Avoiding Cliché Themes in Electronic Music

head phones

Electronic music started off as an experimental music expression by the pioneers of machine generated sound. In the days where software and technology weren’t readily available, musicians had to heavily rely on improvisation and creativity.

Today we have a different and more serious problem. Although the technology and communications seem to present a catalyst in the creative process, they also present a barrier that stands between the musicians and their light motif, their idea.

Electronic music as an art form is directly at risk of being perceived as templated and unimaginative. We’re not just talking about the usual commercial garbage you hear at raves and in shopping malls – but the cliché that also poisons the mind of true artists.

Let’s look at some typical elements in today’s composition:

1. Bass Drum / Bass line combo
2. Intro / Culmination / Breakdown / Outro
3. Unusually big build-ups
4. MC / Voice phrases
5. Synthesiser and sample recycling
6. Melodic and rhythmic recycling

Cause

Apart from the obvious reasons (lack of creativity and commercially safe danceable material) there are software and hardware considerations. Ready-made samplers, synths, drum machines or software that simulates them seems to be too limited in its completeness and lack flexibility real electronic musicians crave.

Answer

Try new software, try new hardware, circuit bending, experiment, combine, listen to the environment, science and technology, derive inspiration from your ideas and perceptions of the things that fascinate you, build aural environments in your head and attempt to transfer them through using electronics. Or why not simply record something analogue and process it in a very unorthodox way.

Tell us

Let us know about the way you make your music different. Share your sounds with Analogik readers.

Written by Dan Petrovic

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker. In addition to industry leadership, Dan also maintains an active academic life as an adjunct lecturer and the chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for the School of Marketing at Griffith University.


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