“I wish house music made these people feel the way it makes us feel”
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    Default “I wish house music made these people feel the way it makes us feel”

    Here are some thoughts I wanted to share. I hope it’s not too convoluted. I would love to hear if any of you can relate or have any opinions on this. The reason I wrote this is because every time I see an article on electronic music, it's almost always talking about drugs, sync, whether djs are actual musicians, etc. I see very little talk of the actual culture and importance surrounding the music itself.

    Like a lot of you guys, over the last few months I’ve been in the studio for several hours every day, finishing off my EP, making routines and gigging consistently. Basically investing a pretty serious amount of time into DJing and house music. Like many musicians I’ve had a bit of a dilemma; I want to make things that are meaningful and have a lot of substance. I want my gigs to have more meaning than just being the place to go get “turnt” while some weird guy pushes flashy buttons. I don’t want the sole purpose of my productions to be charting, getting more followers or whatever. I want there to be some meaning, purpose and substance behind it.

    I went to go see a Common show recently (legendary and socially conscious Chi-town rapper for those that don’t know), and was blown away. The showmanship was amazing, he had an incredibly positive message he was promoting through his show and I can honestly say it was a bit moving. If anyone is familiar with his music, he has really pushed to try and make a positive change with his music. I’m certain his music has made people more aware of certain issues, changed the way they view things and overall contributed to that which is good and positive.

    It got me thinking, would it be possible for me to deliver that level of substance through DJing and house? I spend an embarrassing amount of time lurking on hip hop forums and there is always so much discussion on artists, what they stand for, etc. I never really see that sort of discourse surrounding electronic music.

    When a Kerri Chandler record comes on, I will literally sit there, do nothing and just listen for six minutes. I was playing a gig the other day and I had a person come up to me when I’m playing that same record. They said “can you stop playing techno, I don’t know how to dance to this”. A soon as she left, my friend turns to me and says: “I wish house music made these people feel the way it makes us feel”. It sort of hit me right then; this person is missing out on one of the most amazing feelings I have experienced. That feeling when you first heard your favorite house record and were like just blown away. She’s never going to know what its like to have Jamie Jones or Steve Lawler take over your world for a few hours.

    I have friends whom I have literally nothing in common with besides the fact that house music triggers some sort of excitement inside us. And I suppose that’s really where the substance and meaning comes from in house music. Its not about “what DJs do really do”, or “guetta tripping at tomorrowland”. It’s not even about being able to deliver a Commonesque social commentary. It’s about triggering feelings and taking people on a journey. Its about making ups and downs. When it comes down to it, I think the most meaningful part of DJing is that it lets you pass on that feeling you get when you hear an infectiously hot record for the first time.
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  2. #2
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    I totally agree with you. One of the reasons I spin house is that it's very emotional and empowering, both personally and politically. The sad thing is that today the substance of house is relegated to the margins and you get the soulless kind of music that is electro house and a lot of what is considered today deep house, which is a far cry from the original sound of deep house.

    Last edited by Soul Bait; 08-02-2014 at 03:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soul Bait View Post
    I totally agree with you. One of the reasons I spin house is that it's very emotional and empowering, both personally and politically. The sad thing is that today the substance of house is relegated to the margins and you get the soulless kind of music that is electro house and a lot of what is considered today deep house, which is a far cry from the original sound of deep house.

    That's a really cool track! I think a lot of people don't really know much about the politically empowering side of house. Even myself, having grown up far away from major hubs of electronic music, all I really know about that side of house is what little bits I've read online. I think a lot of us would love to hear more about the social impact of house music if your willing to kick some knowledge our way!
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  4. #4
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    Funny thing about house is that it started from secondhand instruments. Roland actually made the 303 synth to replace bass guitars in rock music, but it was a total flop and all the rock bands sold their synths to secondhand stores. Electronic music producers went in and found them and that's how the 303 became the signature sound of classic house.

    House made music more accessible and relatable. It's almost the musical voice of the voiceless, when anyone could mess around with a synth and make their own tracks. And that's why it resonated with the poor and working classes of Chicago, especially in the 80s during the recession. This was especially true for the black community, and especially the gay black community. It reached really deep and resonated with some of the most underprivileged people.

    But the thing about house is that it wasn't trying to instigate change by dreaming of a future world; house music itself was the salvation, the freedom people wanted. Dancing itself became a political act, hence the classic song I posted above.

    In Chicago, as the seventies became the eighties, if you were black and gay your church may well have been Frankie Knuckles' Warehouse, a three-story factory building in the city's desolate west side industrial zone. Offering hope and salvation to those who had few other places to go, here you could forget your earthly troubles and escape to a better place. Like church, it promised freedom, and not even in the next life. In this club Frankie Knuckles took his congregations on journeys of redemption and discovery.
    Source

    I didn't grow up on house music and am certainly no expert, but once I found out about the roots of house I really just got sucked right in.

    EDITED: 303, not 707.
    Last edited by Soul Bait; 08-04-2014 at 02:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    That quote should be on a teeshirt.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soul Bait View Post
    Funny thing about house is that it started from secondhand instruments. Roland actually made the 707 synth to replace bass guitars in rock music, but it was a total flop and all the rock bands sold their synths to secondhand stores. Electronic music producers went in and found them and that's how the 707 became the signature sound of classic house.
    Sorry to be picky, but you're talking about the 303. The 707 is a drum machine.

  7. #7
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    Here in Tokyo the best house clubs were always the gay clubs. House is the only music that makes me, a straight guy, dance with a hundred gay men in leather chaps. It is contagious.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISaS73R View Post
    Sorry to be picky, but you're talking about the 303. The 707 is a drum machine.
    You call it being picky, I call it getting the facts straight. Although, the x0x machines in general all made a massive impact on house music, especially the 808. And most house bass lines are actually sampled because the 303 has absolutely no resemblance to the bass guitar it was trying to emulate.

    Apparently, the bass line for Daft Punk's Around The World was a 303. Supposedly, that combined with two filters creates that rubbery almost-real bass guitar sound. So Roland missed a trick there, should of stuck some filters in!

    I always wonder how the 303 actually got a release. It wasn't even close to fulfilling the purpose it was meant for, but instead created a genre in itself. I have this feeling that when testing the final product the director was like "THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE" and then like, Apollo came down from the heavens and was like "Lo, fear not your failures, for you have created house." and then... I dunno, some other epiphany bullshit.

    Seriously though, if you made a product that failed that hard in this day and age, you'd be up to your eyeballs in lawsuits.

    Back on topic, you speak about the way house music makes you feel, but what you're actually referring to is the fact that you "get" music. You could listen to Tchaikovsky and whilst you may not enjoy it because it's not your thing, you can still appreciate and extract the feel from it.

    Analogically, think of food. I don't like tuna mayonnaise, in fact I loathe it, but I can understand why people would enjoy it. Those same people would most likely flip their shit if you suggested eating a tuna steak, but I love tuna steak. It's a great food, and it's such a shame that people decide to absolutely destroy it with sub-par mayonnaise. But I understand why they do it. And it saddens me that they don't enjoy tuna steaks like I do.

    What I'm trying to say is, house music is a tuna steak and EDM is tinned tuna mayo.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post

    What I'm trying to say is, house music is a tuna steak and EDM is tinned tuna mayo.
    Or in a similar analogy - House music is Salmon, EDM is Salmonella

  10. #10
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    Speaking of the 707:


    Yeah, I was wondering that as well! The thing was absolutely horrible at what it was supposed to do, I don't know how they expected to make any money off it.

    P.S. I don't know what you're on about, tuna mayo is amazing.

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