“Somedays i think to myself, damn you Daft Punk. Look what you went and did.”
R Bell – Something id come up with.
The current fervour and passion for all things retro and vintage has blossomed into this killer triffid looming around music genres and casting its old school spell upon the masses.
I hear generic sayings like ‘music is all cyclic, and things come up again and again’
Well yeah they do, but i dont personally think its all rehashing for the sake of it.
Its something that has happened a lot further back than just harking to the 60s or the pioneering of the 80s. Its been happening all around us in all forms of expressive art for hundreds of years.
A generation absorbs and then creates its interpretation and the next one comes along, maybe misreads some of the content and adds on its own interpretation of that musical form or a mood swimming around a catchy track.Its hardly a new phenomenon but its always surprising to see how many think its a unique event happening right now.
The resurgence of using synths more prominently in our creative hub has been rebirthed ever since we had our very first soft synths. Those original never been done before pieces of code placed into a DAW still in its transition from a 90’s relic to a modern studio tool.
It changed our desire and methods of creating.
From a room full of time consuming and expensive equipment, to a simple box and a bunch of hard drives later…..
In the box became the buzz word.
Its a clutch of words that almost makes me wretch as hard as “total game changer” in modern over used ways to pigeon hole a simple evolution.
We are finding ourselves positively spoilt for choice and at a price so much kinder than the tags of the 70s and 80s. Yet it shall not quell our voices of disdain that we have to pay for actual hardware!?!?
I think some of the generation coming up have tasted too many instances of torrent sites and freebies, the sheer proposition of buying real instruments scares the living day lights out of some.
Their is just no limit on how you find your musical voice. It can be nourished with just a few simple instruments and tools, it can be found with a laptop and a pair of cans.
Its their among an ocean of complex modular units, or simply nestling in your head not yet affected or compromised by choices.
When Tron legacy arrived, something a bit stealthy happened and i dont think anyone saw it coming in the manner it did.
Someone else made synths relevant again, albeit fairly subtly.
Artists of decades past are then suddenly name dropped in every conversation and a healthy boost in Tangerine Dream albums sales ensued.
Those who mocked and proclaimed it wouldn’t pan out, it will never last, are now just forgotten mumblings of several years disproved. All the while posting pics of a hardware synth they told you 5 years ago you’d be stupid to invest in.
I adore the fact their is such a high passion for it, and i dare not say ‘again’ as its so dismissive and it dilutes the legitimate ownership synths and samplers have in musical culture and the landscape.
They are all as deeply relevant and valuable to me as scores of treasured guitars from the last 60 years.Just as important, just as vocally unique in their delivery.
The one thing i do wish is, everyone would embrace the research into music in this arena as passionately or as detailed as they do for other more traditional forms.
I wouldn’t propose we all go music concrete and Pierre Shaeffer on it, but just brush up a little wouldn’t hurt.
Their are a treasure trove of film scores made almost entirely of synths, samplers and tape edits. And equally a mountain of tv shows and themes, scores from the last 30 or so years.
It really didnt just pop up from nowhere because of Stranger Things.
Some of us plainly forgot, others have never heard music like this at all, hence some really random name drops of who they think it sounds like to them.
Im glad its not a phase of any kind. case in point, from the hey day of the 80s, it has by no means peeled back, you just didnt see it hidden behind sax solos and guitar chugs and horn melodies.
Admittedly, during the 90s, for me personally, it was a very confused and wounded bird.
All areas of synth genre and the way the industry was pushing the workflow and ease of use side of the development, it was only going to go one way.
It was due a collision and i think that took place in the late 90’s into the noughties.
Im a big fan of these cycles we speak of. I do love hearing re interpretations and fresh excitement for something familiar to you and i, but less so to someone else.
I think its safe to say i am very much a passionate ambassador for synthetic rights!!ha.
The impact made by synths and samplers in the last 30 years has sent ripples into music and those ripples will never, ever thin out. The pool is richer for its arrival and constant evolution.