Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 22 Feb 2013 16:03

alright let me get Microhouse / minimal up on in here.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 22 Feb 2013 18:23

Minimal / Microhouse

While the genre's official start was 1999, the term "Microhouse" was coined in a 2001 article in The Wire by writer and DJ Philip Sherburne, Microhouse was a term used to categorize dozens of largely German producers whose approach to house music emphasized subtleties and space as much as deep house producers relied on anthemic hooks and emphatic vocals. Even so, Microhouse productions found a meeting point between deep house and minimal techno. However the overly stripped "minimal techno" of the 90's has little relation to the dense polyrhythmic melodic collages often coming out today. Glitch techno is a part of some Microhouse tracks and Neo-Trance is the equivalent of Microhouse but mixed with more of a traditional Trance style and enjoyable by both parties. Many people have begun to step back from Microhouse as a label and use Minimal as genre descripter and a larger umbrella term for this type of music of the last 10 years.

Minimal did not begin to rapidly build in popularity until the early and mid 2000s (with its peak being in 2005 and 2006) with the advent of record labels such as Kompakt, Perlon, Spectral Sound, Fabric, Telegraph and Force Inc (many specializing only on Microhouse and Minimal music). Minimal can be seen as a rejection of the over-commercialization of Electronica and Dance music in the late 90's, a blend of former styles that created something fresh and new for the 2000's, and of making music that was danceable and yet "intelligent" and playable outside of clubs.

Full List

Highlights

Aril Brikha - "Groove La Chord (The Other Mix)" (1999)

"Groove La Chord is arguably the first "minimal" track in the modern style, and probably also the best. It bridges the gap between the deep techno of the 90s and the complex collages of today. Groove La Chord was perhaps the first dancefloor-stormer to turn its gaze to the microscopic in any respect, and it does so with beautiful results."~darktremor




Nathan Fake - "The Sky was Pink (James Holden Mix)" (2004) [Single]

"It wasn't long after he released his first 12-inch on James Holden's fledgling Border Community imprint in 2003 that Norfolk's Nathan Fake was tagged progressive techno's poster boy. His age (a disarming 22), preeminent fondness for gauzy synths, and continued close affiliation with Border Community-- now sort of the Green Party of techno labels-- have reinforced that caricature, but its been his gradual shift away from the sturdy rhythms of early tracks like "Outhouse" in favor of the facemelting sounds of "Dynamo" and "The Sky Was Pink" that have cemented the image."Pitchfork




Âme - "Rej" from Rej EP (2005) [EP]

"Here's proof that trance is back and doing everything it used to do back in 1997. No coincedence that it's 2007 and doing the same thing (retro trends and all that, although the big revival won't be for another 10). Either way, this song is brilliant. It's like a Dracula fever dream, or a dark, twisted circus, or an abandoned vampire-infested castle. Regardless, you'll think of vampires and evil in some respect, but it's lovely in a gothic sort of way. Plus I've never seen anything fill a floor like Rej does. Never. And it grows on you: WAY too much. I had this thing stuck in my head for 3 weeks at one point, and I once listened to it 7 times in a row (after having it for almost a year and a half)."~darktremor




The Field - "Over The Ice" from Sun & Ice (2006) [EP]"

Minimalism tends to work in deep code, with referential gestures that cater to initiates on a very "head" level, but the Field imbues it with huge, rushing feeling."~Pitchfork

"Nother one for the tranceheads. Bah, minimal. What were they thinking? The title says it all. Imagine yourself crossing an enormous glacier under a star-packed sky in the middle of the night."~darktremor

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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ph00tbag » 22 Feb 2013 18:57

Oh, man. I remember when Rej was storming the dancefloors. It was everywhere.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 28 Feb 2013 17:57

Ok i got into a conversation with one of the BMD staff about Dub in relation to dubstep. While I've covered dubstep i think going over dub (closest related to reggae) and dub techno is an important one to cover. I'll have to review if there's any other requests i passed over (i think Neo-Folk was in there) but i likely won't get any new ones up until Thur or Fri...
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 25 Apr 2013 10:59

Sooooooo should i revive this thread or was this like inviting people to a houseparty and getting like 3 people to attend? :P Lemme know if there's interest.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ExoBassTix » 26 Apr 2013 13:29

I'm very much interested in the continuation of this thread.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 26 Apr 2013 14:37

Awright, why not a continuation. If you want something in particular that's not up yet lemme know.

Let's get back to biz with Glitch Hop (or at least how Glitch Hop started out)

Glitch Hop is the direct combination of Glitch and Hip Hop. Stylistically, it often combines cut-up rapping with Hip Hop drum breaks, the latter of which are often edited to sound stuttering and damaged, staying true to the sound of Glitch. Prefuse 73 can be seen as the father of the genre although quite a few artists have emerged over the past decade within the genre and with similar and variant versions of the style. In many cases it can be seen as hip hop based IDM as well, music heavy with bass and rich in provocative melodic contortions, chopped up samples and combinations of ancient drum beats and futuristic sounds and with or without lyrics (often lacking them for the most part).

