Somewhere inside of you there is a shred, a piece of your essence, who you really are. Find it. Hold on to it and nurture it. Once you have this, there is no need to worry about who other people are. You will be you, they will be they, and we all will simply be people trying to find our way in this world.
I know I’ll never see the day when we cast our flags aside. It’s a fantasy I can only play out in my head. Humanity is changing, however. If it is to mature, it can no longer continue doing the same things it did in its youth. I see so much rancor and bitterness directed towards states and…
“The human race, so small in the vast scope of everything. Oh, but they have something that makes them stand above all the rest on this insignificant planet, a way to comprehend all this vastness, all the beauty of the universe, and to take in everything around them and move forward: Imagination. You take this away and the sum of human existence amounts to absolutely nothing. How brilliant.”—Robert Breazu
7•24•2012 and a pair of lungs. Yesterday, Purity Ring announced their signing with 4AD and the fact that they will release something on the aforementioned date. I recently saw them in concert as the opening act for Neon Indian in Athens, GA, and I can honestly say that they were the best opening act I’ve seen in the few concerts I’ve been to. That’s my opinion, but here’s a fact: they played for a solid 45 minutes and had enough new material to fill a decent-sized album. For those of you that already know about Purity Ring, it’s a long wait, but I can tell it’s going to be worth it. For those that don’t, I’ll fill you in: Purity Ring is the lush, hip-hop inspired beats of Corrin Roddick and sweet, sometimes lo-fi, sometimes chopped vocals of Megan James. And they’re from Canada eh! Some refer to the sound as “future pop,” but I would say that it’s a bit too dark to be labeled as pop. I’m not going to waste your time with any categorizing though, just give it a listen! One of their singles, Belispeak, is above and their other two singles can be found on their Soundcloud.
If you’re going to deny people their rights and respect simply because of a choice that they make or a lifestyle that they follow, then you are an idiot. Murderers, rapists, and other criminals all get rights. No matter how despicable their crime, they get the right to due process, trial by jury, no cruel or unusual punishment, and all of the constitutional rights that apply to everybody else. Criminals are given rights, but when somebody reveals a contrasting sexual orientation or religion, they are denied rights and treated with disrespect, downgraded even below the level of criminals. It is, in essence, subjective: because this concept starkly contrasts with your own ideologies, you think that it’s wrong. Murder and rape can also be considered wrong, but the people who commit these still retain their rights. So why don’t we just get over this crap and give the LGBT community and people belonging to religions other than Christianity (and no religion for that matter) the rights and respect that they deserve as human beings? It’s no enigma that needs solving, it’s just a problem that needs resolving, a fixation that we must remove.
People are people so why should it be You and I should get along so awfully
In my absence, I have listened to a great variety of music, but I’d like to start off with the genre I’ve been commenting on throughout the history of this blog, electronic. Just one month ago, American producer and DJ Ryan Raddon, better known as Kaskade, released his seventh studio album, Fire & Ice, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums Chart. The album is an example of the interesting path that Kaskade is trying to take his music on, departing from the laid-back, down-tempo house of his earlier material towards the electro-house style that’s currently becoming quite popular.
Like in all of his albums, there’s a focus on vocals with a variety of artists, some old and some new, collaborating on the tracks: Mindy Gledhill on Eyes, Neon Trees on Lessons in Love, Dan Black on Ice, and Haley on Llove. The funk-influenced house characteristic of Kaskade’s style is still evident through most of the tracks, especially in his collaborations with Quadron, Waste Love, and Skrillex, Lick It. It was surprising to see that Kaskade chose to work with Skrillex, considering that they are on completely opposing sides of the electronic music spectrum, but, contrary to what I was expecting, Skrillex doesn’t pull everything from his Dubstep style, the collab creating something that fits well into the electro-house genre.
As far as I know, Kaskade did made an album unlike any other: released as a double disc, one disc contains the original, club-oriented tracks, while the second contains more relaxed, down-tempo versions of the same tracks, all remixed by Kaskade himself. Fire and ice. You could say that Armin van Buuren has done it before with his On the Beach and In the Club discs of A State of Trance, but those all contain remixes by other artists, while Kaskade created everything himself (with the help of his collaborators, of course). The “ICE” mixes of the tracks make the album perfect to be used at a party: some of the original tracks could be played while everybody is all pumped up, and the ICE mixes could be played as the party winds down and everybody is just hanging around.
