Thursday, January 31, 2013

So Far So Good

At the beginning, I was told that this will be used as an E-Portfolio. I just looked into what that actually meant, and it appears that its really mainly for my own benefit so that I can see the progress that I make. And I'm sure that I can use it when applying to a 4 year university, but I like to think that these little blurbs added in between the usual essays and writing assignments will show them a little bit of my personality which is important when applying to colleges. Also, doing these things is really fun and keeps the readers and myself entertained on the way to the next real post.

What I Know about Electronic Music

Music of the Underground: Electronic Music
There I was, sitting in my room, eyes glued to the computer screen with my headphones on; music blasting. Unbeknownst to me, my mother is standing in the doorway shouting at me. After I noticed her presence, I took my headphones off and she said, “You should really listen to your music on a lower volume. You can cause permanent hearing damage.” I then explained to her that, “I like to be able to hear every element of the song.” She looked at me funny as if I had just told her that water is flammable. “Electronic music is so simple. Don’t try and tell me that it’s a complicated piece of work. It’s practically all the same,” she reasoned. Noticing how wrong she was, I sat her down, and went into great detail as to why she was so wrong. Allow me to rewind a bit.
When I was about 16 years old my family moved to Paris, France. Before this point, I was still listening to what I like to call “middle school music.” By that I refer to certain bands including but not limited to My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Green Day, and so on and so forth. It took going to an event about a year after we moved to finally realize what music I would enjoy and participate in for the next 10 years.
In Paris, there is a celebration of music called Techno Parade. As I’m sure you can figure out, this celebration in particular was exclusively for electronic music. Up until this moment, I had never realized how deep the electronic music roots go in Europe. It was after this delightful and adrenaline filled day that I decided to look further into this so called “techno music.”
The deeper I looked, the more genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres I found. There are hundreds, it’s incredible. I have found that the top 5 genres in terms of popularity and accessibility are as follows:
House: It has become apparent to me that this genre is definitely at the top of the list when it comes to popularity. It originated in Chicago in the early 1980’s, getting some footing towards the end of the Disco Era. Typically, House is identified by repetitive 4/4 beats. This rhythm is also known as “4 on the floor.” Like I said, House is the most popular in the public eye by far. Because of that, the largest names in the electronic music industry largely practice House music. You may not have listened to them, but I am sure you have heard of at least one or two; David Guetta, Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Benny Benassi, Avicii, and Swedish House Mafia.
Dubstep: This has to be one of the more recent genres. Its first releases were around the late 1990’s in South London, England. Dubstep is typically characterized by a snare hit or bass kick every half measure. Most people recognize it by the “wub” that most artists incorporate in their music. The “wub” is created by oscillating a bass note, giving it the “wubwubwub” sound. Dubstep has a very close relationship with Reggae, because they share the same pattern, but Dubstep is much darker and heavier. Very recently, Dubstep came to the United States and created a sub-sub-genre called Brostep which focuses on absurdity and breaking speakers. The artist that kind of brought this genre to light was Benga and Coki. Others that followed them include Skrillex, Datsik, Excision and Diplo.
Drum & Bass: This genre pretty much goes hand in hand with Dubstep. They both often get combined at times. This genre however, came first in the early 1990’s. Reggae also strongly influenced Drum & Bass but incorporated break beats and a much faster tempo around 160-180 beats per minute. The name of this genre pretty much speaks for itself; there just isn’t a whole lot to say about it. Notable artists for Drum & Bass include CarlCraig, Netsky, and Feint.
Trance: This genre originated in Germany mid-1990. Trance is exactly what it says it is. This type of electronic music puts you into a trance by repeating melodic phrases and uses a form that builds up and down throughout the song. Personally, this genre is the most uninteresting simply because not much happens. Often, throughout the song there will be a vocal track that is usually rambling on about pseudo philosophical nonsense. The most commemorated artists for this genre would have to be Armin Van Burren, Tiesto, and Paul Oakenfold.
Hardcore: This genre is what got me into electronic music. I first listened to a sub-sub-genre called Happy Hardcore. As I’m sure you can guess, is very uplifting and fast paced. Hardcore however, originated in Belgium in the late 1980’s so it’s kind of the grandpa of the group. Hardcore is widely considered hard to dance to because there is a bass kick every beat making a “bow” sound each time. It is also just a very fast paced tempo at around 150-200 beats per minute. This genre is a combination of “Techno” and “EBM” (electronic body music). Notable artists for the Hardcore genre are Headhunterz, Blutonium Boy and DJ Gollum.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Off To A Good Start

Here I am at day 1 of officially having a blog.

It's been about 24 hours since I was last on here working on my last post. Now, I have no idea how this happened, but somehow in the past 24 hours, my blog has gotten over 90 views. I've got to say, I was pretty shocked. Talk about a nice little surprise late in the day.

In terms of academia, things have been going well especially in English class. I've been staying on top of my shit which is rare, and so far I have actually been enjoying myself. The teacher is awesome and relatable, the students seem like a nice bunch. All around, its a great class and its been a blast so far. It feels weird being excited about school...

Moreover, my questions have yet to be answered in regards to posting pictures in between class work, so I'm going to just keep going for the sake of self indulgence.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Head Start

Greetings fellow class mates and I guess whoever might have randomly reached this page. If you are part of the latter group, I feel empathy for you and suggest that you go find something more productive to do.

I'm not sure what the rules are for this whole blog thing... Can we swear? I figure we can, cause we are adults and this is college. Can we post random shit in between homework assignments? Cause I have a plethora of funny things to show people.

If someone from the class reads this, you'll probably be thinking "why is this kid spending this much time on this little project?" The answer is simple. I was bored and had finished all my other homework.

Anyways, I think this is a good start to the "blog" that I made. I'm gonna post funny things out of principle and if Jordan Hayes, our teacher, tells me to take them down, then I guess I'll be a little let down.

Over and out.