December 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let’s stop pretending we like techno music

A popular and currently unavoidable trend on campuses nationwide is the techno music craze. Before I get into it — I fear my previous statements grant too much credit. While “music” may technically be the most appropriate term to categorize this glitchy-sounding, uninspired noise, such a designation undermines the true artistic nature of music. Techno is a poor attempt to substitute robot sounds for what was once actual instrumental and artistic human expression.

Courtesy Mixtribe Photo/Flickr

A computer is not an instrument. Any Joe Schmo with a MacBook Pro and a Wi-Fi connection can create techno and get his or her sounds out to the public. This ease adds to the commodification of music —  a trend already in action. This marginalization should be alarming to true music fans. The logic is simple: if everyone can easily make music, it’ll bring the “music average” down. When a bunch of inexperienced musicians oversaturate listeners with a bunch of bad music, music that was once considered laughable is suddenly considered decent; what was once considered average is then perceived as above average; what was once considered above average will be called great. It’s a phenomenon that happened years ago with pop music. In turn, it becomes more challenging to find good music, and bad musicians will continue to sell out arenas worldwide, tightening their grip on listeners and further perpetuating this cycle.

The concept of techno was doomed from the start, similar to how a picture made in Photoshop can appear similar to an oil painting, yet is worthless in the eyes of art buffs. Techno music made on a computer using synthetic sounds is just as empty. Combining samples of other people’s songs into one and calling it one’s own is like taking a bunch of famous paintings and trying to somehow form them into one new and therefore “original” painting. The catch is that this newly formed painting would look just as terrible as techno sounds because the stolen elements become mere illusions of their original selves. Worse still, the elements lose their intended artistic integrities and purposes.

What bothers me most about techno is how terrible the sound actually is. While real music spurs revolutions, subtlety reflects entire eras, or provides a means of artistic expression, techno has defined itself as a cheap and scattered, non-flowing conglomerate of sounds. Instead of thoughtful lyrics and carefully constructed melodies, techno is characterized by occasional “bass-drops” and wholly unmoving, random lyric samples like “ohhh sometimes, I get a goooood feeling.”

People need to stop pretending that they actually like techno and instead admit that what they like is the experience of going to techno shows — there’s a big difference.

It may seem that rap and hip-hop suffer from the same robot noise syndrome as techno, but at least rap songs often have insightful, calculated lyrics. In this sense, rap is more like real music than techno, as techno is derivative of some kind of primal experience, rather than one of art.

I understand that going to techno shows is a good time and I don’t mean to offend anyone in attendance. I too have been to a techno show and have had a decent time. Instead, I want to distinguish between going to a techno ‘show’ and music ‘concert.’ They’re completely different things. Parading around as if you’re going to a Deadmau5 show because he is such a good musician is disingenuous. If you admit you’re going for the experience — fine — but let’s stop pretending that these D.J.s are actual musicians, or even anything more than decent producers who can put together a synchronized light show.

Going to a musical concert is about watching talented and gifted musicians perform their songs live. Not everyone has the ability to do this, which makes live music so special and awe-inspiring. Techno performers get on stage, hit the ‘play’ button, and watch crowds go wild, all the while collecting big checks from their premium ticket prices. While this type of spectacle isn’t worthless, it’s not as pure nor as genuine a music experience. It begs the question of whether or not these techno “performers” are pulling the wool over our eyes.

I have this theory that techno performers are the ultimate masters of lip-syncing; a Milli Vanilli or Ashlee Simpson on steroids. Think about how easy it is for these people to go on stage and simply press play on a pre-made set of tracks, while, of course, mixing in a few dozen necessary fist pumps. The nature of techno makes it inherently easy to fake a live set, especially in comparison to traditional musicians with real instruments. When someone is faking playing guitar, it’s immediately obvious. When someone is lip-syncing lyrics, it’s laughably noticeable. Techno is able to sidestep this problem because its origin is within a mysterious and unseen computer. No one knows the live performance’s ratio of computer versus actual performance; for all we know, a techno show could be performed by entirely computers. Even the images on the performer’s computers could be simulated, prearranged screenshots like the highly-complex computer screenshots in any N.A.S.A. or sci-fi movie. The elaborately lit techno stage shows become a distraction to mask their lack of substance. Too often, people fall victim to this ruse, in turn assuming techno is a legitimate form of music because they had a good time at the show.

What’s most bothersome is the legitimacy and credibility these techno performers receive. They’re treated like elite musicians and charge lofty ticket prices when indeed they’re more like ringleaders in a circus. They’re at the middle of the show, but the show could go on without them even being in the building. Surely a Bob Dylan show couldn’t go on without Bob Dylan. While it’s great to go and have fun at a techno show, let’s stop putting these individual performers on pedestals and stop pretending we like the “music” they play and start considering that what we really like is the experience. Or, we can just sit around while they dumb down our music and collect the checks.

