Posts Tagged ‘music’

 

Here’s my latest project … a mad video mashup with an upbeat Swing and Bass soundtrack. While its looks and sounds fun, it did come out of a serious thought that I’ve been having

Every year the world becomes more automated. What future do we want to build?

It was easy for society to watch physical labour being replaced by machines. They just said that humans would just get more skilled jobs. They didn’t think it was worth worrying about … human intelligence, ingenuity and intuition would always be irreplaceable. This century we are seeing the rise of AI, of big data and fine robotics. We have to start asking, is there actually that much that humans do that couldn’t be replaced. What do we do when more people try to ‘get a job that they never could find’?

The strange thing for me is how few people are talking about it. It does crop up from time to time but it is not though of as a serious issue. Our politicians don’t discuss it, the media doesn’t think its sexy enough and our business leaders don’t care. Almost everyone in a position of wealth or influence probably either feels that they are immune, or are completely unaware. Some even knowingly reframe the loss of jobs as the fault of immigrants, millenials, a lazy workforce or another group they want to attack.

If we do this properly, we have all the tools we need to create an amazing world. I’m writing this on Easter weekend and in the UK and we get a full 4 days off (well we’re supposed to anyway). How amazing would it be if we enjoyed 4 day weekends every week. We could divide up the work as a society so that everyone still contributed but had ample time to to pursue the other things in life that give it meaning. People wouldn’t have to choose between work and family or between sleep and social life. Just think how amazing it would be for culture and invention if we gave people the time to work on their ideas. If we really got our act together we could feed, clothe and shelter everyone and live in a futurist paradise of our own making.

On the other hand, if we do this poorly we could see society degrade completely. We could see vast swathes of obsolete humans trapped in a dark techno-feudalism. Rioting as those who were left behind and embittered fight against the elite. Throw in a robot army and you might get all out war.  In all probability, we’ll try to keep propping up the status quo for as long as possible. The world of work, however, is already incredibly uneven. There are people running companies earning well over 100x the amount of a low level employee. There are people working untold hours of unpaid overtime while others search for the extra job they are covering. Some of the hardest jobs are met with the most meagre rewards either by being labelled ‘worthy’ or ‘unskilled’. I understand the need to give people incentives but the way we do it now is incredibly unfair. If we keep making the current system more extreme, we’ll be walking blindly down the path of polarisation until something snaps.

We are truly at a crossroad but one thing is for sure…it we don’t start thinking, discussing and planning, we are bound to take the wrong path. So for the near future, when we ask what our jobs should be, maybe the answer should be: trying to build the best world we can.

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect – D

Advertisements

Want to turn your music collection into a racing game, shmup or dungeon crawl? Beat up enemies with a dance mat? Fly through alien landscapes of banging dubstep. These are my 11 top games where you ‘play’ the music

Also, if you’re wondering why your favourite music based game isn’t on there, my original article (from years ago) on music based gaming is available here

PLUR – D

The last couple of years have made humanity seem more divided than ever, like there are ideological and cultural barriers that seem insurmountable. Despite this perception, we are all one species, we share 99.9% of our DNA and anything that seems to divide us is actually minuscule compared to everything that we share. The most upsetting thing (at least to me) about the rise of divisive ideologies is that we now actually have the tools to create an amazing world for all of us. There are enough resources for everyone to be fed, clothed and even entertained, if we could only get over the thousands of barriers of self-interest that prevent that happening.

This track is a different type of retro inspired music to the electroswing and vintage remix stuff I’ve been working on recently… 90s inspired euphoric dance. When I was just a baby and started sneaking into clubs, it was one of the first electronic genres I got into. It wasn’t long before I was into darker, more complex stuff too but nothing else quite gave the same big joyful release. I know it had its cheesy moments but it created that feeling of togetherness that permeated the clubbing community like nothing else. I know a lot of people dismissed that as a product of drugs or alcohol but I’ve been to enough sober raves recently to know that its actually just acceptance and the shared enjoyment of music that makes us feel that way. Dancing is an ancient act, one of our oldest rituals (and probably the oldest form of exercise). Perhaps when we dance together, it allows us to touch that thread of commonality running through our history

 

As you might expect I’ve used a lot of oldschool elements for this one with pumping bass, soaring pads and big arpeggios. I’ve made a suitably retro video to go with it  (with some help from Touchdesigner, zGameeditor visualiser and Blender). The track is a free download so grab it here:

PLUR – D

 

Dataphiles 100 cc.jpg

I founded this blog almost 8 years ago when I started to become serious about learning music production. Now 1 hundred posts, many tracks and a few crazy projects later I’m pleased to report its still going strong. At the beginning I was just a keen hobbyist but I’m much more confident in my productions now, I even sometimes feel like I know what I’m doing 😉

Also highly appropriately (especially if you are a fan of the number 10 and multiples thereof) as of this week there are now 10 tracks in the free tracks playlist on Soundcloud – both new and old, so a mix of electroswing, house, techno and leftfield

As well as the free tracks, you can also now get the whole of my back catalogue for 1 discounted price at the download page. Please consider supporting me so that I can continue for the next 100 posts and beyond

As for what those posts might be, I’ve got a new electroswing EP in the pipeline, a few DJing/VJing projects to write about and a couple of new articles too, so expect all of that soon. Hit the subscribe button on the left if you want an email when that happens or browse down and see what I’ve been writing about all of that time

Love and Peace,

Dataphiles

I’ve been an mixed genre producer for several years now but currently about 75% of the projects I’m working on are electroswing. There’s something incredibly special about this genre, both to listen to and to make… here’s why

So Danceable

Swing music was made for dancing, its hard for me to listen to it and not start moving. In electroswing, the other genres it’s being combined add an extra level of energy. The overall effect is creating a style of music that is irresistable to dance to. And the great thing is there are so many styles of dance that work well with it: swing, quickstep, shuffling, charleston, club dancing, rock and roll or just your best flapper impression…  anyone can get their groove on. A friend of mine recently observed at a gig: ‘There were ravers in the middle and swing dancers around the outside but everyone was dancing together’.

