August 26, 2018 at 10:30 am #3673
Let’s post our all-time top 10 freeform, hard NRG, and TYFTH-relevant music. Here’s mine:
01. Alek Száhala – Afternoon Owl
02. Alek Száhala – Iron Squid
03. Alek Száhala – Anmitzcuaca
04. Alek Száhala – Enuma Elish
05. Alek Száhala – Freezing Clouds
06. Alek Száhala – Man Eaten
07. Alek Száhala – Aurinko
08. Paocala – Starfall
09. Alek Száhala – Comet Catcher
10. Alek Száhala – Comanche
I am still not 100% sure about this list, but for now I’ll leave it like this. It’s tough picking 10 tracks out of so many great ones. And then ranking them accordingly makes it harder, of course. Still, I believe Afternoon Owl is the quintessential száhala-style piece of music. Iron Squid is awesome, but I feel the transition to its final climax was perhaps too hasty. You are served this orgy of happiness and euphoria almost out of the blue—and stuff coming out of the blue is almost always by definition silly. I’d say the reason for this was that the first 5 minutes of the track progressed very logically, with each part taking its time to fully develop into the next part (giving thus a calm and secure vibe) but then, as good as that one minute breakdown was, the sudden climax still kind of feels forced and histrionic. That said, Iron Squid is still a master piece and a supreme example of the száhala-style. As for Enuma Elish, after the initial enthusiasm, I’ve since looked at it more objectively and decided that it could’ve been better. I really appreciate Sahala’s courage to be boring. His disdain for little feminine nuances and his commanding compositions are a big part of what defines his music, but I feel he went a little too far with this one. You’ll see from previous versions of this track that he ended up scrapping many details, even going as far as deleting full parts of the track. This streamlining is a good thing, but is it not possible to over do it? Because after a point, the music will just start sounding autistic. I’ll probably write more about this track in the future, giving detailed examples of what I believe could’ve been done better, with timestamps and whatever. But I’m pretty sure now that Enuma Elish is NOT Száhala’s best.
But, yeah, let’s see what everyone else’s top 10 looks like so we can get an idea of TYFTH members’ taste.August 28, 2018 at 1:09 am #3679
Placed Aurinko above Starfall. Like I said, it’s tough ranking these tracks. I have no doubt about the first two spots, but after that it’s difficult. Anmitzcuaca is powerful, but how can I seriously compare it with Aurinko? The former is pure rage, nonstop energy building on itself, while the latter is pure bliss, with a simple yet powerful melody. Saying Anmitzcuaca is better than Aurinko is ultimately saying pure rage is better than pure bliss, since both these tracks are near perfect representations of these feelings.
So take my ranking from the 3rd place onward with a grain of salt. I just placed Starfall below Aurinko, because I prefer Aurinko‘s main melody. Aurinko might be simpler, but it does not get boring, whereas Starfall‘s 2:50 melody verges on the annoying after a not-so-distant point. The 4:27 transition is a terrific touch, a little bit of fresh air, some distraction from the main melody that leads to another powerful melody at 5:15. But then at 5:45 we’re back to that first melody that was already verging on the annoying when it left and… it takes a special kind of person to want to endure this kind of discomfort. This, however, is practically what defines Száhala’s music. These persistent feelings and this painful pursuit of delayed gratification (the gratification we feel when a melody finally advances to a different stage, or a new note appears, or some gimmick messes around with the tempo, etc.) can be found pretty much in ALL of his tracks if you bother to take a closer look. Even Aurinko‘s final exploding melody persists far longer than your random MTV teenage pop song. And that’s a good thing. There’s already enough girly music today I say!
Another thing is that Starfall clearly gives a much more contemplative vibe than Aurinko. Aurinko is happiness full stop. But Starfall has a clear dreamy vibe, so ranking one above the other would once more be equivalent to ranking feelings and emotions, and saying happiness > contemplation. But since I feel Aurinko is a more perfect representation of happiness than Starfall is a representation of contemplation, I decided to change their relative positions. Starfall is more complex, in a way, just as Sunray is more “complex” and at the same time is still not good enough for me to consider placing it on a top 20.August 28, 2018 at 1:19 am #3680
I should add that Száhala’s sound design is very characteristic and that’s obviously a good thing. Some of the timbres you hear in his music seem to come from some alien civilization! I mean, why do you think I rank Freezing Clouds so high, even though it’s pretty much an unfinished sketch?August 28, 2018 at 2:03 am #3683
Reposting this, because it seems to have disappeared:
I know what you guys are thinking btw. “This dude sure loves Száhala lol”. And you can bet your ass I do. As I said elsewhere after all, his best music is orders of magnitude above his competition. I will however make an alternative top 10 with no Száhala. I have too many gigabites of this kind of music on my hard-drive, and I’ve listened to many other artists in the genre throughout the years so I think can make this with relative ease. I’d say this alternative list would be mostly composed of DJ RX, Pain on Creation, Epyx & Cyrez and Nomic, but I’ll have to give it some thought before I type it down. Not sure if Grimsoul would qualify. Carbon Based’s Cyclone would make it, I think.
