Peer Comment: Jamol Alexander Electronic Music Innovations

Hey Jamol, it is absolutely crazy to think of how far electronic music has come since iconic artist such as Kraftwerk of the 70’s and New Order in the 80’s. I think what I find most interesting about New Order is how adaptable they were as musicians to make the transition from punk to electronic music. The cost of staying relevant I guess. Later on electronic music would also be redefined once more with Daft Punk and combing electronic music with hip-hop. There are truly no limits to electronic music it seems. I myself combine electronic music with a post-hardcore in my band DONTFEEDTHEBIRDS! I really only see electronic music getting bigger from here.

Peer Comment: Erin Floyd Marvin Gaye

Hey Erin, I love your analyst on Marvin Gaye’s album “What’s Going On.” I completely agree with you when you said that you could listen to this album all day. It truly is an iconic piece of art that I hope gets carried on through the ages. I think that the theme that protests the war was a very powerful theme that really reflects the negative impact that the Vietnam War had on Marvin’s brother and America in general. I don’t feel that this album would have had near the same impact if Frankie Gaye had not been in the war to give Marvin a real inside look to how it was affecting everyone involved. I guess Berry Gordy didn’t know what he was talking about.

Peer Comment: Taylor Foster Van Halen’s 1984

Hello Taylor! I too feel that 1984 was a huge influence in the 1980’s. Guitar players all around the world still learn some of their first songs off 1984. Many sub-genres today are based off the ideals derived for this album. Synthcore, which is just a new metal version of what Van Halen accomplished with 1984, has become a huge industry and is currently one of the top sub-genres listen to today. I actually currently play in a band that takes these same elements into account when writing music. Just the fact that 1984 still has such an extreme impact on rock artist today is nothing less than incredible. Great research and great explanation, Taylor.

This is Spinal Tap

“This is Spinal Tap” is a documentary style movie that follows a fictional band called Spinal Tap, who goes on a tour 17 years after their prime.  The documentary follows the band on their misadventures and includes clips of the good ole days, interviews, and backstage footage.  After watching, people often thought Spinal Tap was a real band. Naturally, they decided why not and wrote original songs for an album, which was actually the soundtrack for the movie.    The album included songs such as “Hell Hole”, “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”, “Heavy Duty”, “Rock and Roll Creation”, “America”, “Cups and Cakes”, “Big Bottom”, “Sex Farm”, “Stonehenge”, “Gimme Some Money”, and “Listen to The Flower People”.   “Gimme Some Money” ended up being featured in the 1991 comedy film “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.” “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” ended up being featured in the video game Guitar Hero II. “Big Bottom”, would go on to be covered by Soundgarden. American Express would, also later use “Gimme Some Money”, for their commercials. Finally, “Big Bottom” would be aired on the 2007 Rhino Records release, The Heavy Metal Box.  Even though the movie and the band started as entertainment, poke-fun type creation and the music from the soundtrack would go on to become industry heavy hitters with big companies looking for a way to market their products with something fun and relevant. The albums from the band are credited to three men; Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer who produced the music, which was then recorded, engineered, and mixed by Patrick Mcdonald. Thanks to the professional production style of the music “This is Spinal Tap”, they were able to fool America with a real sound of a fake band.  This is a great example of a product going above and beyond and just goes to show, no matter if it’s a joke or not, if you have a good product, it will sell.  I feel that everyone can take away from that in knowing that if you do good work there’s nowhere to go but up.

Kraftwerk

Being one of the first solely electronic acts in the music industry, Kraftwerk exploded onto the scene in the early 1970’s and paved the way for many to follow becoming one of the most iconic electronic music groups of all time. Kraftwerk had many ideas and influences behind their work, the majority being a tie to their homeland and American pop music such as the Beach Boys. Although Kraftwerk had many other influences that often they would express in small jokes such at the theme of Radio-activity whose title suggest nuclear technology going hand in hand with radio broadcasting. Kraftwerk most likely had such a large impact on the electronic music due to their music being created only with the use of synthesizers and home-made drum machines. But what would gain them popularity would overall be the themes and ideas behind each album. Each album had its own element ranging from driving on the Autobahn to themes about Germany and Europe which would become an over all them of German artist found within Kraftwerk’s inner circle of friends. For being an entirely electronic act, and being the pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk’s production quality had surpass most others in the early 1970’s. With instrumentals ranging from arpeggiations, synthesizers, virtual instruments, and with the help of Kraftwerk’s arrangements the would become in a league of their own while they developed their futuristic sound. Even though Kraftwerk went through many line up changes, Kraftwerk was able to put out many iconic albums including: Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express, and The Man-Machine which were all released in the early 1970’s during the prime of Kraftwerk. Later releases included: Computer World in 1981, Electric Café in 1986 and in 2003 with the even more popular Tour De France Soundtracks. As an avid EDM listener, understanding that Kraftwerk was ahead of their time impacted me in realizing how advanced and how progressive Kraftwerk’s sound and arrangements were. Today, you can’t listen to EDM without hearing one of Kraftwerk innovative discoveries. As an industry professional, understanding how they took such primitive synthesizers, home-made machines and used them to make such quality music and sounds take the technology available today and inspires you to take it to the limit.