Thursday, 9 May 2013


Lauryn Hill has become a real life music refugee.


Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Have you seen Iron Man 3 yet? Well, I have and I felt compelled to write about it – have you read my analysis? Did you go for the Samsung Galaxy S4 over the HTC One or vice versa? As you know I went for the Galaxy S4 and I am so very, very happy with it... I have to write a follow-up to the review! I’ve had it nearly two weeks now and... Mmmmmm... Bliss!

Are you a follower of today’s music? I am sorry to say that I don’t have too much time for today’s music... Why? Oh, I am glad you asked...

I have to let you know that I LOVE music in many of its forms: Blues, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rock, Punk, Classical and so on... Yes, I even love some Country! Lol! Don’t laugh! I wonder how many of you know the hit ‘I Will Always Love You’ as sung by the late, great Whitney Houston, was written by Dolly Parton. I think her version sounds just as emotional.

When I was growing up I used to listen to a lot of Pop and I remember great music being amongst the charts such as John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. We had a diverse range of artists including the legendary David Bowie.

In my teens my tastes changed to ‘Alternate’ that originated out of the Punk phenomenon. I was listening to a great range from the Cocteau Twins to Nick Cave, Talking Heads, George Clinton / Parliament / Funkadelic, Bootsy, Prince and many others. Towards the end of the 80s I started to get into Electronic music and discovered Kraftwerk and the Neue Deustche Welle (the New German Wave) that had its origins in Experimental music which used non-conventional instruments. When the synthesiser became smaller and accessible it gave birth to a New Wave of German Electronic music which influenced a whole bunch of musicians around the world such as Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby, Carl Craig, Afrika Bambaataa, Yellow Magic Orchestra and so many others.

To say that I am a fan of Electronic music is a great understatement! What I love about Electronic music is that one is able to create very interesting unconventional rhythms and sounds. Moreover, when equipment became affordable I could have a go at creating music!

The home computer – notably Atari and Amiga - was pivotal in being able to use a software sequencer to control the hardware synthesizer and drum machine through a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). Awesome!

Today the much of the synthesiser and drum machine hardware has been absorbed into the computer with the brilliant and ingenious invention called Virtual Studio Instruments (and effects) – VST.

Since computers became widespread in modern music production I had noticed that the quality of music was becoming bland in its rhetoric and eventually it is what it is today: stripped of character and direction. Yes, 1 Direction pretty much sums up my sentiments regarding today’s music. I think the last controversial character was Marilyn Manson but he has fizzled out. For a moment I thought the Prodigy would keep the fire going for rebellious music but even they have blanded out. The Firestarter’s fire has been put out.

The computer has made it so easy to knock out track after track... With the right software YOU can be a music producer. But should it be so easy?

I ask: Why must music be so derivative? Why? Even what’s known as ‘Alternative’ is just as bland. I used to do a magazine for the ‘Alternative’ Electronic music scene and in the end I just couldn’t cope with reviewing singles, EPs and album that had very, very similar themes. Honestly, it was making me depressed and I feel better for turning my back on it.

Music has become a formula designed for repeat business... Don’t believe me? Just listen to Maroon 5’s ‘She Will Be Loved’ and U2’s ‘With Or Without You’.

If music is the food of love shouldn’t we be dining in the finest restaurant instead of junk food outlets?

Let me leave you with the words of Lauryn Hill who was incarcerated recently for tax evasion... She wrote a description of today’s music industry, “...a climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism".

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