You know, I’m not even sure Nomic would get that far in the list. His style of music is even harder to make than Száhala’s. I mean the 180 BPM four-to-the-floor tragic style. The sweetspot for the nomic-style is even narrower than the one for the száhala-style. This is inherent in ALL tragedy. And this is something that I will for now quickly try to make you realize with three rhetorical questions: You can’t exactly make a mature man cry in 5 minutes can you? And what do you think of a mature man who flips from seriousness to crying in the spawn of 5 minutes? Wouldn’t that make you laugh? Herein lies the problem with pretty much all of Nomic’s music: he gives us these HUGE tragic climaxes almost out of nowhere! But that’s a subject for another day. I’m going now lol.August 29, 2018 at 4:34 am #3684
Think of it this way. If I reduce all of the Greek tragedies to one sentence, instead of tragedy we get… comedy.
“Dude accidentally bangs his mother.”
“Two hundred forty men die in battle because a cuckold wanted his cheating wife back.”
“Man is willingly granted the power to turn everything to gold with his touch, but soon died of starvation after all his food transformed into inedible glittering sculpture.”
“Guy builds working wings, but dies after inattentively flying into the sun.”
COMING THIS FALL TO COMEDY CENTRALAugust 29, 2018 at 5:15 am #3685
I’m pretty sure Nomic is intuitively aware of what I’m talking about, and this is, I suspect, the reason he has officially released so few tracks.
With this in mind, though, I fully support Nomic. The reason for this is that tragedy is awesome. And, in theory, if Nomic was able to create a proper aural tragedy (in the nomic-style, of course, because there have been already plenty of those in the classical style) he would almost by definition be ranked above Száhala. This is because we as human beings have evolved to absolutely adore tragedy, and have indeed practically raised all the artists who successfully managed to create it to demi-gods, immortalizing their names for centuries. A great tragedy is valued more by us, as human beings, than a great comedy, or a great epic, or a great parable, or whatever. There are psychological reasons for this, but we shouldn’t stray too much off-topic here, so I’m ending this train of thought here. The point anyway is that Nomic can potentially (meaning: in theory) create music that is MUCH MORE powerful than Száhala as ever created. And I think if he actually put his mind to it, he could. He’s a competent producer and clearly knows what to do with his DAW. He’s also already created a characteristic sound design, one of the things that I value so much in Száhala. And his little tragic sketches sound powerful indeed (when judged as sketches, not proper tragedies). So if he made a track that got into his ultimate, super tragic climaxes in, say, 15 or 20 minutes, instead of in 5 puny minutes which is what he is basically doing now, I think we’d all be in for a treat. A track that progressed as tightly as a Száhala track, but which instead of bliss gives you tragedy? Wouldn’t that be awesome!
“But oh bern you must be crazy, a TWENTY minute track? Isn’t that TOO long?”
But isn’t this genre of music supposed to be called “freeform”? Why do all the tracks have to last less than 8 minutes? Are there any unspoken rules out there that I’m not aware of? Perhaps in some theoretical book about EDM that I have never read about? Then show this theory to me and tell me about it. And even then, if you are so keen on sticking with these random rules, then why are you calling your music “freeform” lol? To impress your hipster friends perhaps?
The only logical explanation I find for 20 minute tracks not being common in the EDM scene is: it would put DJs out of business–or, perhaps more realistically, have the artists who made these huge tracks not being played on clubs. But it’s not like Száhala and DJ RX are regularly playing at Tomorrowland, anyway, so this is in the end a weak explanation.
So, yeah, that’d be my solution to Nomic’s problem: have his tragic climax temporally delayed, and increase the length of his tracks.August 29, 2018 at 5:46 am #3686September 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm #3688
most of nomic’s freeform tracks are actually 7-9 minutes and I’m gonna go on a limb and say his songs are an outlet for his emotions and not written to be tragedies. I’m not really sure why more haven’t been released, but I assume the reasons are quite varied as they usually are.September 5, 2018 at 4:14 pm #3689
As for my top 10…that’s incredibly difficult I guess if I had to choose it’d be something like this though
1. Betwixt & Between – Tout Est Bien (Sein Zum Tode)
2. Nomic – Falling Star III
3. Horzi – Human Hater
4. LV.4 – Angel Dust
5. Einhander – Devil’s ear 2011
6. Betwixt & Between – Self Extortion
7. Qygen – Mega Cliche Hard Trance Crack
8. Alabaster – Galaxy
9. Ark-Z – Lunatic Satelite
10. Alek Szahala – Deimos
Honorable mention of both 梶浦由記 – 目覚め (Nomic remix) and Alek Szahala’s Ihme Juttu, as both are remixes/bootlegs so i’m gonna gonna include in my top 10 but they’re certainly up there.September 7, 2018 at 6:55 am #3695
My top 10 doesn’t know what melancholy is. It only knows rage and anger.
