Perhaps Our Compass is Broken?

Over the past four years since the mass popularization (so to speak) of modern dance music took place, we’ve been a part of an extremely dynamic and evolving industry. In fact, I do believe that the major contributor to the success of the genre was the plethora of new ideas and sounds found lurking around every corner, seemingly having something with which to cater to everyone’s own personal taste. Artists like MSTRKRFT and their (now nearly classic) album “The Looks” drew public attention through their ability to build electronic, dance music with strong rock influences, while at the same time Ed Banger, Dim Mak, and even just Daft Punk toured the world to show people that the term “electronic” can simply be about the party, and that it does not always have to be associated with “trance” and “rave.”

ed banger dim mak

Indeed, over several years, this little disco genre grew out of it’s status as an underrepresented and disrespected fad and began to earn itself a name, each day garnering a wealth of newfound believers. And the best part about it was the fact that everyone who chose to participate was able to build off of something someone before him had already done, and to keep us all moving forward. Boys Noize‘s debut album, for example, taught the world that a loss of bit depth is not necessarily a loss of quality; Oi Oi Oi was full of beautifully destroyed, and often times disgusting sounds that, when combined with an appropriate beat, came together seamlessly. And it certainly was not just Alex doing the work. For a while, it seemed like every new album release was a revolution in itself, and that dance music itself had become untamable.

boys noize power

Unfortunately, this “booming prosperity” (if I may) seems to have changed as of late. And while I’ve heard from many different people on many occasions that, “everything has been done, and it’s all just boring now,” this isn’t what I mean in the slightest. Rather, it seems that all the artists that we’ve grown fond of over the years have continued to provide a steady stream of great quality, creative compositions, but that they’ve somehow lost the ability to build off of and be influenced by other artists, and have become stuck making music in the exact same vein as all of their past work. To put it concisely, it’s almost as if the creativity and originality is still working strong, but that we’ve lost our compass, and with it, our sense of musical direction. Thus, for the last several months, we’ve been stuck wandering in circles like a line of ants with a stick strewn across its path. Sure, the music still sounds great, but where is it–and where are we–going as a collective?

Fake Blood Fix Your Accent

If anyone feels compelled to share thoughts, ideas, or even music, I’m confident that the rest of us would welcome your ideas with open arms.

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Fake Blood – Think I Like It

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Felix Da Housecat – Kickdrum

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Boys Noize – Kontact Me (Removed as per request)

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Boys Noize – Gax (Removed as per request)

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Boys Noize – Nerve (Removed as per request)

Nom De Plume

Hervé performs and releases music under so many different names it’s hard to keep up: The Count, Voodoo Chilli, Action Man, Dead Soul Brothers, Speaker Junk and Young Lovers.  Pen names are relatively common in the literary world.  But it’s unusual for a musician. Why would an artist perform under so many different pseudonyms? Maybe Hervé wants to avoid overexposure. This seems unlikely, since he explicitly lists each alias on his myspace.  He certainly isn’t hiding anything or trying to fool anyone.  Maybe he doesn’t want to get pigeonholed to one genre.  But he releases similar sounding club/electro/dance music under each different moniker, so this can’t be right.

 

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Sometimes pseudonyms conceal the fact that there are several contributors working together on a project. This is where literature and music differ. First, a larger proportion of music is made by groups of people. Of course, no artist in any medium creates in a vacuum. I’m sure every book in Borders was read over by dozens of people before being sent to press. Still, most books give one author sole credit. And when books do have multiple contributors, each is listed as a co-author rather than referring to them all as one “author collective.” When musicians work together, they have band names.

 

Machines Don't Care Cover Art

In Hervé’s case, my best guess is that he switches around his name for his own personal amusement.  But his best work may very well be the collaboration LP he released under the name Machines Don’t Care. It has Hervé collaborating with some big names in the scene including Sinden, Fake Blood and Detboi.  A second collaboration album is supposedly in the works, too. It was scheduled for release this past March, but with so many other things going on in Hervé’s career I’m starting to think it might never be released. Luckily, we have this gem to make the wait a little easier. Listen below for a taste of what great minds working together can produce.

 

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Machines Don’t Care – Afro Jacker

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Machines Don’t Care – Jugs

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Machines Don’t Care – Spycatcher

A More Proper New Year

I’ve realized that I may have accidentally kicked off this brand new year with a less than satisfactory attitude. See, considering most of us feed not on food and water, but rather, on repetitive loops and largely spastic sound frequencies, I feel that my choice to post a less-than-sweaty track as the first of the new year may have proven a near fatal mistake for all but the heartiest of readers. Fortunately, I’ve come to my senses, and have no other goal than to take you all off of your hypothetical life support; you’d be surprised how readily a decent kick drum can replace those clunky defibrillators. Psh… ancient technology.

Fake Blood


He goes by the name Fake Blood, and he likes to keep himself out of all his myspace photos. Well, that, or he morphs himself into an aqueous blob, probably because he’s well aware of just how brilliant his ridiculous sounds are, and so he decided to practice avoiding his inevitable fame in advance. Fortunately for you, these disco roots stretch to wonderland and back, and have allowed me to make the connection between Fake Blood and one, Touché. (Please, feel free to explore this recently constructed hallway to new noise.) Now, in case you’re curious, the two aliases are a necessity, due mostly to the fact that this London producer’s extremely peculiar sounds cannot be contained by a mere single name, and frankly, I’m surprised that two is even enough. Instead of following the standard electro process and rearranging the same synths and sounds into a different pattern to create “new” tracks (kinda like Mexican food), Fake Blood formulates a giant spider web of familiar, yet altered sounds, that provide adequate transitions into altogether unheard of noises (including, but not limited to: blips, whips whoops, whops, pangs, and in one particular case, elevator dings). It hurts me to make associations here, however, since I can’t have any potential dance floor occupants avoiding this one, I’ll go so far as to say that Fake Blood (at least to me) welcomes the production style of Herve, but with a whole other world of sounds and rhythms.

Personally, this seems a more fitting and energetic approach to (optimism, please) an increasingly inspired year. (Although in all honesty, my apologies go to yee all, for failing to post these deviant works earlier on).

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Hot Chip – Touch Too Much (Fake Blood Remix)

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UNKLE – Restless (Fake Blood Remix)

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Fake Blood – Mars