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    1. On the second week of the new format, we're going to try out themes based on periods of time, this time being the year of 1992. Themes, both years like this one or whatever else you think would...

      On the second week of the new format, we're going to try out themes based on periods of time, this time being the year of 1992. Themes, both years like this one or whatever else you think would work well for the listening club, can be suggested in this thread or if you join the unofficial Tildes Discord server in the #listening-club channel.

      Essential Album: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 - Listen!

      While a lot of excellent and long-lasting work was released in 1992, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 stands out as one of the most influential and has stood the test of time as well as any of them. As much as everyone hates the label of "Intelligent Dance Music" (IDM), there's no doubt that SAW is one of the cornerstone records of that genre that has an impact in the world of music at large that can't be ignored.

      Selected Ambient Works 85–92 is the debut studio album by the English electronic musician Richard D. James under the pseudonym of Aphex Twin, released as a very limited import in late November 1992 by Apollo Records, an imprint of the more prominent label R&S Records, and later widely in February 1993. The 1992 LP was James' third release overall, and collected tracks dating back as early as 1985. An analogue remaster was released in 2006, and a digital remaster in 2008.

      Selected Ambient Works 85–92 received widespread acclaim and has been characterised as a landmark of electronica, ambient music, and IDM. It was followed by Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994). On the week ending 27 September 2014, the album entered at #30 in the UK Dance Albums Chart after the release of his 2014 album Syro.

      Widely regarded by critics as one of the pioneering works in early IDM and modern electronic music, retrospective reviews mention its influence on electronic artists. Warp Records refers to it as "the birthplace and the benchmark of modern electronic music" and has stated that "every home should have a copy." In 2003, the album was placed #92 in "NME's 100 Best Albums" poll. Nine years later, it was named the greatest album of the 1990s by FACT Magazine. The album was also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

      Minor Album: Divine Styler - Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light - Listen!

      This is a strange one, possibly the strangest hip hop album released as of 1992. It's so disjointed and all over the place that instead of describing it myself, I'll steal the descriptors from RateYourMusic: "Islamic, psychedelic, anxious, cryptic, conscious, abstract, introspective, surreal, eclectic, male vocals, avant-garde, noisy, spiritual."

      Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light is the second album by hip hop artist Divine Styler, released in 1992 on Giant Records. This album marked a significant change in Divine Styler's musical direction, incorporating a much broader range of styles and influences than 1989's Word Power. Despite the album's unusual style, it was actually released by a major label but, perhaps inevitably, failed to sell as well as record executives expected. Although the album was largely regarded as a commercial failure, it has since developed a large cult following. Styler was signed to Giant because of Ice-T’s relationship with Warner Bros. Records.

      The album is notoriously experimental—Allmusic referred to the album as being like '"The Residents meets Funkadelic"—and takes influence from a wide variety of music genres such as hip hop, rock, electronic, funk and even elements of spoken word and noise.

      The majority of the album was produced and arranged by Divine Styler himself, which included him performing and processing all of the vocals, playing the guitar, drums (and drum programming), and keyboards, among other instruments. Due to the artist's dominance over the album's direction, it is generally regarded as a very introspective and personal album.

      Here's the place to discuss your thoughts on the records, your history with them, the artists, or music in 1992 in general and basically talk about whatever you want to that goes along with Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light! Remember that this is intended to be a slow moving thing, feel free to take your time and comment at any point in the week!

      Again, if you'd like to stream or buy the albums, they can be found on most platforms here (Selected Ambient Works 85-92) and here (Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light).

      4 votes
    2. hey all! just wanted to share a really interesting response to the title question i came across today. this discussion spawned on the /r/justfuckmyshitup subreddit, a page dedicated to those with...

      hey all! just wanted to share a really interesting response to the title question i came across today.

      this discussion spawned on the /r/justfuckmyshitup subreddit, a page dedicated to those with bad haircuts, and was based around rising (you guessed it) emo rapper, bexey.

      as with many others in the genre, most of bexey's following is still very underground even though popular tracks like 'cutthroat smile' and 'stay alive' have reached 2.9 million and 7 million hits, respectively, on youtube.

      while a bit of controversy surrounds bexter as he was once a good friend of late emo rap frontrunner
      lil peep
      (linked: 'your favorite dress') though has been rumored to have stolen several of peeper's clothes after his death, the musical point of discussion quickly turned to the question in the title:

      when did rap turn into this? we need to start over.

      not shortly after, user /u/GNAR-gemniii responds.