Ryan Walsh is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at rdwalsh@student.umass.edu.

Comments
193 Responses to “Let’s stop pretending we like techno music”
  1. Step says:

    So any major bands that use digital amplification tech is not music in this case, considering they use a computer to replicate the sound of an amplifier?

    So many holes in your argument. This here, what you have displayed, is an unparalleled level of ignorance.

  2. shiz says:

    Skimmed the first few sentences and it seems that this article is full of old-fashioned ideas.

    Computers not only act as an instrument, but are capable of perfectly recording and/or synthesizing other instruments, including by acting as devices for other instruments to hook up to.

    Computers facilitate the production of most if not all commercial music today.

    Troll? Or delusional?

  3. corpsert says:

    Stop liking what I don’t like!

  4. dan says:

    i hate singer/songwriter music. every idiot with a guitar can make a song and publish it…..

  5. Drew Terronez says:

    Kid Koala putting on an awesome light show: http://youtu.be/KbFIGFv4GLQ

  6. alice says:

    Ryan: Dave Grohl also went on to say this after the show

    “I love music. I love ALL kinds of music. From Kyuss to Kraftwerk, Pinetop Perkins to Prodigy, Dead Kennedys to Deadmau5…..I love music. Electronic or acoustic, it doesn’t matter to me. The simple act of creating music is a beautiful gift that ALL human beings are blessed with. And the diversity of one musician’s personality to the next is what makes music so exciting and…..human.”

    So don’t get it twisted.

  7. Drew Terronez says:

    A popular and currently unavoidable trend on campuses nationwide is the rock music craze. Before I get into it – I fear my previous statements grant too much credit. While “music” may technically be the most appropriate term to categorize this sloppy, uninspired noise, such a designation undermines the true artistic nature of music. Rock is a poor attempt to substitute groaning sounds for what was once actual instrumental and artistic human expression.
    A guitar is not an instrument. Any Joe Schmo with a hundred dollars can go to Guitar Center and create rock and get his or her sounds out to the public. This ease adds to the commodification of music – a trend already in action. This marginalization should be alarming to true music fans. The logic is simple: if everyone can easily make music, it’ll bring the “music average” down. When a bunch of inexperienced muscicians oversaturate listeneres with a bunch of bad music, music that was once considered laughable is suddenly considered decent; what was once considered average is then perceived as above average; what was once considered above average will be called great. It’s a phenomenon that happened years ago with pop music. In turn, it becomes more challenging to find good music, and bad musicians will continue to sell out arenas worldwide, tightening their grip on listneres and further perpetuating this cycle.
    The concept of rock was doomed from the start, similar to how an oil painting can appear similar to a fresco painting, yet is worthless in the eyes of art buffs. Rock music made in a garage using synthetic sounds on an electric guitar is just as empty. Combining chords from other people’s songs into one and calling it one’s own is liking taking a bunch of famous paintings and trying to somehow form them into one new and therefore “original” piece of art, which is called a collage, which I am again baldly and falsely asserting the REAL (copyright) artistic community has no interest in. The catch is that this newly formed collage would look just as terrible as techno sounds because the stolen elements become mere illusions of their original selves. This is why cover, parody and homage songs are never acceptable in any style of music, as I’m sure Ryan agrees. Worse still, the elements lose their intended artistic integrities and purposes, and this is bad because I said so.
    What bothers me most about rock is how terrible the sound actually is. While real music spurs revolutions, subtlety reflects entire eras (what?), or provides a means of artistic expression, rock has defined itself as a cheap and inebriated, repetitive conglomerate of sounds. Instead of thoughtful lyrics and carefully constructed melodies, rock is characterized by occasional “breakdowns” and wholly unmoving, random lyrics like “Can you take me higher/to a place where blind men see/can you take me higher/to a pace with golden streets” and “Look at this photograph/every time I do it makes me laugh/how did our eyes get so red/and what the hell is on Joey’s head.” As we all know, even though I just spent a paragraph harping on instrumentation, lyrics are the only things that make music worthwhile and therefore rock music is objectively worthless.
    People need to stop pretending that they actually like rock and instead admit that what they like is the experience of going to rock shows – there’s a big difference.
    *random ambiguously racist comment that contributes nothing goes here*
    I understand that going to rock shows is a good time and I don’t mean to offend anyone in attendance. I too have been to a rock show and had a decent time. Instead, I want to distinguish between going to a rock “show” and music “concert.” They’re completely different things. Parading around as if you’e going to a Jonas Brothers show because they are good musicians is disingenuous. If you admit you’re going to experience – fine – but let’s stop pretending these “musicians” are anything more than decent bussinessmen who can move a piece of plastic over some strings.
    Going to a musical concert is about watching talented and gifted musicians perform their songs live. Not everyone has the ability to do this, which makes live music so special and awe-inspiring. Rock performers get on stage, move a string and watch crowds go wild, all the while collecting big checks from their premium ticket prices. While this type of spectacle isn’t worhtless, it’s not as pure nor genuine a music experience. It begs the question of whether or not these rock “performers” are pulling the wool over our eyes.
    I have this theory that rock performers are the ultimate masters of lip-syncing; a Milli Vanilli or Ashlee Simpson on steroids. Think about how easy it would be for these artists t give the sound man the CD, have him play that while, of course, mixing in a few air strums and jumps. I mean, I just said it out of nowhere so it’s probably happening, trust me.
    What’s most bothersome is the legitimacy and credibility these rock performers receive. They’re treated like elite musicians and charge lofty ticket prices when indeed they’re more like ringleaders in a circus. They’re at the middle of the show, but the show could go on without them even in the building. Even at a Bob Dylan show could go on without Bob Dylan, just play his CD over the spekers, who cares, it’s all the same thing because as I already so masterfully demonstrated it’s not real music. While it’s great to go and have fun at a rock show, let’s stop putting these indivdual performers on pedestals and stop pretending we like the “music” they play because I write for a shitty college newspaper and don’t respond to any criticism so I obviously know what you all are thinking. Or, we can just sit around while they dumb down or music and collect the checks.

