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IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  90
Posts :  2268
Posted : Jan 27, 2004 17:32
... or lack of it.

Sure, we get some from the Australian acts (especially Rip Van Hippy), and from some from Finland (Kiwa, Eraser & Yojalka, etc), and even a tiny bit from Europe (Loopus in Fabula), but as I mentioned in a few other threads, I've been checking out other styles.

This time I won't talk about IDM. I'll go back to 1994, when I was still into rave music and had just discovered Gabber. A distorted bassdrum at 180+ bpm and a lot of noisy clanging, something I enjoyed quite a bit. Well, soon enough, I thought to myself (as I still occasionally do), WHAT THE F#@! WAS I THINKING?! And returned to listen to a bit of goa, a lot of The Prodigy, some techno and a dash of Pink Floyd.

... Ten years later. Two artists that didn't even sound remotely familiar. It was Hellfish and Producer's Bastard Sonz of Rave, an album released in 2002, and just because it had such a cool name, I had to take a listen. A strong blend of Gabber sounds with breaks and a touch of hip-hop, and yes - insane BPMs and distorted bassdrums. Not in the same thunderdome compilation style, but rather extremely developed.

A style I had previously thought as unimaginative and usually just plain stupid such as gabber, was found out to be groovy, intelligent, overloaded with energy and full of a lot of strong funk. It immediately hit me. Sure, it's not quite as deep as progressive trance. But on a simple funk and energy factor, only around 2% of the psytrance music today is IN THE SAME LEAGUE. Sure. It's not psychedelic. Ironically, after listening to a few tracks from other styles, I came to a conclusion that most psytrance isn't all that psychedelic anyways.

But wait. I said that gabber is unimaginative. Perhaps it is - this album does NOTHING that isn't found in other styles of music. A touch of hip hop with electronic music? DnB's been doing that for over a decade. Simple energetic percussion? Electro music developed that to an art. A few glitches here and there? IDM, hell, even house music. Sensless pounding? Techno has made that into an art.

How can an album with NOTHING new combine so many elements from so many styles, and create a unique blend of something that's NOT groundbreaking, but on the other hand both special and creative, and all this while being extremely dancefloor oriented? And the bigger question - how come in psytrance, a style of music which everyone connected to it is sure he is the person with the most open mind in the universe (well, maybe *just* the world) just DOES NOT DO THIS. How come a hundred progressive acts talk about their music being a form of progress when it all ends up sounding like a refined version of what everyone did last year, when most full-on music usually doesn't even try to be anything other than dancefloor friendly?

Sure there are exceptions to the rule, and just like Hellfish and Producer are so much better than something like the thunderdome compilations I mentioned earlier, but when a musical style prides itself in having no boundries and is so easily outdone on that level by music that never even bothered making such a claim, I think it's time for people to ask a few questions.

Let's start with a simple one.

Did you listen to 3 psytrance albums in this year, find them both surprising and totally awesome?

To a lesser extent - Artifakt's album (which isn't all that surprising, but took elements from psytrance from the past six years or so and not just the last one) and the Bigwigs album (which was wonderfully groovey and used a very interesting and psychedelic set of sounds, but still fell prey to a lot of progressive formulas). These two albums are very good, but are much more homogenous in their influences. I can't say I've heard Sensient's album and I have heard it's awesome by many people who have very good taste (or at least I think they do), so there may be a third album of 2003 that will really catch me off guard.

And no, despite being two of my favorite albums, Charm and Younger Brother have nothing groundbreaking whatsoever in them (well, at least on a psytrance level). They don't count

I can only mention two that shocked me in a good way. Rip Van Hippy's (everything from acid jazz to unquantized ambient, the kitchen sink included there somewhere) and Eraser vs. Yojalka's (a lot of breakbeat, a lot of high energy, a lot of groove and a unique and new sound). That's it.

Next question - does anyone here feel this other than myself?
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  184
Posts :  2273
Posted : Jan 27, 2004 18:55
What you're talking about Kaz is simply not music for the masses. This is why you don't have it in large quantities. But when you do get it, oh boy!
Yes, Rip Van Hippy is amazing! Try Psyweirdos. Oh you forgot Bonky. So psychedelic and funky. You should really give it a try.
Loopus in Fabula, Bigwigs and Kiwa, they are all excellent. Interesting sounds, psychedelic, funky.
Sensient is a prodigy boy - dark psychedelic minimalistic music.
But this music just doesn't sell. How many times have you seen the name of Rip Van Hippy in parties or festivals? Maybe once or twice, that's it. It's not simple music, it's music you really need to listen over again and again in order to understand. And unfortunately, most people don't want to get too deep when they listen to music. They want it head banging, they want it superficial. It's their right. And most artists do want to sell their music - after all, it's also their right.

Kaz, I'm also frustrated like you to hear the same and repetitive music. It's boring!           Majority is never right!

"Without music, life is meaningless."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Started Topics :  108
Posts :  2395
Posted : Jan 27, 2004 20:58
<---kinda frustrated too

very nice thoughts as usual kaz and i agree with the girly also, today most people enjoy having stuffed everything in their heads without further thinking.
for me music doesnt need to be groundbreaking, but there must be a signature, i have to hear the artist thinking and doing what he's dreaming while sleeping...

now lets all start our cubases or fruity loops and change time
ps: i think i need to check out rip van hippy
          Anakoluth A Pebble in Your Eardrum's Shoe since 2001!

Started Topics :  6
Posts :  230
Posted : Jan 27, 2004 22:08
I agree with you 100% Kaz, I was listening to some music like you describe today, a mix by a DJ called Fuknut, and it was cool as anything, really funky, bangin' as fuck, hip-hop and funk breaks all over the place and 180+bpm's. It was great fun.

I find psytrance kinda like comfortable music. I don't know if that makes sense, I'm not really sure if that's the right word, maybe indulgent would be better. I find it really rich, the way the bass swells around you, it's kinda like getting in the bath, taking the top of your head off and letting your brain float around on it's own for a while! It's absolutely lovely to just get lost in. Stuff like Vibrasphere, for example.

To be honest I don't look for funk or dancefloor energy in psytrance, it's not there really. It's more like stompy music. I can get bored with it on a dancefloor VERY easily if I'm not in the right mood and the music's just not pushing the right buttons, but if I'm at home, maybe having a smoke or relaxing it's maybe my favourite of any music.

Definitely think I'd better check out Rip Van Hippy.

And distorted kickdrums RULE, btw!
          "One nation under a groove".

Started Topics :  9
Posts :  122
Posted : Jan 28, 2004 11:11
There is some more quite funky and good music around, but its very hard for the music to get released because the sales are so bad. Breaking even is already difficult, making real money almost impossible. I dont think that all of the artists that make really straightforward stuff would actually continue doing so, if their more creative music would sell. At the moment it just seems that the market (that is getting smaller all the time) wants the straightforward type of music. Not a lot of people want to spend all their money and time on working on a label, that will not bring back anything but good mood in the end
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  33
Posts :  294
Posted : Jan 30, 2004 18:27
Indeed omniholic, and thanks to your efforts we get to hear stuff like Possible Apple which should also be mentioned in the same breath as Rip Van Hippy.

thanks!           gotta have the wiggy AND the wonky
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