Glitch Hop by nature can crossover into the more recent genre known as Wonky which is a newer term for the fusing of Glitch Hop and often crossing over with Dubstep into an off-step style through off-kilter synths and loose time signatures. While incredibly similar, Glitch Hop at its core is a little more composed and clinical portraying of Glitch in its downtempo and beat driven form.

List

Notable examples:

Prefuse 73 - "Life / Death" from Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives (2001)"

"Word has it that there's a white guy in Atlanta out to destroy hip hop. Guillermo Scott Herren, known on other projects as Delarosa and Asora and a variety of aliases, is certainly a threat to something -- most likely the Hollywood slick 'n' simple bling-bling. With Herren's innovations absorbed into the cultural mix, that shit is going to sound as outdated as El Debarge. Prefuse 73 (code name for jazz fusion pre-1973), stomps all over the sanctity of the rapper by taking the raps of Rec Center and Dose One, systematically destroying them and rebuilding them as staccato frankensteins, skittering about the track like free radicals. The instrumental stuff is treated in a similar way, with beats and samples fuse with static and snippets of the jazz fusion that Herren prefers. The scratching is done electronically rather than with turntables. Traditional MCs might protest, but hey, this is on the Warp label after all. In breaking down hip hop and building it back up into a shinier beast, Scott Herren has single-handedly played a vital role in rejuvenating hip hop. "~fastnbulbous



edIT - "Ants" from Crying Over Pros for No Reason (2004)

"Reinvented not long ago by Scott Herren (aka Profuse 73), the acoustic guitar seductively basting the instrumental hip-hop sequences is not only what makes Los Angeles’ Edward Ma (aka edIT), but also its calm, slower comprehending, and better interpretation of these sequences. The sound is a familiar blend of acoustic constructions developed with electronic means, but the delivery stands out for its intricacy and warmth in both the toxic beats and the emotional melodies. With such beautiful and delicate glitchified sounds like a robotic insect, the Brazillian’s debut, Crying over Pros for No Reason is a stand-out for its technological music scissoring through the math of sound.

The drum samples and edits on the album are very machinelike, but they flow effortlessly with the soulful melodies and washes. Each track has just the right element of jazz and folk, never becoming overbearing taking cues from Profuse 73 to another level. In Crying over Pros for No Reason, each song feels complete, and while some albums rely on their tracks to build off each other, these ten pieces can solidly stand on their own. Crying over Pros for No Reason is emotional—instrumental experimental hip-hop at its finest."~outof_nowhere




Flying Lotus - "Massage Situation" from Reset (2007) [EP]

"Steven Ellison lands a Reset EP, on Warp Records. His previous full length release, titled 1983, was released by Warp's US West Coast outlet, Plug Research. The LA producer grained recognition, and graduated with flying lotus [er... I mean "flying colors"]. Reset opens up with a track featuring heavily gated, soul vocals by Andreya Triana (think Jazz Sensation's Just Like That). From then we wobble through super groovy, left-field, instrumental hip hop, to the likes of Daedelus, Prefuse 73, DJ Shadow and Malcom Kipe. Overall the sound is spacey, loungey, sexy, if you will. The EP is rather short, and before you know it, the six tracks of eighteen minutes are over, and you press play again. And if it sounds like you have heard some of these head-nodding beats before, well... you have: think all the text-based short Adult Swim interludes with laid back and dope rhythms."~Headphone_Commute



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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby XXDarkShadow79XX » 26 Apr 2013 20:11

So how did the whole 100 bpm/jazzy/swing type glitch hop come about?
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 27 Apr 2013 07:40

XXDarkShadow79XX wrote:So how did the whole 100 bpm/jazzy/swing type glitch hop come about?


Like all thing it probably just developed as subgenre of a subgenre. A few people did the same thing and devlope a new trend. I've definitely heard more recent "glitch hop" that's more similar to big beat and dubstep then what came before it. As always people change the style or pervert the name (a lot like what happened with trap and dubstep).

Are you talking about electro swing? Thought that was more a fusion of house tbh unless I'm mistaken. [edit]Actually a small chunk of theat movement comes from the whole ninja tune / nu jazz scene. Gimme a few names of who you are talkign about and i can comment specifically and see if there's a specific scene/genre name for those guys.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ghelded_kultz » 27 Apr 2013 08:20

Glad to see this thread resurrected. I missed it, even if "3 person houseparty" was a fairly accurate description.

I like this glitch hop that actually sounds glitchy. Man was I surprised when I first heard a song labeled glitch hop and I couldn't figure out how it was related to hip-hop or glitch. I really like that second song.

As far as suggestions, I remember neo-folk a few pages back. I'd still love to hear that set.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 27 Apr 2013 09:47

eery wrote:Lurking this tread and enjoying it a lot.

