[article] the epidemic of passable tech house - Page 3
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  1. #21
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    pretty cool quote from the wiki:

    Two years ago, a club world constantly in search of new beats and a media constantly in search of new trends were presented with a bright bouncy new baby which answered to the name 'Belearic Beat'...the fact that the only 'rule' proposed was that "there are no rules" was ignored...Then came Mr Balearic's lucky break: Soul II Soul. A mish mash of styles (soul, hip hop, reggae) all moulded over a rock solid beat met the 'anything goes as long as it's danceable' criteria—and more importantly, it allowed the world to rediscover a BPM below 122...These days in clubland, rap, house and soul freely rub shoulders with continental beats, alternative grooves, and a whole welter of diverse sounds constructed from an even more diverse set of influences. This is what 'Balearic' was all about...Laying down rules or attempting to initiate trends is completely contrary to what the 'Balearic Spirit' was all about (if only its pioneers had explained it better at the time we might not have spent two years getting to where we are now). An effective blanket ban on house/uptempo music in a club is silly, short-sighted, and narrow minded, and it won't take long for people to see it as such...What the 'Balearic concept' has taught us is that it doesn't matter what genre the track falls into, as long as the beat 'n' groove move the feet and what's on top of 'em is pleasing to the ear.

    — Mixmag editorial, "Famous Last Words on Clubland's Class System or 'How We Learned to Love the Balearic Beat'". Mixmag: 71–73. July 1990.
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  2. #22
    Tech Guru JonathanBlake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    interesting read. I think it's all just a sign of the times. Anyone can make a track these days. Anyone can publish a track.

    Thoughts? (please be polite to each other)

    https://mixmag.net/feature/the-epide...ble-tech-house

    A good read indeed K, but is the real problem not that of the endless introduction of music (sub)genres? The more of these we have, the more tracks we have with an identity crisis. What is listed as 'Tech House' often just isn't, and what sometimes is camouflaged in 'Minimal' and 'Melodic House' often just is. Producers like Meller making 'uninspired' yet passable reworks of classics like Insomnia and Born Slippy get shoved into 'Tech House' only for want of a different genre. As do the 'more' reworked versions of Bladerunner, Cafe Del Mar and The Age Of Love by the likes of 'bigger' names like Tale Of Us and Maceo Plex. Those tracks used to reside happily in the 'Trance' box - since when does botox and a face-lift require genre reclassification? Tech House seems to be getting a bit of a bum rap theses days. Yes - there is a lot of average Tech House, as well as a lot of rubbish - but boy is there some fine stuff too!
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  3. #23
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by article
    Ultimately, the challenge going forward is this: how can we honor the ruggedness and soul of the original tech house sound, while still pushing the genre forward? How can we relinquish our praise for the formulaic, and instead, shift the spotlight to the music being created that is innovative, timeless, and dangerous?
    By digging for records better.

    Beatport changed the world. For years, it was insanely easy to find all the music you wanted in one place. And for almost as long, if you were a producer and could get your music onto beatport, you could sell it for something like a profit or at least some exposure.

    Years on, beatport (especially the charts) is a cesspool of homogeneous garbage caused by everyone emulating the tastemakers. DJs buy the same songs as headliners because they want to "be competitive". Producers use the same formulas because they worked for someone else. There's a part of me that wants to blame the near-zero barrier to entry for DJs and Producers alike, but I still believe that's overall a net positive for music as a whole...it's just harder and harder to get your music to stand out.

    Beatport died when they started releasing a thousand new tracks a day. There was (and remains) absolutely no way to listen to it all; there's no way to dig for records that actually speak to you. There are no AI (more accurately, machine learning) based recommendation algorithms (and for philosophical and mathematical reasons, I don't think there ever will be good ones).

    So, people defaulted to charts. That all suck.

    It's no different from normal people buying the CDs that they hear on the radio so their car always sounds the same. A few people decide what's going to get played and a lot of people play it because actually shopping for music you like is extremely difficult.

    Some of the best music I've bought (Dance or otherwise) was because the album art looked cool in a shop somewhere (back when those were a thing). Now, I basically do the same thing with Tidal.

    As for shopping for music to DJ with...I'd like to see shops with a little more loose genre labels and a player based on randomness. Have it on in the background and add a song to your crate/cart if you like it. And if you miss something, well...too bad. You're going to miss things. You either miss damn near everything because you're following charts/trends or you miss stuff you might like because it just didn't come up. Pick your poison.

  4. #24
    Tech Guru JonathanBlake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    By digging for records better.

    Years on, beatport (especially the charts) is a cesspool of homogeneous garbage caused by everyone emulating the tastemakers.

    Pick your poison.
    Amen
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  5. #25
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    Default Couldnt agrree more

    In my hometown there are a lot djs saturating the few clubs, all playing the same solardo, kody & leftwing and camelphat records and its impossible to tell any of them apart. I suppose its hard to inject some personality into a format that has none at component level. Besides when someone says tech house I think of djs like terry francis, whose sets are very much got a signature feel to them, and not any of the current glut pushing a fairly bland and square style of music.

  6. #26
    Tech Mentor Irrational Fear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    By digging for records better.

    Beatport changed the world. For years, it was insanely easy to find all the music you wanted in one place. And for almost as long, if you were a producer and could get your music onto beatport, you could sell it for something like a profit or at least some exposure.

