Why Good Music Isn’t “Dead” (and why electronic music is actually really good)

Daft+Punk+fulltronsuitsBy Melody Madhavan, Yale-NUS ’17

If you watch any older band’s youtube videos, the comments will invariably be along the lines of “this is so much better than the electronic noise made by the younger generation”. Among the older generation, there has been this perception that music from the past is “good”, while music produced now is just “ambulance siren sounds” (yes, I’m looking at you, dubstep).

It’s a pity how electronic music, a genre that’s fresh and experimental, has been constantly side-lined by people I refer to as “classicists”. They cite complex guitar riffs, meaningful lyrics and dynamic live performances as substantiation for the quality of classic songs, and then they attempt to contrast it to the “inferior”, repetitive beats and mundane lyrics that accompany electronic music.

I, of course, beg to differ – and I’ll do so with examples!

I do think that the guitar solo in Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” is absolutely beautiful and extremely complex.  But complexity wise, it’s hard to beat Madeon’s mix-up of thirty two songs, most from different genres altogether.  He blends the different beats to be as smooth and creamy as an avocado milkshake, each beat overlapping each other in ascension. You can pick out the various beats quite distinctly, and yet at the same time you appreciate the song as a whole.

Think it’s impossible to make an electric ballad? Leave it to Daft Punk, one of the forefathers of electronic music, to kill all your stereotypes. This perfect mosh of quiet electronic beats with melancholic lyrics has the same, if not more, power to invoke emotion as any Celine Deon song, with arguably groovier beats.

Lastly, here’s one of my favourite recent electronic songs. As electronic music is such a funky genre, even an artist with a name like “Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs” can be taken seriously (and for good reason too, because he makes great music).  I compare this song to my favourite mango jelly because it’s light, bouncy and yet simply irresistible. Closing my eyes while listening to the chorus makes me feel like I’m flying through nebulas on an electric dinosaur…okay, I think that’s just my imagination being weird, but I’m sure it’ll take you on a journey of your own too.

Bad food metaphors aside, I hope anyone reading this will give electronic music a chance (if you haven’t already). Enjoy the ride, space cowboys!

3 comments

  1. Reblogged this on ehm music and commented:
    pretty musch exactly what I’ve just been saying

  2. Sau Yee Tsoi

    THANK YOU. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL THIS TO PEOPLE FOR AGES.

  3. Kasia Kowalska

    Classicists vs. experimentators – a fight typical of art. But if there were no classicists no one would want to rebel and create.
    I think that for 10/20 years electronic music will be a sort of classic and people will appreciate these really good electronic songs (better late than never).

    Btw Tapes&money – best electronic song ever!

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