However, it upsets me a bit that you wouldn't even mention akufen, or the idea of microsampling in your post about microhouse, as thats really the most appealing element in the genre for me at least. Have I been mistaken this whole time, and been calling it something else?

Also, that albumart!


Yeah I'm sorry if you feel i underplayed the importance in glitch in Microhouse as it's an important one and one that often gets underplayed in some of the records and is definitely more apparent in others. I always recommend checking out the FULL lists i link as they go into a LOT more detail. Cherry pickling highlights for here always feels a bit wrong.

But a great example and on the box set


Have i done a box set for Glitch yet in this thread ? If not lemme know. I'm working on an Electro Swing this very moment.... :D
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Pimps_McGee » 27 Apr 2013 14:26

Freewave wrote:
XXDarkShadow79XX wrote:So how did the whole 100 bpm/jazzy/swing type glitch hop come about?

Actually a small chunk of theat movement comes from the whole ninja tune / nu jazz scene. Gimme a few names of who you are talkign about and i can comment specifically and see if there's a specific scene/genre name for those guys.

I think what he's talking about is a new sub-genre that's been referred to as Neurohop, a portmanteau of Neurofunk and Hip Hop; which has developed quite recently. Basically it is a combination of Neurofunk basslines with funky Hip Hop percussion.
Songs sort of like this:


Maybe also more along the lines of this?




The artists I can think of are: KOAN Sound, Blunt Instrument, K+Lab (a little more traditional Glitch Hop), Pyramyth, Mako, Defunk, Volatile Psycle, Matroda, William Breakspear, Kairo Kingdom, and maybe Kill Paris (although that's more along the lines of funky house.)

Also I'd recommend The Icons Vol. 3 for anyone interested in this genre. Its about 30 tracks (runtime about two hours) of songs that are remixes of classic funk and rock songs like I Just Want to Celebrate, Sir Duke, Bicycle, Kashmir, Get Rhythm, Easy Like Sunday Morning(which is really good), and etc.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 27 Apr 2013 15:41

Well let's get Glitch done now while on a similar topic and then i can move onto other stuff next week....

"As computer-aided composition slowly eclipsed the traditional analog approach to crafting electronica, the palette of possible sounds soon widened immensely, resulting in the advent of the glitch style in the late '90s. No longer was the artist confined to sequenced percussion, synth, and samples, but rather any imaginable sound, including the uncanny realm of digital glitches, pops, and crackles. This tight-knit scene of experimental artists creating cerebral hybrids of experimental techno, minimalism, digital collage, and noise glitches. Though artists such as Oval, Pole, and Vladislav Delay, among others, had initially been singled out by critics beforehand, Mille Plateaux's epic Clicks_+_Cuts compilation first defined the underground movement, exploring not only a broad roster of artists but also a wide scope of approaches."

Full List

Notable examples:

Ryoji Ikeda "+." +/- (1996)"

One of the first artists to gain exposure for his stark, "bleepy" soundscapes. Ikeda brought a serene quality of spirituality to glitch music. One of the first glitch releases to break new ground in the delicate use of high frequencies and short sounds that stab at user's ears." TAoFGM

I don't have this track so enjoy a video/audio installation thats 20% cooler by him:



Alva Noto"Module 3" from Transform (2001)
"Alva Noto (going as Noto and other names) is the code for Carsten Nicolai's recordings. Nicolai is a German installation artist whose installations are influenced by both cybernetics and John Cage. His audio installations employ "music" (rather than a musician), as a "manufacturer of sounds", his main (and sometimes only) instrument being a computer." ~scaruffi




Fennesz - "A Year in a Minute" from Endless Summer (2001)

"With a title and cover artwork so obviously referring to the Beach Boys, one had to anticipate that this 2001 full-length CD by Fennesz would be more melodious than usual. It is, but you'll only get as close to surf music as the imagination of an experimental electronica artist from Vienna, Austria, will allow you to. Fennesz puts the emphasis on sunny melodies and a somewhat lighter atmosphere, but drowns them in glitch textures. The result strikes and disconcerts."~AMG



Jan Jelinek "Do Dekor" from Loop-finding-jazz-records (2001)

"Jan Jelinek recorded under the names Farben and Gramm, as well as his birth name, and became a revered producer of electronic music. Moving to Berlin in 1995 for the sake of his university degree in philosophy and sociology, Jelinek started experimenting with sampling media. Jelinek's work has a strong emotional component that at times verges on the sentimental. Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records is Jelinek's first full-length under his own name, but it's not far from his fine records as Farben and Gramm. The rhythms are more varied here, and Jelinek is working with a richer sound palette (and sampling old jazz recordings) centered on warm, fuzzy chords and static."~AMG

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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ghelded_kultz » 30 Apr 2013 08:56

Glitch fits pretty well with modern/avant garde art, doesn't it?
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 01 May 2013 08:20

Absolutely, yeah glitch is something that works really in a conceptual and modern setting. Since it can contain visuals quite well and a lot of it is deconstructive and using modern technology it really works well as experimental and avante-garde. A lot of initial glitch musicians did stuff like mark the bottom of cd's with sharpees to create samples or take vinyl records and slash at them to create glitched rhythms. A broken synth or something with a dying battery can become a unique instrument. A lot of the good sounds can be obtained through micro sampling where you take a really small sample snippet and examine and stretch it out as they can have sounds that rival dubsteps wubs when elongated. Really cool stuff.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ph00tbag » 01 May 2013 09:32

Broken synths or ones with failing power supplies are awesome instruments in general.