So here’s a little sample, the second single off of the album, Turn it Down. One of the electro-house styled tracks, it features the vocals of the recently-formed Swedish duo Rebecca & Fiona and has great club anthem potential. Fire & Ice definitely deserves a listen, and if you do check it out, let me know what you like more, the fire or the ice.
Kaskade - Turn it Down ft. Rebecca & Fiona from the album Fire & Ice
I wasn’t critical enough. I gave Romanian music too much of a chance, but now I have seen the error of my ways. Of course there are some things which can be counted as exceptions, but if you want to be a better judge of quality, you can’t claim to like something based solely on some form of relation that you have with the person who created that thing. Any support needs more founding than just “Hey, this song was made by a Romanian. I’m Romanian too, therefore I like it.” Somebody I know is exactly like that: a track could be the worst thing to come out of a studio but he will still like it, or at least give it a chance, just because it is made by somebody of Romanian descent.
I used to be just like that, but it’s surprising how much a mindset can change in the space of about a year. And it’s not just with music, it’s everything. If I meet a Romanian person, they’re not going to get any bonus points in my book just because we’re of the same nationality. I’ve actually distanced myself from most Romanians around here because I can’t find any common ground with them other than that.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that you need to take things with a grain of salt. Unleash the inner critic.
I’m feeling a strong need to get back to blogging and talk about some of the stuff that I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been getting into a lot of indie artists and some electronic ones, and it has definitely been a lot to take in. So I’m hoping to do some posts starting this weekend seeing as I have all of next week off for Thanksgiving. I want to continue the History of Electronic Music posts, but I’ll have to push those back because I’m still going to have some work to do. This should be fun.
I’ve spent more than a month here in Romania and quite honestly, I’ve only heard a few good tracks. Romanian artists have adopted electronic music but only a small number of them have managed to make material that is worth the listen. To me, the music feels empty. For one thing, the artists are trying to sing in a language that they don’t fully understand. If you don’t understand the language well, you can’t make meaningful lyrics in that language, and lyrics are a major component even in electronic music. Also, the traditional verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus form was worn out long ago, but this is still what most Romanian artists stick with. I applaud them for the effort, but I honestly think that they’d do better if they still made songs in the Romanian language. The songs that were made before might not have had the chance to get outside of the country and all over Europe and the US, but they were still beautiful songs.
That being said, when I start getting back into music posts, I’m going to be doing a lot more work to find music and share it. There’s a whole world of electronic music out there and a majority of us are only listening to the readily-accessible tracks that radio stations decide to play for us. I’m going back home August 2nd so I’ll see you then with some great new music.
Leaving tonight for Romania. I’ll be back in August but I’ll take my stuff with me so I’ll try to post some things while I’m there. My advice to you is to forget about tumblr for a while and enjoy the summer. See you guys later.
As Oceanlab, they have released only two albums, Sirens of the Sea and Sirens of the Sea: Remixed. As Above & Beyond, Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki have released eight installments of one of the most successful compilations,Anjunabeats, but only two artist albums. A & B released their first artist album Tri-State back in 2006, an album that was, and still is, regarded as one of the best trance albums out at the time. Just this week, after five years of only releasing a handful of tracks through the Anjunabeats albums, they have finally released their second artist album Group Therapy. Although not anywhere near the level of Tri-State, Group Therapy has some great tracks, such as two tracks that were previously featured onAnjunabeats, Vol. 8, Sun & Moon and Thing Called Love, both featuring the vocals of Richard Bedford. So in order to commemorate the release of the album and to give you a preview to get you interested, here is one of the singles off the album. Honestly though, if I had to choose between buying one of the two A & B albums, I’d go withTri-State.Above & Beyond - Sun & Moon ft. Richard Bedford from the Sun & Moon single.
Ok so things didn’t work out like I thought they would today, so it turns out that “I’ll post some cool stuff later" really meant "I’ll post some cool stuff tomorrow”. Sorry about the wait, but now when I say tomorrow, I mean it.