Friday, May 27, 2011

Scratch my eardrum!

When it comes to music I always used to be a 'rocker'. The more guitar, the better. Sounds were meant to be organic, pure, and "real". Even though all rock music uses distortion and overdrive effects to create their sounds, it didn't matter as long as the sound came from a guitar. That sound was unmistakable.

My intrigue for electronic music has always been lurking in the back of my minds, but my "rock'n'roll neurons" have fervently denied any acknowledgement of anything that isn't played by humans. But as I've mentioned before, that all changed drastically when I hit a musical drought and coincidentally went to see Tron: Legacy in the cinema, and had a spiritual awakening evoked by the Lords of electronica, Daft Punk. Hallelujah.

For me, there is something about the way those digital, synthetic noises seem to 'scratch your brain'. It's the best way I can describe it, a "brain scratch". It's like one of those itches or self-inflicted scratches that is ambiguously itching and therefore annoying, but at the same time nice and, for some reason, intriguingly pleasant. When I hear a sound like the one I'm trying to describe (I will give you examples) I imagine a 'sound' literally scratching my eardrums and consequently my brain. It is the weirdest and nicest and most fascinating feeling. A feeling to which my rock'n'roll-fibres have finally let me succumb, in a relieved sigh of musical bliss.

My "rock'n'roll-genes" and love for real music will never let go. Therefore, I love (and always have) electro artists/DJs who manage to take samples from other artists and create a brilliant electro track, or simply remix a pop tune (French electro artists are particularly known for their ability to use samples and create completely new and different sounding tracks) But at the same time I like listening to some electro that is very synthetic, distorted and 'raw'. So this weeks tracks are about that 'raw', hard electro sound.

First off is, rather fittingly, Daft Punk's hit track off the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. The sounds they created for the Tron universe fits perfectly with the dark, digital world of the Grid (the computer created world). What I love about this track is how all the sound are so synthetic and digital sounding. The 'hi-hat' sounds like someone is tapping on an electric wire! It all sounds very 'electric' if you ask me. What I also love about Daft Punk (except for EVERYTHING) is their exquisite 'solos'. The way the melody theme just goes mental during the song is so bloody brilliant.

This week's second track is from another famous French electro duo; Justice and their brilliant track Waters of Nazareth. This track starts out with what sounds like just annoying noise, but it quickly breaks into a hard-hitting rock/electronica extravaganza. Justice of course are known for their rock-influenced electronica and heavily distorted sounds. I particularly like how they keep a relatively clean and organic sound on their beats (drums) whereas the melody is spewed out by a distorted sound, so dirty that it makes you want to have a shower. Love it.

So yeah, you know how much I like Daft Punk. I don't mean to intentionally inundate every blogpost with how much I love them or force their music down your throats (or ears). But I need to share this track with you. It is actually a remix by SebastiAn (who I told you about last week) of Daft Punk's "Human After All". Daft Punk have actually called this remix the best remix they have ever heard of their music, and that's pretty special I think. Then again, SebastiAn is a bloody genius. He's got a very heavy sound with very 'raw' effects, some of them literally sounds like he's plugging his equipment in. I think it's brilliant how he manages to incorporate that into his music. Anyway, enjoy this expert remix of the track that named my blog.


  1. Even, I like the way you're describing the brain-scratching effect of electronic musing. It's just the way I also feel about it. And these three songs are incredibly hard-scratching :)

    Like you, my interest for the stuff came fairly recently (and its still growing). However, I didnt have any sudden, music-preference changing experience, it's rather gradually been a nice supplement to the more "organic" music I've always listened to. Also, it's been coinciding with my realization that music witout vocals can be pretty awesome.

    Awesome music without vocals can also be non-electronic, by the way, like the fantastic "all I know is tonight", by Jaga Jazzist:

  2. Thanks again for your comments, Kai Olav!
    I totally agree that "real music" music without vocals can be awesome. You should check out Boards of Canada or Bonobo if you haven't already!