Not to be outdone by Cor and Flicker’s recent Electro Swing posts, I’d like to bring my own bouncy house sub-genre to this party: Carnival House!
Like many EDM sub-genres it’s a bit hard to describe what makes a House track Carnival, but you definitely know it when you hear it. Does it call up images of carnival rides whirling around, lights blazing against the darkened sky? Probably Carnival House. Does it make you think of clowns on acid dancing?? Definitely Carnival House.
In reality a lot of the tracks have Balkan, Latin, and Swing influences, rely heavily on the up beat and often feature horns of some kind… but I just like to think of them as cotton candy and Ferris Wheel influenced. Check it:
I think that De La Soul were wrong, because the magic number is clearly “two.” I guess three worked for them, but when you’re talking about E(D)M groups, there are just so many great examples of two. I mean Plaid, BoC, Daft Punk, Modeselektor, Autechre…. Anyway.
I’m not a chiptune aficionado, by any means, and frankly, most of the stuff that I’ve heard is not very impressive. It usually sounds like old Nintendo music, instead of music composed using MIDI synths. These guys use a Commodore 64 with layered guitar, bass and piano. It’s fantastic. It is also rare that I like an entire album these days, of any genre. Since I bought their album, I’ve played it about eight times all the way through. I bought it yesterday.
Guess it’s about time for a new “-step” to emerge. If you haven’t heard the rumblings, Drumstep is to Drum N Bass what Dubstep is to Breaks - heavy and half-time. Drumstep is enough of a production style that it has registered on the Beatport charts as a theme, and it’s listed on Wikipedia as a subgenre of Drum n’ bass, but it’s hard to know whether it is unique enough to take hold and grow into a defined style. While Dubstep’s 65-70bpm plod felt at least sort of original (if not obnoxiously so to some), Drumstep hovers higher in the 85-95bpm range, which puts it a lot closer to Hip-Hop in head nod-ability.
I decided to explore it a bit to make up my own mind, and the result is this here podcast. Even though at the moment a lot of Drumstep tracks sound to me like good ol’ DnB songs that got stuck in a breakdown, we do love our labels here in EDM-land so we might as well just stop quibbling over names and enjoy bangin’ tracks right?
1. Tinie Tempah - Wonderman ft. Ellie Goulding (Bare Noize remix)
2. Beastie Boys - Watcha Want (StickBubbly remix)
3. Stephen Jacobs - Blind Dreams
4. Discosynthetique - Feelings of Disbelief (Farace’s Believe in Drumstep remix)
5. Plan B - Love Goes Down (Doctor P remix)
We now interrupt your regularly scheduled producer contest to bring you a piece of dance music cultural lore.
Back in the day, actually in 1986, when Detroit Techno was new, a producer named Kevin Saunderson ended up coming with an iconic sound - simple, effective, growling, with tons of built in movement - the essence of low end. Check out his bassline in Just Want Another Chance:
Note: Speakers with bass response or headphones HIGHLY recommended! We mean it!
Whoa, that’s some old school wobble….
Remind you of anything? This sound has come to be known as the Reese bassline (from Saunderson’s nickname “Reese”), and has played a huge part in the development of jungle and drum and bass as we know them!
For instance, Try Ray Keith’s 1994 tune Renegade - Terrorist, a true classic of the DnB genre:
The sound is easy to program and replicate - it’s just some detuned saw waves that beat against each other to cause a pulsating effect (you can find a basic description here if you want) - but has spawned generations of innovation.
Even with all the new craziness going on in the world of DnB today, it’s still a go to sound for many producers.
Check out the recent Commercial Suicide release Trei - Justify:
The sound here is made bigger through additional unison and some extra juice, but the concept is the exact same - it’s our friend the Reese bass! Damn that thing is hot. STILL!
You’ll hear DnB heads throwing around this term all the time, and this is what they mean.
This sound is key to the genre, and completely unforgettable…ever since people have come out with endlesss variations by distorting and mangling the frack out of it, but it all comes back to the Reese bass!
So take this moment to thank Kevin Saunderson for being awesome so many years ago!
Raise a glass and turn up the BASS!
Almost all of our MP3s are strictly for evaluation purposes. If you enjoy the tracks you hear, please support the artists by purchasing their music at a place like beatport or Amazon's mp3 store.
In some cases we put up classic songs that are simply impossible to purchase anymore. We hope that you download and disseminate these, as we believe the world is a better place with more copies of these tracks in the hands of competent DJs. Spread them around!
All of this said, we'd hate to cost anyone business. All links to MP3s will be removed at the request of the artist or their label. Feel free to contact us.