Also fun is using dying batteries in or rewiring children's musical toys.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 01 May 2013 10:58

ph00tbag wrote:Broken synths or ones with failing power supplies are awesome instruments in general.

Also fun is using dying batteries in or rewiring children's musical toys.


Oh hell yeah. My kids had one of those disney sound books (Aladin) with one those 8-bit sound clips keyboard on the side. Sounded awesome when it ran low on batteries. They also had one of those little kid guitars that started making aphex twin/dubstep noises when it got low too. Sadly i didn't record any of them... :(

My kids did make an free improvisation ep when they were 4 though. Can't say it was terribly good. :lol: Was good trollcore at best.

We haven't done Free Improvisation as a genre yet, have we?
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 01 May 2013 16:39

Well lets get Free Improvisation done. It likely seems less like Music then even Noise is...

Free improvisation developed in the U.S. and Europe in the mid to late 1960 (and later in Japan)s, largely as an outgrowth of Free Jazz. However, Free improvisation represents the culmination of the avant-gardist musician's quest for complete, uncompromised freedom as a split from those genres and an absence of rhythm. Free improvisation lets the musician do whatever he wants, regardless of any rule. Rhythm, harmony, melody, even respect for the physical integrity of the instrument itself (preparations and home-built instruments are often used) are shattered. Other genres such as EAI and Onkyo later developed as an evolution of this music in latter decades. While AMM is often credited as the beginning many see guitarist Derek Bailey as the leader of the Free Improvisation movement and his ever changing collaborations with like-minded improvisors as a who's who of the major artists of the field and means to keep the spirit of unpredictablity alive. As with most improvisational works many are best conveyed as a group collaboration and quite often captured from a live performance.

AMM "Ailantus Glandulosa " from AMMMusic (1967)

"AMMMusic stands the test of time both as a remarkably prescient session and as an utterly powerful and deep piece of 20th century music. Drummer Eddie Prevost's superb and detailed liner notes document AMM's early history, including the confusion engendered not only in audiences and critics but even in the band members themselves, unsure if they were in a free jazz ensemble, a contemporary classical group, neither, or both. The aphorisms adorning the original LP issue (the disc includes additional portions of the concert) give some indication of what was facing listeners and musicians at the time: "An AMM performance has no beginning or ending. Sounds outside the performance are distinguished from it only by individual sensibility." Or: "Every noise has a note."

Even so, at this early stage in its development, there are more "normal" instrumental sounds with a conceptual basis in either jazz or classical music than there would be later on. Lou Gare's tenor saxophone wrings out occasional avant-garde peals that wouldn't have sounded too out of place in Sun Ra's band of the period, and Prevost's drumming shares some affinities with the energy players of the day. Similarly, Cornelius Cardew's piano and Lawrence Sheaff's cello sometimes refer to this or that modern classical tradition. But the overall sound of the group, even in 1966, was so different, so idiosyncratic, that it's not at all surprising that both new jazz and contemporary classical audiences were baffled, if not horrified. The experimentation in sonic assault, noise, and chance sound (including transistor radios) would, however, reach the rock fringes (as Prevost points out) in the work of '60s bands like Pink Floyd as well as later industrial groups like Test Dept. and even the JAMC."~AMG




Evan Parker, Derek Bailey & Han Bennink "For Peter B. & Peter K." from The Topography of the Lungs (1970)

"Essential free improvisation. Parker offers a very decent random blowing and Bailey rapes guitar in his specific style, but this one wins mostly thanks to Han Bennink, that seems to run around the studio and beating the drums, breaking plates, cutting wood and furniture, destroying some parts of recording technique and killing the cats simultaneously. He promised this hyperactive approach to drumming on records with maestro terroristo Peter Brotzmann (as I've heard him on Machine Gun and Live In Berlin '71), but here he fully realized it - he's finally become a schizoid and agressive psychopat, drugged with ephidrine and unleashed from cage only for this recording session."~xenakis

