Weird Music Wednesdays

Weird Music Wednesday: You're in the Jungle're gonna die...

By Will Mullany Last updated: 04/29/14 1:31pm

UK Jungle is a harsh, uncompromising, disruptive form of music. And that’s probably exactly why it sticks.

Typically conceived by low-income black youth in Britain and born into the London club scene in the early 90s, jungle was a piece-by-piece reversal of the dominant European dance-music paradigm, which consisted of simple, trance-like, 4/4 disco-esque music and over-the-top melodies and harmonies. Old school jungle beats were almost entirely incompatible with standard dance ...

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Weird Music #8: Algorithms we live by

By Will Mullany Last updated: 04/16/14 1:50pm

For those of us who find it difficult to do go about our everyday tasks without the assistance of a computer, it’s a constant struggle to maintain a safe distance from technology and convince ourselves we could operate without it. Recently, however, I have had my doubts — especially because of my love of music.

Many music aficionados hold that their refined tastes and extensive knowledge of music are entirely their own work, but how can this claim hold water in the digital age? ...

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Weird Music #7: Blimey...It’s Grimey!

By Will Mullany Last updated: 04/09/14 4:10pm

In the United States, listeners typically perceive a divide between electronic and hip-hop music scenes — an opposition of cultural values and aesthetic preferences. Several artists have attempted to cross this gap throughout the years, ranging from the fusion of Kanye West’s “Yeezus” to the second-rate patchwork that makes up every Lil Jon-EDM ...

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Weird Music Wednesdays #6: Wu-Tang Clan and the Great Hip-Hop Swindle

By Will Mullany Last updated: 04/02/14 1:39pm

In today’s music business, artists must take steps to protect their necks against early release, copyright infringement and other musical pitfalls.

That’s why the legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan will be producing only one copy of their next studio album, eventually selling it in an extravagant silver box for a multimillion dollar price.

In a recent ...

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Weird Music Wednesdays #5: What the hell is Vaporwave?

By Will Mullany Last updated: 03/26/14 1:31pm

Do you remember the early days of digital? The Windows 95 era? The time of GeoCities, low-quality Casio synthesizers and hyper-technological visions of the future? Right now there’s an Internet subculture that’s obsessed with reshaping and repurposing these digital artifacts of our internet past, and it’s called Vaporwave.

The best way to get a feel for vaporwave aesthetics is to do a Google image search for “Vaporwave,” or to look at this music ...

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Weird Music Wednesdays #4: Madlib’s mad, mad world

By Will Mullany Last updated: 03/18/14 11:30pm

A few days ago, “Cocaine Piñata” — the collaborative effort by beat-auteur Madlib (also known as Otis Jackson, Jr.) and hard-boiled gangsta rapper Freddie Gibbs — was finally released, and, in my opinion, marks one of the best hip-hop records in a very long time. “Piñata” is unrivaled in its sheer production value and is honed down to a sharp sonic edge which doesn’t pull punches on a single track.

While the album deserves its own celebratory piece, I’d like ...

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Weird Music Wednesdays #3: Drums please

By Will Mullany Last updated: 03/04/14 10:25pm

Everyone has a musical weakness. For some, it’s a certain song or band. For others, it’s the timbre of a particular instrument, the idiosyncratic tone of an individual singer’s voice, or something as simple as a specific chord structure. My weakness is the sound of drums.

My childhood was as stereotypical as any drummer’s childhood could get. I banged on pots and buckets, tapped on school desks with pencils, played in the school orchestra and finally formed a ...

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Weird Music Wednesday #2: Hip-hop's new jumpers

By Will Mullany Last updated: 02/25/14 8:32pm

Throughout the past year, a dude by the name of Young Thug has been creeping his way into the limelight, and it’s pretty hard to figure out why. He wears skinny jeans and has tattoos covering his lanky frame. His rapping style falls somewhere between yelping and Auto-tuned burbles, and his lyrics are laced with bizarre personal revelations.

The point is, Thug should be a difficult sell to mainstream hip-hop audience, but the critical acclaim of his mixtape “1017 Thug,” as ...

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Weird Music Wednesdays #1: Weird Genres

By Will Mullany Last updated: 02/18/14 9:29pm

I recently happened upon on an internet page entitled “Lists of music genres.” It included, of course, “rock,” “pop” and “country,” but as I progressed deeper and deeper into this list of all lists, I began to pick out smaller, more obscure types.

There was “lowercase,” a style of minimalist ambient music which involves minute sounds and extended stretches of silence.

The list included “aquacrunk,” (also known ...

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“Yoruba”sically the beginning

By Will Mullany Last updated: 02/12/14 2:41am

During my senior year of high school, I spent a substantial amount of time listening to West African traditional drum music. I am not talking about the type of “African music” you pick up in the World music section of Best Buy. It’s not the “African music” that Shakira recorded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup or even the “African music” played by white, dreadlocked “Deadheads” in the U.S. It’s probably not even the music that ...

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