GETTIN’ LEARNED: EDM – NOT JUST DRUG CULTURE MUSIC

electronic-dance-music

Today we have a special treat: a guest post! It’s been a minute since we’ve had one of these, but fellow Full Sail University graduate, Marketing expert and electronic music Enthusiast Kate Stephenson takes us on a brief historic trip with some classic electronic music. Expect more posts in the near future from out friend Kate!

 

Flashing lights, illuminated dance floors, movement to music in colorful outfits: a weekend night out for the average millennial hipster is the first thing that comes to my mind. But this is a scene from 1969 — Disco had just given birth to what we now know as Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Music was coming alive in the fusion of electronic instruments with bass drums, fast beats, and acoustic orchestras. This auditory sensation has steamrolled into genres now known as techno and house: dance music.

 

A few of my EDM experiences, as I am sure are similar to others, have been primarily within a nightclub setting – over the top bass, barely-there outfits, and (yes, I hate to admit it) fist pumping. And one thing that any EDM partier can observe these days is the average party goer ‘letting loose’ with drugs – i.e. Molly. Such fads have been on the scene since the early 90’s with the culmination of candy ravers and warehouse parties.

 

That being said, what if I told you that you do not need to be on drugs to appreciate EDM? There is much more to electronic music than what we see with today’s faddish scene: the landscape of EDM is so much broader than what it’s given credit for. EDM isn’t simply Dub Step or Techno; its genre ranges from House, Trance, and Electro to Acid Jazz, Minimal and Eurobeat.

EDM is breadth taking. It’s arousing. It has a depth of soul. One song that reflects the potency of electronic music, and captured my interest in EDM at a young age, is “Seven Cities” by Solarstone. Released in 1999, “Seven Cities” has a powerful component of storytelling – there is a build up, a turning point, and a conclusion. This song has such an ability to mesmerize a crowd that Armin Van Buuren as well as other well-known EDM artists continues to remix the track and it has often been performed during sets.

 

Groundbreaking songs such as “Seven Cities” have propelled the EDM industry to more than just a ‘dance scene’ and created a stepping-stone for emerging indie electronic artists. EDM is truly an emotional escapade that has induced laughter, enlightenment, and enjoyment for me, and I look forward to sharing unique songs and artists that showcase the vast range of electronic music.

 

 

 

WHITE PEOPLE JAM OF THE WEEK: Chad Valley – I Want Your Love

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I know I don’t usually start blog posts like this, but this time I can’t help it because this song is everything! Chad Valley is a UK-based solo artist whose real name is apparently Hugo Manuel. This song appears on the EP Equatorial Ultravox. The music is truthfully hard to describe but also amazing. It’s all kinds of electro pop and R&B, but also has a new age EDM feel to it, while at the same time, Valley’s voice is high-pitched and so soulful. I came across this song just listening to a local radio show called “The Limelight Live” just this past week, and ever since then I literally cannot stop playing it. I’m pretty sure that it will have the same effect on whoever decides to take a listen. It’s infectious, romantic, breezy, atmospheric and humble. And I almost forgot to mention that I can’t decipher the lyrics worth a damn, but I don’t really care. Definitely wants me want to delve more into Valley/Manuel’s other music. Much love to WPRK and “The Limelight Live” for putting me onto this one!

 

INDIE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT – THE REGIMENT: DETROIT’S POSITIVE VIBRATION

 

The-Regiment

Detroit Hip Hop is on the rise again, with a bountiful plethora of solo artists and groups paving a way and staking a claim in the 21st Century Hip Hop marketplace. And among them is The Regiment, the lyrically inclined take-no-prisoners Boom Bap Hip Hop-centric duo of Osi and IseQold that are helping to paint a more positive yet still unrelentingly uplifting vision of Hip Hop from Detroit that not only entertains, but also educates, motivates and encourages. I had the chance to listen to their latest album, Live From The Coney Island (a reference to the many independently owned mom and pop restaurants that are scattered all over the Motor City for those that don’t know), and I can say without hesitation that I was thoroughly impressed. The Regiment’s latest project has to be one of the most solid, engaging and cohesive albums I’ve heard in a while from the Hip Hop genre: not littered with a bunch of songs that don’t fit together, and not necessarily an over intellectual concept album, either. Just straight up raw Hip Hop that’s not interested in fleeting stardom. It harkens back to 90′s era East Coast Hip Hop but doesn’t sound dated or preachy in the least, even with the positive swagger and spin. Definitely not the standard, run-or-the-mill Hip Hop music that we’re so conditioned to these days. The entire album is available for streaming and downloading on DJBooth.net, with production primarily from the Legendary Nick Speed. Peep the included link and check out just a few of the songs below. I’m definitely hoping to hear more music from The Regiment in the near future and beyond.