"Saxophonist Mr. Evan Parker, along with his comrades Mr. Derek Bailey (guitar) and Mr. Han Bennink (percussion) have, in this opus recorded way back in 1970, avoided the sclerotic tendencies prevalent in much of even the most experimental of jazz bandying. Here anything resembling a chord is scorned and every noise emitted seems to want to come to a point. That this is somehow a representation of modern life or of the modern mind is an oversimplification (isn't soundtracking this age Phillip Glass' job anyway?). This is pure intelligence being expressed. Reeds squall as if vocalizing, guitars scrape and mutter, drums patter discordantly in reply to the emissions of the others. And perhaps this is where the misinterpretation lies: it all sounds like what some self-styled Marxist theortician would pontificate on the stormy nature of our lives and its influence in our art. Then he'd shit gold and the students would applaud. But for all the 'intellect' espoused in the instrumentation, this is more primal in feel, the gist is immediate. Smart people playing gut music. Just as humanity is not merely the sum of its gooey physical parts, so too is Topography not the mere collection of sound waves. Three guys in a room communicating; each in their own individual terrestrial space, with its limitations and specialties, and each reaching out to intersect with the others, crossing at particular moments, but coalescing into one large, complicated idea. Utterly fantastic without losing the sense of something beyond hearing. "~RIStout

Hmm can't find it so have this.




Derek Bailey "Paris (edit)" from Aida (1981)"

My best attempt at explaining this as his best record would be to begin with his technique, because we see a wide encompassing amount of Bailey's playing here. Most noteworthy: walking rhythms, high fretted muting, middle range single note movements and classic harmonic arguments that give each piece character and a back-and-forth tension that has been equaled, but never fully matched on any Bailey effort (although "Mirakle" is close"). "Paris" in particular contains an eastern koto influence."~brandonsyl

"Yes, this one really is as good as people say, three live tracks, exceptionally well captured (you'd never guess they were live from the sound) that show him at his best. "Paris" is very probably the most involving recording of Derek I've yet heard: when the alarm on his digital watch goes off at the end (used to determine when the improv would end, a typical touch, funny, practical, enlightening), it's like waking up from a dream I didn't realise I was having."~stilton



Not my thing, but taking jazz's improvisation to the most extreme and making literally the most primal music EVER. Kids by nature would be natural free improv musicians. But hey i guess this is cool for college students to dig and applaud.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 02 May 2013 08:27

Ok I'm going to do EAI and Onkyo and be done with those 2....

giant text approaching as those who like the stuff are more verbose than even myself....

EAI (which stands for Electroacoustic Improvisation) is rather loosely defined, but is sometimes characterized by quiet, slow moving, minimalistic textures, often based on extended droning sounds. EAI drew influence, in part, from the tradition of free improvisation but downplayed aspects that were typically associated with avant-garde jazz. Combined with this was the influence of electronic and electroacoustic music, the music of American experimental composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and David Tudor, Pierre Schaeffer's musique concrète, and the so called instrumental musique concrète of Helmut Lachenmann. British free improvisation group AMM, particularly their guitarist Keith Rowe, contributed to the development of contemporary EAI.

"There’s something about this stuff, its all-but-total rejection of melody, harmony, structure, that makes it feel almost post-human. People can’t do this; we don’t have the discipline for such long stretches of almost-nothing. The closest I know of to a simple explanation comes from the estimable Dominique Leone: “sort of an inverse of noise music.” That sounds about right. If you think of noise as a brick wall, then EAI is like a plaster mold of the cement in-between, an impression, a photo-negative, more silence than sound; it’s a constant hum, the first step up from complete silence; noise stripped down to a single sliver and stretched out, presumably forever. Since the idea is the fewest sounds possible over the longest span of time, this is a sound of nearly unbearable, endlessly escalating tension at its most pleasant."~stylus

"This music is not for everyone. In fact, it's not for most people. I'm not trying to be elitist by saying that, just stating the obvious. Liking this music is not some strategy for cultivating an elitist attitude. I like this music because it focuses on aspects of sound other than melody, rhythm, and harmony. It focuses on texture, space (in the physical sense), silence, time, found objects, etc., and uses these tools to create tension and to make something that would, under ordinary circumstances, appear dull or annoying beautiful. Much of it is also freely improvised, which is an approach to music that I am attracted to.

The music being released by Erstwhile, IMJ, A Bruit Secret, Cut, Hibari, and a few other labels is important to me because it is exploring areas of sound that other musics don't. I am consistently intrigued, surprised, and enlightened by listening to this kind of music, and so I make no apologies for preferring it over contemporary jazz, which has become the musical equivalent of a Civil War battle reenactment."~crawjo

Full List

4G "Yellow Cloud" from Cloud (2005)"

In the five years since that review appeared, a quiet revolution in improvised music has been continuing, spearheaded by Erstwhile Records. The music on the label has been labelled as many things; the most common "electro-acoustic improvisation , often abbreviated to "eai . Erstwhile (or Abbey himself, actually) has been a driving force of eai, if not quite its inventor, to the extent that eai without Erstwhile is unimaginable.

