Is modern music awful?

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platzangst
Posts: 529
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 06 Dec 2018

Creativemind wrote:
02 Dec 2018
I can't stand dubstep. I think it seems to be a young persons thing. Is there anybody here over the age of 30 that actually genuinely likes it?
I like the idea of dubsteb more than I like most of the dubstep I've heard. I'm in my early 50s, but even so I got into a lot of harsh styles of music early on - 80s industrial, for example, and then through underground experimental networks, things like harsh noise or wholly abstract works. So you'd think a chaotic mash of overdriven oscillators with stomping beats ought not to be outside of my range of things I like. I've even considered doing some music with dubstep-like elements myself. But like any genre that gets any following, there comes a point where it becomes formulaic. I just haven't found an artist (yet, I'll allow that it might happen one day) that makes me sit up and say "I need to have more of that".

And this is not to say that I cringe or recoil whenever dubstep crosses my path, I can listen to tracks and not be immediately compelled to change the station, it's just that none of it goes beyond that - nothing gets a second listen. I have a couple Skrillex CDs that I got for way cheap at the used CD place just to see what all the fuss was about, and I don't think I've played them more than a couple times. I'll nod my head along to the beat, and then it's done and whatever's next comes on and the thing I was just listening to gets consigned to the memory hole.

This could be also be said about most music on the charts these days, though, so make of all that what you will.

fullforce
Posts: 51
Joined: 18 Aug 2018

Post 06 Dec 2018

Creativemind wrote:
02 Dec 2018
I can't stand dubstep. I think it seems to be a young persons thing. Is there anybody here over the age of 30 that actually genuinely likes it?
Like in any genre, there's a lot of crap but also some quality here and there, so I'm 48 and yes I can dig some dubstep.

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-008'
Posts: 285
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Post 06 Dec 2018

I have pondered this many times and I remember back to even the PUF threads when we talked about it. In my lifetime of thinking and listening, I believe that I have found the one key factor for awfulness. The worst of all music, from any genre, from any era... is always very "contrived".
con·trived
/kənˈtrīvd/
adjective
deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
created or arranged in a way that seems artificial and unrealistic.
"the ending of the novel is too pat and contrived"
synonyms: forced, strained, studied, artificial, affected, put-on, phony, pretended, false, feigned, fake, manufactured, unnatural;
This is not to say that a great musician can't deliberately set out to write a great song about a pre-decided subject.. It is more a matter of working "in the spirit". The inspiration is what moves you through creation, start to finish. That will usually be the "great music".

It is not from external motivation like: -this is currently popular and sells well or -chicks dig it, or -this is what my songwriters and managers brought to me...
Aside from genre preference (i hate country), or technical choices (this mix sucks)... this is the unseen factor that really does it for me.

Theory: Any and all contrived music is garbage. You can spot it right away. You will hate it instantly without knowing why. (Well, now you know.) :mrgreen:
Sometimes it is the lyrics, sometimes the music, sometimes all of it. If it is truly "awful" it was probably contrived!

This is only a simple theory by yours truly, but I do believe it answers the age old "does today's music suck?" question.
I think this could stand up to study/testing, somehow. From there we might conclude that it doesn't even matter, because all music always sucks, to someone.

Prove me wrong!

Anyway that's my 2cents. Whew, i need to lay of the Stoicism for a week or so!

fullforce
Posts: 51
Joined: 18 Aug 2018

Post 08 Dec 2018

-008' wrote:
06 Dec 2018
I have pondered this many times and I remember back to even the PUF threads when we talked about it. In my lifetime of thinking and listening, I believe that I have found the one key factor for awfulness. The worst of all music, from any genre, from any era... is always very "contrived".
con·trived
/kənˈtrīvd/
adjective
deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
created or arranged in a way that seems artificial and unrealistic.
"the ending of the novel is too pat and contrived"
synonyms: forced, strained, studied, artificial, affected, put-on, phony, pretended, false, feigned, fake, manufactured, unnatural;
This is not to say that a great musician can't deliberately set out to write a great song about a pre-decided subject.. It is more a matter of working "in the spirit". The inspiration is what moves you through creation, start to finish. That will usually be the "great music".

It is not from external motivation like: -this is currently popular and sells well or -chicks dig it, or -this is what my songwriters and managers brought to me...
Aside from genre preference (i hate country), or technical choices (this mix sucks)... this is the unseen factor that really does it for me.

Theory: Any and all contrived music is garbage. You can spot it right away. You will hate it instantly without knowing why. (Well, now you know.) :mrgreen:
Sometimes it is the lyrics, sometimes the music, sometimes all of it. If it is truly "awful" it was probably contrived!

This is only a simple theory by yours truly, but I do believe it answers the age old "does today's music suck?" question.
I think this could stand up to study/testing, somehow. From there we might conclude that it doesn't even matter, because all music always sucks, to someone.

