To say that the DX7’s arrival was earth-shaking would be no exaggeration: the affordable price, sound palette, and physical feel of the instrument combined to make the DX7 the new must-have instrument in every studio, garage, and university music department in the U.S. and the U.K.
A study in timbre narratives and instrumentation in 1980s pop / The Dynamics of the Job Interview / Pop Music Interest Group meeting: small-group breakout sessions / Webmasterly duties
I want to make sure I don’t forget this incredible idea. S. Alexander Reed puts a little playlist together at the end of each of his chapters in his book Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Love.
In so many cases, when we’re wondering “what makes it sound ____?” where ____ is Christmas, or metal, or Irish, or whatever, the answer lies not so much in the harmonies, but the timbres. Timbre is probably the most immediate aspect of our musical experience. Why shortchange it in our analyses?
The majority of spectrogram analysis methods are overly focused on overtones and partials.
How do we make something sound ’80s? When today’s millennials—who were only infants or children in the ’80s—recreate an ’80s sound, how does it compare to an authentically ’80s sound? What elements of the ’70s or the ’90s get misremembered as an ’80s phenomenon? All these questions are discussed in the the latest Pop Unmuted episode.
Today I finished reading Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s by Theo Cateforis. Cateforis focuses (among other things) on the significance of irony and of an alternative white masculinity in new wave culture, and I see parallels between that and today’s millennial-hipster culture.
It’s funny what we identify with and how we situate ourselves when we research an era of the past.