then GREAT!
I have been tempted to allow my ego to be involved regularly, by making or copying the apparent formula that sells. But that really doesnt appeal. To some it does and they make plenty of cash from it!!
I trully believe that there is a formula of big room emotional tunes that ppl like SHMafia and others peddle. And good on them for acheiving their goal. Their music doesnt do it for me and i dont buy it , wont play it and i wont pay to see them especially not at a concert even if it is at madison sq garden to a capacity.
ppl like it and dance music gets bigger and benefits, if i dont like it i dont buy it.
ppl who say that its all crap these days obviously are not passionate enough to sort the shit from the gold.

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 10th Jan, 2012

AllintheMind, that is some of the laziest feminism I've seen. Congratulations, the Herald Sun has previously monopolised the title.

If you'd like to talk about ego in the music industry lets take a look at "Divas".
You are right, of course. I have seen some awful women. And some really nice men.
There are of course, exceptions.
Does not make what I said any less true.
If you would like to provide me with some evidence to the contrary as to what I said, I will be happy to consider it.
If course, emotive responses like yours usually come about because your own ego has taken offense at the truth.
Go to any spiritual group, church or organization, and women outnumber men roughly 7/1.
Back to topic. I maintain that electronic music is an ego driven industry, in addition to being a male dominated one.

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 10th Jan, 2012

Ok no more time on that one ^.
A scenario then.
How about that you happen to be a dj and budding producer with promise. You don't have big aspirations, but it would be nice to make a living out of music one day.
So you secure a venue. You start having regular nights so you can promote yourself and maybe a couple of others you know.
Everything goes well. You get enough numbers to keep going, for the time being. People are liking the music you play.
Then, sometime later, a young guy shows up. Asks for a set. Tells you he is producing, and would love you to listen to his music.
He is not too pushy, so you agree.
When he plays, you realize he is GOOD. He needs to play more to audience, but, on the whole, he really has what it takes.
More importantly, he is WAY BETTER than you. He deserves a set, but you know there is only room for so many dj's in town.
You would like to do the right thing, but hell, this is a very competitive industry.
Is this a dilemma or not?

Deepchild

Deepchild said on the 10th Jan, 2012

4 chords and a guitar, baby....4 chords and a guitar.

Chrisdude

Chrisdude said on the 10th Jan, 2012

People are never satisfied and everything was always supposedly once better. You will always remember a timeframe of music when you feel it was at a peak, and always look back on those as being the best days. It doesn't necessarily reflect anything on the quality of music, probably your younger more fun days. Then a few years on you will always look back on the 'better' music that you listened too then if your not so up with the trends now. It's why my parents listen to Gold FM and think anything today is crapola... the music you grow up on is what you will always remember as being 'good'.

jimmenyC

jimmenyC said on the 11th Jan, 2012

I think Deepchild has enough gear and skills...don't give him the voucher.

Oh, and wouldn't it be better if the feed/replies had the most recent at the top rather?

michael X

michael X said on the 11th Jan, 2012

Noel must know a bit as his choice of classic tracks is spot on. Those tracks were and still are revolutionary Not many tracks hold up against String of Life or 808 State tracks. Still plenty of good new tunes out there though.Now if we can just get rid of the Swedish House Mafia as they are awful and sound nothing like classic house music.

hdskp

hdskp said on the 12th Jan, 2012

You know another dimesnion to this is that there's so much music out there to download (legal and illegal) why don't people get the good stuff and take influence form a lot?

Also to the points about guitars being common place. Therte's fuckloads more skill needed to play a guitar compotently in comparion to drop and paste of samples.And usually rock music is a group endeavour. Sure there's exceptions i.e. Trent reznor but it remians pretty true,

This situation is also being found in the EBM scene IMO and you're seeign less melodic and singing there, replaced with harder and faster tracks.

tazz505

tazz505 said on the 12th Jan, 2012

This is interesting.....I am a 16 year old kid making tracks and such (I know 1 of a million) and I've heard a bunch of other people's productions like mine and none of them have become somewhat 'famous' because none of them put enough effort in. They churn out 3 tracks a week.......

