October 19, 2010

Fool! I will crush you!

(rated M for Mature content: contains a clock and two pieces of string)

Last time on the CJ Curry Experience: we hacked Facebook with Twitter accounts, jumped off a bridge that was two feet above water, and worked all night on making things good.

And coming up today: we sample some delicious delights of the tasty snacky goodness kind, run until our feet get sore, and push a yak off Mount Rushmore.

THE CJ CURRY EXPERIENCE 77: MUSIC. MUST HAVE MUSIC.

I'm a generous person. So I'm going to give you a glimpse of exactly what music genres tickle my boat, and float my fancy.
  • HOUSE - the staple of my diet. 130 beats per minute of everything beautiful and often electronic. I hella respect the old stuff, but a fair bit less of the older stuff. I've barely seen proper house for ages, it's all subgenres now.
    • GRUNGY HOUSE - I call it grungy house because to my ears it sounds a bit grungy. Some of it is good, but a lot of it isn't. Think some of Vandalism's more recent work, or Angger Dimas, or Major Lazer. Not much behind it but a beat, maybe a bassline if you're lucky, and naught but a computer bleep or synth whine. and a vocal track. Very minimalistic, but I prefer a lot more substance in my house. Best example in pop culture would be Pon De Floor.
    • ELECTRO HOUSE - this isn't the computer bleeps of grunge, this is the sound saturation of The Aston Shuffle, The Bloody Beetroots and everything else that has the potential to completely rape your eardrums, but somehow never ends up doing so. Listening to electro house at 120dB is like having a hot shower - you know it's hurting you but you feel very comfortable letting it wash over you.
    • PROGRESSIVE HOUSE - liquid. Fucking liquid music. The golden years of progressive house are still happening right now, despite progressive trance having passed its prime. This is the repetitive, hypnotic beat and bassline that a lot of people fob off as being boring. I say you're not listening right, and I say you need to listen to it longer. Progressive takes a while to get going and it takes a while for you to notice differences in the patterns that the artists follow. Adam K, deadmau5 and John Dahlbäck are probably some of the better progressive artists, but I like a song called Downpipe most of all. (I refuse to give you the radio edit.)
    • BIG HOUSE - another term I've made up. This stuff is a dying art, giving way to grungy house, but I guess it had its place. Kind of a lighter electro house with a lot of generic female vocals attached to it. Slower trance without the trance. Get me? No? Try Soul Avengerz, or the Freemasons, or the Shapeshifters, or September (though I'm not as much of a fan of September's work). It's good if done well. Otherwise it sounds too much like Katy Perry on a bad day.
  • TRANCE - this stuff is far too much win to be ignored. Faster house to get me energised, or motivate my running. Especially Set In Stone. But enough about that. A lot of trance is also very hypnotic, and tends to follow a pattern of build-up-energy, release-that-energy, start-again. Especially if it's a compilation. Break down, build up, sound explosion. Not only that, it's hella emotional too. You get all the happy, feelgood tracks like Sandstorm by and In My Heart; the total energisers such as Every Day, Every Moment, Every Time; the saddening beats of Diamondback and The Loves We Lost; then those that are halfway between happy and sad, like half of Lost Tribe's best work. My all-time favourite is Taurine (Super 8 Remix). Goes from one extreme to the next real quick. But yeah, because it covers that wide range of emotions it means I can be totally bipolar and have a good excuse for it. I say that because I like knowing who I am, and messing with my emotions is actually a good way for me to get to know who I am.
    • PSYTRANCE - the words "Infected Mushroom" sound like a horribly bad reCAPTCHA at first (NSFW) but I tell you what, the music those guys make is about as psychedelic as you can get while still being trance. The stuff that evolved out of Goa Trance with the screech of an electric guitar being put to an actual good use, instead of making them whine and scream for mercy in a shitty rock or metal song. Try the Mushroom. Else try Logic Bomb or Wizzy Noise.
    • PROGRESSIVE TRANCE - dead. Still left a huge legacy. Still finds a place in my playlist and my heart and is apparently beginning to undergo a revival. Good, because I sure as hell hope so. Greece 2000 is possibly the best known track from that era, along with Café Del Mar by Energy 52 (which of course sounds NOTHING like the actual Café Del Mar. See below).
  • NRG and ACID - basically one and the same with a few subtle differences. But nothing about these genres is subtle. This is the stuff you Melbourne Shuffle to... and hope that it doesn't get played for more than about fifteen minutes at a time. In small doses it's good. In large doses it screams out "RAPE" in your brain and tries to throttle you something shocking. Sometimes, something genuinely decent comes out of the pits of NRG Hell, namely No More Fucking Rock And Roll. This is by a guy who calls himself A*S*Y*S, or Acid*Save*Your*Soul. Rhymes nicely with the song title.
  • MINIMAL or MICROHOUSE - I don't like the term "Microhouse" for this music but I suppose a lot of people know it as microhouse. This soft stuff is usually my kind of music after a night out, or during a quiet night in, or at night when I want to feel lonely but not alone. (It's the best feeling in the world, but only if you deliberately set out to feel it.) Microhouse is essentially minimalistic and slowed-down house. A lot of German producers are getting in on this stuff. In fact, there's a compilation of it released every year. Superpitcher, Michael Mayer and Gui Boratto do this genre justice.
  • CHILLOUT - kind of tying in with the previous genre, chillout is... chilled. Café Del Mar does this well (and as a result, I've developed soft spots for Latin and acid jazz music as well). That said, they're not the only ones. Ministry Of Sound puts out a Chillout Session every year or so, though the second disc is more of a slower house disc than chillout. Still pretty chilled though.
    • AMBIENT - going back to MoS, usually the first disc has some good ambient tracks in amongst the indie stuff. One artist I'd love to see on there (but probably never will) is Aphex Twin. He has a few heavier electronic tracks, but tunes like Fingerbib and IZ-US are my favourite ambient tunes from his work. This is the stuff you listen to on a hot afternoon when you can't be bothered getting up for fear of sweating your balls off, or at night-time any time (except at a club ofc).
    • DUBSTEP - dubstep <3. The genre that is starting to emerge, especially on shows like Triple J's Soundlab, and stuff that is amazing to listen to (probably even more awesome if you're stoned). I listened to a dubstep remix of Teenage Dream the other day, and despite barely counting as dubstep it was still a million times better than the original. No jokes. It's a cross between chillout and drum 'n' bass. And speaking of which...
  • DRUM 'N' BASS - "silly, happy party music", says Ishkur. "Silly, happy party music", agrees CJ Curry. It's a 150bpm romp of kickass jumping up and trying to make it look like you're dancing. This stuff dominates my ideal driving music. John B does it, but he doesn't take it seriously or politically correct. Hell, one of his best known songs (thanks in part to a very handy flash animation) is American Girls. (Barely SFW) This is a genre I desperately need more of.
  • EXPERIMENTAL - oh yes. Of course, we all know that not every experiment in music works, but my God some of them turn out brilliant. Yppah turned out brilliant. Black Moth Super Rainbow turned out brilliant. Ratatat turned out brilliant. There's more but I don't have a decent enough character limit for them. Experiments, especially electronic experiments (because, my God, we've experimented traditional instruments and electric guitars to death already) are well worth a listen in case you uncover something cool. Alternative radio stations are good for that.
Next time on the CJ Curry Experience: we pretend this never happened, show you fifty ways to reveal your biggest secret, and tell plenty of New Zealand jokes.

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