      This is natural progression in genres of music.
      Hip hop starts somewhere, has it's defining characteristics established, then people start pushing the genre in different directions because the same old same old has been done before.
      We're in a weird sort of teenage state with hip hop right now, where people are taking the genre and mixing in characteristic of other genres - some good, some bad. This, combined with the 'viral' nature of social media means we get people who do crazy things to stand out like the above, as part of pushing the genre in all these weird directions. This guy specifically is a blend of modern trap production with goth and emo influences (if you couldn't tell).
      as always, there are gonna be people who do it better than others, and people who rely on gimmicks for attention. This guy is a solid 6/10 talent wise, but has an image that appeals to a younger generation. This pattern is as old as music and culture, and people said the same things about every genre when we start getting some really wacky stuff that doesn't really fit within the confines that we would normally associate with the genre.
      Nu-metal is a great example of this. traditional rock and metal music had been done to death, so we had this infusion of hip hop characteristics in to metal. In its infancy, a lot of it is really bad as people figure out what works, then as the subgenres become more popular you have people who hit a nice groove that combines the best characteristics of both genres into something that actually appeals to people who might like one or the other, and can now appreciate the other part of the blooming subgenre. something like Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock vs. Linkin Park or Korn. They're very similar genre wise but you can see maturation of the style and the progression of people doing it well.
      We've already had some really nice subgenres blooming out of hip hop. Cloud rap is one that I think blends very well, and has been around long enough for people who were inspired by the artists at the forefront to come out and do it themselves, sometimes pushing it even further. Recently Lil Peep was an artist that many felt blended nicely the attitude of punk rock / emo / grunge with the banging beats that dominate modern hip hop currently. In the past couple years NY has had a surge of artists who grew up listening to the boom bap greats that paved the way for hip hop and are now blending that into the modern trap beats. The Underachievers are a personal favorite who demonstrate their understanding and respect for the origins of hip hop by showing master of both old and new styles (infused with the ideals of hippy counter culture) on their album Evermore: The Art of Duality. Seriously it's great, give it a listen. If you like old hip hop you will definitely like some of the songs at least, and it could open your eyes a bit and see how they translate traditional skills on top of more modern production.
      As the genre continues to dominate main stream music we're going to have people inspired by artists in these weird hip hop subgenres come out and do it better than their idols, giving us a further refined and more tasteful progression of the subgenres that are currently in their infancy.
      As time goes on, we forget the gimmicky trash that tends to flare out quickly and tend to remember the ones that did it well. Within the next 10 years i feel we're going to see some of the subgenres really shine and define themselves separately from the genres they have their roots in.
      I just love the culture so on some level I can enjoy some objectively not that great music because I appreciate the art and what these artists are trying to do.
      e. Don't even get me started on how metal has stagnated and it's energy has evolved into modern dubstep.

      10 votes
    3. howdy there folks! there's been a new breed of rap/hip-hop coursing through the industry in recent years. some songs riding the wave up to the crest in the industry, and gaining some popularity,...

      howdy there folks!

      there's been a new breed of rap/hip-hop coursing through the industry in recent years. some songs riding the wave up to the crest in the industry, and gaining some popularity, some artists intermingled in major controversy, and most relevantly, a lot of really sad late-millenial-early-gen-z kids getting together to cry in the dark, hug each other, dance until their bodies hurt, and get absolutely fucked up.

      this wave, as you can tell by the title of the post and my ceaseless, shitty, un-asked-for poetry, is that of

      #emo rap.

