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lurk
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i've just been reading the AMD album review thread and most responses were pretty positive, apart from one. this person said it wasn't innovative, therefore it wasn't good. now, i just don't get this. what i loved about AMD was the fact that it was back to basics psytrance with top quality, intricate production, which didn't pretend, or even try, to be anything else. which is refreshing in itself these days. am i the only one who appreciated it for this reason?.

 

why is the psytrance scene so obssessed with innovation, and what do they mean by it? for me, there are two types of innovation. first, stylisitic innovation which basically involves borrowing bits from other genres. this often doesn't fit or detracts from a tune and is often used by artists in a seemingly desperate way in order to make themselves stand out from the crowd, or more commercially appealing (infected and skazi are the best examples of this imho). the other type is technological innovation which is obviously limited by the speed at which the software and hardware developers can come up with it, and also the affordability and availability of these products. in any case, good psytrance producers seem to be well up on all the latest production techniques and methods.

 

i don't think there is another music scene where artists are under such pressure to "innovate". just sticking to dance music, drum n bass sounds the same to me now as it did 10 years ago, as does hard house, for example, and you never hear the people who listen to it complaining about this. if it's banging and "'avin it" and it works well on the dancefloor they're happy. why aren't happy with this? or are we, and am i just spending too much time reading the anoraks of the internet? surely, so long as it sounds unique within the genre and isn't indeterminable from every other release we should be happy... using AMD as an example again, this album manages that, what more do we want? if someone wants more than that, perhaps they should just give up on psytrance and move on to new pastures, because it's clear that psytrance isn't going to do it for them anymore.

 

having said all this, there is one type of innovation this scene desperately needs more of, and that is in a unique style/sound for each artist. it seems that when an artist becomes popular, there are hundreds of wannabees who try and copy the successful style, and many others who actually want to release it, so in the end the scene is flooded with GMS clones, or Protoculture clones, or whatever, and not only does this become boring for the punter (full-on psytrance is only just recovering from the protoculture phenomanen imho) it also usually ends up killing off the act that starts it.

 

i'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this :)

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why is the psytrance scene so obssessed with innovation, and what do they mean by it?

Imo, it's prety simple actually. If you have tons of released albums every month which sound the same more or less, then you seek for innovation.

 

Stylistic and technological innovations are not the only ones. We are talking about different structure, patterns, sounds etc. It isn't necessary to involve other genres or be technologically advanced.

 

I haven't heard the AMD album though, so i can't tell.

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imho the AMD album doesn't sound like everything else that's getting released, they have a very distinctive sound, but i was just using it as an example.

 

structure, pattern and sounds was what i was referring to in my last paragraph :)

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You can't satisfy people that prefer to listen to their wore out copy of Astral Projection album from 96 over and over again. The artists are damned when they try to do something else and they're damned when they stick to their formula. A vicious cycle i guess. You'll never satisfy them all.

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Now that Pavel mentioned them, I'll use Astral Projection as an example. While they were hailed world wide during the mid to late nineties for their wonderful and melodic goa trance, as the millenium came closing in, the same two producers that were for years on top of the heap, were now suddenly taking so much heat and critiques for never changing their style, and consequently lacking innovation... Can you imagine the wrath that would descend on X-Dream's back if they were ever to release two consecutive albums sounding the same, and thus probably risk the accusation of lacking innovation?

 

People are gonna complain when artists keep on sounding the same for too long.

People are gonna complain when artists change style, and therefore abandon their original sound those same people initially fell in love with.

People are gonna complain if they don't hear what they wanted to hear.

People are gonna complain when they hear exactly what they expected to hear as it leaves them unsurprised, and consequently results in being uncreative.

People are gonna complain when they are given what they need to hear, and not what they want to hear.

People are gonna complain because they are left behind the times and sound like a grumpy old broken record.

But people are never gonna move the fuck on.

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People love to complain.

Artists really are damned if they do & damned if they don't!

Change styles/move with the times = sell out

Keep the same style = stale

 

They can't win with some people :(

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The problem is one of volume... there is a ton of psytrance released, despite what the "copy kills your music" campaign was suggesting. Now, while the usual call is for "innovation" I for one am quite content with "distinction." I don't need to hear something blindingly original but it damn well better sound different from the next release over, you know? I revolt against same-sounding releases and dig into the ones that stand out. This means that there are times where a perfectly well constructed album goes unloved by me simply because it never becomes distinct in my ear. I like the process of learning to recognize music... but this is impossible if the music is without a hook. I find a lot of psytrance (dark, full-on, progressive, and chill out as well) suffers from sounding indistinct. Subsequently I try and wait it out for albums like It^Cetra, Labyrinth, Party Animals, Corridor Of Mirrors, Zero.Six.After, Solid State, Fiction, Dreamtime Enhancer, and even Byte Me... you know, stuff where I won't be searching my head five minutes after putting it on wondering "now what was that last disc I just threw on?" and coming up stumped. Too much of what is released is entirely disposable little more than a year after it comes out so why bother?

