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There is nothing necessarily wrong with mainstream music. A lot of it can be a bit unoriginal and boring, but there are still mainstream artists out there that try new things. Since house music is a popular genre that is notoriously simple, with its four-on-the-floor beat and pounding bass, I’ve decided to provide some other mainstream electronic artists as alternatives. For people who enjoy house music for its listenability and danceability, none of these artists should be unpalatable.

SBTRKT. This guy is pretty sick. Every single one of his songs manages to be different from the others, and I have a hard time even placing what kind of a sound he has. Sometimes it’s soulful, other times it’s funky, other times it has a bluesy feel to it. To have this kind of diversity from one artist is simply impressive. Most people who have heard of SBTRKT will have heard Wildfire, but I also recommend Hold On and Sanctuary to get a glance at what SBTRKT is about.

Artful Dodger.
I find 2-step to be more engaging than house because the beats are peppier. Artful Dodger are a good example of that. Their songs all have a snappy rhythm (as is the nature of 2-step), and I can’t help but enjoy them. In reality, their songs aren’t even that much more complicated than a standard rnb song, but the electronic elements enrich what the music is capable of. Think About Me is the song that got me into them, but some other good ones are Please Don’t Turn Me On (which definitely has an rnb feel) and Movin’ Too Fast(which actually has a 70’s vibe that Artful Dodger uses a lot).

Way Out West. I’ve recently become a fan of these guys. Ostensibly, they are a trance group, but I’ve found them to actually be very innovative with their songs. When I listen to trance albums, I usually get kind of bored by the end, because trance starts to drone on and on with the same beat and same tempo – it’s good for a mindtrip, but that’s not always what I want. With these guys, their songs are surprisingly dynamic. Notice how the song changes throughout in Mindcircus (my personal favorite), Blue, and The Gift. Also notice how each of the three songs are unique from each other. That’s the kind of thing that keeps you listening.

Modu.
While Modu may not really be mainstream, I’ve been listening to his stuff on youtube and wanted to give him a mention. His genre is liquid funk, which is the class of dnb that involves calming backing music. It’s not complicated, but it’s really great to listen to. I’ll explain no further and provide New Steps of Change, which might just be the greatest liquid funk song I’ve ever heard. Two more songs I like by him are Roses Without Thorns and Inner City Life. What’s interesting about this music is that it’s got a nice optimistic tone without bringing the excess warmth of other “happy” music, like indie (or excess cheese, like indie pop). I think a lot of mainstream listeners would find Modu appealing, and he deserves a listen.

With that, I’ve hopefully provided a few diamonds in the rough of standard electronica that mainstream and underground listeners alike can enjoy. Getting back to house music, I’d like to talk about Avicii. I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while, but couldn’t find the right article to put it in. I know that a lot of people only like (or hate) Avicii because of “Levels,” but I have been a fan of his remixes for a while, and I’d like to offer one of his best for people that may not have heard it. He’s honestly very talented at this.

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5 thoughts on “If you’re getting bored of house

  1. Lol its not about being nice. Its about being balanced and non-biased. This article was informative – and I got to listen to some bands that I hadn’t heard of before (although I had heard SBTRKT and I’m a big fan). The reality is, I agree with 90% of your gripes. That Machine Gun song sounded like shit to me. And I have no problem with you ripping in to it. But where I draw the line is when people refuse to recognize it as art altogether. To me its a sucker-punch. Basically its saying “I don’t like this song but I can’t really come up with a good enough argument as to why its bad, so I’m just going to completely disrespect the artist by saying it isn’t even art”. Its all about respect. And you have to be abstract as well – if the people that listen to it are predominantly douchebags – that doesn’t necessarily mean its a bad genre – it just means its gained a foothold in a wider douchebag inclusive audience. And I guarantee you that every genre will have its fair share of douchebags – extroverted genres just tend to have extroverted douchebags. Don’t forget a large majority of electronic music was born at acid-fuelled rave parties – and alot of rock music was written under the influence of marijuana. But music is music. Its a product that needs to be criticized abstract to its creator and listeners. If you wanted to criticize Apple corporation you could take the sucker punch approach and say its consumers and CEO’s are douchebags, or you could be mature about it and criticize the company itself based on its core ideology. Anyways I think we just come from different backgrounds. I’ve produced a lot of music and so for that reason I am careful before casting the first stone. A serious amount of effort goes into music production, in the majority of cases does not reward financially and is subject to a myriad of critics, most of whom have never written a song in their life. I just want you to realize that.

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  2. I can respect that producing music is hard. It takes so much time, I can’t even really do it practically right now, even though I wanted to and have made some simple songs in the past. I know enough to where I think it’s fair to say Katy Perry has some talented audio engineers working for her, but they are still putting in a lot of their own hours to make very basic stuff. I don’t know why they’d want to do that, as musicians themselves.I also don’t think it is out of the question to say that some songs are easier to write than others. Artists like Rebecca Black and Justin Bieber are releasing pure cookie cutter material, and it’s not like I’d expect the mixing/mastering to be anything their producers haven’t done before. Without accusing anyone of not being an artist, I don’t feel like anybody had to work that hard to make the latest Bieber hit. Sometimes it seems like the marketing team is what’s really doing the work.On the other hand, guys like Avicii do seem to like adding personal touches and trying some ideas out in their work, and I give them MORE credit than I give the standard pop production company.

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  3. Yes I would agree. Theres popular music and then there is pop. My pet hate is boybands – I see them as no talent garbage simply designed to make as much money as possible from prepubescent teenage girls.

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