Archive | December, 2012

Pattern/

6 Dec

Music has been around for quite a while now. Ever since people came up with this magical power it has evolved and taken up many different shapes and forms. It has and still is being used in many different ways ranging from pure entertainment to being a mean of communication as well.

Since the everyday environment, surrounding us has a great impact on our development and even genetic expression I think there might actually be more to music than just a sound. Scientifically music or more generally sound consist of different waves at certain frequencies. Of course melodic harmonies in music are, as the word implies harmonious which however does not always need to be the case with every sound. Physics has shown that every body of mass has a certain individual frequency. These however are commonly not harmonious and usually base on a chaotic system due to the resonance and influence of other forces.  Experiments have been done on the impact of music and rhythm on brain waves thought which show that while listening to sound or music the brain reacts and “picks up” the rhythm in a way. Two people listening to the same melody or rhythm have shown very similar brain activity patterns. Based on this evidence one could come to the conclusion that sound and therefore music, as a form of harmonious sound can influence our brain activity and could alter our feelings, perception, or emotional state.

(http://www.nsi.edu/index.php?page=xii_music_and_language_perception)

Personally a goal I would like to meet, hand in hand with modern technology would be to create a “Playlist of my Days” in which I would have the perfect song for any occasion, emotional situation, mood etc. Of course this would be an endless endeavour with music changing and more and more novelties sprouting up every day as well as personally being confronted with new situations as well. Nevertheless it is worth a try, and so far it has done me nothing but good.

Let the “Playlist of your Days” become the “Soundtrack of your life” which can then be purchased at your funeral.

Here, again a Dub track I can highly recommend by the Artist Dubmatix entitled “Champion Sound”

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P:\England Dubstep

6 Dec

“‘Clat! never let dem ranking bastard get any a ‘dis!”

Whomp! Whomp! – it goes through the concrete city basement.

Pushing along the sweat soaked walls, down the blood splattered stairs into the hole.
No light to follow, no friendly prick to take my load, only the stench of shit, sweat and piss rippling off as you enter.
Damp the face begins to melt.
Shattered across the floor, the oily liquid reflects disfigured shadows. Senses sink and are choked like a lobster before the drop, slowly breathing in hot steam – numbing delicacy as one falls.
Just before the splat, crash, crack, the pressure of 138 bpm intensifies the gushing rush and throbbing.
Sucking at it’s prey it leaves nasty looking infectious holes.Tentacles pulling from the deep.
Intoxicated and sick one may stumble.Lured in by missing light.

Whomp!Whomp! – it goes through the cold city night…

Dubness/

5 Dec

The idea of a colorful truck or car advertising the newest fashionable sound of the streets seems awkward to many. A concept known to the Jamaican people as the so called “Sound Systems”. As diverse as these mediums may be in their appearance, they all serve one purpose – Publicize Sound! Blasting from what seem to be speakers made from scratch and amplified to suppress the rattling of the motors the sound reaches out to the people.

Sound systems were and still are quite often uniquely crafted by their owners in order for the listeners to easily be able to distinguish who is delivering the sound of the moment. Some well known system owners would supply the poorer regions and ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica with the newest sound, right from their speakers, right on the street. This innovation of marketing lead to the concept of mobile record shacks. Often the Sound Systems would be able to provide the people with the actual fresh vinyl as well.

Much of the Jamaican music genres are strongly influence by the concept of Sound System.

One of these genres that evolved from this modernization of “Roots and Culture” Reggae,Ska and Rocksteady is Dub formerly also known as Versions. The name derives from the mixing process in which the vocals are “dubbed out”. This leaves the listener with an intense sound. Dub is considered one of the more esoteric and fundamental genres Jamaica has to offer in that it makes use various effects and samples in order to create a surreal sound collage. Prevailing sounds are the echoing vocals, quivering guitar, distant brass and a heavy,soaking bass line. Leading Names of this genre are King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry for example.

The more modern versions of this can be heard in many diverse forms. From today’s more traditional Mad Professor to the completely new form of Digital Mystikz’ Dubstep all have carried on the Dub tradition. Many traditional samples have been used over and over again but have been re-mixed into more sophisticated Versions in which the artist have given them a sense of immortality.

A new and widely renowned talent of the Dub scene is a French Dj appearing as Kanka. I would consider his style strongly influence by the traditional Dub Tracks although he does make use of modern effects, samples and synthesizing methods which give his sound the unique touch. Sadly the Sound Systems are not there to promote this sound anymore which is why I strongly encourage people to listen to this…LOUD!

Massiv/

5 Dec

Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae artist have been increasingly accused of using homophobic language and promoting a anti-gay attitude within many of their songs.
Crossing over into other music genres, due to features and sampling methods these mentalities have continuously become more and more popular among musicians and Djs throughout the world.
Many of the evolving modern music genres such as Drum & Bass,Grime, Glitch and Dubstep often have a dark, aggressive beat and sound.It is here where the aggressive patois samples of the Jamaican musicians are commonly used to enhance the listeners experience and add some lyrics and diversity to the otherwise heavily rhythm based electronic sound.
Of course the Djs using these, often homophobic samples may share the attitude of the original artist but, what I find more likely, they much more appreciate the aggressive sound over the actual content of the sample.Without closely listening and translating the sample one can highly approve of this cultural creativity clash.Since the Jamaican Patois is such a growling, rough language it can be difficult to understand for English
The Jamaican tradition of promoting hatred towards homosexuals comes from a long history of white oppression. Explaining the complexity of this matter would lead too far within this article and is not what I intend to do. One thing that needs to be recognized though, is that many Jamaican artist, especially use many stereotypes to increase their popularity with the younger generation. This leads to the fact that the most aggressive,extreme or profane remark gains the most recognition. Common expressions such as, “burn dem” “butty man” “Me nah bow down” “Nah friend of no funny man” “Slew Dem” are clear evidence of homophobic attitudes within the Dancehall genre. This is nothing to encourage or approve of and should generally be recognized as wrong although it must be seen in the light of the cultural and historical background of Jamaica.
As in the track Dubby Man by Chase & Status which features Capleton, a renowned Jamaican Dancehall artist the main content of the lyrical sample from the original Dancehall track Who Dem? by Capleton is the eradication of homosexuals.
I am not trying to increase promote any of this attitude, but only want to provide any readers of this with a wide spectrum of good and interesting sound and music. Also since I find it interesting to have some background knowledge on certain context and lyrics of songs and genres I try to provide what I can to increase the critical perception but also to encourage further curiosity.

Afro/

5 Dec

If one thinks of African music the first thing that comes to mind are drums and strange instruments followed by chanting vocals. However tribal music is only a small, older and traditional form of music found on the continent of our ancestors. Senegal music specifically has caught my attention over the past few years. Some of the first music of such that I listened to was by Amadou et Mariam which immediately fascinated. The patterns, rhythms and sounds used are somewhat different to the more globalized sound one might hear on the radio. Especially their earlier work vividly emphasizes on the specific Senegal sound. Although even here the African root to the music is sometimes diffuse and hard to define. An interesting album was recorded in 2005 with the well known French musician Manu Chao entitled Dimanche a Bamako.

France being a multicultural country with many African citizens has become a great platform for African culture and therefore music as well to be introduced to the western audience.

A further upbringing of this melting pot is an artist named Nuru Kane. This man actually left his home country Senegal in order to find a new life in France. What he brought with him was the Senegal tradition and understanding of music. After visiting Marrakech as a tourist he found his choice of instrument – The Guembri or also known as Sintir. This form of lute is commonly used in Moroccan and Algerian traditional Gnawa music and is actually closely related to the American Banjo. After being recognized among the Paris music scene he signed with a major record label, through which his first album Sigil was published in 2006.

Since then Nuru Kane has been attempting to break down the walls that still remain in music and language throughout the world.