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Luminon

What is the key of psybient music?

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Luminon    1

You know, psychedelic music sounds differently to most of pop and rock. It's not just in different dynamics, rhythms, instruments and so on. It takes me just a few seconds to guess if I like the music or not, and that is because its musical key. You know, the general feel of it.

 

From Aes Dana to Zymosis, from Shpongle to Shulman, it feels differently. Such music is more melancholic, more serious, deep and profound, brooding and so on. It's not so easy to ignore.

 

Just turn on the radio, hear something common there (Lady Gaga, Britney, Madonna, and all bands who sing and play) and then try some

and hear the difference. If you're a psybient listener like me, and there's a bunch of people playing and singing something mainstream sounding, you can be sure they use a wrong musical key that won't unlock your brain's pleasure centers.

 

So, how to call it cleverly? What key is the radio music in, and what is mostly used by our psybient benefactors?

And please, try to explain it to an ignorant layman ;)

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Veracohr    103

Pop music tends to be in major keys, psytrance and psybient not so much. They often use "exotic", lesser known minor scales. Personally I don't bother to figure out what scale I'm using, or attempt to use a particular one. I just play.

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often minor scales are used in trance and chill out.

 

what music feels like also of course really depends on the sounds that are used.

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You know, psychedelic music sounds differently to most of pop and rock. It's not just in different dynamics, rhythms, instruments and so on. It takes me just a few seconds to guess if I like the music or not, and that is because its musical key. You know, the general feel of it.

 

From Aes Dana to Zymosis, from Shpongle to Shulman, it feels differently. Such music is more melancholic, more serious, deep and profound, brooding and so on. It's not so easy to ignore.

 

Just turn on the radio, hear something common there (Lady Gaga, Britney, Madonna, and all bands who sing and play) and then try some

and hear the difference. If you're a psybient listener like me, and there's a bunch of people playing and singing something mainstream sounding, you can be sure they use a wrong musical key that won't unlock your brain's pleasure centers.

 

 

 

So, how to call it cleverly? What key is the radio music in, and what is mostly used by our psybient benefactors?

And please, try to explain it to an ignorant layman ;)

 

Psy-bient = Psychedelic Ambient or Downtempo Electronic Music with the purpose of enhancing the psychedelic experience. Really for the person, that is tripping so hard, they have no coordinated motor function. So, Psybient is meant for mental dance. I.E. Brain Wave Synchrony. It is important to note that Ambient music does not have the rigidity of most Electronic music. It is much less restricted than dance music. This flexibility, I believe is much more aligned with Goa Trance. Goa trance's mantra of Anything Goes(easier said than done) is made practical in the dimensions of Ambient. So, I think that Psybient is improper labeling. Mellow Goa maybe more appropriate. In that sense it is very important to use different time signatures and abstract sounds and samples and of course sound FX galore. Behind Closed Eyelids is a perfect example of Psybient or any release from Shpongle.

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Mononegro    0

There is no specific key in psychedelic ambient music, or any other chill out/downtempo/ambient music psy or not psy.

There is a release from TIP who's title is Twelve which is a compilation of 12 tunes, each on a different key, including flat/sharp keys.

 

This shows you can use any key to make psychedelic ambient music. Also, it's possible to use about any scale and mode as well as any tempo and signature.

Shpongle use different signatures in the same tune, all over their albums. They use minor and major scales and different modes, same goes for CBL and any other ambient artists.

Perhaps certain scales are more used than others, probably minor scales more than major ones, but not limited to minor scales only for sure.

 

The feel you describe, I think, it depends on the relation between the sounds, the choice of particular sounds rather than others and what you make with those sounds.

FX are certainly used in many different ways that mainstream rubbish don't. An hi-hats sequence in Shpongle tunes for example can play with loads of Phasing, Flanging, Reverbs and Delays that Take That would never use in such ways. Then, stretching and glitching techniques are rarely used by mainstream rubbish (sorry, I keep calling it rubbish because calling it music just doesn't fit in my mind), while they are widely implemented in psychedelic music and dance music in general.

 

Then you have pads and washes of soundscapes with reversed reverbs and such trippy sounds etc...

 

I guess my point is that psy ambient is not limited to one key in particular and that anything goes as long as it serves the purpose of making you go for a visit to different dimensions.

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Kalki    8

Although key is not a factor that decide if the music is psy or not, its the thing that decide the feel of the track. I don't think you can take spiritual trip on major keys.

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Mike A    6

Want to hear a secret?

 

Some kickass psybient tracks were made with major scales and "cheesy" mainstream pop chord progressions.

 

The technical stuff is only the basis, and the stuff that makes it deep is the sounds and how you use them.

Forget the formalities.

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needle ninja    13

Want to hear a secret?

 

Some kickass psybient tracks were made with major scales and "cheesy" mainstream pop chord progressions.

 

The technical stuff is only the basis, and the stuff that makes it deep is the sounds and how you use them.

Forget the formalities.

 

Mike A is right, I always laughed when I saw this thread.

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Epicuros    5

For me it's multitasking the psychedelic atmosphere in various ways. Something we don't really find in mainstream business. But I'd say it's too deep between the ears to really know. Only like childhood musical experience could have a huge effect I'd guess. Even from the mainstream side in if you can block the lyrics and consentrate to the synth etc. behind vocals etc. Tangerine Dream, Ozric Tentacles and even Vangelis, Mike Oldfield and JMJ managed in this long time ago, for me. Sort of... :]

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