  8. adam says:

    this is so dumb. why would you act like your opinion represents any sort of generality of the population? the fact that you call everything “techno” shows you don’t really know what you’re talking about, and the whole post is just really pretentious. this is the kind of stuff you post to a blog. it was very poor taste to post this in a formal publication.

  9. Jason says:

    Best article I have ever read. Techno and dubstep is not real music. Real music is country, rock, original music. Not some trash mixed together. I put rap above this shitty music by far. This isn’t real music

  10. Brett says:

    I completely respect your opinion for mine was the same when I first heard ‘techno’. However, as the entire music industry has filled with disingenuous, over produced white noise, I found myself taking to the creativity of the compositions many ELECTRONIC MUSIC producers create. As far as the shows go, many of these producers do just use a computer and press buttons which I’m sure is frustrating to “real” musicians. You seemed to have forget about DJs, who in their own right are true musicians. Go to a boys noize or A-trak show, and then form an encompassing opinion on what you have called ‘techno’.

  11. Jonathan says:

    The author is obviously uneducated about any sort of musical theory and what it takes to make music sound listenable in the first place, or essentially the topic he is writing on. Any person with a computer and wifi actually cannot create electronic music that the masses will like. Any person with knowledge of musical theory, composition, and marketing can though, in other words a musician with a computer and wifi can do so.

  12. Anne says:

    Anyone can make it. That’s why it’s really hard to find the good stuff. Trentemoller is my favorite.

  13. Jesus says:

    Carl Cox? Junior Vazquez? SLR? Altern-8? Masters at Work? Nookie? ShyFX?? Listen to just one LTJ Bukem track and tell me that ain’t music!

    If you’re going to classify “music” based on whether it is synthetically produce or not (i.e. whether people play instruments to make the music), then you’ll have to knock quite a bunch of artists off your list of Things I Like because they do the same, too. Hell, have you ever even tried using a synthesizer before? It’s a lot harder than playing a guitar or banging on a drum. Then you have to set up track sequences and all the post-production editing has to be done. It’s like you almost had no idea what you were talking about!

  14. Little Rhino says:

    Mate you need an education on Techno, firstly the artists you have mentioned above are the pop stars of the dance industry. You have obviously never listened to any good techno or taken the time to appreciate it. Before making such gross generalizations as above you need to make sure you know what you are talking about.
    Have a listen to Bookashade, Tiger & Woods, Maceoplex, Todd Terje etc.. And try to argue that it’s not music.

  15. Vishal says:

    Let’s make some more objective statements about entirely subjective things…

    Also, the author of this article shows his blatant ignorance of the subject he’s trying to critique by using the word “techno” for every type of electronic music. Yeah, I hate country too, that’s why I hate The Beatles and Blink 182?

    I will personally offer the author $500 in cash if he can produce a decent EDM track within the next 7 days (it’s so easy after all, right?) and get more than 500 likes on SoundCloud.

  16. Dave says:

    Be calm folks: this is just one biased opinion from one man. Just FYI there are no facts or even any intelligent citation of artists, events, or anything within the frame of music history. There is only opinion and speculation that produces no constructive discourse or feedback on an incredibly diverse and deep rooted genre. Ryan is entitled to his opinion of course, but why waste time publishing an article that provides nothing insightful or productive? In short: don’t feed Ryan, he’s just trolling for your validation.

  17. Anon says:

    The bias in this article is through the charts. Just because you personally do not like house music doesn’t mean some people can. I have liked house music since the nineties so…..

  18. secondplanet says:

    Computers are tools just like any other instrument. When used well, they can express the human’s creativity at times.

