General Music Thread

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#1
We've been chatting about YOKO KANNO recently in the chat so I thought I'd post my favorites!

My absolute favorite is here. Rest I'll put in hyperlinks (which we should generally do on this post so it doesn't slow down when there's tons of them).

Turn A Gundam - Song of a Stone

BRAIN POWERD - Power of Light
BRAIN POWERD - War Ship
BRAIN POWERD - Sonne

Escaflowne - Whatcha Gonna Do?
Escaflowne - Yubiwa

Wolf's Rain - Gravity
Wolf's Rain - Strangers

Ghost in the Shell - Inner Universe

Post some stuff you like. Have fun!
 
#2
contrary to my name, I don't listen to trip hop lol. I mostly like rock and sometimes some pop. here's a song I enjoy:


side note: (does the spoiler tags prevent slow down or does the site still load videos inside them?)
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Spoiler tags definitely USED to work to prevent slowdown. Let's assume they still do.

Cool song! It's like chiller Queens of the Stone Age with less machismo. Electrocute is a great band name, wow.
 
#4
yeah the good thing about Electrocute is that the songwriter is Nicole Morier (aka Coco Morier) who has cowritten a whole slew of songs for other artists, so she's pretty good at it
 

Juli

New member
#5
When I open the spoiler, the video thumbnail is already fully loaded for me with no delay, so presumably it's actually loading stuff.

Here's some stuff I've been listening to over the last couple days that I think is good:

Tomb Mold's new single, Abysswalker. Tomb Mold is sooort of a Dark Souls fan band? Their content is far from exclusively about Dark Souls, but a lot of their songs reference it, and the band name itself is taken from an item in Bloodborne. In my experience, most video game fan music tends to be competently made, but really boring, settling into this kind of inoffensive mediocrity. So this band was quite a surprise to me. Their album Primordial Malignity was probably my favorite album of 2017. This new song is kinda tied for my favorite from them, with the other being Clockwise Metamorphosis.

Arch Echo s/t. I thought I was going to hate this at first, because my first impression of it was that it was going to be this sorta, boring prog metal thing. Actually, it's more like jazz fusion with distorted guitars? Honestly I don't know a lot about jazz, or how it's classified, but it reminded me a lot of Hiromi Uehara's stuff with the Trio Project, which I understand to be jazz fusion. Anyways, I like Hiromi a lot, and this Arch Echo stuff is nice, too.

Sevish's Harmony Hacker. I found this from music Youtuber Adam Neely's latest Q&A vid. It's microtonal music, which fwiu just means it uses tones and intervals outside of the 12-tone scale we typically hear in western music. It's, uh, pretty good stuff and definitely makes me want to listen to more microtonal music.
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#6
With this kind of thing, that abysswalker thing, I always wonder "what is the value that this low monster voice is adding to this"? Because you can't hear the lyrics (are there lyrics??), there's no melody, and the rhythm is very often just like quarter notes. So I guess it's just about the aesthetics of imagining that like a Lord of the Rings monster is singing on stage or something? Or is it just that it's hard to do?
 

Juli

New member
#7
It varies. I think it started off (and to some extent, continues) as people racing to see who can make the heaviest music ever. Like "Woah Dude, SCREAMING? UGGH INTENSE BRUTAL FUCK YEAAHHH." While this approach likely led to a lot of music I like, it's reached its logical conclusion in a genre dubbed "Brutal Slamming Death Metal." It sounds like this (CW: drawn gore) and I can't stand it, personally.

With that Abysswalker song, it's very much the fantasy monster/horror aesthetic you mentioned. A lot of metal is theatrical, fantasy monsters are not an uncommon subject, so this is a pretty common reason.

Regarding lyrics/hard to perform vocals: yes it has lyrics, and I think almost nobody cares how difficult it is. There are people who like listening to difficult-to-perform metal, but mostly those people just care about guitar/drums, and occasionally clean vocals. The "actually screaming is really hard!" line of rhetoric exists as a response to people dismissing screaming as being easy and little else.

Some bands get an emotive quality out of it, or just add intensity to existing emotions in the music. Take Lethe for instance (intro lasts until around 1:20 if you wanna skip ahead). The vocals on this add an element of desperation on top of the melancholy guitar melodies. Something like Lamb of God a lot of times have these angry or accusatory lyrics in them, and the aggressive vocals fit that pretty nicely. A line like, "Go home, son, hang your costume up—a goddamn insult to the rest of us" sounds like something you'd yell at somebody, and accordingly is well-suited to screamed vocals. That all being said, these bands' vocalists don't reach quite the same level of cookie monster voice that Tomb Mold do, and I'm not sure if you're including bands like this as the "low monster voice."

Finally, vocals like these are, to an extent, just matching the intensity of the instrumentals. I can imagine something like Lethe being sung with clean vocals, and while I think it'd lose something, it could still work fine. Trying to imagine Abysswalker with clean vocals just kinda throws my head for a loop. You also just eventually get used to hearing them, and they start to sound good, and become a thing that sort-of is worth including for its own sake.

