Browsing All posts tagged under »electronic«

Barren Waste – NSE (ambient)

March 23, 2012


Barren Waste are a band of many guises. They first came to my attention as a metal band with a raw and uncompromising attitude to noise, and a willingness to explore harsh frequencies and creative dissonance, rather than slipping easily into the language of sludge or grindcore. They also, as witnessed by this album, have a penchant for electronic music of an experimental bent. Furthermore, their Bandcamp page offers twenty releases from this year alone, most of a substantial length. Sadly, their guitarist has gone his own way, due to creative differences, which means I won’t get to hear the unification of these apparently disparate approaches quite as soon as …

Army of 2600 – Return Of The Bloop Beep Buzz (chiptune/ noise)

February 9, 2012


Chiptune purists may stick exclusively to using sounds as they are synthesised by their chosen platform, but there’s a well established set of musical practices that take the sounds of a Gameboy, an Amiga, or, in this case, an Atari 2600, and liberally mash them up. Mike Bourque likes to slather distortion over his sounds, but he still has an ear for the original context of his instrument; the sounds captured on Return Of The Bloop Beep Buzz are not sourced exclusively from his computers, but they are deeply, nostalgically redolent of the sounds that accompanied many geeky kids’ gaming experiences in the 1980s.

Dementio 13 – Crash St (electronic post-rock)

January 26, 2012


Our statements have meanings only inasmuch as they indicate distinctions or differences. Words, and other meaningful gestures, draw lines around pieces of our conceptual universe, and say ‘x means y because it doesn’t mean z’. A piece of music that sounds very similar to another, has a very similar meaning; in the context of a unified style, when lots of pieces of music sound the same, they really don’t mean anything much. They are generic. But there’s a danger of flinging the baby out with the bathwater if we reject every piece of idiomatic art on that basis: generic conventions can be manipulated to profoundly meaningful effect as well. It behoves listeners to be alert to difference, and those without an understanding of a particular style …

Dementio13 – The Hobbyist (electronic post-rock)

December 7, 2011


'Style’ is frequently contested territory in popular music. Widely circulating ideas of authenticity have it that for a creative musician to think about style is to privilege the superficial surface of their work over the deep substance. Musicians are supposed to just be ‘true to themselves’, and the music that comes out will come out, reflecting their influences, but uncorrupted by any contrived effort to conform to any particular generic conventions. This is a bit of silly notion really: for one thing it seems obvious that some element of conscious choice goes into determining whether a given artist works in bossanova or death metal; for another, much of the music that most strives for authenticity comes out sounding conventional and generic.

Various Artists – Singles & EPs

October 6, 2011


Marley Butler makes music of remarkable clarity: his soundscapes are usually clean, open affairs, in which the boundaries between sonic elements are clearly defined; his rhythms are regular, precise and simple; ideas have room in which to breathe, and although he does not overuse spatialising effects such as reverb and delay, the worlds he creates are three dimensional ones. He’s not bucking the trend with this two track release, and why should he?

Various Artists – Singles & EPs

July 12, 2011


At under fourteen minutes for six tracks this EP bucks the trend toward lengthy pieces of progressive and experimental work in heavy genres. I’m easy either way: briefly stated, separated ideas can be effective in one way, and longer forms that develop and transform themes can be good in another. Barren Waste’s brevity is not of the ‘hit ‘em fast and get the hell out’ variety practised by acts like Napalm Death, and in fact there are enough ideas in some of these short pieces to have allowed them to stretch out for a good while without palling.

lextrical – Deletia (electronica/ indie/ folktronica)

June 10, 2011


Deletia opens with ‘Lunchbox D’, which begins with an obviously electronic backbeat; this is joined a bar later by a saturated, analogue sounding synth melody, and simultaneously by a guitar. This sets the pattern for the album: it is a predominantly electronic construction, but it is a highly organic one, and stylistically it looks toward guitar music at least as much as it does toward electronic music.