Let’s continue on with the theme of EDM for a bit, so today, BT:
BT is a really interesting musician to me, in that he makes music that is obviously part of the EDM genre (such as it is), but also sounds completely unlike anything in the genre, because to be blunt, dude is dedicated to his craft. That’s not just hyperbole, either; he pioneered the stutter edit (AKA the vocal effect he uses here where it sounds like his voice is, well, stuttering) and made his own music tools company, Sonik Architects, in part to supplement his own work in the field. He’s also the sort of person who will alternate between radio friendly standard EDM recordings and hour long EDM-infused orchestral concept albums solely to fulfill his own creative interests, and frankly, I will never not respect that. “Somnambulist” is probably one of his more obvious tracks to show off, but it was basically either this or the video where the dude from Soul Coughing raps while DJ Rap spends more time in the video than BT does, so I decided to go with the one that’s more focused on the creator in question.
Today, Aphex Twin:
I’m imagining most of the people reading this have at least indirectly been exposed to Aphex Twin at some point in their lives, but in case you haven’t, it’s one of those universally influential acts most famous people in the music industry state they’ve been influenced by that never really achieved massive success, sort of like a Velvet Underground for EDM fans. Now, generally speaking, when people want to show someone Aphex Twin for the first time, they go with either “Come to Daddy” or “Window Licker” as the default choice, since they’re really accessible, but let’s be reasonable here: the majority of Aphex Twin isn’t really meant to be accessible, and that’s why Richard D James (the man behind the music) isn’t a household name unless you’re, basically, into the same sort of music I am.
As such, I decided to go with “Start As You Mean To Go On,’ from I Care Because You Do, because as an album this is probably the most middle-of-the-road out of his more commonly available works, and this song, I think, shows that James can do a lot with a little. There’s not a lot to the song in terms of raw sample usage, but the juxtaposition between the flowing synth and hard drum effects is interesting, and there’s a lot more going on here than in songs that are far more heavily produced.
Today, Mega Drive:
Pro Tip: don’t name yourself after relatively famous video game consoles if you want your band to be easily located via Google.
Anyway, this is another track I discovered through the magic of letting Youtube play endlessly while doing other things, and damned if it isn’t a really well assembled piece of electronic music. There’s an odd beat synchronization between the drums and high synths in the core note pattern that sticks in my mind, and I love how the track is paced, especially with the overall high BPM and the constant pace that feels like it’s slowing down at point with some simple background track transitions.
Honestly, this whole record is good, so if you like this, I’d recommend giving it a listen; they basically uploaded the whole thing on Youtube, so go nuts.
Today, Mondo Grosso:
Well, let’s keep the “songs I discovered because of something nerdy” theme going through the end of the week; this time, the song in question was one I discovered attached to a music video about Final Fantasy XIV, and while the video proper was interesting, I have a fondness for the actual music video as well, albeit for different reasons. The song itself (the title apparently translates to “Labyrinth” for reference) probably isn’t the song I like the most from them, but it’s interesting, between the odd pacing of the snaps in the background track relative to everything else and the fact that the track proper both does and does not feel like it flows the way you’d expect. I also like that the video is intending to be a single take, and while it feels like they utilized some editing tricks to implement quick breaks between shots, and there’s not a lot of obvious choreography, I appreciate the effort, if nothing else.
So, this should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s listened to my podcast, but in case you don’t for some reason, I love rhythm games quite a bit, even if I’m not especially good at them in the strictest sense. As such, I also generally love Hatsune Miku titles; while they’re not my favorite games in the genre, they’re fun and usually mechanically sound, plus they feature the aesthetic parts of Dance Dance Revolution I liked (silly dancing models in the background) without the parts I didn’t (having to spend $100 on a controller that would allow you to play worth a damn).
This isn’t exactly a Miku song, but it’s close; as I understand it, and feel free to correct me if I have this wrong in the comments, the artist in today’s song, REOL, wrote this song, and either wrote it with the intention of licensing it to Sega for use in a Miku game before recording it herself or always intended to use it herself but licensed it out because why not right, and the end result is a song that has appeared in a Miku game, featuring a Miku heavy video, only it’s recorded by the artist who wrote the song.
Either way, I love the hell out of this song because it’s infectious and up-tempo, and REOL knows how to make a song that feels futuristic, basically.
Today, The Midnight:
YouTube continues to be a boon for random music discoveries, as I discovered this band via the saxophone solo being used as the background track for a comedy video about dogs playing musical instruments, and I was absolutely not disappointed. The Midnight has a delightfully 80’s vibe to their sound that I love the hell out of, but they also bring enough modernity to their music that I can feel comfortable recommending it to people who don’t yearn for day-glo pants and gigantic hair 24/7.
Well, after eight episodes, we’re finally at the point where this all comes together into one big culmination of pro wrestling goodness: the finals of the Mae Young Classic are (as I’m writing this) upon us, and this will be my final observation piece on the event as a whole, save for possibly some sort of retrospective depending on who’s ultimately announced as having been signed by WWE in the wake of the finals and their respective fallout. Continue reading