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Progressive Electronic genre

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WanderingLogician View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingLogician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Progressive Electronic genre
    Posted: October 13 2012 at 11:45
The impetus of this post was the question, where are Aphex Twin and The Future Sound of London in relation to Prog Electronic? A search indicates that they are not in the discography. I'm not trying to start an argument over whether they should be on PA or not, I was just curious whether they have ever been considered for inclusion and if so what the discussion was like. I'll readily admit they don't bear a lot of overt similarity to the classic bands like Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk etc, but on the other hand Aphex Twin is about as experimental as one can get (home built equipment, etc) while FSOL has at least one full blown concept album (Lifeforms) almost symphonic in its use of recurring leitmotifs, and  they have been confirmed to consort with known progger Robert Fripp Big smile. Not to mention, Amorphous Androgynous is in PA, which is made up of the exact same guys.

Again, there is no intention of saying that including/not including these guys is wrong; I am more interested in a simple discussion about what relation these '90s electronic artists have to the greats like TD and Kraftwerk. Clearly there is more of a dance element in the work of the more modern artists (though it certainly is not simply "techno"), does that preclude them from being "prog"? At the same time Aphex Twin and FSOL can create sublime ambient soundscapes that IMO rival anything from the '70s. What is the opinion among PA here?


Edited by WanderingLogician - October 13 2012 at 11:48
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thellama73 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:09
I think Merzbow should be in Prog Electronic, but we don't always get what we want I guess. I honestly haven;t listened to those two bands enough to give an opinion. I like Autechre a lot, but don't really think they belong in the genre.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingLogician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:29
I love Autechre as well! Haven't listened to Merzbow, I should check them out.

I wouldn't have even brought it up except that I noticed some artists like Squarepusher and Amorphous Androgynous that are closely associated with the bands I mentioned are in PA; so it's more curiosity rather than trying to make a case for adding somebody. Honestly, the sound of Aphex Twin or Squarepusher or Autechre is so different from the ELPs, PFMs and Dream Theatres of the world that I could understand not adding them; a very small percentage of visitors here are likely to be interested in them anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:36
Sqaurepusher is here? That strikes me as odd. Let me know what you think of Merzbow. I think you may be surprised. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingLogician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:48
Surprised is a bit of an understatement! Shocked

The first track I found on youtube was "I'm coming to the garden...no sound, no memory". I didn't even make it past the static, then I tried "Piano Space for Marimo Kitty". I actually enjoyed that one. The main problem was that I wasn't expecting...that, so it took a few minutes to wrap my head around what was going on. Now I'm listening to "garden" again, and while not something I would play without headphones due to fears of getting lynched by the other people in my dorm it is surprisingly entertaining.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:51
Just listened to the first three songs on FSOL's Accelerator.  Not prog, IMHO.
As for Merzbow....Yikes!
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"I know that there's no time; I know that there's no rhyme!" -- Van der Graaf Generator, 1972
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A Person Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:55
1930 was my introduction to Merzbow, I think it was a good place to start.

Squarepusher is on PA due to the fusion elements in his earlier albums, I think.

I think Aphex Twin/Future Sound of London/Boards of Canada/etc. are prog, but the genre on PA is mostly for Berlin School style electronic music. I've wanted a "modern prog electronic" genre but I don't think that would happen.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:59
Hi,
 
There is a side of music, in any discipline, that is not going to be recognized by the "progressive" ... and this is on account of one scene and its styles, a lot more than anything else.
 
Jazz, was far more progressive, and selective in their experiments that most rock music ever was ... and the ECM label was a perfect example of the insane expressions and experiments at the time, from Keith Jarrett, to Egberto Gismonti, to Jan Garbarek, to Terje Rypdal, and so many others.
 
My biggest issue with the "progressive" definition, has been that it refuses to acknowledge more music that deserves the credit. Here are a few examples:
 
Beaver and Krause -- Early pioneers of electronica. Did a 3AM Swamp that Tangerine Dream made a tribute to.
 
Terry Riley -- Too classical minded with the synthesizer to be appreciated as "progressive".
 
Klaus Schulze -- Too far out there and into too many "meditations" to be appreciated. Yet he went from the huge moogs to the massive digital stuff and is still mixing the two and doing wonderful work. He also had a very large set of stuff with Aphex Twin and others that few will listen to or appreciate.
 
For all intents and purposes, the European electronic scene was massive and the number of people playing around with these sounds and ideas was not small. And the variations were deep and very cultural. In many ways, they were extremely progressive because they were experimenting with the medium in music ... and that is not something that is a part of the "progressive" definition, but it encompasses more than half of all the folks named as the topofthepop charts that we have or other websites have. This lack of respect for the experimentation and music, completely away from the conventional designs is what all this was about, and is being ignored. I kinda joke/think that too many people think that is not music because it does not have the melody embodied in the ABA format of most songs! ... music brought down to 1st grade level!!!!!
 