In no particular order:
– Betwixt & Between – Reincarnation
– Einhander – Four Beast
– GULD – Perkele!
– Epilim – Rapid Fire
– Zio – Hell’s Gate (Afaggdu Remix)
– RR-ThermalForce – Al Megiddo
– Booty – Oyakogoro BPM
– BTW – Hollow
– Rx – Killer Instinct
– Pain on Creation – Adaptation
Of course, I am not even mentioning Alabaster, Carbon Based, Re-Form, Alek and all that excellent stuff, so I will just mention the closest ones to my state of mind when I need to grind something.
And you cant listen to them all the time, otherwise they lose their potency.September 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm #3740
Some lovely writing there bern, nicely articulating a lot of what I admire about Alek. To a degree I think you’re on to something with his ‘bravery to be boring’, what I might call the bravery to be repetitive. I’m thinking especially of tracks like Timiquizqueh and Tlaloc, and I’d agree that Elish falls the wrong side of that balance, if you play it from start to finish. Starfall’s close, but for the reasons you describe I still prefer it to Aurinko.
Some of my favourite Nomic tracks are neither short nor freeform (one is the 10 minute Human Race chillout edit), which confirm he’d be pretty comfortable writing something longer. As Shekel said, his sets show that he has a good feel for structuring freeform over an hour or so. One compromise would be to hear more Nomic Live PAs…
I’ll try a top ten too – much like bern it’s a case of which Alek tracks to add first, and a few of these could easily be swapped out for others. Actually, let me cut a couple of Alek tracks to fit some other artists in…
No particular order, slightly off the top of my head:
Alek Szahala – Man Eaten
Alek Szahala – Voices of Babylon
Alek Szahala – Supriya
Alek Szahala – Vengeance 2007
Alek Szahala – Invitation
Betwixt & Between – Hollow
Betwixt & Between – Reincarnation
DJ Rx – Hellfire
Hase – Brionac
Pain on Creation – LushSeptember 26, 2018 at 11:08 pm #3750
On second thought, it is cool to see how each of our tastes differ when forced to narrow it down as far as this, knowing we all share a certain common ground. In the end a lot of what I love so much about Betwixt could just as well be said for Alek: both clearly worked for their own sake (or at least gave a very strong impression they did), were always trying new things and taking liberties with common patterns, the result in each case being a vast selection of tracks all distinctly different from one another. Throw characteristic sound design and their beautifully disorienting melodies on top of that and you get…well, whatever it would be called, this community knows what it is!
Ironically, you ended up explaining some likely reasons most of my top spots were stolen from him too. Heh…October 14, 2018 at 7:40 am #3776
Another post disappeared when I tried to edit it! I had added more in defense of Nomic, but I’ll take this to mean that’s a better topic for another time. Not too much point in recopying the rest unless others want it, but here was my list:
1. Betwixt & Between – Reincarnation
2. Hase – Houkai (Reloop)
3. Alabaster – Strikes Back
4. Hase – Brionac
5. Betwixt & Between – Liberation
6. Alek Száhala – Caballo 2004
7. Twisted Freq – Hanuman Visits Lanka
8. RR-ThermalForce – Moving Flare
9. Pain on Creation – Night Prey (Live Edit)
10. Einhander – Storm ComingOctober 23, 2018 at 11:25 pm #3779
Long time tyth Follower (used to post sometimes under PD’s posts even) and first time forum poster. Going straight after most listened list on my computer:
1. Hase – Brionac
2. Epyx & Cyrez – Unhola (Guld remix)
3. Alek Szahala – Iron Squid
4. Betwixt & between – Reincarnation
5. Alek Szahala – Voices of babylon
6. Alek Szahala – vengeance (2007 remix)
7. Substanced & Horzi – Superior Pressure (2009 Remix)
8. Nomic – Make me real (unmasteri 0.8)
9. Betwixt & Between – Matter of Fact
10. Dj Rx – Code of silence
Does the list reflect my top 10 fav songs? not really, but I can’t really come up with 10x fav songs. Tons of good tracks out there. Also a lot of tracks I really like weren’t on my most listened list due to either having lost the files (hardware crash) or because it got reset once and thus only my “recent” listening habits are represented.
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