  19. Emmanuel Turpin says:

    Any entropic system which can be rearranged by a conscious being to express a inner activity have the potential to produce art. The nature of this system can’t be a criteria to judge the artistic value of it’s output. The higher the entropy, the higher the possible outputs. Consider a piano with only one key versus a grand piano. Of course constraints can induce in itself an artistic challenge but this is beside the point here. As an art concerned individual, you should embrace and prone diversity in such system as it allow artist to communicate a wider realm of human inner activity. Do you think that Beethoven or Bach composed music pieces intended to be played by an orchestra only to preserve some kind of musical tradition, of course not. Orchestras were then the only ‘musical instrument’ capable of translating their complex emotions. The essence of art is in the way we use, transform and associate different medium, not the medium themselves.

    From a technological stand point, there is absolutely no difference between a flute and a synthesizer. The are both products of human engineering producing air transmitted waves which have the potential to change the electro-psychological activities of the individual hit by them. Their historical baggage of the instrument has no effect to the kind of change it produces in the mind of the recipient. This last statement could be argued but once again, this is beside the point. In the future there will be virtually no difference between the appearance of the first flute and the first synthesizer. Electronic musician have a lot on their back as the nature of the medium allow them to have a total control over each step of the music production pipe. Even before they can think about a musical ideal, they have to invent the instruments they wish to use. Synthesizers are tool capable of creating an instrument. Imagine a band that would have to create their own instrument for each tracks they want to produce. Some instrument are so off this world that it can’t be mapped to any mental image other than what your imagination can create. I’d go further by saying they even have to design a virtual environment in which they want to play their instruments. Often creating impossible rooms in which sound propagate itself like nowhere in the world or perhaps exactly like in the Sistine chapel for example. You have right there two steps of the creative process that most musicians don’t have access to. A lot of electronic music artists also record random sound or even parts of other songs and manipulate them in order give them another meaning. This could be analyzed with the memetic theory if you consider each sound around you as a unit of culture which can evolve by going trough the mind of different artists. This alone have the poetic value to stand out by itself as a form of art. The technology helps artists explore the untapped universe of sounds that is simply unreachable by other instruments. The complexity of those composition makes it difficult to perform everything live. It like if you would ask a conductor to perform all the instruments at once. There is an upside to this, the diversity of electronic sound is almost equal to the amount of way of performing them. Every artists can reshape it’s relationship with it’s instruments and reinvent from ground up. This freedom can lead to performances ranging from awful to blissfully genius.

    Mass produced music often with pecuniary motives is an undeniable reality that hits and has hit every music genre and more broadly every form of art. Every artistic value added to this world can and will be transposed to economic value by profit seeking individuals. Sadly, the process economic optimization to a market is incompatible with the art producing process. Think about how the concept of profit can influence what was originally art. The production time restriction to increase profit, the need to reach bigger market force artist the dilute its art with broadly accepted trends. The business tradition installed by a legacy a show-business giants are some intangible barrier keeping the artist in a state where innovation must not endanger an already profitable product. The rules of the free market induces an art where the relationship between the artist and its public is more important than the one his having with it’s own creation.

    You are reducing a wonderful and mystical branch of the musical art spectrum to it’s lowest common denominator. Think about how , given the same set of tools, different culture evolved different form of sound, rhythms and musical paradigms form a chaos of socio-political context and personal experiences colliding with each other. The lost of this diversity would be a tragedy to our historical and art legacy. The furthest you could go would be to admit that your subjectivity haven’t had access to experiences allowing you to enjoy this form of art yet. When listening to electronic music you cannot just use the set of ears you would use when listening to another genre. The complex beauty in this music isn’t to the places you’re used to find it. Try to educate yourself about the production process and the artists background and motivations like you’d do for the deep analysis of any art manifestation. I can understand that due to your social-cultural context you haven’t had the chance to be exposed masterpieces that the art of frequency modulation have produced but then again it raises the question about the pertinence of the exposure of your simplistic vision to this tribune.

    By the way Techno is a small sub-genre (which you’ve probably never heard) of a phenomena we call Electronic music.

  20. Ignorance says:

    You may be the most ignorant human being ive ever seen. You try to produce EDM (electronic dance music) which is actually what the genre as a whole is called, techno, dubstep, electro, house, glitch, ectectect are all subgenres of EDM, then tell me that its not music and it doesnt take talent and practice to be able to do.

  21. Victor says:

    Dude, saying that electro isn’t real music and that anybody could do it just proves that you never made music in your whole life. We are waiting for your genius electro productions, if this is so easy.

  22. Ben says:

    Wow. Ignorance at it’s finest right here. It’s true that anyone can pick up a laptop, get a hooky copy of FL and create tunes, but how is that different to someone going down to a shop, picking up a cheap guitar and calling themselves a musician because they can play powerchords and sing an uninspired, generic melody about how much he misses his girlfriend?

