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    • CommentAuthorPhro
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    I'm starting to think that there will not be an extreme music in the future...but rather that all music will simultaneously gravitate towards the middle and the extremities. people have been mentioning the mixing of genres quite a bit (and some genres I haven't heard of...which is cool...), and, with the internationalism of the interwebben, it seems that, once we're even more connected than we are now, it will be nigh impossible to have a "pure" genre. And, as we are more and more intimately connected with not only more music sources, but more free music sources (sorry RIAA), I believe we will finally see the decentralization and break down of the music industry. Even now, if you look through an average college students mp3 player, you're bound to find some gradient of musical selection. Now, give them the inspiration and know-how to make exactly what they want to hear and...what will it sound like?

    bjork singing with led zepplin guitars while Talib Kweli and Mos Def rap over slipknot beats. not that any of those bands are extreme and probably shouldn't be mentioned in this thread, except to illustrate the "i listen to everything, but country" attitude that has, unfortunately, come to dominate the sonic landscape.

    so what will extreme music sound like in five years? Probably nothing recognizable, while being infinitely familiar.

    I do look forward to seeing someone growling about disemboweling fairies over a funk bass line with classical strings and an electro-distortion drum line. It may not be pleasant, but it should be interesting.
    • CommentAuthorPhro
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    all that said, i do hope death metal doesn't go anywhere...
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    The point Phro makes about the "purity" of genres is an interesting one and something I've noticed particularly in the metal scene. For example, it is now a point of some pride for some black metal bands that they are upholding what they see as the "pure" black metal sound. A huge number of bands are now categorised as symphonic / operatic / electronic / melodic / progressive black metal, or some mix of metal subgenres such as blackened death or blackened doom (although it should be noted that in the case of some of these, this is more due to a thematic influence from one or other genre, rather than a purely musical one), to the point where it now takes some effort (probably) to produce an album that is completely "pure" black metal (arguments as to how relatively pure any genre is aside, that is).

    I have some vague thoughts about theme here as well - again almost purely within the metal scene. For example, the mainstream metal press seems to have taken a recent interest in viking, pagan, battle and folk metal. In this case, the bands tend to take the majority of their musical influence from black or death metal (and arguably somewhat from power metal) and their thematic influences from popular mythology (particularly Viking / Norse mythology) and material more traditionally covered by folk music - retelling the stories of mythological heroes, great battles and historical events (in the case of pagan metal, there tends to be a particular running theme of the eradication of old pagan beliefs and values by Christianity). In some cases, the bands will also take some musical influence from folk (Ensiferum, for example, use a kantele as well as various "folky" musical themes - notably in the intro to "Lai Lai Hei" on the album Iron).

    I guess my point with the above ramblings would be that while musically, the average listener would not be able to tell the bands apart from the average black / death metal fare (I know my mum, for example, couldn't tell you the difference between say Amon Amarth and Heartwork-era Carcass), in terms of the visual themes and lyrical ideas presented, they are worlds apart. So the future of extreme music may have as much to do with the evolution of these themes and ideas as with any purely musical evolution.

    Apologies for the typically rambling style.
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    anxiously awaiting future releases by Fantomas. I miss their over-caffeinated noise.
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    Fantomas, yes! I need to go back and listen to their stuff again - it certainly sounded like the future the first time through.
    • CommentAuthortulpa
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    Oh! I just remember what album I last listened to and immediately thought "This is what the future sounds like.

    Arktinen Hysteria. It's odd that everything on it is considered a precursor to more modern music, but it still sounds like the future to me. (Except that one song that sounds like vomiting. That's not the future.)
  1.  (775.87)
    Changes in technology could well affect and help develop "extreme music"..just as Throbbing gristle etc. utilised frequencies designed for sonic torture and creating a physical reponse, perhaps this technology will improve. Instead of just creating base physical responses such as vomiting and fits ( or the legendary "brown sound") it's possible that frequencies and localised soundwaves will be able to stimulate more sophisticated responses in the , crazed lust , ennui or a solid work ethic , as well as tapping into the areas of the brain in charge of long term memory , repressed urges and other senses. Maybe. It would make a night out more interesting. More directional use of sound , like the subliminal street advertising Mr Ellis so rightly loathes , may filter into more creative uses.

