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Darkness and Dubstep

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Postby intoccabile » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:18 am

We tend to confuse hard, noisy and dark.

In my humble opinion, a dubstep piece doesn't have to be hard, " filthy ", messy or noisy in order to be dark.

" Darkness " in dubstep, to me, is something that transcends distorted nonsense and loud mixdowns.

My question for all of you is this :

Dubstep tracks have certainly become louder, noisier, filthier over the years... but have they become darker, in general ?

Perhaps this trend in dubstep production ( noisy top ends, extreme use of compression, ridiculous mixdowns ) is the sign of a growing inability to convey " darkness " through construction ?
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Postby boomnoise » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:08 am

well, the evolution of the music out of dark garage is absolutely key here.
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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:09 am

Ill answer your question from my personal experience.

Basically, im from the darkside. But i understand the real darkside because im completely righteous. As in, I live with righteous intentions but sometimes I move to the darkside frequency to get my inspiration. I surround myself with righteous succesful people but because when i was growing up I was surrounded alot by the darkside frequency, because of where I grew up its a place I like to visit because its familiar to me.

But now ive reached self realisation I visit all places, regulairily, not just the darkside if u get me. Right now im in G - land. Maybe tomorrow ill go to flyboy land. Maybe on Tuesday i'll go grime time. The possibilites are endless.

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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:32 am

oh and another thing.

i hear wot ur saying, basically im starting to think that the music hasnt gotten darker either, sure the sounds r a little bit more mad but thats only cos certain other aspects of society are getting involved.

certain people who shall not be mentioned want to experience the real darkness but are from certain sections of society which have not granted them this pleasure, they dont know how the ghetto moves but are experiencing it to an extent from the dubstep which first came about.

now they are attempting to recontextualise this darkness into their society. some people may say "faux" darkness, but it is wot it is.

shit, I need to go to sleep but having this much energy can be a burden lol
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Postby +torment+ » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:53 am

SCORN

always has been, always will be. before dubstep even. Its always worked there.
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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:03 am

+TORMENT+ wrote:SCORN

always has been, always will be. before dubstep even. Its always worked there.


do u care to elaborate rudeboy?
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Postby +torment+ » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:03 am

.. and to further discuss, DUB music originally has had a certain darkness in alot of places. Politics can be "dark", not pretty to look at. For early Uk specific stuff, On U Sound, African Head Charge and all that has always been a bit dark. Further back, PIL? We can go on. When you talk "dubstep" there's lots of variables and influences.


It kinda goes with the territory i think.
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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:18 am

+TORMENT+ wrote:.. and to further discuss, DUB music originally has had a certain darkness in alot of places. Politics can be "dark", not pretty to look at. For early Uk specific stuff, On U Sound, African Head Charge and all that has always been a bit dark. Further back, PIL? We can go on. When you talk "dubstep" there's lots of variables and influences.


It kinda goes with the territory i think.


i hear that still
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Postby badger » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:37 am

Intoccabile wrote:We tend to confuse hard, noisy and dark.

In my humble opinion, a dubstep piece doesn't have to be hard, " filthy ", messy or noisy in order to be dark.

" Darkness " in dubstep, to me, is something that transcends distorted nonsense and loud mixdowns.

My question for all of you is this :

Dubstep tracks have certainly become louder, noisier, filthier over the years... but have they become darker, in general ?

Perhaps this trend in dubstep production ( noisy top ends, extreme use of compression, ridiculous mixdowns ) is the sign of a growing inability to convey " darkness " through construction ?

i agree entirely. i've lost count of how many times people have referred to dubstep as dark when to be honest i don't think a lot of it is. possibly that's just my personal opinion though

whilst a lot of tunes do sound dark by using harsh or "noisy" sounds perhaps this is a rather lazy way of conveying darkness in music. in other forms of art (literature for example) you can paint a picture that is very dark under the surface whilst having a seemingly light facade. i wonder how possible this is in music?

your tunes for instance have a certain dark gothicness to them, yet in comparisson to a lot of newer dubstep it actually has an almost happy sound to it. when you can give something a dark sound without the cliche of harsh abbrasiveness you know you're doing something right :)

i could probably think up a better answer if i'd actually woken up. damn mornings :P
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Postby sully_shanks » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:41 pm

ozols man wrote:certain people who shall not be mentioned want to experience the real darkness but are from certain sections of society which have not granted them this pleasure, they dont know how the ghetto moves but are experiencing it to an extent from the dubstep which first came about.

now they are attempting to recontextualise this darkness into their society. some people may say "faux" darkness, but it is wot it is.


thats pretty poigniant...
hebdige (big subcultural writer) said a similar thing about the beatniks in the 50s - middle class guys saw poverty, speakeasies, jazz etc and romanticised the freedom of having very little in the material sense. so they chucked it all in and lived on the road, man. its a similar dynamic...
opposites attract...
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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:45 pm

sully_shanks wrote:
ozols man wrote:certain people who shall not be mentioned want to experience the real darkness but are from certain sections of society which have not granted them this pleasure, they dont know how the ghetto moves but are experiencing it to an extent from the dubstep which first came about.

now they are attempting to recontextualise this darkness into their society. some people may say "faux" darkness, but it is wot it is.


thats pretty poigniant...
hebdige (big subcultural writer) said a similar thing about the beatniks in the 50s - middle class guys saw poverty, speakeasies, jazz etc and romanticised the freedom of having very little in the material sense. so they chucked it all in and lived on the road, man. its a similar dynamic...
opposites attract...


yeh trust me brov im on this ting. society told me to fight it but i am no longer resisiting and im simply going with it! best decision of my life!

oh yeh im also writing a book right now, theres a snippet in the secret ninja hide out.

kool
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Postby shonky » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:55 pm

badger wrote:whilst a lot of tunes do sound dark by using harsh or "noisy" sounds perhaps this is a rather lazy way of conveying darkness in music. in other forms of art (literature for example) you can paint a picture that is very dark under the surface whilst having a seemingly light facade. i wonder how possible this is in music?