    Anyone can makes electronic music, not everyone can make it well. Compression, EQ, these things are what separate bedroom wannabes from professionals. You’re right, there are countless tunes out there on Soundcloud that are unmastered, uncompressed messes. But that doesn’t mean they all are. You just have to look for the good ones. (I’m not claiming to be a professional by the way). And to slam techno DJs as “these people to go on stage and simply press play on a pre-made set of tracks”, is [expletive deleted] laughable, I’m sorry. I’ve played guitar for 13 years, and I’ve been a DJ for 4, and I’m so much more nervous about messing up a DJ set than I am missing a chord, or going out of key. In live music, you’ve got others around to support you, a mistake can sometimes be hidden by other instruments. But when it’s you vs. the music, one bad mix can make it all go wrong. And it’s not just “pressing play”, please. You need to have been on both sides before you can label DJs as talentless.

  23. Rachael says:

    Please do some research into what you’re talking about before you bash it. Please. It will save you from looking like a bigoted idiot.

    Have a nice day.

  24. homie says:

    you say with a computer you can create techno and get his or her sounds out to the public

    how is this different as playing guitar?

    you hit the snares and you will get sound just as you would by pressing a button on a computer

    that doesn’t make it easier or harder to make music on a computer or a guitar.

    get real

  25. Will says:

    I haven’t seen a post that’s as ignorant as this as a long time. You clearly don’t know much of anything of which you are talking about.

    Go crawl back into your hole

  26. Robert Memory says:

    What an ignorant git.

    As if the act of producing enjoyable music is anything to do with the equipment utilized. Granted, techno production is a very different beast to traditional methods, but it is involved and complex, and to denigrate it to the level of “not being music” is just plain insulting, the only respite being your lack of any compelling reason why it isn’t.

    Just because you have been to a few shows, you act as if the entire genre can be discounted. More than anything else, though, I feel the legitimacy can be measured by how it is accepted. Pop music is real music, as is rap, and any other genre. Music is here for our entertainment, and in the examples you cite, mission certainly accomplished.

    If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. It really is as simple as that. I think you need to learn how to state your opinion for what it is, rather than as fact. This is a mistake students make on a regular, infuriating basis.

  27. Sierra says:

    First off this entire thing is rediculous. The author has never really delved into the world of EDM to find all the hidden goodness that makes it great, which totally discredits his broad generalizations about “techno.” Alco you mock the lyric “ohhh sometimes, I get a goooood feeling” well that is sampled from Etta James, and you can’t mock a respected legend like her.

    btw, Ryan, bad move putting your email on this, so many people are gonna send you hate mail. The Dubstep fb page has already commanded its fans to troll this article :P

    This article did give me a good laugh though – keep up the good work

  28. Ivan Mahony says:

    Could you do me a favor Ryan? Before you write your next fluff piece, do some research. Please. As an exponent of critical thought, as you seem to be, judging by your other articles in this publication, you owe it to yourself to look at what you describe as “techno” in detail. Being critical of a whole genre because of only what you have heard within that genre is a natural, and as I assume you are aware, biased human response. It is weak inductive reasoning as it argues from the specific to the general.

    But then again, if you are too lazy to actually go out and do some digging into the origins of electronic music, from musique concrete in France, through to German and American experimentalism, via the BBC radiophonic workshop, Switched On Bach and the deprivations of Detroit that led to, and I quote,
    “subtlety [that] reflects entire eras”, well, if you can’t be bothered to educate yourself, perhaps you should title your next article “Let’s stop pretending we have genuine journalistic aspirations.”

  29. Tony B says:

    You have a right to your own opinion, but to tell an entire group of people that what they listen to is wrong and that we actually dont like this music we just like the environment? You’re a [expletive deleted] idiot.

    Just because you don’t like a genre doesn’t mean you can slam it when you don’t know a damn thing on the subject.

    There is a lot of [expletive deleted] music produced JUST LIKE ANY GENRE. But that doesn’t make the genre, it’s all about finding the music you enjoy, not what somebody tells you to ” Music Nazi -.- ”
    If you think its that easy go get yourself a macbook pro and lets hear you make something better.

  30. derp says:

    ‘any joe schmoe’ can pick up a guitar and start a band, lot’s of punks have. a guy on a computer programming it make music is no different than anybody else. lot’s of great song writers couldn’t even play an instrument

  31. Yevin Roh says:

    I love techno music and the new counter culture scene that goes along with it.

  32. Get a life. says:

    Get a life. Listen to Miley Cyrus; your favorite.

  33. Holy Wow. says:

    Techno is not EDM.(None of what you see people going to is a “techno show”.) It’s a subgenre; that basically no one listens to anymore. So first, you’re misinformed.. Obviously know nothing about music. To compare Bob Dylan to Deadmau5, is pure childish whimsy. To compare Bob Dylan to Tool is just as childish. Different, eras, different genres. Every genre is not the same; it’s just how it is. People love EDM, the umbrella term for this type of music. It’s great to dance to, to excercise, bang out on a system, party the night away. It offers a completely different experience than a rock concert, or even a rap/hip-hop concert. But that doesn’t make one inherently better, it just shows you have an opinion that you put too much value on.

