Great thread so far, P. Something with some actual substance to it.
Great thread so far, P. Something with some actual substance to it.
i'm gonna do laptop music.
I hope I'm not biting Patrick's First Wave California, but this is more specific
First Wave Los Angeles Punk (I'll finish this up after I relisten to a few of these to have better commentary, so watch this space!)
The Germs were the biggest band early on in the LA scene. They were insane, they were dangerous, their lead singer did drugs and started a cult of personality. They also ramped up the anger, nihilism and distortion on the traditional punk sound. They were basically one of the first proto-hardcore bands, and you can hear the roots of Black Flag in their sound. Darby Crash (the singer) flared out after this, ODing without producing another album. Pat Smear, the guitar player, became the second guitar for Nirvana up until Kurt offed himself. There was a movie made about them recently and the band was so impressed with the guy who played Darby that they reformed with him as the singer and have been playing shows. I haven't seen them but I hear they were decent.
The Screamers-In A Better World
The Screamers coulda been huge. They wrote great art punk tracks, had a totally wild and charismatic frontman with huge hair, and they replaced guitar and bass with synths, but still made them sound very punk. They were the other side of Suicide: rather than dark and minimal, they played punk on keyboards. They were also very ambitious, which was their downfall. They wanted their first "album" to be a movie, but they ran into so many problems during its creation that they broke up. They never released any recordings, and only had one or two sessions in a studio, but where they apparently were at their best was in their live shows. They were the first unsigned band to ever headline the Roxy, and back when it meant something they sold out multiple nights at the Whiskey. This is a bootleg released by a guy in Seattle containing live recordings of most of their songs. The quality varies pretty widely, but it illustrates what a special, weird band they were.
The Weirdos-Weird World
They were the posterchildren for Dangerhouse records, the label that documented most of the first wave Hollywood bands. Their single We've Got the Neutron Bomb (where this compilation of singles gets its name from) is a great charging punk classic that stands up with the best of the NY or London crowd. Beyond that, they were a fantastically weird band, presaging the way for New Wave, country punk and all sorts of other sounds. They never released an album during their initial run, but these singles show how far out they were, and how consistently brilliant.
Black Randy and the Metrosquad-Pass the Dust, I Think I'm Bowie
So much about this was a bad idea, and it still toes a fine line. Black Randy was a white heroin addict who wrote songs about Idi Amin and gay prostitution. It sounds so stupid, but he had a really great sound: a mix of Ramones-y punk, soul and weird sounds. Idi Amin and I Slept in an Arcade are both insanely catchy and memorable songs. They actually made a really accompished album before completely collapsing, with Randy ultimately dying of AIDS in the late 80s.
The Dils-Dils Dils Dils
A really cool little band, they started as a very melodic punk band, like a calmer version of Richard Hell and the Voidoids. As they progressed, they took on some roots rock influences slowly throughout their career. They were always energetic and were one of the few early LA punk bands to talk about politics, something that no doubt influenced a whole cadre of younger bands. They definitely deserve a listen.
X were the breakout band of the first LA punk scene, and the jewel of the Hollywood lot. They had edge, but they were also really good musicians and wrote interesting lyrics about dark subjects. John Doe has a great rock voice and Exene howls like a nutcase. There is a pronounced rockabilly influence on some tracks, and they never let up. They released at least two more astounding albums
Urinals-Negative Capability...Check It Out
These are short, very minimal punk blasts. The band utilizes only a chord or two per song, they sing obscured lyrics and rarely let the tracks pass a minute in length. They weren't as tight as Wire, but their energy and their brevity wound up being highly influential on other Southern California bands, such as The Minutemen and No Age, both of whom acknowledge their influence. They wrote some really catchy tracks, and they blow by really fast, so it's well worth spending the few minutes with it.
Fear were really ridiculous. They were bitterly sarcastic, apparently supported the incitement of violence, made fun of saxophones as the bass player lays down a free jazz-y sax line, and played on SNL only to completely destroy the stage via mosh pit. Despite the spectacle, they made one hell of a record in The Record. It's packed full of great early punk tracks with a proto-hardcore bent. They sound like people who are not to be messed with.
Gun Club-Fire of Love
It's reductive to say this was one of the first psychobilly records. They take punk energy and mix it with a gothic country bent. There's a strong Cramps sound, but these songs have a more country influence and don't sound nearly as filthy. You can hear how big of a fan Jack White is when you listen to this; the early White Stripes records bear a strong resemblance to some of these tracks. The band released one more incredible album and played frequently with X and the Blasters and the like. Check out Miami for more goodness.
