In honor of Tropical Storm Andrea, SCSM 19 is the dark cloud wavering sensation SOUNDCLOUDSOUNDMOUND. That overhanging, threatening, piercing music that makes you respond to how the music feels. We’ve heard one like this before (I forget which SCSM, off top, though), but these sounds range from reticent nostalgia, to sharply combative, to footslogs from synth waves. This isn’t “Stay on your toes the world’s out to get you” music. This is “Rain over your mood” music.
The music that successfully captures an audience these days centers around divorcing sounds from the instruments//sources that create them. No one is beating on hi-hats and snares that fast. No one. Trap and its derivatives hassle those instruments to create a sensation in their listeners. Take any EDM. The sounds utilized can come anywhere from sampled sounds (à-la Hot Sugar, in terms of sound-sourcing) that are manipulated, to sped instruments, to stretched ones, to you name it. This practice, of obscuring instruments, makes it harder to create “bands” so to speak, but it makes it easier for artists to tap into the emotive components to sounds. We get attached to sounds and experiences because they make us feel something unique and clear, even if we can’t always box the experience into a ready-made mold.
Music doesn’t try to affect us through sound in an indirect way. We fell into a groove, moved around, and the experience emerged as we listened. Now, we hear the way our emotions sound. We hear our responses coming from the speaker, so as listeners, our job shifted into a music more passive role. Every overdrawn bass pumps in our chests, and depending on how the surrounding sounds behave, we feel something. We don’t hear anything. And while I hear our roles becoming more passive in the sense that we don’t create the experience of music on our own anymore, we are brought into the creation process that the artist went through. We feel how they felt as they made their music, and we’re connected to them on a human level.
And that’s why we continually hear that our generation is drawn to noise. Because our generation’s musicians dare to expose the dissonance and sentimentality of their art. Jimmy Hendrix caused such a ruckus not because he played a burning guitar with his teeth surfing mile-high LSD waves on your mother’s back. No. He pushed his instruments. He pushed the shit out of the capabilities of a guitar. He broke down the sounds his listeners were used to hearing into riffs that lifted them away from his strings, and into their own vibrations (no hippie).
Whether these songs use recognizable instruments or not, they focus on the force of sound, sound relationships, and vocal fixtures to present guttural responses to music. Get pushed around.