    It’s sad rock is dead, but lets not go attacking other genre’s because of some perceived valuelessness to music. I see value in any music that can move people on the dance floor; or get them banging their heads or truly feeling the music.

    So basically anything but beiber, etc.

  34. Wanko says:

    Look up facts/terminology next time before you write the article! Your generalizations about how it is made are mostly to completely false as well. Also, a Bob Dylan concert would probably sound better today if Bob Dylan was not in attendance

  35. Kyle says:

    Hi Ryan, I really hope you read all of the comments on this article, hopefully you know by now that you didn’t do nearly enough research on this subject before you wrote about it. It seems incredibly obvious you were writing this based on your own musical tastes, instead of educating the public with an informative news article.

    I don’t even know where to start, but first things first, your simple use of the word ‘techno’ to define all electronic music is the exact equivalent to calling all rock music metal. Techno is one of the many sub-genres of electronic music, and should never be used to define the entire spectrum…unless you believe John Mayer sounds just like Metallica.

    It’s also clear you’re basing your entire opinion on mainstream “techno”, maybe because you went to a show with Avicci, or Skrillex DJing it. Avicci is to EDM (electronic dance music) as Nicki Minaj is to Rap. He’s got a couple catchy songs, but there’s WAY better talent out there. Even at that, Avicci is still immensely talented. I dare you to go look up a few tutorial videos on how to PRODUCE a “techno” song on Ableton or Cubase along with programs like Massive. Then try looking up the detail the actual pros go into when producing, along with the ones who use analog equipment, then come back here and try to say that anyone can make “techno.”

    Electronic music is blowing up this year in the US, which means the mainstream music scene is going to borrow from it and make “more average” versions of it. It happens in every musical genre – look at rock, alternative bands like The Foo Fighters get real popular, so then The Jonas Brothers are born. If you listen to hip-hop, people like Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and others cause it to become popular, so then Vanilla Ice is made. If all I listened to were people like The Jonas Brothers, Vanilla Ice, Wocka Flocka Flame, and Nickelback; I don’t have a doubt in my mind that I’d hate both rock and rap.

    If you want to educate yourself on real EDM, instead of “techno”, I would suggest looking up Laidback Luke, Tradelove, or some Deadmau5 songs that aren’t Ghosts n Stuff if you like dance (house/electro house) music. If you want something more progressive/atmospheric, try trance – Tiesto (in the early-mid 2000’s era), Paul Van Dyk, or Armin Van Buuren. If you like Skrillex but don’t want it as obnoxious, try some real dubstep like Phaeleh, Burial, or Skream. If you like that but want something more fast paced try drum and bass – Pendulum, Dirtyphonics, High Contrast. If you like rap (judging from your article, you do) then try some glitch hop – The Glitch Mob, some Bassnectar, or ill.Gates. There’s tons of more genres to pick from that I won’t even get into. If you just consider yourself a fan of music in general (which I don’t personally think you are) you should just check out the greats over time in electronic music: Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Underworld, or Pete Tong. Maybe that would teach you what “techno” is actually about.

    Hopefully you check this out and look up some of these guys^^ because you’re definitely missing out on some awesome music that you don’t even know exists.

  36. Ryan Walsh says:

    Hey guys! I’m an uninformed idiot. I’ll never be a credible journalist because I fill my stories with bias about things I don’t like.

  37. Jakobiak says:

    Why ya gotta be like that? Before we talk about what is and isn’t “real” music let’s talk about what constitutes “real” journalism, shall we?

  38. Brian says:

    “Any Joe Schmo with a MacBook Pro and a Wi-Fi connection can create techno and get his or her sounds out to the public. This ease adds to the commodification of music — a trend already in action. This marginalization should be alarming to true music fans.”

    Ok, I’m calling you out on this. If its that easy, write a good “techno” song.

  39. Jake Dustin says:

    Kind of a good premise, poor attempt.
    I agree mostly with the parts that say ‘music that samples other songs is not making new music’ and that ‘The experience of club music is better than the music.’
    That isn’t unfair to say, really.
    what is bullshit is ‘all music created on a computer is crap’ and ‘this entire genre shouldn’t exist’. Come come now. Real music isn’t going anywhere. Creating music on a computer is easy; so is finding a guitar and learning chords. Either way, someone without musical talent has no chance. Try again later.