Black Flag-The First Four Years
The band that really put the Hollywood punk scene to bed. The Hollywood bands allowed weirdness into their sound, and they were more about drugs and experimenting than just straight anger. Black Flag were a bunch of suburban angry guys, and they played their music fast, loud and well. Nervous Breakdown, their first single, is arguably ground zero for hardcore punk. There was so much intensity and the song was so fast and focused. They translated that energy into manic live shows that turned into wild mosh pits and often ended with the police attacking the audience. After Black Flag's ascendence, Hollywood was no longer the center of the LA punk scene, and the suburban areas began to produce excellent bands en masse.
American Hardcore is such a great primer for that as well. I read there's going to be an updated version of the book coming out soon too.
Don't just post a list of albums
If Massive Attack and Portishead are excluded this is a list to take you further down the rabbit hole that is essential Trip-Hop.
1. Sneaker Pimps -Becoming X - 1996
Probably the Band most associated with Trip Hop by the general public due to two pop charting tracks from this album. 6 Underground is a track that can be credited with causing Casey Casam to say the words "Trip Hop" on the Radio. Epic.
2. Morcheeba - Big Calm - 1998
This album gives you a taste of what defines trip hop. Silky smooth grooves and lyrics with a beat that you can't go jogging to. Very polished and well produced. one of the last great albums before trip hop splinterd into downtempo, acid jazz, and DnB, etc.
3. Tricky - Nearly God - 1996
An Album titled after a conversation in which he was asked how it felt to be God, or at least nearly god by a trip hop fan. Just can't explore the genre without Tricky. If you don't like early Tricky, you probably don't like trip hop.
4. Hooverphonic - A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular - 1996
Beat focused from the start, this album definetely drifts towards downtempo, just not enough to leave trip hop behind. Great chill out potential.
5. Lamb - Fear of Fours - 1999
A great evolution of using trip hop beats and transforming the groove through the use of acid jazz oozing upright bass. Lou's voice is grating and sensual at the same time. Just plain weird.
6 Ruby - Salt Peter - 1996
A Lesser known Artist of the genre, Ruby captures the beats and the groove well. Not my personal favorite, but worth a listen or a throw into the mix. The beats are harder and maybe a little creepier in the mood department. She's a little angry.
7. Kruder and Dorfmeister - DJ Kicks: Kruder and Dorfmeister - 1996
One of the more DJ focused Trip Hop albums. I find many of the tracks more dancable than other artists of the period and scene.
8. Lamb - Lamb - 1997
Just have to include a second helping of this group.
9. Olive - Extra Virgin - 1996
Slippery as a bath in their namesake. An overall dreamy vibe throughout the album, it won't leave you with much energy or ambition to do much of anything, which feels ok when it's over.
10. Zero 7 -Simple Things - 2001
Lot's of range exhibited by this group in this album. It hints at the talents that have kept them relevant in the eletronic scene of 2010.
Bjork - Post. Hyperballad is the example most clearly associating Bjork of 1995 with the blooming Trip Hop scene. Of course her range keeps her out of the Genre and by 1996 she was doing something completely different.
Last edited by koryp; 09-09-2010 at 07:41 PM.
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....
Great trip hop write up! I've never heard the Olive or Ruby albums, gotta check those out. I never hear enough people talk about Lamb; they're such a terrific duo. I'd also probably include Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain in there, but it might be a little bit of a stretch, especially for the same explanation you gave for Bjork (although I think there are some great moments of trip hop on Homogenic as well, namely "Hunter."
One of the earliest blues forms, Delta blues is a tricky genre to nail down and define due to the fact that many of its practitioners, itinerant musicians, played a variety of musical styles, and were not always strict adherents to the same style. It was not uncommon at all for artists to play ragtime, hillbilly songs, gospel, and other varieties of black and white country dance music with equal facility. Further, some of the most well-known Delta musicians went on to achieve greater fame playing urban blues in Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit. Because of this, I have chosen to omit some very big names due to their close association with urban blues. I hope you understand.
