electronic music 101

May 18, 2018 10:54 PM

I'm a musical omnivore and also a synth geek but somehow have gotten through life without ever developing a deep appreciation for electronic music. What am I missing and where do I start?

My usual musical tastes include classic blues, country, texas swing, old soul jazz compliations, and the full gamut of college-rock indie, with a definite low-fi bias. As I've gotten into making my own music again, with a 100% digital workflow, I'm painfully aware of the gaps in my knowledge and would love some advice on what I'm missing. Help me bridge the gap between what I'm making and what I listen to.
posted by q*ben (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I'm sure everyone has their favorite artists, but what really floats my boat is the absolutely massive selection of music in the yearly unofficial SXSW torrent that seems like a reasonably legal repackaging of music they were giving out for free anyway. They've started adding in genre tags to the recent years so you can just flip to the electronic stuff and hear the freshest electrons. I've found a lot of great stuff in there, and the best part is you can grow your appreciation from where the scene currently is vs paving well-trodden ground studying edm from decades past.
posted by TheNegativeInfluence at 12:25 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

And in case sorting through thousands of songs sounds daunting, here's a playlist I put together with all my favorite electronic SXSW stuff from the past several years.
posted by TheNegativeInfluence at 5:52 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Electronic music" is kinda weird as a category. Cuz the, like, central tendency is 4/4 dance music made with sequenced electronic instruments, but technically it includes like anything built around synthesizers or samplers?

I have been enjoying the History of Electronic Music podcast, which covers a lot of music, in rough chronological order. It consists of representative musical works, together with some historical context and explanation.
posted by grobstein at 11:25 AM on June 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Now why didn’t I think of podcasts? SXSW is also a great starting point, I already use that to look for new music but haven’t gotten too far into the electronic side of things. Thanks!
posted by q*ben at 10:16 PM on June 5, 2018

strings of life - rhythim is rhythim (derrick may)
acid tracks - phuture
can you feel it - mr fingers
little fluffy clouds - the orb
clear - cybotron (juan atkins)
looking for the perfect beat - africa bambaataa
atlantis - ltj bukem

just a few things from the 80s and early 90s to start with - truth is, the current stuff doesn't seem as important as what was started in detroit, chicago, new york and then england

follow the you tube links - there's so much more
posted by pyramid termite at 8:03 PM on June 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding grobstein. That History of Electronic music podcast is pretty good.
posted by evilDoug at 12:21 PM on October 28, 2018

I'm not sure how to describe Boards of Canada because while they are technically electronic music, their sound is so unique and otherworldly. Anyhow, I'd start with music has the right to children and move on from there if you like it.

Aphex Twin is also rather out there (in a different way) but worth listening to. I'd start with I Care Because You Do
posted by O9scar at 1:03 AM on March 8, 2019

I think Tangerine Dream is accessible and a good starting point.
posted by Fierce at 12:07 PM on September 20, 2019

« Older Any one up for a wee collaboration?   |   MeFi Music Mixtape Meta Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments