Answering Your Questions

Last week, I’ve announced that I would be doing a Questions & Answers/Ask Me Anything type of post, and so this is it! I’ve received some questions over on facebook and on the website, so I’ll answer them the best I can here in this post!

First let’s see what’s on the website! First comment comes from James Marshall:

Just want to say that I love the blog! It’s in my daily bunch of webcomics and blogs and news that I check every morning when I get into work. Thanks for all the great recommendations!

Thanks a lot! That’s not a question, but it’s very heartening to read that we’re part of your daily routine! Hopefully, you’ve already found a few amazing bands through the website. I’m trying to keep a daily schedule too, with posts every day, but I can’t always achieve this. I’m working on it though! Thanks for your comment.

Bob Rieder asks:

Very appreciative of your hard work man. My only question is what other blog sites would you recommend? Something kind of like what you have going on here?

Thanks Bob! I’m not really a blog reader, but there is a few websites that I highly respect. First of which is Heavy Blog Is Heavy. If you don’t know them already, hop on the page and begin reading immediately! You might say I’m biased, since I’m on their team as well, now, but I was already a huge fan of the website before they asked me to join, which is an immense honour to me! After that, there’s obviously Toilet ov Hell, with their original, imaginative, and thorough content, as well as their lively community! Love them. I also like No Clean Singing, even though their content is a bit more focused than CTEBCM’s, HBIH’s, or TOH’s. Lastly, I have great respect for Metal for Music Majors, a little one-man blog by and for the musically literate. Their articles are always super interesting, but unfortunately they haven’t posted in over a year. I suggest reading their older content, though, as it is still very thorough and well fleshed-out. Thanks again for the question!

Let’s switch over to Facebook. Jekabs Jursins writes:

What are your favourite records of 2017 so far? Are there any notable records that you feel have been surprisingly excellent from this year?

What is a fusion of genres you’d like to see more great music of (aka one you feel isn’t ‘forced fusion’)? Are there any genres you feel have been largely untapped?

And finally – what toppings would go on your dream pizza?

Favourites of 2017? You just have to read my Monthly Recommendations articles for that! As for what albums have been surprisingly excellent… Well, I’ve been really surprised by Glaswegians’ album. Mainly because I was pretty much disillusioned with prog, and particularly this kind of prog, but Severance is downright exquisite. It’s almost perfectly sewn together and doesn’t fall into clichés of the genre. I’d say this is my big surprise of the year.

As for a fusion of genres I’d like to see, well, there just isn’t a lot of things I can think of that haven’t been tried already! Two things I thought about recently is the fusion of jazz and blackgaze, and of contemporary classical/ambient and post-hardcore. Those would probably just be oddities in the music spectrum, but I think it would be quite interesting to hear!

Microtonal music, although not a genre per se, is the big thing that’s largely untapped in music. Part of that has to do with the fact that most of the people are not used to non-12EDO music and find it jarring. Another part of the problem is the availability of microtonal instruments. There have been more and more virtual instruments and VSTs capable of playing xenharmonic notes, but real-life instruments like guitars and keyboards require a much more important monetary investment to acquire than regular instruments. However, we’re getting at it. Sevish has explored microtonal drum and bass music, Brendan Byrnes synth-pop, among many others, The Mercury Tree progressive rock, and Jute Gyte and Last Sacrament black metal. I will keep pushing for new microtonal music because I truly believe that the future of music lies outside the strictly 12EDO system.

My dream pizza has extra cheese, meat sauce, chicken or ham, pineapple, and zero calories.

Brian Gerth asks:

How much do I need to pay you for a 10/10?

But seriously, why have you been doing this for 5 years now? Is it purely a passion project? Also, when was the last time you were “blown away” by something? With all the music you go through it music get kinda repetitive here and there. Aside from A Crow Looked At Me, I’d say Pin Up Went Down might be the choice for me.

1: A lot of money. I could bring back numeric ratings on the website for a small amount, but breaking my integrity will cost ya!

2: Why? Well, it started simply because I wanted to share my ‘uncommon’ musical tastes with other people, given that in my small town I had nobody with whom to share my passion. I’m glad I did, because it helped me discover many great artists that I probably would’ve never heard of otherwise, and I’ve met, digitally, with many awesome and interesting people through the years! To be honest, I’m often a little “blown away” by new things I decide to talk about, although I rarely am completely in awe anymore. Often times, it will be a small detail that is incredibly well done here, or a certain influence or fusion there. I think the last time I’ve been completely blown away was when I discovered Corima. I was never a fan of zeuhl, but this band made me discover the Japanese school of the genre, despite being American, and I’m still in adoration of them.

Jan Dries writes:

How do you keep on finding all these gems?
Have been following the blog like 4 years by now and I’m really grateful. It changed my life and the way I perceive music.