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having said all this, there is one type of innovation this scene desperately needs more of, and that is in a unique style/sound for each artist. it seems that when an artist becomes popular, there are hundreds of wannabees who try and copy the successful style, and many others who actually want to release it, so in the end the scene is flooded with GMS clones, or Protoculture clones, or whatever, and not only does this become boring for the punter (full-on psytrance is only just recovering from the protoculture phenomanen imho) it also usually ends up killing off the act that starts it.

Very well said.

 

One thing I find very annoying about the whole 'innovation' thing, is that many people use it to describe that an artist have changed his sound.

That is not necessarily innovation, it can be, but for many artist it simply imply that they have changed their sound to what ever is current, for example the whole fullon thing.

I dont think thats innovation to sound like everybody else, thats regression.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Peace

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I'm actually dissapointed.

I liked Aphid Moon a whole lot, when they just started to release I allmost liked everything they produced, (High Diver album in particular! ) but now they managed to dissapoint me.

Looked like they went another direction, as Pavel said, it's impossible to please everyone.

Just not my taste.

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i've just been reading the AMD album review thread and most responses were pretty positive, apart from one. this person said it wasn't innovative, therefore it wasn't good. now, i just don't get this. what i loved about AMD was the fact that it was back to basics psytrance with top quality, intricate production, which didn't pretend, or even try, to be anything else. which is refreshing in itself these days. am i the only one who appreciated it for this reason?.

Hmm that person was me ;]

 

Back to basics psytrance?? Well, not exactly in my opinion... I don't think it's refreshing, because it's not that distinct anyways... I'm bored of listening to the same structures & sounds again and again and again in full-on. Sorry but such an album would just work for the dancefloor,preferably stoned and on MDMA or something. Noone is going to remember it 2 years from now. It doesn't have anything memorably. It's generic. Yes it has a pinch of psychedelic, but is that enough ? ;)

 

i don't think there is another music scene where artists are under such pressure to "innovate". just sticking to dance music, drum n bass sounds the same to me now as it did 10 years ago, as does hard house, for example, and you never hear the people who listen to it complaining about this. if it's banging and "'avin it" and it works well on the dancefloor they're happy. why aren't happy with this?

Ok, we agree it just does its work for the dancefloor .. That's what I said in the review as well, so at least we agree on that.

Oh, and DnB doesn't sound the same as 10 years ago. Just listen to some stuff by Enduser, Larvae,Submerged,Bong-Ra,DJ Hidden (!!!).. most of the above combine DnB with Breakcore, and sometimes other style as well (noise/gabba/experimental/idm)... anyways...

 

All in all I don't have problem with something not being that innovative (it's not easy to be truely groundbreaking anyways), I just want it to be DISTINCT.. And yes, I fully agree with your last paragraph. Very few artists succeed in making music that you listen to it and easily recognize that it's them. Derango & Electrypnose are a few names that spring to my mind right now from the modern psytrance scene.

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All music styles you are not interested in sounds the same.

D&B sounds the same as 10 years ago because you are not into it.

Not trance people probably say the same thing about trance!

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why is the psytrance scene so obssessed with innovation, and what do they mean by it? (...) i don't think there is another music scene where artists are under such pressure to "innovate".

I think it might have to to with the "psychedelic" bit; If a piece of music sounds like stuff you've heard a 100 times alredy, you most likely won't experience it at psychedelic. Something that sounds like nothing before it is much more likely to force you to open up your mind a bit..

 

But then of course it's up to the listener's preferences if the goal is mind expansion or just hearing some good tunes. Or both. Not really surprising to me if many people that are into psychedelic music actually want music that feels psychedelic to them. However, in my opinion it would be pretty narrow minded to not like anything that is not psychedelic.

 

Obviously people have different opinions, and that's of course ok so long as they are respected. Personally i think the AMD album sounds great production-wise, but no real hooks that make me remember any specifics and think "oh man, i gotta hear THAT track again". Works great as background psy while doing stuff, but not exactly my first choice during a trip or something like that.

 

If you like AMD, i definitely understand why. If you don't, i defenitely understand why.

 

 

(maybe i should be a diplomat)

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