For electronic music composers, life is a grand – and crowded! – playground. We are surrounded by thousands of great-sounding toys: sequencers, samplers, synthesizers, VSTs galore. There is such a glut of sonic beasts out there, one could make a full-time career out of downloading and auditioning them … with little or no time left [...]
Excess, when applied in an artful manner, can dramatically enhance the power and expressiveness of music. Two dazzling examples jump to mind: Birds of Fire and Go Plastic. John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, which had its heyday in the early 70s, was the most ecstatically loud and musically dense band of its era, perhaps any era. [...]
Groove, defined conventionally, is a rhythm whose notes conform time-wise to a periodic pulse grid that specifies which beats are permitted and which are verboten. You can tease the grid, play ahead of it, play behind it, speed it up, slow it down, syncopate. But you must respect it and, ultimately, adhere to it. This [...]
Check out my most recent album, Groove Quotient, released by Brainstorm Lab. It’s the closest I’ve come (so far) to bridging my two main compositional worlds: avant-garde Euro atonality + quasi-pop electronica/IDM. Julian at Brainstorm Lab pretty much nailed it: “Classically trained composer rachMiel electronically decomposes himself.” Enjoy!
I always liked dubstep (Burial, in particular) — which is FAR from the case for me for most electronica genres — but i only started really liking it recently. Of all popular electronic-music genres I’ve heard, it resonates most strongly on an emotional level for me. (Some ambient and drone stuff gets there too, but [...]
I grew up loving the complex, jagged, unpulsed rhythms of the post-Webernian Euros: Stockhausen, Xenakis, Boulez, etc. They were, and continue to be, as — or often more — satisfying to me on a purely rhythmic level than pulsed/metered beats. Naively, I assumed that most progressive music fans also loved aperiodic rhythmic flows. Now, after [...]
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” A great quote from a great man … but one that electronica composers seem to have taken all too narrowly. For the Duke, swing was not simply drums or the rhythm section. It was the way that beat, meter, tempo, melody, harmony, phrasing, and [...]