      (edit: as i was writing this i realized that i started to write for a really long time, so i'm just going to leave this at chapter one for now. if you want me to keep going, or if you saw any big ol' lies in here, feel free to let me know in the comments downstairs!)

      chapter one - sprite. the crisp history of emo rap.

      the modern evolution of emo rap is a lovechild of two unexpected homes - the montagues and the capulets. (sorry.)

      the first origin source is from exactly what the name of the genre suggests - emotional rap. in the 90s, the world of rap was vastly different than it is today. rock music was very much still the cultural zeitgeist, most kids daydreamed of being rockstars, and rap lyrics could be seen bouncing between the usual subjects: struggles of racism/classism, or bragging rights over the monetary, the loud, and the beautiful. the quality of life in the inner cities or housing projects, who had the best shooters, gang representation (east side / west side), or just how damn good weed is.

      it goes without saying that, since the birth of the genre, rap has had the capacity to be very introspective and reflective on the lifestyle and living conditions of the artist who'd penned the track. however - it, to my knowledge, was not all that common to see artists focusing on internal struggles, the pressures they faced to succeed financially for the sake of themselves and their families, the pressures they faced to perform well under their labels.

      very early examples of these more self-reflective types of songs come from the big dogs themselves.

      "Trapped" x Tupac Shakur speaks very much on the idea of being "trapped" inside of his neighborhood. this very politically charged song gets right into the perspective of Pac himself, and more importantly, the raw emotion flowing through his head as he looks around his day to day.

      "Suicidal Thoughts" x Notorious B.I.G Biggie himself coming out with one of his most vulnerable tracks he'd ever produced. this relatively short song proves to be very dense and curt, with the man himself talking about how he doesn't believe he's fit to get into heaven, how he believes his mom would have rather aborted him, and contemplating the effects that his death would have on those around him.

      tracks like these set the stage for the next wave of introspective rappers to take the stand, and interestingly enough, our three biggest culprits all seemed to be involved in some form or fashion in the music of the others.

      jumping from the nineties to the naughts, we see our next field of rappers entering stage right - kanye west, kid cudi, and drake.

      one of the first major albums to set the stage for the emo rap that we very well could see carrying the rap torch into the next decade, was none other than kanye west's "808s and Heartbreak". with features from kid cudi, we see kanye exploring a lot of heartbreak, loss, and loneliness on this record. for example, we've got tracks like "Bad News" where it seems like ye recants moments of his finding infidelity in the girl of his dreams, with lyrics like

      Didn't you know
      I was waiting on you
      Waiting on a dream
      That'll never come true
      Oh you just gonna
      Keep another love for you
      Oh you just gonna
      Keep it like you never knew

      over the next two years after 808s' release, we see cudi come out with a series of small records under his "man on the moon" project, featuring absolute earworms like "Day N' Night" and some of his deepest work like "Soundtrack 2 My Life". over the course of the project we hear cudi very often speaking on topics like depression, the death of his dad, and lots of drugs that were used as a means of escape from his own head.

      and in the next year, drake drops what (i would) consider to be his big-break record "Take Care". after his debut album saw a good deal of commercial success, and got drake a good amount of fame for himself, "Take Care" as an album serves as a bit of cathartic introspection for a young drizzy - often touching on topics like failed relationships, materialism, and loneliness. (mostly though, a lot of heartbreak. i think this is the album that gained drake a lot of negative attention in the rap community for being "soft", and "a bitch". i disagree, but hey, toxic masculinity, what ya gonna do.)

      the most notable songs off of take care came to be "Marvin's Room" with lines like

      Guess she don't have the time to kick it no more
      Flights in the morning
      What you doing that's so important?
      I've been drinking so much
      That I'ma call you anyway and say
      Fuck that nigga that you love so bad

      and of course, the title song of the album "Take Care" featuring topics of trust, heartbreak, and this yearning for someone's heart, at the expense of your own emotional wellbeing.

      'Cause that truth hurts, and those lies heal
      And you can't sleep thinking that he lies still
      So you cry still, tears all in the pillow case
      Big girls all get a little taste
      Pushing me away so I give her space
      Dealing with a heart that I didn't break

      and with these tracks leading us well into 2012, it's officially been made socially acceptable for rap to reach this level of introspection. yes, you will still catch shit for being "soft" (though less-so nowadays i find), but with absolute industry influencers like ye, cudi, and drizzy, it would be hard to argue that there's no place for this kind of music or these kinds of lyrics in the modern rap scene.

      the tone has been set, and we look onward to the next six years of rap music. what's to come of it? will there be more heavy r&b influence like we saw in Take Care? will electronic beats like we saw in 808s, or futuristic production styles like we had in Man in the Moon take charge? will these trendsetters who have now allowed rap to get interpersonal, raw, and introspective in a new field be paired with some new, unexpected style and add a brand new face to the game?

      join us next time for chapter two: dirt.


      13 votes