Electronic Music 101
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08-18-2021, 05:09 PM -
#1
Part 1: Electronic sounds in classical European music


Part 1: Electronic sounds in classical European music

In this series of articles, we will look for answers to questions such as what is electronic music, which affects many different music genres and increases its popularity day by day, how and why it started, what kind of forms it took.

Electronic music has been changing and evolving for over 100 years. The beginning of the 20th century is a period of new searches in music and also of radical destruction. It can also be defined as a century in which two world wars took place, the West did not have its old romantic structure and its secure world disappeared.

The classical harmony system of Western music has begun to fall short of describing a world with such destruction. Composers and musicians starving and unable to express themselves in this field have put forward many different movements that will be called avant-gardes, such as random music, 12-tone music, minimalism, dadaism, or serialism, which will be gathered under one umbrella. In addition to these currents of thought, thanks to the developments in technology, composers have found the opportunity to take their search for elements that form the basis of music such as timbre, texture, rhythm, and density to different planes.

Developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1906, the telharmonium was one of the first steps taken to produce sound in an electronic environment. Then, the theremin invented by Lev Termen in 1920 and the Martenot Wave produced by Maurice Martenot in 1928 opened new horizons in the search of composers. In addition to these, one of the most important developments in electronic music was the magnetic tape technology invented in 1935.

The technology, whose use became widespread after the Second World War, apart from the filters and effect producers that formed the basis of electronic music, the invention of oscillators, which made it possible to produce pure electronic sound, was an important step for this field. Finally, the synthesizer technology, which combines modules such as an oscillator, filter, and effect generators, which we can see as the most important of these technological developments, is discovered in a single body. After the RCA Mark II, which was produced as the first synthesizer, we see Robert Moog and Donald Buchla as the first two names that made great developments in this field.
In this field, which started to be produced again in the 1950s, two different main streams were formed. These; Somut Music, which considers every sound in nature as a "sound object" and records them and uses them in different ways, and Electronic Music, which creates works using only electronic sounds.

Pierre Henry, one of the most important names in concrete music, composed the piece "Symphony for a Lonely Man", one of the first examples of this musical style, in the 1950s. In the same period, the music gained a concrete dimension for the first time.The realistic representations of Metastasis, created by Greek Iannis Xenakis in 1954, were utilized in the compositional plan of the Philips Pavilion he planned in 1958. In addition, Edgar Vérse composed Electronic Poetry to be performed only in this pavilion. Since the 1950s, electronic music laboratories have been established in many parts of the world and research has been intensified. One of the most important of these research centers is the Colombia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the USA. Another important aspect of this institution for us is that Bülent Arel, whose name is not known in our country but who has made important developments in the field of electronic music, was also under the roof of this institution for a while. In 1961, Arel wrote his first important work, Stereo Electronic Music I, consisting entirely of purely electronic sounds, and then Music for Religious Liturgy: Prelude and Postlude, the first church music performed in an electronic environment.
Electronic music has been a hot spot for many composers, producers, and artists in search of new sounds and forms of expression in a changing world. I also share with you our Spotify list, where you can find examples of artists who have adopted approximately the same musical style, mentioned in this part of the article. Later in this series of articles, we will talk about how electronic music is separated into genres such as drum N bass, hardcore, techno, house, and trance, and how these genres are formed.
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08-18-2021, 05:14 PM -
#2
Part 2: Jungle and Drum'n'Bass

In this piece of our article, we will zero in on Jungle and Drum'n'Bass styles. Although Drum'n'Bass, another branch of electronic music, was different from the Jungle genre in its early stages, these differences changed over time and the two genres became intricate. In order to better understand D&B, let's first examine the Jungle genre.

Jungle first appears as the voice of the young black generation living in Britain. Therefore, we can easily observe its connections with both black rap music and Jamaican reggae and dub music. One of the biggest factors in the popularity of the Jungle style is the pirate radio stations in London. These stations, which are one of the free spaces where the black young generation living in England can express themselves and make their own cry heard, have been greatly influenced by Jamaican music, culture, and Rastafarianism.

Jungle, which emerged in the early 1990s, began to show itself with DJs such as Grooverider and Fabio, who would later be among the important names of this style, and at the Rage Club in London, which had an important place in the spread of this style in the UK. In the late 1990s, Jungle changed within itself. Musicians began to use less aggressive bass scores and to make more atmospheric music, which helped shape what we now call Drum'n'Bass.

Drum‘n'Bass is a dance music genre that emerged in the UK in the first half of the 90s. After the Great Rave period, dance music splits into two opposing branches. on the other hand, a more extroverted, direct, hardcore and rave culture approach (Old Skool Jungle, Breakbeat Hardcore, Darkcore, Hardstep, Techstep, Jump Up, Post Dubstep). The point that makes D&B so popular is that it has been able to meet these two musical views, which are different from each other, in the same quota. In order to achieve this unity, he combined complex rhythms with menacing bass parties.