I am a firm believer of QUALITY of QUANTITY within the music industry.

tazz505

tazz505 said on the 12th Jan, 2012

Quality over* Quantity

mattos000

mattos000 said on the 12th Jan, 2012

i blame the carbon tax.. its seems to be the cause of all of lifes troubles.

jokes aside, dance music is easy to make but like henry johnston said in the comments, good dance music is just as difficult to produce as any other form of music.

crackthatback

crackthatback said on the 14th Jan, 2012

Well, well, is this a dig at Damon Albarn for being so successful with Gorillaz? I think Noel Gallagher is far from the most talented musician (or credible critic of any genre of music) in the world, and when you talk trash about dance music, you tarnish a lot of different genres. Electronic music comes in so many different forms nowadays...If you want to compare the amount of technology available now to what was available for the early dance music pioneers 30 years ago, there really is not that much difference. Is messing around with loops and samplers and 303s and simple lyric repetition any different in quality nowadays because there is better technology and more accessibility? If anything there are greater possibilities now - guys like Knuckles, Hurley, Derrick May and Marshall Jefferson (and their friends) probably had a bit more musical training/sensibility than today's dance music producers, but some of the stuff possible with different effects and software today is mindblowing even amateur hands - and being so affordable and easily learnt at home, more people are producing music and flooding the web. It's like anything, when there is soooo much of something, it becomes passe. That is the appeal of dubstep (much as I dislike it) - it is new, at least newer than the now Guetta dominated house/electro genres, and gives a certain crew of kids an identity and theme music. Few people need to pick up a guitar or pair of drumsticks nowadays, just get Ableton and you can make your own music. That doesn't make it bad and it doesn't make music with live instruments any better. Would another Beatles be as successful in today's world as it was in the swingin' 60s? Would Oasis have been as successful without a Beatles style to copy so badly in so many ways, even down to the bloody haircuts? No. Noel wrote a song called "My Big Mouth", and it's all about how he has no volume or content control over the crap that comes out. Good on you for running this story ITM, nice to see some intelligent comments in the forum too, but Mr Gallagher really needs to stop talking just cos he can.

GCCS SOUTHPORT

GCCS SOUTHPORT said on the 17th Jan, 2012

Yes and no, I do agree with the above in that there are masses of guys out there doing quite a good job with both original and bootlegs... There's my favorite local Paul Dulxx.. (shameless plug ;) ) but at the same time it makes that one fresh sound so much more epic.. Avicii is a perfect example.. I don't anyone can say he is an untalented hack, nor is it just somebody elses sound.. sure it is similar to other things out there but like dave said he has twisted it to suit himself and just keeps throwing down anthem after anthem.. I look for the tracks that regardless of where i am give me that hands in the air feeling.. if it gives me the warm and fuzzys then it's a banga!! Soundcloud and youtube have helped people get in front of an audience that they would never have reached before but this also has the opposite effect aswell, ive been linked to peoples mixes and tracks before and had a listen only to turn it off halfway then hear a bootleg track in somebody elses mix and say wow that producer has come so far!!

Gear and software is cheap talent and experience isn't as easy to come by.. unfortunately most of the people who think it's easy generally haven't done it themselves..

pEAkeR_hAT

pEAkeR_hAT said on the 19th Jan, 2012



+ 1


Yeah its easy to make sounds of the past that required time/effort/talent using new technology,

but its hard to make songs that will stand the test of time for the future



I mean, everyone can make a sweet powerpoint presentation, but the good presenters will still stand out.

jarrardscott

jarrardscott said on the 19th Jan, 2012

i honestly believe hardstyle is a walk in the park. so little talent goes into making that music.

jimmenyC

jimmenyC said on the 23rd Jan, 2012

DaverH - please answer my question.....

kevinth

kevinth said on the 3rd Feb, 2012

@ Conor- ur avatar is sexy as hell...