Guitar, bottleneck slide, and harmonica are the dominant instrumentation, driving the songs with a reliance on rhythm over melody, though melody is certainly not sacrificed. Vocals range from high and thin falsetto wails to moans as rough and grizzled as a fieldworker’s hands. Lyrically, songs related the troubles of traveling through a land of crushing poverty, focusing on dark subject matter and featuring themes such as despair, loneliness, and exploitation at the hands of lovers, friends, and authority figures. Although, there are certainly upbeat “party” records in the Delta style as well (see Skip James’ “I’m So Glad” below, or Robert Johnson’s “They’re Red Hot”)
Most of these guys never recorded a proper album, so I have chosen individual songs that I believe are good jumping-off points for anyone wishing to explore the genre.
1. Charley Patton – “Pony Blues”
*Recorded Delta blues officially begin here, with Charley Patton.
2. Big Joe Williams – “Peach Orchard Mama”
*Williams’ Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1 is definitely an album you should spend some time with while drinking, driving, or both. His “Crawlin’ King Snake” is one of the most widely covered songs in the entire blues idiom.
3. Robert Johnson – “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”
4. Willie Brown – “Future Blues”
5. Bukka White – “Parchman Farm Blues”
6. Skip James – “I’m So Glad”
7. Son House – “Empire State Express”
8. Tommy Johnson – “Canned Heat Blues” or “Cool Drink of Water Blues”
*trivia: Tommy Johnson was the originator of the modern Faust tale now associated with Robert Johnson.
9. Mississippi Fred McDowell – “61 Highway”
*Note: While McDowell plays more of a Northern Mississippi style, I believe his inclusion on this list is warranted. Check out Junior Kimbrough for fantastic examples of the droning North Mississippi sound.
10. David Honeyboy Edwards – “Wind Howlin’ Blues”
*Honeyboy shares with Pinetop Perkins the honor of being the last living Delta bluesmen. Do not pass up an opportunity to see either. They are living history.
11. Leadbelly -- "Midnight Special"
*Leadbelly was quite accomplished on the 12-string, although I argue that "Blind" Willie McTell was a better, more versatile player. McTell, however, represents Piedmont blues and has no place on this list, but is certainly worth checking out. Personally, I don't really care for Leadbelly, but he is a very important figure as he was one of the first "race" musicians to gain prominence among white audiences in the North.
More-Than-Honorable Mentions: Henry Sloan, W.C. Handy, Pinetop Perkins, “Blind” Willie Johnson, and R.L. Burnside
Notable Delta/Urban Straddlers: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, “Big” Bill Broonzy, James Cotton, Little Walter, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson I
People interested in Delta blues should acquaint themselves with the Lomax field recordings.
The Stretch is so true of most of the Genre. It blew up quick, splintered into a million sub genres and permeates most modern eletronic music.
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....
SNAP! Big ups Kory!
DnB please. Oh also, Dub Reggae and/or Roots Reggae, Thanks.
I think I might try 70's R&B/Soul or 70's Funk.
I am neither foxy, nor a lady.
Neil Young - Kanye West - Beck - PJ Harvey - The Knife - Basement Jaxx - Tom Waits - Shpongle (Live) - Flying Lotus (Live) - The Avalanches - Autechre - Eels - Fat Freddy's Drop - Liquid Liquid - OFWGKTA - Freddie Gibbs - Big K.R.I.T. - Phantogram - Christian Scott - Nosaj Thing - Gold Panda - James Blake
Ethereal / Ethereal Wave / Ethereal Darkwave
I stuck to three specific branches because Darkwave is a bit too encompassing and can branch into bands / groups covered in several other genres. Maybe I'll look into Shoegaze and / or Dreampop but I'm sure there are a few other people here that want to get into it. If not, I'll have a go at them both and maybe try to do the first decade of Darkwave. This Mortal Coil will be left out of my list because I just consider them mostly dream pop.
No particular order because we all have personal preferences. If you're not into female vocalists, this probably isn't the list for you.
1. Cocteau Twins : Treasure (1984) - While it contributed to dream pop later on I think it is probably one of the first great ethereal darkwave albums. The first track is dedicated to Ivo Watts-Russell (titled Ivo), who is the founder of 4AD. The album just has the perfect amount of swirl with Fraser's voice sweeping you up at every turn. It is also the first album to feature the "original" Cocteau Twins crew (Fraser, Guthrie, Raymonde [who now runs the Bella Union label]).
Recommended tracks: "Ivo" and "Persephone"
2. Dark Orange : The Garden of Poseidon (1993) - Probably the most well-known German ethereal band, this album does feature the "Sounds of Silence" cover. They recently released a new album with producing / mixing help from Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins. If anybody in the UK can find it for me on vinyl I will pay a boatload.