Prove me wrong!

Anyway that's my 2cents. Whew, i need to lay of the Stoicism for a week or so!
You mean like the shit that Desmond Child makes.

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Nerveclinic
Posts: 192
Joined: 30 Jan 2015
Location: Dubai

Post 08 Dec 2018

Creativemind wrote:
02 Dec 2018
I like the idea I have a couple Skrillex CDs that I got for way cheap at the used CD place just to see what all the fuss was about, and I don't think I've played them more than a couple times. I'll nod my head along to the beat, and then it's done and whatever's next comes on and the thing I was just listening to gets consigned to the memory hole.

[/quote]

Just to clue you up, most people who are true dub step heads fucking hate Skillex...just saying.

mashers
Posts: 96
Joined: 05 Nov 2018

Post 09 Dec 2018

Like with human behaviour, I think the benchmark of "good" or "bad" music is the intention behind it. If music is created from a place of passion, from a need to express something, then it has value. Whether any given person enjoys listening to it or not, if it really means something to the person who created it, then it has value as a form of expression. Other music is created not with a particular meaning in mind, but to provoke an reaction in the listener. This is also valuable if the music is successful in eliciting the intended reaction. But music which is mass-produced by companies who package up desperate wanna-be-celebrities purely for the purpose of making money, with no intrinsic meaning and with no desire to affect the audience in any way other than by buying the music, that is truly awful. It is vacuous, shallow, and depressing.

Just my opinion, your experience may vary, always read the label, don't feed after midnight, standard disclaimer, blah blah blah ;)
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platzangst
Posts: 529
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 09 Dec 2018

Nerveclinic wrote:
08 Dec 2018
Creativemind wrote:
02 Dec 2018

I like the idea I have a couple Skrillex CDs that I got for way cheap at the used CD place just to see what all the fuss was about, and I don't think I've played them more than a couple times. I'll nod my head along to the beat, and then it's done and whatever's next comes on and the thing I was just listening to gets consigned to the memory hole.
Just to clue you up, most people who are true dub step heads fucking hate Skillex...just saying.
You borked up the quoting, so while Creativemind was attributed, those are actually my words you're responding to.

There's a couple things to say here: One, I picked up the Skrillex CDs because, at least at the time, Skrillex was fairly popular and his name was all over the place, although obviously it had faded enough, or there was enough of a glut of his product that the CDs were cheap, even compared to the other used CDs on the shelves there. It was an opportunity to satisfy my curiosity with little risk.

Two, I tend to distrust any statement that talks about the "true" fans of any genre/style/medium/whatever. It seems a bit elitist to me in general, and then there's a certain question of how we measure what a true fan actually is. I'm not saying you're doing it here and now, but I have seen that kind of statement put forth by fans from metalheads to punk to harsh noise and beyond as basically a dick-measuring contest, to single out others as "not true fans" and dismiss or insult them.

Anyhow, all that said, I'm still open to the idea of dubstep, even if I found Skrillex uninspiring, so if you have any recommendations, perhaps you could start a "good dubstep" thread for people to post what they think are the better artists in the field.

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Creativemind
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Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK

Post 09 Dec 2018

Nerveclinic wrote:
08 Dec 2018
Just to clue you up, most people who are true dub step heads fucking hate Skillex...just saying.
That is true and someone informed me once that (I think this is what he said) that Skrillex is brostep.
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minilog
Posts: 86
Joined: 07 Aug 2018
Location: California

Post 09 Dec 2018

Take the good with the bad. People are distorting the shit out of 808's and I had fun doing it the other day. It's funny because on mobile it sounds like the low end of the mix has been smashed to hell but on a real system the mix is coming through nice and solid.

Ostermilk
Posts: 1462
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 11 Dec 2018

Awful music can be a joyous thing, whether it's vintage or modern awful.

Modernity has no bearing on awfulness either, there are plenty of shiny turds that act as beacons through time.

Sorped
Posts: 168
Joined: 29 Nov 2016
Location: Denmark

Post 13 Dec 2018

Apart from all the heavy ducking, autotune, everyone being called Lil' Whateverdafuck and phone speakers being catered to, no.
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minilog
Posts: 86
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Location: California

Post 13 Dec 2018

People love their cell phone speakers. I'm at work with a guy listening to music on mobile. I can't be bothered to take part in such blasphemy but techno isn't all that great to listen on mobile anyways.

Somebody (amateur) sent me a track the other day that sounds okay on mobile but there were some weird things going on in the low mids with the stereo image leaning to one side and too much bottom. Hopefully people aren't putting too much faith in cheap speaker compatibility.

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Creativemind
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Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK

Post 13 Dec 2018

You should never listen to music through phones unless you use headphones.
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