    Of course , there already exists a sound that stimulates hatred and bleak joylessness in our brains...the music of Jack Johnson.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
    can't wait for the new aphex twin opeth and mastodon albums (i don't know if there is an aphex twin one i just hope)

    as for extreme? i think getting louder and noisier helps but also makes the extreme less so. i mean surely mezrbow, wolves eyes and metal machine music have taken that definition of extreme to its limits?

    i do look forward to the new Boris album though
  2.  (775.89)
    Heh. I do want to ridicule the term "extreme". And the word "attitude". And all that nonsense. It's just music to make mum stay out of your bedroom.

    And worrying about what the next most extreme thing will be is either being a sad sad fanboy wanting bigger and bigger kicks because the last extreme thing is wearing off; or it's being an artist who likes that kind of noise and trying to sell it to sad sad fanboys.

    God I hate marketing.

    It does come back around to Stockhausen, in my book, and his way of talking about music as having, what was it, five dimesions? Pitch, duration, timbre, dopey and doc. Whether the volume or pitch or timbre are unpleasant is to me a whole lot less interesting than how the sound is organized and how it impacts society.

    And in both those senses, "extreme" music has vanished all the way up its own arse, for the most part.

    Extreme meant something when Swans, Whitehouse and TG etc. were doing it, because it was part of a social discourse. Now it's just one more consumer capitalist leisure option -- ooh, look at me, I'm exotic, I've got a Boris album!

    At which point, yeah, I'm more about how Keith Rowe is working globally with musicians on intercontinental improvisation through the net, on improvising patches, on getting the skronkiest noises he can get out of his guitar and amplifier while still managing to make something organized enough to be aurally provocative.

    Or, you know, we could talk more about the press releases of the likes of Sunn O))), saying they're working in the realm of the sublime. I dare say they are. Does it work? Maybe. Does spinning in a circle till you fall over make you see the face of God? Probably. So what?

    Have you advanced the discourse? Have you really kicked society in the nads? Have you made a thing of beauty? Those are the preliminary questions worth asking.
  3.  (775.90)
    well, you are right with boris and sunno)))). i personally dont like them, but they actually do have marketing behind them (in opposition to my snarky comments from earlier)-so i see what you mean. but i just cant agree with the general theme of what you say. whether we believe so or not, their WILL be weird, new shit five years from now. i just want to know yr opinions on what is a possible future type thing. i dont truly see it as having to produce something that "kicked society in the nads", that seems a little like reactionary teenage rebellion. and i dont really care about that at all....
  4.  (775.91)
    Well, that's what the yearning for "extreme" sounds like, to me. And God knows I understand it. But when I listen to those "Extreme Music" things from Whitehouse, or Lolita Storm, or KK Null, or Merzbow, or any of them, it just sounds so reactionary and isolated. I mean, I like the limited palette they're working with, but just because the sonic values they use are supposedly "heavy" or "dark" doesn't make them any different from a Robert Ryman all white all the time painting. It's all minimalism going for the big repetition so as to turn the switch in your brain from Off to God. And I suppose I've already done that, so I'm not so interested.

    OTOH, I got so sick of everything eight years ago that I stopped listening to anything but anthropological recordings of Micronesian Islanders, with a slice of glitch on the side.

    Then even that got boring, so I went back to drunken country-western singalongs.

    Doesn't really matter. Outside of technological innovation, we're done with progress. We're not modernists any more, we're Nowists.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
    We're not modernists any more, we're Nowists.

    Damn straight. Like Karim Rashid said, "The past is over, we can't predict the future, design for the present."
    • CommentAuthorradian
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
    The future of extreme music depends on what the musicians think the point of extreme music is. People who are in for some kind of shock value are going to fade out of the scenes as shock value wears off. People trying to make music that's never been heard before are a different matter.

