Measuring the evolution of contemporary industrial music - there is nonePosted on 30/07/12
(By Elise Din) - A recent scientific study, which was published in Nature on July 26, has analyzed about 450.000 popular music songs (pop, rock hip hop, metal and electronic) from 1955 till 2010. After developing several algorhythms allowing them to dissect the songs through diverse angles (pitch, harmonics, melodies, chords, arrangements, timbre, sound colors, textures, tones and loudness - that's the button that goes up to 11), they came up with quite a few interesting discoveries. We can summarize the main lesson very easily: modern popular music tends to be more bland, dumber and much, much louder than ever before. And you can be sure this also counts for the industrial music scene.
In short, there have never been so few chord progressions in songs, the aural colors and the instruments used sound more and more the same, there's a distinctive habit of sounding just like the band next door and there's less invention or creativity in sounds; and icing on the cake, all that blandness is getting louder and louder as every closet producer seems to think this is what buys you easy radio and fans attachment.
Now, that is hardly surprising if you take the mainstream charts where you will encounter more and more auto-tuned stars of the month and everything seems to get in line acoustically in order to not stand away from the formula radio programmers often follow. But don't think for a second you're off the target: the dark/electronic/industrial/goth scene is totally guilty of exactly the same angles and has been clinically dead for a few years, if not decades. When I mailed this text to our chief editor he literally said: "Do you want to get publicly crucified? If so, no problem, we'll have it published." So here it goes, you musicians need to reinvent yourself. Even science says so.
What was once the forefront of boldness, sonic explorations, attitude and creativity is now nothing but a train wreck. Why ? Is it because everyone uses the same sounds, the same samples, the same VST plug ins, the same clothes, the same imagery, the same song formula which is becoming lamer by the minute and the same structure in songs.
I was at Amphi Fest last week and it was very obvious: everyone sounded the same, everyone was using the same Virus presets, everyone was handling Ableton or Cubase the same way and nothing really happened. On the tables in the main hall, you could find catalogues of clothes and I started counting: 30 € will make Marylin Manson wondering if he hasn't double vision and 45€ can make a very decent cybergoth out of you. And that sad fact of life is the same with music gear: it's all there for you to buy. BUT BE FUCKING ORIGINAL in how you're using the extraordinary latest means of making music.
So, if you're a member of a band, like 99% of this scene, you may want to do something about it: you may want to start by not copy anyone and stay away from everything that sounds familiar, you may decide to look for instruments or samples no one else uses, you may decide that the goal when you do a song is not to resemble that childish anthem on steroids that went straight to the top of the VAC charts but instead oblige yourself to come up with something so unusual it will surprise even yourself.
Welcome to your brand new first song. Everyone of them must feel fresh and never heard before and be a new first song over and over again. Then maybe your band and yourself won't be among what we've been talking about: modern music is becoming more and more boring every minute.
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This is NOT what I meant:
Posted by B. Van Isacker
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