  40. Jeremy Fauvel says:

    Are you kidding me? All music is GOOD music. It is all creative, inventive, and beautiful. I BEG you to make mashup, techno, dubstep, or electro music, just so you can realize how much effort people like myself go through to attain the final results. How can you say a computer isn’t an instrument. A computer is an instrument when it’s used as one. You’re just an old sack who prefers acoustic guitar to “robotic sound”. It’s not any different creatively or musically, just different sounds. I have been playing piano since I was seven, and picked up guitar, drums, bass, accordion, and singing. I teach drums and piano. I appreciate all music. By the way, ALL music has been played before. Ever heard of classical, romantic, etc eras. Yea. Everything you can imagine musically has been done. I can play Hungarian Rhapsody, shred Eruption by Eddie Van Halen, Perform Billy Joel’s NY State of Mind or Thelonius monk on piano, Play Neon by John Mayer on Acoustic, and can play a medley of Whitney Houston on Accordion. (goes on & on)… but… I have never came across something more difficult than producing electronic/dubstep music, WELL. I bet you have no idea how even to create any GOOD sounds for techno, dubstep, electro, or trance. Let’s see: Sine, Square, Saw waveforms, portemento, reverb, lofi, distortion, oscillators, attack, gain, velocity, gate time, chorus, pan, bit rate crush, LFO, decay, filter, so on & so forth. Describe to me every one of those terms and how to apply. PLEASE. You somehow believe it is simply done. “Ohh, this sound is cool, pick it, record, BAM, techno”… Try doing it, post it on this, & we’ll talk. Yes, techno can be made simply, to get a shitty track. That goes with everything though… When people are making sounds never even heard by the human ear, that is more amazing than replaying Beethoven’s 5th for the 18 millionth time the world has heard it. Feeling the bass drops at a festival, with that atmosphere is indescribable. Being able to completely control the audience’s emotion, %100 of the show, is more impressive than playing a live set with separated songs. Creating an entire work of music, all by yourself, brings a new definition to the one-man-band. Ryan Walsh, if you are a person who enjoys and respects music the way I do, then you can see both sides of the story, Not just your one-sided & outdated argument. I will guarantee that in 20 years, “techno” will be much more respected, than you give it credit. This is the technology age buddy, get used to it.

    – I would love a response, If you have the time

  41. Fromreddit says:

    I really hope you don’t include this article in your portfolio. I understand it’s an opinion piece…but just…yeah. You don’t use ANY correct terminology. No matter what your opinion is – in the journalism world you have to AT LEAST use the commonly and/or officially used words for things. Does your campus have a library?

  42. Mary Reines says:

    I’m not well acquainted with a long-standing passion for electronic music. I’ve merely heard stories about Camp Bisco, and read reviews of Deadmau5 concerts. But since yesterday morning, I haven’t been able to get Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” out of my head. And as a girl who likes to sing her favorite songs out loud, it gets awkward.
    Trying to imitate mechanically contrived sounds with my own voice is nearly impossible, but I just can’t get over it. I move my left arm in front of my body as if I’m casting a magic powder upon the ground. My body sways forward and my head bites into the bubble of space. Although this music is machine-manufactured, I feel a primal pull to its strange arrangement of noise.
    The sounds express what words cannot.
    The stress of six classes, endless homework, two books a week, ten essays a month, interviews upon interviews and deadlines that truly kill, put this aggressive and highly pressured sound into perspective. A human becomes a machine on a treadmill of duties and schedules. Nothing empathizes with my stress so much as this unabashed collision of violent vibrations, this pushing and pulling of melodies and mayhem, this monstrous voice mimicking an unseen and threatening force.
    As the beats combust my body thrashes about, savoring a brief period of personal freedom. The music isolates me from self-conscious movement and suggested modes of behavior.
    Primal urges stand paramount in this music’s appeal. My own personal pent up frustration and thirst for physical redemption attract me to this chaotic chorus of computer cacophonies. The song evokes confusion, hysteria, and violence. It feels more pronouncedly raw than songs with words or consonantly crafted melodies. Conspicuously disorganized, the arrangement actually replicates an uncontrolled aspect of human nature, and draws forth deep-set emotions that are uncontrived.
    Don’t think, just feel. This music thrives off of variation in meter, timbre, and structure, by hastening rhythms, re-looping beats, bending pitch, and ultimately interrupting itself. These artists act as engineers, making the sound seem coincidental and therefore realistic and lifelike. They are skilled musicians with an ear for a passionate madness, which unites us all. Randomness, a central theme of life, now appears as a theme in music. What’s so bad about that? Give it a listen.

    “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” Skrillex

  43. Blue says:

    “ny Joe Schmo with a MacBook Pro and a Wi-Fi connection can create techno and get his or her sounds out to the public” I dare u writer.. Pick up your MacBook and produce a track that gets released.

  44. Daniel says:

    >techno is characterized by occasional “bass-drops” and wholly unmoving, random lyric samples like “ohhh sometimes, I get a goooood feeling.”

    “Oh sometimes, I get a good feeling.” This is from a song by avicii is it not? Avicii is not techno!! It doesn’t come anywhere close to actual techno.