    What new extremes are left to explore though? We've had microtonal, atonal, fast, loud, quiet with "lowercase" music and so on, since 2001 we've got slow covered with "OrganĀ²/ASLSP" which will take until September 2640 to be performed completely.
  5.  (775.94)
    i think the internet is going to play a big part in whatever happens. i mean, right now i have access to maybe millions of songs from hundreds of genres from thousands of years from hundreds of millions of people. i think people today have much more diverse record collections than people even 15 years ago.

    i look forward to genres blending together, more than new genres being created.

    that being said, i think a band like saxon shore is pushing in the right direction.
  6.  (775.95)
    Yall are tripping over yr big brains... future of extreme music? Two words: TRANNY RAP

    Katey Red will be the KRS-One of the next generation.
  7.  (775.96)
  8.  (775.97)
    "And worrying about what the next most extreme thing will be is either being a sad sad fanboy wanting bigger and bigger kicks because the last extreme thing is wearing off; or it's being an artist who likes that kind of noise and trying to sell it to sad sad fanboys."

    Bit harsh.
  9.  (775.98)
    i dont stress on that.
  10.  (775.99)
    Hi Joe, I'm still with you and your original topic starter.

    The last time truly interesting things were happening with organic extreme music would be when all of the various scenes were mixing it up in New York city back in the nineties. John Zorn was a huge catalyst for this. Members of Napalm Death, Naked City, the Melvins, Patton, Brutal Truth, Zeni Geva etc... would continually jam together and make new sounds. Did it set the world on fire? Probably not, but I do remember literally dozens of musicians from the UK grindcore, NY avant garde and Japanese Noise Rock scenes getting together in studios and putting out hundreds of CDs and LPs during the 1990's. They had a huge community. Zorn, Bill Laswell, Justin Broaderick, Kevin Sharpe & Buzz all intermingled.

    I never thought it was about trying to make the most extreme or shocking sounds, just something new. A lot of it worked and a lot of it didn't. But they were endlessly jamming and experimenting.
    Despite certain Naked City tracks being optioned for Sega Genesis TV commercials, there was nothing "mainstream" about it. You'd still clear a room blasting Torture Garden. It's all about context.

    For future "extreme" sounds I think there'll have to be that level of experimentation again between different but not opposing genres. There's an excellent article online somewhere written by Lester Bangs (28 years ago) where he was observing the similarities between punk rock and free form jazz in the late 70's and how musicians from both scenes were starting to mix it up.
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    have you guys realised that kids today cannot stand classical music? it keeps them away from stations and classical music sections in record stores (among other enclosed spaces probably), even though they probably think that the watered down rap they're most likely into is pretty extreme (they 've never heard any run dmc, public enemy or early wu-tang) .

    anyway, it's all a matter of context. play a kayo dot or extended melvins or early harvey milk track to a metalhead and see how they react. my mom will probably freak out at slayer, but then a lot of people my age will freak out at maria callas or demmis roussos...

    people eventually get used to anything in the end. you can see a lot of former hardcore and metal bands (mentioned above by a lot of you) borrowing elements from jazz and avant-garde music in order to appear jarring effects through juxtaposition and collage, even though it's been done to death, from mahler and stravinsky, to zappa and zorn, to aphex twin and king crimson etc...

    do we really care what the future of extreme music will be? can't we think in terms of individuals rather than sweeping categories, that a lot of artists disagree with? one can see how what was termed "classical" or "modern classical" (including "minimalism" or the work of webern, stockhausen, xenakis and others) has somehow evolved in the work of aphex twin, johann johannson, squarepusher, colleen etc the same happens in the broader field of extreme music. there are bands that appear to progress in interesting directions. we don't have to resort to labels like thrash, hardcore or noise anymore. you can't describe meshuggah or maninkari, vibracathedral orchestra or om without employing a number of labels or reference points. if anything is to change it's going to change through units not groups.