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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Experimental Electronic

Electronic music has grown to include so many subgenres that it is getting hard to keep track of them all. Because of the limitless options available on the computer, artists are getting further and further into the obscure. Experimental includes IDM, trip-hop, and other electronic-based music that relies a lot on live instruments or sampling. Three such artists I included below who I have been listening to more and more often lately for their feel and the atmosphere they create. Keep in mind all these songs are part of an album and deserve to be listened to as such.

Amon Tobin is a Brazilian living in the UK who took his name from a Steven King novel. His 2001 CD Supermodified is considered one of the best of its kind. He has worked on soundtracks in addition to his albums, all of which is evident just by listening to a few of his songs. He so easily captures a mood with bizarre samples and heavy live percussion. "Four Ton Mantis" has the beat down perfectly, laid over a strong piano bassline and Middle Eastern tracks. "Deo" on the other hand, creates an entirely different mood. This is one of the songs of his I see fitting in perfectly to a transitional phase of a movie. Amon Tobin conveys emotion out of a fairly simple drum pattern over a repeating acoustic guitar.

Amon Tobin - Four Ton Mantis
Amon Tobin - Deo (YSI)

Flying Lotus' last album Los Angeles of last year was very well-received among the music critic community. I am partial to it just because of the album title, but With a sound more based in hip-hop and beats, the album has a very nice unity throughout. His strongest asset is the clink-clank drum sounds that perfectly accompany each song. "Camel" forces you to bob your head along to the beat.

Flying Lotus - Camel (YSI)

Finally, Venetian Snares (Aaron Funk) use very wide-ranging samples, my favorite of which is from the song "Gloomy Sunday." Also from a phenomenal movie of the same name, this song is officially banned in the United States and in its native Hungary. There are legends of the songs unfortunate effect on people, as many have committed suicide either listening to the song or after crafting their own version. Even Rezső Seress, the original composer, jumped out a windo. Regardless, the song is beautiful and perfectly sampled by Mr. Funk.

Venetian Snares - Öngyilkos Vasárnap (YSI)

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