Creative Freedom

http://1u88jj3r4db2x4txp44yqfj1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/smart-creativity.jpg

Compared to other genres ES is very light on rules, there’s no set BPM, no set beat, no established convention on what instruments you have to use, anything goes! (note to self, I need to make a remix of Anything Goes). People produce ES that is almost entirely swing with a hint of modern production added while others make primarily electronic music combined creatively with swing. With the latter, I’ve heard ES inspired by (or based on) almost every major electronic genre: House, DnB, Electro (obvs), Dubstep, Techno, Dancehall even things like Trance and commercial EDM. Providing it fits the overall aesthetic and uses some relevant samples or instruments you can justifiably call it electroswing. This makes it a real joy to produce in as this freedom of expression allows you try out combinations of sounds and techniques you’d never otherwise think of. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that genre conventions stifle creativity but I would say that it is a lot easier to be lazy in your productions when you already know how aspects of your tracks have to sound to be considered part of that genre.

Plays well with others

http://ritholtz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/musical-genre-map.png

Because ES can be based on so many different styles of music and be played at many different tempos it mixes well with a whole range of other genres. Glitch hop, funk, rap, big band and latin house work particularly well but if you feel out the crowd you could drop a massive electro-house track, an acoustic rock number or something really leftfield. You could probably make anything work if you gave it enough thought. This encourages really creative DJing and means that the crowd can be genuinely surprised, which is much less likely to happen during a 2 hour long single genre set.

Sample away!

creative-commons-logos

A lot of people have commented recently about how intellectual property law has become completely ridiculous. Some corporations (ahem ahem Disney) have tried to change copyright law to allow them to have perpetual rights to their properties. This is an insane approach as it completely shuts down some major creative avenues: homage, remixes, retellings all become potentially problematic legally. Fortunately they have not managed to extend this far enough back to affect a lot of swing, big band, jazz and other pre 1940s music. Maybe its just me who cares about making music completely legally (or rather without the chance that some gung ho record label will decide to try to sue over something that is clearly being used in a creatively altered fashion) but I really appreciate the sheer volume of source material freely available to use.

Broad appeal

One of the great things about electroswing is that it is really approachable. When I’ve played some of my friends and relatives a heavy electrotrash, dubstep or DnB track, their response has  been ‘that’s just noise’, when some people hear a house or trance track all they hear is the pounding kick. I’ve yet to play someone ES and get an overtly negative response anything like that. I mean I might start them off with something fairly swing heavy like Parov Stellar or Caravan palace but even the tracks which are heavily inspired by the genres above get a much better reception. It might be something about the sounds of real instruments or the familiarity of the swing samples that makes it easier to get into. I think this is reflected in the group that turn up to ES events, you usually find people of all ages and backgrounds (not to mention an amazing selection of outfits), and that creates a really welcoming atmosphere.

Retrofuturism

P1000426

Part of the reason I love electroswing is the same reason that I love steampunk… they take some of the best bits of the past, the present and our imagined futures to create something glorious. I love the imagination of these hybrid genres but I think that they are part of a bigger trend. We have unprecedented choice when it comes to music (and media in general), you could load up your computer with all the best music from the past 100 years, or listen to it online. We are no longer bound by whatever the radio is playing or we’d managed to collect as physical media. This has meant that in a sense we have moved on from the strong creative fashions and trends of the past. People can listen to, watch or play almost anything that is current and anything that is from the past. The last few years has seen an explosion in old acts reforming, retro inspired culture and classics being rereleased. Likewise modern technology has given us almost unlimited creative freedom to combine these things. I think that this has definitely helped to bring electroswing to the fore in the last couple of years.

While often an increase in popularity is associated with a reduction in quality, I actually think that in electroswing’s case it has just created a broader range of interpretation and styles. That’s not to say that there aren’t some really lazy tracks out there but actually, there are very few lazy tracks which are popular with ES listeners, it’s the interesting stuff that keeps people hooked. If that spirit continues I’m sure it will remain one of the most exciting and vibrant musical styles.

Love and Peace, D

 

 

Just a quick post to let you know … In celebration of the last day of Large Hadron Kaleidoscope release week, there is 50% off everything on the official download page for the next 24 hours (until midnight 15/07/12). Just enter the code “boson2045” in the buy now screen to apply.

Big love to everyone whose helped me out this week.

Keep boshing

Dataphiles

 

Large Hadron Kaleidoscope is out in all major online shops on Monday but if you really can’t wait that long its out now on the download page as a special treat for all readers.

So exciting, bring on the Bosh!!

Love and Peace

Dataphiles

Hey there,

As I’ve mentioned before I haven’t had much time for blogging recently as I’ve been getting my new album mixed and mastered up.

Well its all ready and submitted, with just over a month to go until release. If you can barely wait that long then fear not as you can preorder on Amazon, trackitdown and 7digital (more to follow)

In the meantime expect more album news, offers and vids coming up

Love and Peace, D