Recommended track: "Sounds of Silence"
3. Love Spirals Downwards : Flux (1998) - Ethereal wave influenced them and was more persistent in their sound during the 90s but they gradually moved to ethereal wave combined with drum and bass. I think this is their greatest album even though it has obvious drum and bass elements. The lead vocalist is basically the band Melodyguild, for all you LA folk that might have seen them around.
Recommended track: "Nova"
4. Dead Can Dance : Dead Can Dance (1984) - This, along with Cocteau Twins' Treasure, really opened this genre up for reinterpretation and evolution. They never really had another album like this, but they did plenty with their first as far as contributing toward this branch of music.
Recommended track: "Ocean"
5. Autumn's Grey Solace : Over the Ocean (2004) - Maybe the only current ethereal band that I really like, which is why I tried to put them in this list. It at least shows the genre is alive, not the most popular but oh well.
Recommended track: "Fractured"
6. Black Tape for a Blue Girl : Remnants of a Deeper Purity (1996) - The only constant member has really been Sam Rosenthal, who runs the Projekt label (basically the label keeping this genre alive right now). Really the only album that they got right, but boy did they fucking nail it. More string instruments featured here than in other ethereal wave albums, highly recommended. Repeat, highly recommended.
Recommended track: "Fin De Siècle"
7. This Ascension - Walk Softly, A Dream Lies Here (1994) - This was maybe the first ethereal band I had ever listened to. My mom was big on them when I was little. Fond memories of my father asking "WHAT IS THIS SHIT." Another Southern California ethereal band.
Recommended track: "Sleep"
8. Mors Syphilitica : Primrose (1998) - Probably the second most distinct voice in this genre behind Fraser, Lisa Hammer's voice sounds more classically trained. The group as a whole relies less on swirling noise from the instruments. They let the vocals take the tracks.
Recommended track: "Primrose"
9. Lycia : The Burning Circle and Then Dust (1995) - Finally an ethereal band with some occasional male vocals. The band didn't have their female vocalist until the recording of this album, so there is some backing vocals and some full tracks done by the original gang. A lot of people really into this genre say Lycia is hands down their favorite band. I'm a bit partial to Cocteau Twins but as far as full ethereal is concerned, with a deeper twang, Lycia is one of the best.
Recommended track: "Anywhere But Home"
10. Bel Canto : White-Out Conditions (1987) - Probably the first ethereal band to be heavily synth and electronic based. Also probably the only Norwegian ethereal band of any notoriety. Later on they went more toward dream pop. You might know the lead singer, Anneli Drecker. She works a lot with Röyksopp and is huge in Norway as a solo artist. A fantastic fucking album to close this list. Highly recommended if you can stand 80s synths and mandolins.
Recommended track: "Without You"
So many bands could have fit. It is hard to classify at times. You might note that some of these albums do sound similar, but that is because I tried to stick to the true genre.
I don't know why I have an affinity toward this music. Everything else I listen to is at a faster tempo and dominated by male vocalists. Hopefully some of you check these albums out. I spent a lot of time putting this list together. Being that the vocal style and gender can be similar regardless of band in this genre, I can understand some people getting tired of it. Those that don't, please enjoy.
PS - If you happen to stream any of this stuff I've listed and want full albums / discographies / whatever, PM me and I'll see what I can put together. Also, sorry if this post is too long.
Last edited by weeklymix; 09-09-2010 at 11:18 PM.
Fui quod es, eris quod sum. I once was what you are, you will be what I am - epitaph carved on Roman gravestones.
Calibre - Setting Sun (2005)
Calibre is possibly one of the top ten most prolific producers in D&B. He releases a staggering amount of material on a monthly basis. This was his second album. He created this very stripped down minimal groovy sound that almost no one can duplicate correctly.
High Contrast - High Society (2004)
High Contrast helped turn a very small disco infused sub genre called Liquid Funk into one of the biggest in all of drum & bass. This producer also turned a little label called Hospital Records into arguably the most successful today. This is his second album. it was really hard for me to decide which to recommend because they are all very good but I'd start with this one for a novice. His music is very melodic and has lots of soul and uk urban influences in it. Now he's of course working with people like Underworld and doing remixes for Adele, Missy Elliot and the White Stripes.
Ed Rush and Optical - Worm Hole (1998)
Ed Rush and Optical championed a sound called Neurofunk. It’s very minimal and often darker sounding with swirling basslines
Calyx + Teebee – Anatomy (2007)
Neurofunk changed and mutated over the years and eventually started to sound like this. It’s very good but also dark, evil, brooding sounding stuff.