Central to the conception of the music is the inclusion of technology alongside (so-called) conventional instruments; it would be remarkable for one of the label's releases not to credit one or more players with using electronics, computer, synthesiser, turntables, i-pod, electro-acoustic devices, amplified textures, or something similar. When eai is compared, say, to The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble(an obvious comparison, given the name), the contrasts are remarkable; although live electronics and sound processing abound in Parker's grouping, acoustic instruments still dominate and there is a clear lineage back to the birth of free improvisation; eai is very different, with conventional instruments only rarely being distinguishable and electronic sounds predominating. The interaction of electronics with conventional instruments is one of eai's defining characteristics; another is its use of very low volumes, spaces and silences. The combined result is that one has to listen to this music in new ways; it can easily be subsumed into the everyday soundscape of the 21st century alongside the hums, drones, whines and beeps that we all constantly experience, often unawares.

This double CD is unusual for Erstwhile in that it features four musicians; the norm is duos. However, the release's focus on guitars is typical; on Erstwhile, the guitar is second only to electronics as a featured instrument, with brass and reeds used comparatively rarely. Crucially, cloud features Keith Rowe and Toshimaru Nakamura, two of the label's most featured and most important musicians. Rowe has blossomed in his Erstwhile recordings, both paring down and extending the table-top guitar style that he developed in his decades with AMM. One-time guitarist Nakamura's use of no-input mixing board produces washes of controlled feedback that are given variations in shape and texture far greater than any description can convey. Rowe and Nakamura are joined by Fennesz and Oren Ambarchi, both guitar experimentalists, but both also with occasional populist tendencies. Despite the very different histories and playing styles of the four, it is impossible to separate out the musicians' individual contributions and fruitless to even try; they are subsumed into the collective and combine into a seamless whole. For any one player to stand out would run counter to the overall collective ethos."~allaboutjazz



Some Onkyo (ie the Japanese EAI scene)
Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo Yoshihide - "Good Afternoon" from Good Morning Good Night (2004)

"Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo Yoshihide have recreated in breathtaking miniature, with the most meager implements imaginable, everything. Using call and response, soothing high frequency drone layers, white light inspiration and wisdom fallout, this invokes states of miles deep oceanic jellyfish chemical discourse or the interior processes of your brain. Consequently, this is the purest, easiest listening that you will ever experience."~novahead

"In my never ending pursuit for challenging music, I recently downloaded Good Morning Good Night by Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo Yoshihide. It is nothing like I expected it to be, in fact it is unlike anything else I have ever heard and has proved to be the most confusing album I've encountered. "Is this music?" is one of the things I thought about while listening. Certinally it is a unique album but I struggle when trying to think of what it's purpose is, as clearly it is not intended to be listened to like every other album. To me, it's more like a piece of sound art: a ghostly presence that fills the room, not really being intrusive but making itself shown and creating a general atmosphere."~hey_light



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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ghelded_kultz » 02 May 2013 09:48

That free improv stuff is pretty cool, especially the last one. But I think that EAI is reaching the point where even I have trouble calling it music (though I still believe it is). Gotta try it out some time.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 02 May 2013 10:04

Yeah the EAI stuff is about as far as i can go before i start calling it bullshit. :lol: I mean i realize that every genre fits a certain gap or need in music and that this has a quiet type of free improv spirit that rejects all conventionality but i just dont get how some people are so enthusiastic about listening to it as it rejects almost all the conventions of what we call music. It's pretty sarcastic that the biggest fan site for it is called ihatemusic.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 03 May 2013 16:53

People new to Neofolk are often confused when they notice the broadness of this genre. This is because various artists incorporate many different influences into it. The early, English Neofolk scene was already quite varied and members of it went separate ways.

Neofolk may feature elements and influences of: Post-Industrial, Martial Industrial, Post-Punk, Dark Ambient, Ambient, Neoclassical Darkwave, Darkwave, Dream Pop, Rock, Metal, Experimental, Psychedelic Folk, Progressive Folk, Neo-Medieval Folk, Dark Cabaret, Nordic Folk Music and other kinds of Traditional Folk Music. But, these are just influences. If we ignore them, we get what can be considered "pure" neofolk - dark, melancholic, acoustic music with usually hushed, ethereal or even spoken vocals and sometimes an apocalyptic atmosphere. The genre is difficult to describe in words, but fans of it can easily recognise it.

Here's the 3 disc LIST
Not my list but a very popular one^

Essential highlights:

Death in June - "Little Black Angel" from But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter? (1992)

"Death in June is by many considered the very first Neofolk group. It was started as a Post-Punk/Post-Industrial band by Douglas Pearce and Tony Wakeford (both ex-Crisis, the latter has left soon) that gradually became a fully Neofolk artist. Douglas P. is a controversial musician, mainly because of his fascination with Nazi themes and symbols. But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter? is his most successful album."




Current 93 - A Sadness Song from Thunder Perfect Mind (1992)

The leader of Current 93, David Tibet, is not only one of the most important Neofolk artist. In addition to many "apocalyptic folk" albums, he recorded also a plenty of Dark Ambient, Industrial and Dark Ambient albums. His fascination with religion, occult and Aleister Crowley can be found in the lyrics of his poems melodeclamated in a characteristic, passionate way. Albums like Thunder Perfect Mind and All the Pretty Little Horses are the most successful (and arguably the best) Neofolk albums ever.




