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Darkness and Dubstep

debate, appreciation, interviews, reviews (events or releases), videos, radio shows

Postby setspeed » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:12 pm

sully_shanks wrote:
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.


wouldn't be surprised, (although i was into it at the time) but if so then it's a business model that has been honed to perfection by the emo scene! :lol: (check these lyrics for the ultimate in snide


anyway back on topic, yes yes yes

it well annoyed me in the DnB scene that you had Ed Rush and Optical, circa Wormhole and early Virus doing stuff that was geniunely dark; dark as in moody, dark as in atmospheric. then within 2 years, dark DnB was suddenly appropriated and turned into the absolute bilge that Stakka & Skynet, Panacea etc were churning out. it was industrial, it was hard, but it wasn't especially 'dark' as such.
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Postby keggarhey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:53 pm

for the nu-techstep scene with chrome and offkey recording is way darker than actual darkstep (like current value for example)
Saying that i don't say it's bad sometime i want brutal business sometime dark one !

But to stay in drum'n'bass Amit is way darker than everyone else !
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Postby corpsey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:39 pm

When you start thinking about it, its quite hard to know what people mean by 'dark', or at least how you can differentiate between a tune that taps into pure aggression and a tune that taps into fear/unease, or come to it a tune that taps into melancholy/depression. I think all of those emotions can be seen as negative and 'dark' in some way, but then I agree with you that I wouldn't think of an aggro tune like, say, Spongebob as being 'dark'. A lot of really aggressive tunes are actually very upbeat or even comical- the classic example would be Cockney Thug.

So it can't just be aggression that makes darkness, so what is it? Minor keys? Horror movie samples? It's also interesting to consider how darkness might be perceived by different people in different tunes. For example I think of Circling as quite a dark tune but others might not see that in it at all, perhaps they see it as simply hypnotic.

In my opinion the 'darkest' tunes are those tunes that use a lot of space and atmospheric elements to create a sense of dread i.e. Loefah's 3rd Choice RMX. But then there's also tunes which are relentless and seem quite cold and emotionless in quite a calculated way that are dark, I suppose a tune like 'Dead by Dawn' by Future Forces, or a very minimal techno tune might be like that.

For me most of the really interesting dubstep thats come out recently hasn't been dark, and in fact has been very soulful, upbeat and 'colourful'. I suppose a recent (though probably not recently released) tune that I think of as very dark is Mantis VIP by Blackdown/Dusk. It would be interesting to see if that's their take on it, I just find it quite unsettling and uncanny.
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Postby prisoner » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:48 pm

I think we need to make a distinction between ANGRY & DARK.

I think most stuff that people are commenting on as being masturbatory tends to fall to the side of just being angry and trying to flex as much as possible. It like seeing who can scream the loudest. Sure you're loud, but what does that mean? You can't say a whole lot in a scream....

(no pun intedended either ; )

setspeed wrote:
it well annoyed me in the DnB scene that you had Ed Rush and Optical, circa Wormhole and early Virus doing stuff that was geniunely dark; dark as in moody, dark as in atmospheric. then within 2 years, dark DnB was suddenly appropriated and turned into the absolute bilge that Stakka & Skynet, Panacea etc were churning out. it was industrial, it was hard, but it wasn't especially 'dark' as such.


errr....stakka & skynet were making tunes along similar lines to optical for as long as optical was. to put them in the same boat as Panacea is just straight ignorant. their older stuff sounds nothing like the obnoxious drivel that panacea put forth.
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Postby blackdown » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:51 pm

I think the pursuit of darkness has become an aethetic dead end for dubstep 2008. a "zone of fruitless intensification" as Simon Reynolds would put it.

back in the day, what attracted me to the first dubstep, ie El-B and Horsepower's pioneering work was that it was edgy, ballanced between light and dark, far more exciting than the over-hard distorted Bad Company and co were ruining d&b with. I stand by that.

But I'm not interested in dubstep lite right now either, but instead of dark, i'm looking for touches of colour, be it twisted, funky, warm, unsettling, sexy, edgy, wonky or some nother other...
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Postby prisoner » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:55 pm

no kidding....

it's always about the contrasts for me.

those tunes with haunting strings and airy vocals.

or soothing melodies with rough breaks.

i think kode's tunes are almost always like this. same with mala's.
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Postby corpsey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:58 pm

I was going to say, are tunes like Lean FWD and Bury The Boy considered dark, or deep?

This subject is confusing
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Postby prisoner » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:06 pm

can't they be both?
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Postby slothrop » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:23 pm

Blackdown wrote:I think the pursuit of darkness has become an aethetic dead end for dubstep 2008. a "zone of fruitless intensification" as Simon Reynolds would put it.

back in the day, what attracted me to the first dubstep, ie El-B and Horsepower's pioneering work was that it was edgy, ballanced between light and dark, far more exciting than the over-hard distorted Bad Company and co were ruining d&b with. I stand by that.