---

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, I really like its score. I was just thinking the other day how well the movies' atmosphere was aided by its music. And that big, booming heroic motif (I hope I am using this word correctly) that always plays when somebody saves the day is, if you forgive my saying so, as memorable and impactful as any John Williams song. That Rohan bit is good, too.
 
#8
Yeah I feel like it is used entirely for aesthetic reasons. I think saying "imagining a lord of the rings monster screaming on stage" is maybe coming a bit from a rude/making fun of it sort of place, but I guess you're not totally off base.

The main thing I get out of stuff like black metal is certainly the imagery. Which is also a huge reason as to why I adore Dark Souls and Bloodborne (funnily enough that relates to that Tomb Mold band, full circle). A lot of the time it's just some beautiful looking stuff that really captures my imagination, and sometimes not really "beautiful", but more like dark and disgusting and yet equally captivating.

So yeah, that's kind of "Frank Lantz"-y sounding jargon (be skeptical of anything that's only redeeming quality is that it's "beautiful", right?). Maybe a simpler and even vaguer way to sum up the appeal is to say "it makes me feel stuff that other music doesn't make me feel, and I appreciate that about it". As Juli mentions, it fits the instrumentation well and can amplify the "emotional" aspect of a song. Screamed vocals can really capture an angry or desperate tone, which can create a powerful experience.

Maybe interesting and semi-related, I learned to "scream" in high school and can still do it and enjoy doing it to this day (mainly I scream along to music in the car, because I don't want to bother people in my house). It's fun to do.
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#9
Thanks for the good answers on the monster voice! I kinda had a sense for some of that but just hadn't heard it elucidated before really.

I don't think that LOTR song is as memorable as the Superman theme. However I do think the LOTR music is far more memorable than most big hollywood action/adventure movie scores these days, who basically get a 0% memorableness rating.

(And yeah I was probably being a little making-fun-of-it but also earnestly curious what kind of answer that would get. I have mixed feelings about metal -- there's some I definitely just straight up like and think is good. But the more it becomes about "metal-culture-signifiers" and the less it becomes about notes on a page, the more I am a little... I don't know, I don't want to get too much into the politics of it, but it feels like there's a certain demographic for metal and I'm not sure we should be encouraging that demographic to be more aggressive, nihilistic or hate-filled (not saying that all metal has those messages but it does feel like at the very least metal leans in those directions).)
 
#11
Always funny to see articles on games in the stuffy old Times of London! Earlier this week they were saying how games have revived interest in orchestral music among younger people. Obviously lots of funny arguments from readers in the comments about whether or not video game music is garbage but the article was positive. Today here's a nice letter to the editor following that up (cut/paste as the paper is paywalled).
Sir, The news (Apr 26) that video games have prompted a renaissance in orchestral music comes as little surprise. Since its release in 2005 Shadow of the Colossus has become one of the most popular video games of all time: its combination of graphics, storyline and soundtrack make it an emotive experience. For the soundtrack to a video game to be released on CD (and now vinyl) is testament to its power and beauty. I should add that, as a result, it is the only video game whose ending has made me weep openly. I was then 46; the music still makes what hair I have left stand on end.
Vivian James Wigley
Mackworth, Derbyshire
 
#12
I made some music today. It's not a finished song or anything, but I was happy with how it came out and figured I'd share it here. https://onlinesequencer.net/799797
I felt like the "red notes" whatever those were ended up feeling a bit droning, it kind of hurt my ears a bit, was a tad overwhelming. Not sure if that has to do with the mixing or what, not a music guy, just telling you what I felt!

As for the melody and stuff itself I really liked it! I thought it was charming and quirky, like a song that would be playing during a touching moment in an Earthbound type of RPG. Keep up the good work!
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#13
I listened to your song @Juli - it's good! I think you should concentrate more on making distinct shapes for your melodies. What's cool about the sequencer view is you can sort of "see" melody shapes in a way you can't as easily with sheet music sometimes. As a quick example, think of the Indiana Jones theme song, and how the first four rising notes are related to the next 3 notes. I can go on more about this if anyone wants. Maybe I should just make a thread about it somewhere.
 

Juli

New member
#14
@Nomorebirds Yeah I get that with the red notes. I'm not sure exactly what's causing this, but I think it's just something about the sound of that particular instrument? Unfortunately, most instrument types on this sequencer don't actually let you "stretch" the notes—a 16th not and a whole note would sound the same—so I'm kinda limited with what I use, since I don't want the chords to have repeated attacks. So yeah IDK what a great solution is there.

Also I'm encountering today a weird glitch where two subsequent 8th-notes of the same pitch and instrument wind up just combining into a single quarter note (noticeable at beginning of 8th and 12th measure). This wasn't happening before, so idk what it's happening now. Maybe some update to how the sequencer works. Also trying to fix this by making one of them a 16th note will cause the 2nd note to ring out for a really long time. Kinda unfortunate.

@keithburgun yeah my strategy for writing the melody was mostly "find notes that don't clash horribly with harmony and then kinda 'guess' my way through." Most of my knowledge of melodic theory is googling "how to melody" and going from there. It's definitely something I want to work on, alongside learning how to develop musical ideas a bit more. Right now I wouldn't know how to continue this song, even if I was 100% happy with everything I had made so far.

Anyhow, thanks for the feedback!