WHITE PEOPLE JAM OF THE WEEK: Warpaint – Love Is To Die

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In a continuing effort to expand on my musical palette, I’ve come across this group of talented young women that originated in the city of Angels a decade ago. It’s funny how you come across groups that you think are new, but they’ve actually been putting in years of work on the road and in the studio, but are just now getting their due when you find out about them. Anyway, Warpaint’s “Love Is To Die” is a pretty amazing song. It’s very flowy and flowery yet simultaneously depressing and dark. The lead vocals and lyrics are haunting and piercing, giving the listener the feeling of the lump you get in your throat after your significant other gives you the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. You can tell that Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa have been through a few things from this song from their self-titled album released earlier this year. An interesting factoid: former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusicante actually mixed this bands debut EP Exquisite Corpse in 2008. Given the recent press love given to them from the likes of BBC and NPR, it seems that a decade of the indie grind is paying off for Warpaint. Have a listen to “Love Is To Die” below.

INDIE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT – COCO PEILA: READY, AIM, FIRE!

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Berkeley, CA-based Bay Area native Coco Peila is more than just your standard, run-of-the-mill emcee. And as an indie artist, she has to be. The grind for independent artists is a real as it’s ever been. But Peila, a graduate twice over of Full Sail University, an educator, a world traveler, an event curator, emcee, poet, singer and feminist that embodies the long tradition of creativity, activism, inclusion and the progressive spirit of California’s Bay Area in her music, seems to take it all in stride. Recently featured as part of Hip Hop Historian Davey D’s “Three Dope Songs” series on his Hip Hop and Politics blog, and having dropped her independently-released freshman album last year entitled I Still Love Him Part 1: Misses Shoot ‘em Down, and I Still Love Him Part 2: Bad B!+@#es 101 tentatively set to drop next month, Coco Peila is poised to take an even greater stance in helping move the art and culture of Hip Hop and black music continuously forward. And judging from her latest single and video, “Misses Shoot ‘em Down”, she’s taking no prisoners in doing so. Check out the video below and visit http://www.cocopeila.com/ for more information, see videos and purchase her album!

MUSIC NERD MOMENT OF THE DAY: Happy Birthday, Sly Stone!

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Today is the birthday of one of the most gifted, successful and still conflicted artists to ever walk the face of the earth: Sylvester Stewart, better known to us as Sly Stone. An iconic figure in rock, pop, soul, funk and even Hip Hop to a certain extent (being that much of his music helped to shape lots of funk that would come after it, which would subsequently influence Hip Hop), we would be remiss to not give credit where credit is due.

I mean, think about it: what if Sly Stone had never been born? What if we had not been exposed to the rowdy, soulful and psychedelic music that he created in the 60s that would lead to darker and yet just as brilliant material later on? What it there wasn’t a Sly Stone that found his way to California all those years ago and had the courage to combine the elements of so many different kinds of music, as well as to front mixed race and gender band during the height of unrest and social change in America? I personally would like to perish the thought all together. So today, March 15, while there’s still some time, let’s take time out to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thank you to Sly and all he did to influence, push and change music as we know it. Peep some of his greatest tracks below.

 

NERDVOCATE COMMENTARY: Thoughts on the James Brown Biopic Trailer

So the trailer of the biopic on the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, just recently hit the web. Personally I really like the choice of Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather: he’s got a look and a sound that is actually pretty convincing. The main problem with many of these movies is that they never really seem to go as in depth as they can. Example: “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx was a pretty good movie and Jamie actually did a hell of a job as the legendary Ray Charles, but it still fell just a little bit short. I guess that’s mainly because so many of these pictures try really hard to capture the entire life AND career of their subjects in 2-3 hours, and with musical figures as towering as James Brown, Ray Charles and many others, it’s a feat that’s already putting the movie at a disadvantage. Still I don’t wanna jump the gun, because Boseman and many others that are part of this movie could very well break the mold. Only time, and the theaters, will be able to tell for sure. Now, between this and Andre 3000 playing Jimi Hendrix, if we could only get Don Cheadle to finally play Miles Davis in that biography, I’d personally be set for at least a while!