Sol Invictus - Believe Me from In the Rain (1995)

Tony Wakeford - one of the most influential artist in Neofolk - founded Sol Invictus in 1987. The music is a mix of Neofolk and Post-Industrial music with some Neoclassical influences.

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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby ghelded_kultz » 04 May 2013 07:39

Yay, neofolk. Definitely agree that it is hard to describe but easy enough to determine if a song is neofolk.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Lying Pink » 04 May 2013 07:52

I'm kind of enjoying this EAI stuff. Not something I could sit down and concentrate on listen to a whole album of but it's nice.
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Re: Freewave's Genre of The Day Exploration

Postby Freewave » 04 May 2013 11:04

eery wrote:I cant decide if I like neofolk or not. At one side its really calming and nice, but its also like...cheesy kinda, a underlying cheesiness, which is weird when its trying to be all melancholic. I don't know why I get that either, so this comment is pretty unvalid, but I just wanted to say something so you know your work is appericiated.


hey thanks ;)

TBH i feel the same way in that it's so stripped down and it's vocals are just so reminscent of goths making late night poetry that it does have a level of cheesiness. I personally can't get into it very much but it definitely fits an important cross section of folk -goth -and other genres (kinda like darkwave does). Not my cup of tea but i know quite a few who do like it a LOT.

I'm going to now post a set i did called "England's Hidden Reverse" (The British Post-Industrial Collective) that pre-dates Neo-Folk but which I think holds up more and has some similar artists involved too. I'm a big NWW fan and they've always been a band hard to label and this VERY small scene i think was very unique.

Nurse With Wound, Coil, and Current 93 are 3 bands with a shared history and each have common elements within their music. David Keenen describes this connection with a biography of all 3 bands in the England's Hidden Reverse biography which also produced a compilation. These bands collectively straddled a small area of music somewhere after first generation Industrial, Dark Ambient, Musique Concrete and Experimental music. In reality what these bands often did was create music that dealt with horror, apocalyptic, and gothic overtones that dealt with magic, religious themes, and rituals. A few other bands and artists could be included within this scope (and those that do are mentioned here) but for the most part this list (and the biography that inspired it) covers these 3 artists who don't fit any specific label as a whole but have a rich and prolific discography and shared collaborative history. Their approach to British underground music is extremely noteworthy as a part of underground music's history.

Full List

Notable examples


Nurse With Wound - "Homotopy to Marie" from Homotopy to Marie (1982)

"Their early recordings, all made quickly, were heavily influenced by free improvisation and Krautrock and were generally considered industrial music, despite the objections of the group. By 1981, only Steven Stapleton was left from the original trio and he now regards 1982's Homotopy to Marie, as being the first proper Nurse with Wound release. Stapleton's fondness for dada, surrealism and absurdist humor are demonstrated in much of NWW's output, which, though it draws directly on a wide assortment of genres retains a distinctive and recognizable aura. Musique concrète may be the most prominent touchstone, due to Stapleton's frequent, and often humorous, use of creative tape loops and editing. This aesthetic is fully represented in the artwork on the album covers, virtually all of which is created by Stapleton."~wiki

"Made by Steven Stapleton alone, as John Fothergill and Heman Pathak had left the group. The album contains the immortal Homotopy to Marie with it's cymbal galore and one of the most unsettling vocal tracks in history, imho. I Cannot Feel You as the Dogs Are Laughing and I Am Blind is a slow starter though. The track gets better halfway through, after a series of half-baked tape edits. The vocal drone and occasional wailing sounds as unsettling as possible. The Schmürz (Unsullied by Suckling) starts with some in and out fading military-sounding yells, deeply irritating electronic noises before spiraling into unknown territories where unexpected vocals duel with more electronic noises, percussive intervals and ends in a demented klezmer fanfare. Only for the very open-minded."~djorkaeff

"For all its terrifying musique concrete obtuseness, something about Homotopy to Marie reminds me, oddly, of mainstream music magazines. I can just imagine how they would have reviewed Homotopy to Marie. Why would anybody want to listen to this, they'd ask. Why can't they just write some nice polite melodies, they'd imply. And you could take a similarly cynical view of this if you wanted, sure - you could say that the whole horror-film schtick is just camp, and that Nurse With Wound take themselves far too seriously for a band that make music that's so obviously silly and overblown. Or, you could not be such a complete dick, and acknowledge that Nurse With Wound are pretty much perfect at what they do - and if you're not going to attack people for paying money to go and see horror films, then you've got no right to attack them for listening to music like this.