D&B, as the name suggests, consists of two basic elements. The first of these elements is the subsonic bass parts of genres such as Industrial/Brutal Techno and Rave, while the second element is the 4/4 rhythm parts of styles such as Amen Break, Dubplates or Breakbeat Hardcore played in an accelerated fashion. They usually use these patterns by differentiating them. The snare drum is placed in the 2nd and 4th times of the 4/4 rhythm, which are described as "weak time". D&B has an extremely fast pace. The beat per minute ranges from 160 to 190, which means it's about 3 times faster than most House music tracks. Playing the rhythm parts from other songs faster than the original, and the bass parts slower – sometimes this speed can even drop to half – or trying to make the bass part-heard without leaving any silent spots are some of the techniques used by D&B. Breakbeat is D&B's strongest influence in writing its characteristic rhythm patterns. The most important difference that distinguishes D&B from Breakbeat and enables it to create its own character is that the drum part is written in an electronic environment, which is important for rhythm in the Breakbeat genre, resembles a real drummer as much as possible and the sounds are closest to acoustic drums. In D&B, on the other hand, this realism and desire to be organic have completely disappeared, and the desire to create synthetic, futuristic, and technological sounds has taken its place.
By 1998, D&B started to become more popular than Jungle. Goldie's Timeless (1995) and Roni Size and Reprazent's New Forms (1997) stand as milestones for the D&B genre. With Goldie's debut album Timeless, D&B managed to enter the Top 10 of the UK music charts for the first time. After this success, the D&B genre took its place among the mainstream music genres. Roni Size and Reprazent received the Mercury Music Award with their debut album, New Forms, which further increased the popularity of D&B. Goldie, has supported the formation of the leading names of the genre not only with the songs he produced but also with the Metalheadz record company he owns. Names that shaped the Jungle genre such as Fabio, Grooverider, and Doc Scott switched to D&B with Metalheadz and managed to become one of the leading names in this genre. Goldie broke out of the classical sound field of the D&B genre with her 1998 album Saturnz Return. With the orchestral arrangements he used and the support he received from Noel Gallagher, the founder of the Oasis group, he aimed to bring a completely different perspective to the genre. Even though it did not show the expected success, it differentiated the boundaries of D&B and took the listener out of the field they were accustomed to and offered different perspectives for the musicians that followed.

As the late 90s approached, D&B began to acquire a darker and more paranoid sound character with Bad Company's album Wormhole, a collaboration between The Nine and Ed Rush-Optical. D&B, which we frequently see in the top 10 of the UK music charts, first took the first place in 2012 with DJ Fresh's Hot Right Now song.

Finally, you can listen to the playlist I prepared for this series of articles, which we focus on Drum'n'Bass and Jungle styles, from Mixmag Turkey's Spotify profile, as I think that music should be understood by listening and experiencing, not by actually explaining it.
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08-18-2021, 05:18 PM -
#3
episode-3-hardcore
In the third part of our article series, we will talk about hardcore or hardcore techno. We don't first see the term hardcore in electronic music in the music world. The term was first used to describe a radical movement in the punk rock genre. While the genre brings with it the hardening of the music made due to the dynamics it contains, it also clearly and sincerely expresses the street culture and lifestyle that punk was born in. The same term was used in hip-hop in the 80s to describe pieces with the same characteristic sound structure and semantic integrity. The term was first used in the electronic music world in the late 1980s in the EBM (electronic body music) genre with bands such as à; GRUMH, Pankow, and Leæther Strip.

Hardcore or hardcore techno is actually a subgenre of techno, heavily influenced by the acid house. This sub-genre has increased in popularity over time and has managed to become one of the main electronic music genres (super genres) such as a house, techno, d'n'b, and trance. Hardcore is harder, darker, and faster than regular techno. Due to this characteristic structure, it has gained, there is no longer a place for funky/electro bass parts that we are accustomed to hearing in techno. Hardcore does not have a definite beginning like other EDM "super genres". Its rise was experienced in the early acid house periods, in the important cities of England, Manchester nightclubs, called "Madchester Club Culture", and in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which had an important place in shaping the music culture of the Netherlands.

Techno has musically strict rules within itself and does not easily allow it to go beyond it. House, on the other hand, is so open that it tries to make as many people happy as possible and captures it with its musical structure. Hardcore has moved on without compromising what it has become. It can be silly, cheesy, loud, cruel, ridiculous, exaggerated, or all of these. This aspect of hardcore that other dance genres lack has earned it a loyal audience. This audience is small but “Hardcore”.