People thinking that making loads of Robot Wars sounds is dark and evil are deluded. To be honest, listening back to early jungle and late hardcore, you'd often get a certain darkness in the tunes alongside more upbeat elements. I think the harder music tries to be dark, the more ludicrous it sounds generally. Was thinking of the Nine Inch Nails model - you have the really distorted, industrial workouts but the darkest things they did that I can recall were "I just want something I can never have" and "Hurt", both of which are probably a lot darker due to the stripped accompaniment and lack of histrionics.
Hmm....

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Postby stormfield » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:01 pm

Darkness has always been about the atmospherics and vibe behind the beats.

No doubt it's possible to batter people sensless with drumwork and basslines but the real deal is when a producer can scare you shitless even without the beats, for example Scorn with his beatless Lull project.

When one little sound emerging from the silence is enough to make you shiver.

That said, "obvious" attempts like using hollywood horror vocals don't quite work for me.

... just an opinion, of course ;)
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Postby kidlogic » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:04 pm

Shonky wrote:
badger wrote:whilst a lot of tunes do sound dark by using harsh or "noisy" sounds perhaps this is a rather lazy way of conveying darkness in music. in other forms of art (literature for example) you can paint a picture that is very dark under the surface whilst having a seemingly light facade. i wonder how possible this is in music?


People thinking that making loads of Robot Wars sounds is dark and evil are deluded. To be honest, listening back to early jungle and late hardcore, you'd often get a certain darkness in the tunes alongside more upbeat elements. I think the harder music tries to be dark, the more ludicrous it sounds generally. Was thinking of the Nine Inch Nails model - you have the really distorted, industrial workouts but the darkest things they did that I can recall were "I just want something I can never have" and "Hurt", both of which are probably a lot darker due to the stripped accompaniment and lack of histrionics.


Agreed. 100% Was gonna say something similar but couldnt word it right, how some of the darkest sounding tunes Ive ever heard are usually the most minimal sounding aswell. That 'Something I Can Never Have' example is perfect, as is 'Hurt'.
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Postby m9918868 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:13 pm

stormfield wrote:Darkness has always been about the atmospherics and vibe behind the beats.

No doubt it's possible to batter people sensless with drumwork and basslines but the real deal is when a producer can scare you shitless even without the beats, for example Scorn with his beatless Lull project.

When one little sound emerging from the silence is enough to make you shiver.

That said, "obvious" attempts like using hollywood horror vocals don't quite work for me.

... just an opinion, of course ;)


Although I agree with what your advocating for, I think it's a pity people tend to identify dark with scary. There's more to it than that, no?
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Postby keggarhey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:45 pm

I think the distinction as some says is between brutal and dark...
this is two completely different thing

For example Rage against the machine is kinda brutal but is full of positive feeling like willing to change the world to make it better

But if you stay in metal sunn 0))) is not brutal but is dark as hell ! so slow so heavy and you know is kinda hard to listen to a complete song :twisted:

I think there is the same thing in dubstep some want it brutal (like lot of breakstep thing)

Some want it dark (listen to ekaros or scorn for example)

Of course you can do it both :twisted:
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Postby ozols man » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:54 pm

basically

theres an unlimited combinations of feeling in the universe. best believe everything here on earth is felt then in some mad galaxy somewhere else beings are feeling something else.

if u want to make truly darkside music, u must live the darkside. get me
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Postby nousd » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:36 pm

Intoccabile wrote:We tend to confuse hard, noisy and dark.

In my humble opinion, a dubstep piece doesn't have to be hard, " filthy ", messy or noisy in order to be dark.

" Darkness " in dubstep, to me, is something that transcends distorted nonsense and loud mixdowns.


Interesting thread. Lately I'm thinking more in terms of weight and clarity (not so much the actual sound as the intent) to describe what I enjoy as distinct from what I appreciate.
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Postby sully_shanks » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:51 pm

kidlogic wrote:
Shonky wrote:
badger wrote:whilst a lot of tunes do sound dark by using harsh or "noisy" sounds perhaps this is a rather lazy way of conveying darkness in music. in other forms of art (literature for example) you can paint a picture that is very dark under the surface whilst having a seemingly light facade. i wonder how possible this is in music?


People thinking that making loads of Robot Wars sounds is dark and evil are deluded. To be honest, listening back to early jungle and late hardcore, you'd often get a certain darkness in the tunes alongside more upbeat elements. I think the harder music tries to be dark, the more ludicrous it sounds generally. Was thinking of the Nine Inch Nails model - you have the really distorted, industrial workouts but the darkest things they did that I can recall were "I just want something I can never have" and "Hurt", both of which are probably a lot darker due to the stripped accompaniment and lack of histrionics.


Agreed. 100% Was gonna say something similar but couldnt word it right, how some of the darkest sounding tunes Ive ever heard are usually the most minimal sounding aswell. That 'Something I Can Never Have' example is perfect, as is 'Hurt'.


i spoke with someone who worked with reznor, who assured me the NIN business plan was nothing more that a scheme to ream the kids from the broken suburban homes of america. now thats darkside.
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Postby shonky » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:08 pm

sully_shanks wrote:i spoke with someone who worked with reznor, who assured me the NIN business plan was nothing more that a scheme to ream the kids from the broken suburban homes of america. now thats darkside.


Shit it worked for Eminem :D
Hmm....

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