That thought process is what surely must underpin any appreciation you have for this band. Black Sabbath invented heavy metal simply by going to the cinema and noticing that people liked being scared, but to modern ears, they simply didn't go far enough. The same is true of films like The Exorcist, of course - surely nobody genuinely finds it scary any more, and instead finds other ways to appreciate it, much as they have with Sabbath. As a result, resulting generations need to push the boundaries further and further so they could keep ahead of the game - and yet, despite being made in 1981, Homotopy to Marie remains one of the scariest albums on the market. That's what makes this such an impressive achievement. Frighteningly impressive, in fact."~Iai




Coil - "How to Destroy Angels" from How to Destroy Angels (1984) [EP]

Coil was formed in 1982 following Balance and Christopherson's departure from Psychic TV. Balance and Christopherson began working with John Gosling on the project Zos Kia, which resulted in four live performances and the 1984 cassette tape Transparent. Following Gosling's departure Balance and Christopherson teamed up with Boyd Rice, and under the alias Sickness of Snakes released the split EP Nightmare Culture with the experimental group Current 93.

While working on their first official release, 1984's 12" How to Destroy Angels, the group settled on the name Coil. According to the sleeve notes, the single track LP is "ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy" and was produced under a variety of technological, spiritual, and meteorological conditions which the band felt to be magickally significant."~wiki

Since its initial release How to Destroy Angels has been remixed by Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton and released on a full length CD. Tracks from Nightmare Culture have featured on the group's Unnatural History: Compilation Tracks Compiled compilation series."



Current 93 - "The Mystical Body of Christ in Chorazaim (The Great in the Small)" from Nature Unveiled (1984)"

"In England's Hidden Reverse David Tibet compared the sounds on Nature Unveiled to the appearance of shadows cast by a candle's flame. The exaggerated dance of figures projected by the fire is an excellent metaphor for the reverberated moans and chants that jump and teleport throughout "Ach Golgotha (Maldoror is Dead)." Steven Stapleton's ability in the studio helped to translate the entire record into an exaggerated and frightening play of monumental blocks of sound. The way different samples are lumped together and cut irregularly is dizzying, causing no little amount of disorientation. That image of slowly undulating figures above describes the entirety of Nature Unveiled partly because of Stapleton's talent and partly because of Tibet's monstrous and lucid vision. The first groans of sound are as a rising curtain and what follows is a nightmare puppet show of light, wherein the Antichrist is summoned only to be cursed and rejected by an adamant and frightened Tibet. As various samples begin to clash and blend into a supreme panic the effectiveness of Current 93's approach on this record becomes plain. Annie Anxiety's truly awesome performance in "The Mystical Body of Christ in Chorazaim (The Great in the Small)" is one of her most memorable and it heightens the play of human cries, treated pianos, monastic chants, unidentifiable stereo oddities, and defiant vocals that populate both songs. The details are made more powerful thanks to Denis Blackham's re-mastering job and remarkably this album sounds more clear and robust than many modern recordings made by artists with similar palettes. It has been 24 years since Nature Unveiled was released, but it sounds more powerful to me now than it ever did."~brainwashed




Death in June - "Death of a Man" The World That Summer (1986)"

David Tibet formed Current 93 in 1982. After being introduced to Douglas P. by Alan McGee of Creation Records at the Living Room Club, London in 1983, Tibet eventually began working with Death in June. Upon meeting Tibet, Douglas P. began to devote more of his time to a new circle of collaborators, who introduced him to various Thelemic, Satanic and Hermetic disciplines that markedly affected his approach to composing music. Familiar with the Runic alphabet, Douglas P. introduced them to Tibet. Tibet similarly had been long interested in magic and religion and implemented these concepts in his early recordings with Current 93.

Douglas P. introduced a folk influence to Current 93/David Tibet, who in turn contributed to Death in June's Nada! (1985) LP and its remix version titled 93 Dead Sunwheels (1989), as well as the albums The World That Summer, Brown Book, and The Wall of Sacrifice. He continued his work with Death in June, ending their collaborations with a contribution to the (1995) LP, Rose Clouds of Holocaust before their eventual split.

Douglas P. also contributed to Current 93 projects, including the definitive Apocalyptic folk LP Swastikas for Noddy, Earth Covers Earth, 1888, and Thunder Perfect Mind as well as playing live on many occasions from 1986-93 with Tibet's group."~wiki

"an important piece in the DIJ back catalogue. For the most part, it's played in a very dark post-punk style, typical of the group at this stage in their career, but you can begin to see their neo-folk roots. Amongst the drum machines, droning vocals and baritone guitars, there's hints of acoustic guitar strums, and piano melodies (both seen most prominently in the aforementioned opus, Break the Black Ice). It also ends (because I ignore the reprise's existence) with ' Death of a Man'; A fifteen minute long piece which is essentially a "song sandwich". Typical Death in June track, surrounded by five minutes of some pretty grim-sounding samples, which is a very interesting audio experiment. It might not warrant the running time, but it seems to be quite influential, and fits in with their imagery perfectly."~TheJoeyTaylor

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