The other side of this, is that the definition is stuck on "rock". And it can not enjoy the insane experiments that folks like the "Incredible String Band" and many other singers did ... like Roy Harper, Peter Hammill (he's appreciated more for his band than his own work! -- which is FAR BETTER!)
 
In the end, this hurts a lot of other music disciplines that end up ignored, and should never be.
 
But I am not sure that everyone has as strong a sense of "history" and "time", as some of us have attempted to show ... instead of trying to show what the time and place was like through "progressive" ... which of course, is vapid, vaccuous, and completely insane ... specially when most of these folks do not even take in consideration the lyrics and the social points and stand that so many of these people undertook! In some ways, the electronic scene was safer, because it had no "lyrics" ... but at the same time, it also made them more invisible in the "public" eye ... because in top ten, you have to have lyrics! AND a format! ... which of course is NOT progressive at all!


Edited by moshkito - October 13 2012 at 13:05
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pianoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 12:59
I always liked this Merzbow record

INVOLVED: Electronic/Ambient/Progressive music. A collaboration between member of the post-rock collective BATTLESTATIONS and I. Enjoy!
INVOLVED Bandcamp
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingLogician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 14:10
@moshkito

Very well said! I think you make a valid point about many genres and artists being overlooked. In my opinion this stems from the question whether "progressive rock" embodies a particular sound or, instead, an attitude. This leads to a situation where The Flower Kings are considered "prog" because they sound like Yes (even though, IMO, mimicking a 20 year old style is not very progressive in the dictionary sense of the word), and Tool is considered progressive even though they don't particularly sound like Yes or Genesis because they take a genre (metal) and progress it by adding weird and diverse elements like ambient passages and fibonacci sequences or whatever, and this is considered to be similar to what the original bands were trying to do. At the end of the day I think it would be impossible to create and then abide by any hard measure of progginess and instead it comes down to what the collective body of prog fans (or on this website, the collaborators Wink) consider prog. And the truth is that while most people here will agree that Porcupine Tree or Ozric Tentacles is prog, bands or artists with less of a rock background like Terry Riley or Aphex Twin won't have much support because most fans are coming from rock backgrounds and aren't as interested. Which is as it should be, since basically a genre label is supposed to identify similar music. If 80% of people that like ELP like Transatlantic it makes a lot of sense to include Transatlantic in the genre, but if only 3% like Aphex Twin there is less value in thinking of the two artists occupying a similar niche.


Edited by WanderingLogician - October 13 2012 at 14:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingLogician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 14:15
Originally posted by infocat

Just listened to the first three songs on FSOL's Accelerator.  Not prog, IMHO.

If you haven't listened to them before I would highly recommend Lifeforms instead. Personally I have never even listened to Accelerator.

Last.fm says about Accelerator: "It is widely regarded as their most “club friendly” album in that almost all the tracks have a sonic, dance friendly vibe and it doesn’t contain much of their later, more off-beat, complex, ambient techniques."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 14:33
Originally posted by WanderingLogician

Originally posted by infocat

Just listened to the first three songs on FSOL's Accelerator.  Not prog, IMHO.

If you haven't listened to them before I would highly recommend Lifeforms instead. Personally I have never even listened to Accelerator.

Last.fm says about Accelerator: "It is widely regarded as their most “club friendly” album in that almost all the tracks have a sonic, dance friendly vibe and it doesn’t contain much of their later, more off-beat, complex, ambient techniques."
Accelerator what what came up when I googled "Spotify Future Sounds of London".  But I will try Lifeforms.  Still doubtful about their "proggyness".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sheavy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 14:51
Yea..   This has been brought up countless times. I fully agree that bands like Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Merzbow, Masonna, Ramleh, and many others should be here since they are progressive electronic, but the definition here on PA (unfortunately) doesn't make it possible for these bands to be accepted. And it ain't budging to include these bands any time soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sheavy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 15:09
Hey, Wandering. Heres some stuff you might want to check out if you're interested in getting into the noise/drone/Indus stuff.
Ramleh.
 
 
 
 
 
Comando Bruno.
 
 
 
 
 
Esplendor Geometrico.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Floyd Steely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2012 at 15:10
For what it's worth, I'm comfortable with excluding most IDM/electronica artists from PA for the same reasons most have given. I believe Squarepusher is here more for his not-so-techno albums, like the more avant-jazz "Budakhan Mindphone".
 
But anyone who says FSOL's "Lifeforms" isn't prog doesn't understand what prog really is. That one album ticks off most of the checkboxes of what we all commonly define prog to be. (And if the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Bjork and Tori Amos are included here, this seems like an especially egregious omission.)
 
Personally, I consider "Lifeforms" to represent the culmination of everything the progressive electronic genre had developed over the years, recontextualized for the 1990s electronic-music boom era. It's an undeniable classic that transcends genre, and it remains unparalleled to this day.
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