    When will you silly yanks learn that electronic dance music =/= techno.

    There are many varying genres of electronic dance music, from trance to techno to house to dubstep, all of them vary a lot with regards to sound, tempo and structure. And even within those genres, the subgenres vary a lot too, for example, compare tech house with progressive house or deep house.

    So educate yourself before you start spewing your ignorance for the whole world to see.

    Oh yeah, and I would honestly like to see you try and compose your own electronic music using any DAW of your choice, I guarantee you that you would find it impossible to even create a simple synth line, let alone a whole track that is worthy of listening to.

  45. Peter says:

    First of all Ryan why don’t you go out, get a Macbook and an internet connection and try and make some “techno” music. I play guitar, bass and piano and making “techno” is much harder than any of these instruments. The main reason is that you have to compose every instrument yourself. It allows an entire composition to come out of one person. “Techno” music saved the music world forever. This genre brought back complex and intricate music. If you were to replace all of these “cheap and scattered, non-flowing conglomerate of sounds” with symphony instruments you would get something resembling exactly that. Second of all you should really do much more research about a topic before you write something like this. Any idiot with a Macbook and an internet connection can complain on the internet. Deadmau5 is not a DJ, in fact he is a producer and if you think he just hits play at his shows, never mind that his show could go on without him, you are even more misinformed than I thought. While “Levels” by Avicii is probably the most overplayed song ever, “ohhh sometimes, I get a goooood feeling.” is actually an Etta James song, she happens to be one of the most inspiring vocalists of all time. Lastly, yes these shows are a hell of a lot of fun. Is that not half of the musical experience? Shows are supposed to be fun and just the lights themselves are an amazing product of the human mind. If the Doors or the Beatles had these light shows you can bet they would use them (by the way Skrillex and the Doors collaborated on a song recently and they really appreciate his music). So next time, before you somehow get an article like this published in the Collegian, do a little bit more research.

  46. dlobrien says:

    Great article, I couldn’t agree with you more. Please don’t waste your time reading these hateful comments! And kudos to you for posting your opinion on such a “sensitive” topic!

  47. DP says:

    Ryan,

    You make a valid point about the idea of live techno shows not actually being “live”. A talented synthesizer and mix artist can pre-plan an entire show, and snychronize it with an epic light show.

    That being said, you are very wrong in two instances. The first being that “anybody” with a laptop and Wi-fi signal can create these works of music (yes music). It takes an exceptional ear and understanding on the intricacies of sound to create something worth listening to – something that will provoke 1000’s to experience an endorphine rush and jump up and down fist pumping. I dare you to attempt to create something from scratch (i’m not talking about a mash-up of pop songs) that parallels the emotional spike these world-famous DJs’ sounds inspire.

    The second point you are wrong about is that we are “pretending to like techno”. Over the span of my life, I have jumped around genres just like anybody else (rock, metal, rap, hip-hop, classic rock, country). Nothing compares to the house music wave beginning in late 2009 that currently reigns over college campuses. Progressive house, electronica, trance has provided me with nothing but pure ecstasy to my ears. I have never spent more time listening, following, and searching for more music like this to satisfy my craving for MORE.

    While I believe your argument is mainly pitted with the “dubstep” genre (and i admit your argument makes 90% more sense when applied to dubstep), people actually DO experience an inevitable high when listening to GOOD electronic dance music tracks.

  48. josh ritter says:

    They said the same things in the 90’s but we are still here, and like it or not we aren’t going anywhere so get used to it

  49. Torrie says:

    http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&source=mog&hl=en&gl=us&client=safari&tab=wi&q=digital%20art&sa=N&biw=320&bih=356#p=0

    Would you ever say this isn’t art? Then then why are you saying techno or computer generated music isn’t music?

  50. David Robb says:

    Dear Ryan
    I can see that you are somewhat frustrated with this elctronic music take over that is currently upon us. However i feel you are overlooking many factors about “techno” music. First off the techno music that you are talking about is probably considered house music, the most popular. But electronic music has several sub genres. Maybe youve heard of the ear pounding dub step, then theres tech house, electro house, nu disco, progressive house, just to name a few. While these sub genres might seem similar to you, they are infact very different and challenging to produce quality sounds. Now, the impression i got from this article was a hate article.(haters gonna hate) Fact, and before you go bash a whole music genre do some researcch so you dont sound like a complete fool. The top electronic music producers/djs are extremely talented in music, melodies, percussion, and not to mention most of them can shred the grand piano. (seb ingrosso, eric prydz, even deadmau5). Change is upon us Ryan, whether you like it or not, so my suggestion to you is go to one of the many electronic house music shows that mass edmc and nv concepts have been hosting all around and near umass and while you there dont forget to get a little cultured. This is the most popular music in the world and if u wanted you could pick up a guitar and play a house song on it. Open you eyes man, the future is now, get in while you can.

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