Wow, changing the way you perceive music is not a small thing! I’m honoured to be part of this process for you, and glad you’ve been following along for so long! I’ve changed the way I discover music since the website’s inception. At first, I was quite active on forums and suggestions on Youtube videos. Suggestions from friends also played a big role in discovering new bands. When the blog started to make a name for itself, I became more passive and relied on the messages, emails, and promotional opportunities sent to me for a while. However, this was not enough for me, and I started getting active, even more so than at first. Right now, I’d say my daily routine is reading the blog’s emails and promos, making the rounds of music-sharing groups on Facebook, VK, and a few subreddits, and then going a few times per week on forums, although they’re dying out slowly. Then, I use Bandcamp’s discover feature to go through what new releases have been added to the website in a few select genres. I also often go on other websites like those I mentioned earlier. Thanks for your question!

Robert Miklos:

Can you recommend me things like Follow the white rabbit? I found them first here along with many other gems but nothing quite so (maybe Hubardo by Kayo Dot)

Oh, man… Follow the White Rabbit is still one of the bands that crush my heart whenever I think of them. Now, just because you’ve mentioned it, I’ll have to listen to their album in full again! There really is nothing quite like them. Endorphinia is a unique album, unequalled, and will probably remain so forever. I’m sorry to bring you the bad news, but I don’t think I’ve come across something as beautiful and magical as this album. In a way, it makes it even more special.

Aaron Stanley asks:

Your discoveries are very diverse but I wondered if there was a particular genre or sub-genre that you preferred over others?

There’s a few genres that really do it for me, like hit the spot just right. That would be progressive rock and metal, experimental jazz and math rock, and avant-garde metal. I think I just am more easily amazed by those genres than probably anything else.

Matt Matheson writes:

What genre(s) have you grown to appreciate over the past 5 years, that 5-years-ago-Dave would be surprised by?

How has the breadth of music you’ve been exposed to impacted you as a composer of music yourself?

Zeuhl, definitely. Five years ago, I found Magma really boring (and still do), but I’ve recently come to like its Japanese parallel with bands like Corina, Ruins, and 高円寺百景 (Kōenjihyakkei). Other than that, I’ve softened on pop music. Before, anything with the label of pop was lame and boring, but I’ve come across many awesome avant-garde and experimental pop artists, such as Superzero, Panic Error, Brendan Byrnes, and Zia.

Oh, that’s a tough question. I think it just messed me up completely! Before, I used to write things that were relatively straightforward and focused, but after having been exposed to so many different things, I think my brain just wants to mix everything together. That’s cool as far as music creation goes, but being all over the place is a tough seller, mainly because few people have broad musical tastes. Also, I have never formally studied music composition, so I’m sure this should take some blame too.

Mauricio Mendez asks:

What are the craziest, most original and intense bands you’ve ever heard? And what are your favourite albums of avant garde or experimental music?
What’s the difference between how you run your blog now and how it was at the beginning?

Again with a tough one! I’ve listened to so many bands and artists that I would be lying if I said I could write down by memory the craziest, most original and intense band I’ve heard. However here’s a few likely candidates: Utopianisti, Amogh Symphony, Corima, Omniataxia, Omar, Wozzeck, Bisbâyé, and Coma Cluster Void.

There’s not a huge difference between then and now. I just write what I think about stuff that interests me. I guess I’ve just become more professional in the process, and I like to think that I’ve become better in doing so through the years!

Luke Kelly:

Have you ever listened to an album that made you say with utmost confidence, “No, this can NOT even be called music”?

In five years, my personal definition of music changed. I don’t exactly remember what I thought at first, but now I can safely say that I believe that music is any sound or sounds played and put together, consciously or unconsciously, by someone or something, with or without a particular aim or vision in mind. Yes, that’s quite broad, but music is incomprehensibly broad. If you’re on a bench in a city, you won’t think of the ambient noises as music at all, but there are albums of field recordings out there selling just that on CD as music. Basically, if someone can think of something as music, then it can be music. That renders the name of the blog practically useless, but I like to think that, upon reading it, people wanting to challenge their own assertions of what is and isn’t music will come here and discover new things. I don’t personally cover stuff like harsh noise and field recordings because, while I do believe it is music, I don’t find it particularly interesting and don’t enjoy listening to it at all. To each their own, though…

And, finally, Cat Klingenberg ends with a cute non-question:

Congratulations! Thanx for a lot of crazy music I probably would never know without your help :)

That’s really kind of you! I too would’ve never known a lot of crazy music without this website! I’m glad you’re part of the adventure.

That’s all, folks! Two thousand words with you. That was long, and quick at the same time. Thanks again for your questions and comments, and I hope you and I stay on board for still a long time! Cheers!

PS: We’ve also put together a huge and awesome compilation for free on bandcamp! Go grab it, and share it all around!

On July 12 2017, this entry was posted.