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How would you describe your musical taste?
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Stereo Mouse
Stereo Mouse
635 posts

Re: How would you describe your musical taste?

Great thread! Attempting to emulate the style of your post, here's me summing it up as adequately as I can:

I too like a good pop tune. To me pop music isn't pandering to the lowest common denominator nor conformity to radio formats. Nor it's all about how you present yourself. I'm a pop idealist: I believe in focusing on the melody. Attempting to gain popularity is widespread. But melodic geniuses are quite rare and the Beatles (sorry Cheeso/Squirrel, but I'm not buying into the Beatles naysayerism) may very well be the single act whose mainstream appeal and melodic craft were at its optimum balance.

At the same time, I'm quite drawn to complexity. It can exist in various guises though. Whether it's Zappa or some of the Canterbury prog-rockers going through the most impossible rhythmic labyrinths of weird time signatures, dense jazzy chords or simply an advanced layering of instruments and textures in case of Stereolab and Broadcast. And coming back to melody: it doesn't have to be pop in order to be melodic. Something like Michael Nyman's "Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds" is supremely memorable in its melodic content, although you can only consider it "pop" if you buy this argument that someone once put forth that minimalism (another one of my loves) is "pop music for intellectuals".

The tones I'm most drawn to: various keyboards like acoustic piano, electronic organs (Farfisa and the instrument Mike Ratledge played with the Softs), harpsichord, analogue synthesizers (Moog, Arp etc). Don't mind Fender Rhodes, but it was very ubiquitous during the Jazz-Rock/Fusion years, it's still a great electric piano though. Then of course come the horns and woodwinds: trumpet/flugelhorn, trombone, clarinet, flute, bassoon etc. A percussionist side of me is also drawn to drums, vibraphones, xylophones and glockenspiel. Guitar is such a ubiquitous instrument that it's a cliche in popular music, I've lost interest in playing it as much, there are already too many guitarists. Still, I've grown to love the 12-string guitar and I'm thinking of buying one in the future.

As far as vocals go, I'm mostly drawn towards the baritone-bassy end of male and alto/contralto end of female voice, though a well-sung, confident tenor/soprano if it's not too screechy can also sound ace. Sometimes I'm drawn to eccentricity as far as voices go: it's often cool to hear these old Soft Machine live recordings in order to enjoy Robert Wyatt doing avant-garde scat improv thing with Echoplex. Guitar wankery, yes, a turn-off, or any wankery for that matter, I don't like seeing keyboardists going over the top either. Richard Wright was so much more awesome than a technician like Jordan Rudess could ever hope to be! I'm much more in favor of turning technical limitations to your advantage as opposed to showing off too much technical prowess.

Singing along with records while adding harmonies that aren't heard is also my favorite music-listening habit!

Country? Well, not very much, Johnny Cash may be the best I could muster. Mainstream radio? No way! Techno? Well, the more IDM-y side like Autechre I suppose, but not so into this dance music thing. Ambient? Yes, also preferring the more developing side of it. More drawn to instrument driven music than electronic, but I believe the two can complement each other quite well.

About music being sexy: recently I did some music for a play based on Gilgamesh epic. There was this scene where the temple prostitute is taming the wild man Enkidu by whoring with him for seven days. I've tried to figure out something for the copulation scene, but needless to say it all proved futile effort, after the actress playing the whore told me she had seen the Kate Bush video and wanted to make dance moves like her. Needless to say, if Kate Bush knows better than me how to create erotic vibration, then my efforts are perhaps bound to fall flat. I'm not sure if I can fully buy Tim & Laetitia's argument that Can is good for having sex: it's such a hermetic and isolating view (and a tad out of touch with reality) on what constitutes as music for having sex isn't it? As Todd Rundgren said, a well rounded musician can successfully produce music for a purpose.

Sep 14, 2011, 21:44


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