Internet Micro-Genres and the Over-Classification of Music Online

When I was a young lad playing music in my teens and 20s, before the Internet took over, me and the rest of my fellow musicians made music that we considered to be un-classifiable. We didn’t want to be called things like alternative, punk, grunge, hardcore, indie rock, math rock or any of that stuff. It was considered pretty lame to classify your music something and if it fit neatly into one of those categories you were doing something pretty wrong.

This is basically the opposite of what 20 somethings do with their music these days. Everything is about internet exposure, and how you get that is by manipulating and exploiting trending micro-genres, keywords, and cliques on the internet. The problem with this is a homogenizing effect on music, not just pop music, but all music. The more people try to conform to Synthwave, Vaporwave, Chiptunes, Sadcore, Trap, or whatever else, the more they just sound like everything else in that net-scene.

I’m not saying that all of the artists making music in those styles are bad, but I am saying there’s a problem with fit too neatly into categories. This is the very definition of thinking WITHIN the box. The fact that my music doesn’t really fit neatly into any category has made it very hard to market online, but also is what makes it special (at least to me).

So what can be done about this? I’m not totally sure. I have tried in the past with the blog version of my Anthill Recordings Label to help promote good music that’s hard to classify. But then I’m stuck with the task of how to market that blog itself?!

I think this is really up to the artist and their integrity. If people want to create unique and original music, they will. People that are into music just to gain a little notoriety, will most likely be concerned with fitting neatly into whatever sub-genre that want to target, and those with creative integrity will not concern themselves with this and will most likely be heard by less people. Maybe this is the new underground. 

Maybe now that this site has a bit more traction and popularity than in the past, I can use this as a place to share some hard to classify music I think is good. I’m not sure how I’ll tag it though. This is a pretty big problem it seems. I’m not the only one thinking this either. Last night I was having a discussion about this with my friend Fornax Void, and he brought up many of the points I’m making in this post.

If you feel like you’re making great music that you can’t fit into a neat category, by all means send it to me in the comments section of this post. I’d love to hear it.

Paiste 505s, The Best Vintage Budget Cymbals

Paiste 505s were a budget line of cymbals made in Switzerland by Paiste in the late 70s and early 80s. However, if you’ve ever heard a 505 you’ll quickly realize just how special these cymbals actually are.

They do not sound like a budget line at all, and in fact, they’re not even made like a budget line. The hammering and lathing on the 505 line is nearly identical to the famous 2002 line. Paiste made them less expensive by making them slightly thinner than the 2002s. This gives them a bit of a darker, lower pitched sound than the 2002s. But they still have that beautiful Paiste spread.

I have a 20″ green label 505 ride. This cymbal sounds absolutely gorgeous to me. There’s a nice stick definition that has that distinct paiste sound, but there’s also a full dark wash that sits underneath, and it also has a beautiful and controlled sounding crash when you lay into it.

Check out my song below of the FB-01 and Drums. I play on the 505 ride throughout the whole song.

How To Get Your Music Heard On YouTube

YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world. In fact, YouTube Search the second most popular search engine on earth behind Google itself. If you’re a musician, getting exposure of your music these days can be very hard. There’s Scrillions of musicians and producers out there, and all of them posting music out there for free. So how do you get people to hear yours?

Well I stumbled across this concept actually years ago with one of my first YouTube videos. I had a Casio CZ-3000 Synthesizer and really loved the sound of it, so I thought I’d make a full album with only that synth. I made a little (horribly produced) demo video for the album and posted it to YouTube. I was shocked to see how popular it was becoming.

The video today is approaching 30,000 views. This is quite a lot for an obscure, and unknown Ambient artist. Then I figured it out. Its the gear.

What do people go on YouTube to search for? They’re not going to search for some unknown artist name they’ve never heard of, but they WILL search for certain pieces of equipment because they want to know how they sound or are just a fan of the instrument itself.

Here’s another one I did of a piece of music based on the Korg NANOPad:

This one is approaching the 4,000 mark.

When a musician wants to buy something, a lot of times they want to see it in action before they spend their hard earned cash on something. Sure some people just make boring demos where they simply play the sounds of the gear and do nothing else, but why do this when you could fully express your creative vision?

You could really exploit this concept and find gear that is trending at the moment and produce content using that gear. The more people are searching for that piece of gear, the more they’ll hear your music. You can then post links to download and purchase your music in the video.

Yamaha FB-01 FM Synth Module with Live Drums

This is a new song I created with only the Yamaha FB-01 in 8 part multi-timbral mode and then played lived drums to it. No FX were used on the FB-01. I seqenced the MIDI using the program, Seq24 for linux, then recorded the drums in Harrison Mixbus 4.
Drums used were a 1966 Slingerland Blue Sparkle kit, with an 80s metal Pearl Export 6.5×14 snare drum. Mics used in this recording were:
Kick – CAD KBM412 http://amzn.to/2yzAGan
Snare – PDMIC78 http://amzn.to/2AFBBYf
Overheads – http://amzn.to/2iUjPZ1

Stranger Waves – A Synthwave Compilation Inspired By Stranger Things

Stranger Things is still crushing the internet with Season 2, and in addition to being a great show, it’s inspiring all kinds of amazing music from all over the world. The online group “Synthwave Emotions”  has released this amazing compilation of music inspired by the show.

Artists featured on the compilation are:

01. 26Hate – Stranger Waves (Opening Theme) 00:00
02. Immortal Girlfriend – Overcome The Night 01:16
03. 26Hate – Devotion 04:41
04. Midnight Danger – Malignant Force 09:07
05. Pontiac At night – Curfew Violations 13:37
06. ÆX44 – Demogorgon 18:07
07. Deathray Bam! – Behind the Wall 24:41
08. Turbo Knight – Strange Aeons 29:17
09. Master System – Distance (feat. Ultraboss) 34:14
10. Leg Puppy – Utopia (Eternity 84) 39:32
11. Le Louvre – Blood Moon 43:39
12. Zane Alexander – Quarantine 48:55
13. Venator – Sanguine 52:31
14. Saffari – Strange Kind of Feeling 58:02
15. Cleeve Morris – Dustin 01:01:41
16. Once Around Saturn – Titan Excursion 01:04:38
17. DREAM SHORE – Upon A Story 01:07:09
18. Steve Arrows – VHS Ghost 01:10:46
19. Shadows & Mirrors – Nightmareland 01:13:41
20. White Tiger – Explorers (ft. JJ Mist) 01:16:09
21. Dead Bad Bunny – The Upside Down Theme 01:22:10
22. Midnight Danger – Darkness Approaches (Bonus) 01:23:53
23. Turbo Knight – Mirrorverse (Bonus) 01:27:53
24. ÆX44 – The other side (Bonus) 01:32:23
25. Fishdick – Falcons Crest (Bonus) 01:35:52

This is great and fun stuff, well produced and making for a great Friday morning.