    Years on, beatport (especially the charts) is a cesspool of homogeneous garbage caused by everyone emulating the tastemakers. DJs buy the same songs as headliners because they want to "be competitive". Producers use the same formulas because they worked for someone else. There's a part of me that wants to blame the near-zero barrier to entry for DJs and Producers alike, but I still believe that's overall a net positive for music as a whole...it's just harder and harder to get your music to stand out.

    Beatport died when they started releasing a thousand new tracks a day. There was (and remains) absolutely no way to listen to it all; there's no way to dig for records that actually speak to you. There are no AI (more accurately, machine learning) based recommendation algorithms (and for philosophical and mathematical reasons, I don't think there ever will be good ones).

    So, people defaulted to charts. That all suck.

    It's no different from normal people buying the CDs that they hear on the radio so their car always sounds the same. A few people decide what's going to get played and a lot of people play it because actually shopping for music you like is extremely difficult.

    Some of the best music I've bought (Dance or otherwise) was because the album art looked cool in a shop somewhere (back when those were a thing). Now, I basically do the same thing with Tidal.

    As for shopping for music to DJ with...I'd like to see shops with a little more loose genre labels and a player based on randomness. Have it on in the background and add a song to your crate/cart if you like it. And if you miss something, well...too bad. You're going to miss things. You either miss damn near everything because you're following charts/trends or you miss stuff you might like because it just didn't come up. Pick your poison.
    Great post.

    Isn't part of the issue also that the non-DJ music consumer now has access to all the same music that DJs have. Except that they are probably even less picky about what they are hearing. So they are listening (in the gym/car/work) etc to their streaming service of choice, which is cycling through whatever tracks are currently flavour of the month within their chosen genre(s).

    This leads them to buying all the same garbage that is topping those charts, further cementing their place on said charts. To compound that, when these consumers end up in a club, they invariably want to hear those same songs being played as that's the music they are into, and the DJs are all too willing to comply because they are playing the latest 'bangers' and the crowd are loving it.

    The problem is that the consumer doesn't know anything else, as the majority don't spend the time digging for new (or even old!) music like us DJs do- their exposure is limited to what is played on the radio/streaming service (all chart based), or what the headline DJs are playing at big festivals, which is often the same the thing. It's all lowest common denominator stuff.

    Back in the day (sits back in rocking chair), dance music wasn't prevalent on the radio, and streaming services weren't even being mentioned on Tomorrow's World. People went to clubs to hear dance music played by DJs, and the best DJs were those who had the best records. The music consumers would then go out the next day to the record store and buy those records that they liked, assuming they were available and they could identify them. But in those pre-digital/pre-internet days there was a lot of music that was simply not available to the consumer, and indeed to other DJs. It lent a certain uniqueness to DJ sets, and allowed DJs a lot more freedom in the stuff that they played as they were essentially the ones setting the music trends- rather than reacting to them as they have to these days.

    Go back 20-25 years and how many DJs actually produced their own music? Take a look online at Norman Cook's home studio from the 90's and you can understand why. These days I reckon 90% of DJs have some kind of 'production' setup (Ableton & a midi keyboard) as the barriers to entry are a tiny fraction of what they used to be. Whilst this is utterly awesome as it allows anyone to have a go, there is also no filter to determine what becomes available for consumption.

    Many 1st/2nd/3rd attempt projects that should be no more than learning exercises destined for the scrap pile, now end up as actual releases- it's madness. It's the equivalent of your 5yr old learning to paint, and then you go and publish little Tommy's 'works of art' online for everyone to enjoy- I'm sure it means a lot to you personally, but keep that shit on your fridge door. Come back when he's graduated art college and can discuss the use of colour to highlight the changing of eras in Turner's 'Fighting Temeraire'.

    Hence places like Beatport being flooded with half-baked, formulaic dross, and no reliable method for sorting through it all to find the gems. Frankly it's a mess, and one of our own making.

    I move for a vote to re-format the internet, all those in favour?
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  7. #27
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irrational Fear View Post
    I move for a vote to re-format the internet, all those in favour?
    I'm not. I've pretty much given up going to festivals and big clubs. I got sick of hearing the same set over and over again, and I don't really blame people for complaining. But the answer is to not to even try to change that scene. Do something different.

    I think the "solution" is more along the lines of finding clubs that play what you want or (if you can't) making the scene you want.

    That's how it was in the beginning. People who wanted something different from what was available put their money where their mouths were and opened a club. And dance music evolved from there.

    It's risky. I'm pretty sure more clubs have gone out of business or closed than are open today. And if you're in it for the money, it's a lot more of a sure thing to target the lowest common denominator...play top40, remixes, and hip hop (depending on the area).

    Anyone can start up a youtube channel (or whatever). And some of them are really good. But, it'll never be the same.

    But if you're not happy with the scene in your area, you either have to start it yourself or wait for someone else to do it. And, that's definitely not for everyone.

    I'm honestly happy playing for my pets. I don't want to run a club or start a scene. And I don't want to put up with all the back of house things to play out. I'd rather do other things with music publicly (which are also hard to start up, or at least time-consuming). But, there are a couple of outlets for the dance music I actually like in my city. I can go out pretty much any week and hear music that I like. There's a lot more of the stuff I would never choose to listen to, but no one is forcing me to go.

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