But I'm not interested in dubstep lite right now either, but instead of dark, i'm looking for touches of colour, be it twisted, funky, warm, unsettling, sexy, edgy, wonky or some nother other...

:z:
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Postby ekaros » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:46 pm

simply dead-deep dubstep can be boring... believe me, i know :)
i'm trying to colour my music now with melodies and noises
like these ones (spamspamspam)> Ekaros - Good Night Ep
http://ekaros.net dungeonStyle dubstep :)
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Postby signus » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:05 am

I think Burial's work is far darker than any of the aggressive, harsh sounding tunes out there e.g Excision, Noiz etc. Burial taps into a part of my brain and Im sure many other people feel the same. It's haunting and I feel if you sat some randomer in a dark room and played them a Burial tune they would think of a lot "darker" things than they would if you bashed their head in with an aggy tune. Don't get me wrong coz I love both :twisted:
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Postby corpsey » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:11 am

prisoner wrote:can't they be both?


Not in my genrereich they can't
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Postby ozols man » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:26 am

lol. im gonna let u know i right genuinely dark beats. basically my life is in genuine danger, im not going to elaborate, but if ur on a higher state and reading this ull understand. but as of now as i type, im ok. im blessed because ive decided im going to usher in the new consciousness on my own terms, not on the terms of "bablyon". bless the man who may or may not be reading this! the future is bright!
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Postby prisoner » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:01 am

ozols man wrote:basically my life is in genuine danger



kind of like the kitty in you avatar.
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Postby epithet » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:07 am

ozols man wrote:lol. im gonna let u know i right genuinely dark beats. basically my life is in genuine danger, im not going to elaborate, but if ur on a higher state and reading this ull understand. but as of now as i type, im ok. im blessed because ive decided im going to usher in the new consciousness on my own terms, not on the terms of "bablyon". bless the man who may or may not be reading this! the future is bright!


lay off the crack son
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Postby claw » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:18 am

if its too loud....you're too old.
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Postby doomstep » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:10 am

Dark is a street term for avant-garde, dark fucks with your head, re-wires perception.

Tunes like 'Tell Me' & 'The Cure & The Cause' are darker than all the kung-fu grip / nu-metal posturing of most 'dark dubstep' tho.

... not enough joy, not enough darkness.

Corprot rap works on the same principle as NIN... the john wayne principle, You (middle class white kids) can't actually go out n blast on dem fools, but while the song plays you are actually there, living it - autobiography of a wolf style.
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Postby shonky » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 am

Blackdown wrote:I think the pursuit of darkness has become an aethetic dead end for dubstep 2008. a "zone of fruitless intensification" as Simon Reynolds would put it.

back in the day, what attracted me to the first dubstep, ie El-B and Horsepower's pioneering work was that it was edgy, ballanced between light and dark, far more exciting than the over-hard distorted Bad Company and co were ruining d&b with. I stand by that.

But I'm not interested in dubstep lite right now either, but instead of dark, i'm looking for touches of colour, be it twisted, funky, warm, unsettling, sexy, edgy, wonky or some nother other...


Yeah, it's far more than an either/or debate and there's a bigger palette to draw from than most seem to appreciate. It's strange how this has become so polarised in the last couple of years.
Hmm....

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Postby ozols man » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:05 am

epithet wrote:
ozols man wrote:lol. im gonna let u know i right genuinely dark beats. basically my life is in genuine danger, im not going to elaborate, but if ur on a higher state and reading this ull understand. but as of now as i type, im ok. im blessed because ive decided im going to usher in the new consciousness on my own terms, not on the terms of "bablyon". bless the man who may or may not be reading this! the future is bright!


lay off the crack son


lol!!! i dont do drugs. read my words now and feel it. I HAVE REACHED ENLIGHTENMENT. anyone on this board can say what they want, it is not of concern to me. the internet u see IS. its a product of the old world. HOWEVER, it can be used to save the old world as of right now, and usher in the new real blissful world RIGHT NOW. so if u have a question for me, fire away.
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Postby ozols man » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:12 am

prisoner wrote:
ozols man wrote:basically my life is in genuine danger



kind of like the kitty in you avatar.


EXACTLY BROV! everything i have done up until RIGHT NOW has been for a reason, alot of people have tried to take me to different worlds but because im so sure of mine, the world is safe. wot u must understand if ur reading this right now is ur world is fine, THE WORLD needs ur world in order to realise itself and save its self. YEH!
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