The speed of Hardcore starting from 150-160 BPM is one of the distinguishing features of the style. While the genre isn't in a fast-paced form like the new beat or first-wave rave, it's definitely more harsh and menacing than other dance music genres, with deep bass parties and distorting sound. In this style of music, which is based on fast rhythm and strong, distorted kicks, the melodic structure is put into the background.

Of course, it is not without reason that Hardcore has such fast rhythms and kicks as if it rains bombs on the human ear. Music is shaped by the culture it is in. The culture of hardcore is; It is the culture of a society that lived through the Cold War period. It is a well-known fact that drugs such as ecstasy and amphetamines were given to the soldiers, especially during the Second World War, in order to prevent the soldiers from getting tired and to gain courage. During the cold war that followed, soldiers who became addicted to these substances began to use the same substances in their civilian lives. This situation causes the prevalence of drugs among people. The use of drugs, which became widespread among the younger generation, brought about the acceleration of metabolism and the whole body, hallucinations, and many other effects. These effects also transformed people's aesthetic understanding and lifestyles. Now the music was more aggressive, clear, and fast. Psychoactive effects from the use of drugs bring music to the background and produce a more intense, ecstatic musical work. Hardcore has been divided into two subgenres over time. The first of these, rave XL, consists of the sum of rave-style music genres. Rave XL; It is a structure that covers genres such as new beat, true hardcore techno, darkcore, breakbeat hardcore, freetekno, and acid core. Although it is a subgenre of hardcore, this genre, which has become more popular than it, also found a lot of media coverage between 1990-92. This period is seen as the peak of the rave genre. The popularity of the rave genre brought with it huge parties called Raves. This culture that we are used to seeing in nightclubs today; sunglasses worn at night, whistles and screams, oversized clothes, bright colors, etc. He created his own clothing style and lifestyle.

The second genre formed by hardcore is gabber and related hard dance genres such as early gabber, speedcore, terrorcore, nu style, hardstyle, jumpstyle. This style adopts a more serious yet extreme musical approach. Considering the intensity of the music, this style also tried to protect the culture it belongs to from outside influences. Moving pop-up raves (drug parties) events are increasingly crammed into small, specific nightclubs. But with the rise in popularity of electronic music, mega dance events have been revived, bringing back the old rave spirit, albeit in a differentiated form.

Mescaline United, one of the important names of this genre and the first to officially use the hardcore name together with techno, is also the founder of the record label Planet Core Productions. Having released more than 500 tracks with this record label, Marc Trauner has made significant contributions to the genre. After Trauner opened the record label in 1989, Industrial Strength Records, founded by Lenny Dee in New York in 1991, fostered the development of the genre in America and brought New York to a prominent place in the early American hardcore scene.
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08-18-2021, 05:18 PM -
#4
At about the same time as these developments in America, Dutch electronic music producer Paul Elstak founded Rotterdam Records, the first hardcore techno record company in the Netherlands. Elstak and his friend Rob Fabrie aka The Headbanger have changed the classic hardcore mold. The pieces they made; had exaggeratedly saturated bass sections and a higher-than-normal speed, which we now refer to as "early Hardcore". When it first appeared, it was called Gabber or Gabba. Together with Rotterdam Records, which was founded in 1992, and hardcore and gabber, whose popularity is increasing day by day in Europe, the rave party Final Exam, which can be considered a milestone for this genre, was held in the same year. The importance of this party is that it laid the foundations of the ID&T record company that would later be established. The ID&T label, on the other hand, started to produce the following year's continuation of the Final Exam, the now-iconic Thunderdome rave event series, and the compilation album series of the same name, featuring prominent names of the genre. This project was so successful that four successful compilation albums were released in a row in just 1993.

Gabber, also known as gabba, is originally used in Dutch to mean "good friend". But in common sense; hooligan or unemployed has become a word used to describe low-class people. With the genre becoming popular among the proletarian younger generation in the Netherlands and especially in Rotterdam, the term gained the opposite meaning within this generation and began to be carried as a "badge of pride" as a counterpoint. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the two most important cities in the Netherlands and there is always a conflict between these two cities. We see the conflicts most clearly over Feyenoord and Ajax in football and gabba in music. “Where The Fuck Is Amsterdam?” by Euromasters, which became the anthem of the genre during Gabba’s early years in the Netherlands. the part allows us to see this conflict easily.

As I said in the last article; Since I think that music should be understood not by reading but by listening and experiencing
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11-04-2021, 04:58 PM -
#5
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12-02-2021, 04:18 PM -
#6
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02-07-2022, 12:12 PM -
#7
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03-01-2022, 08:56 AM -
#8
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04-11-2022, 09:46 AM -
#9
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This post was last modified: 04-11-2022, 10:46 AM by whilarla.
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04-11-2022, 10:47 AM -
#10
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This post was last modified: 04-11-2022, 11:46 AM by whilarla.


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