Netsky – Netsky (2010)
This 21 year old Belgian kid went from total obscurity 12 months ago into one of the hottest new producers in D&B. He is kind of taking the Liquid Funk genre into a totally new realm and some are calling him the next High Contrast.
Commix - Call To Mind (2007)
Often voted as the best D&B album of 2007 if had a few huge hits on it like a track called Be True which you heard in practically every DJ set for a good 6 months to a year.
Danny Breaks – Vibrations (2002)
No one else sounds like this guy. He took lots of weird minor key melodies and sci-fi sounding samples and created some of the most interesting drum & bass ever in my opinion. He’s also a world class turntablist and has since gone on to producing straight instrumental hip-hop.
Goldie – Timeless (1995)
One of the first true d&b albums. This was massive when it came out. It had a huge effect on practically every producer for the next decade.
Jonny L – Sawtooth (1997)
Jonny L has been around forever and gone through a ton of different styles within D&B. This album came out around the time a genre called Tech-Step was starting to emerge. It’s very similar to Neurofunk which it sort of merged with eventually.
Logistics – Now More Than Ever (2006)
Logistics is another favorite producer of mine. He’s also quite prolific. This was his first album which is a double CD. He also helped turn Hospital Records into a power house and brought a bit of variety to the label at the time as he was producing some harder tracks than they were previously putting out. This album helped them branch out quite a bit.
Other sub genres of note not discussed.
Ragga Jungle, One of the first forms of drum & bass (then called Jungle) which was very heavy on reggae and dance hall samples. Artists of note include people like Shy FX, Top Cat, Serial Killaz etc. I like this stuff but I can't take a whole set of it because it's kind of a one trick pony.
Breakcore/glitchcore, Arguably a totally different genre by both fans of breakcore and d&b. It was created by IDM heads like Aphex Twin and later expanded upon by people like Venetian Snares. Very heavy usage of the "amen-break" drum sample and interlaced with bits of random noises where one would expect drum beats. There are generally nights devoted to just this sound as it really doesn't work well in regular clubs
Jump Up, straight dance floor d&b created by people like Aphrodite, Pendulum etc. This is probably the largest genre of d&b and also one of the most forgettable generally.
Clownstep/Wobble, Derogatory terms finally accepted by fans of this music much the same way the Spice Girls accepted their nicknames. This was big just before dubstep hit big and thankfully pulled alot of those producers with it.
Skullstep - Dark evil stuff. If Metalheads started creating d&b this is what it would sound like
Sambass - Brazilian/South American D&B. It's very big in South America and pulls alot of influence from Latin American music
Nu Skool Minimal - I love this stuff. Championed by guys like Spectrasoul and Alix Perez. It's very stripped down.
Drumfunk - Atmospheric, beautiful, love it
Drumstep/half step - D&B at full speed but sounds like it's running at half tempo pretty much like dubstep does.
Jazzstep/Intelligent - Very groovy stuff taking lot's of cues from jazz. Guys like LTJ Bukem have been pushing this hard for more than a decade. This stuff is great, huge fan.
Electrostep - John B is the big guy doing this and has been doing it for a long time. It's kind of corny but kids, especially, eat it up.
Last edited by Donaldj; 09-10-2010 at 12:02 PM.
These write ups are killing it right now.
Glad to see people contributing. Awesome work. Please do update your lists so that there are write ups eventually though.
Some other things that would be cool to include with your primers, but not necessary, would be a list of 5-10 albums if you wanted to explore further without actual write ups, and a compilation of a single track from each album in your primer (making your comp 10 tracks total). Or if you don't feel like uploading a mix, maybe just listing a key song from each album to give people a taste.
Maybe in the first post when our efforts are exhausted we can create a link list to jump to each write up. Not nearly enough yet, but I hope it gets there.
Anyone opposed to me going for shoegaze? Loveless will have to be on there as it is an essential list but I promise some lesser known works in the genre.
I'll definitely do a link list. And don't be afraid to put obvious choices in your primers. The goal for these things is to introduce the genre to someone whose knowledge of it is minimal at best.
Great. I'll start working on shoegaze, then. Hopefully done before bed. I am very excited about this thread, Patrick. Fantastic idea.
Last edited by Drinkey McDrinkerstein; 09-09-2010 at 11:50 PM.
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....