The Neptunes….A Long Lasting Legacy!

The-Neptunes

 

Before I start on these wonder-kinds. I always think what if…my recruiter never gave me that cd….what if I had not decided to go to the Marine Corps….would this even be a figment of my build up. I gotta give up the props as well as the kudos to the outstanding longevity the duo comprised of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. They have had hands on with some of the greatest talent past and present such as, SWV hailing from the R&B camp, even in hip hop with Mase & PDiddy, all the way across the water to electronic & dance aficionado’s such as Daft Punk.

To think about it these guys operate well from humble beginnings back in the day at summer band camp, Pharrell on drums and Chad on sax. They definitely made and continue to make a statement about the established way a producer is supposed to be. They are also an entry into the oblique entry of music with a fruition of success I’m their wake. A super positive message these forward thinkers give off rooting from skateboarding and making best use of the gear they have to create music ushered in an amazing formula as well as inspired millions.

The thing that gets so many people riled up about these two are their ability to come at any topic in a oblique way. I especially have them tiered highly on my scale in regards to their sound. It completely describes me and also is where I get most of my motivation from to create this awesome music as such. It’s rather easy to just go and copy the latest trap fused music these days just by truncating the drums but, when you can actually take sounds and make work that are completely chosen at random. Or in a way that makes it seem as if they found it way off in no-mans land and make a hit from it. These are the geniuses of the craft. In my mind they didn’t copy they only went with influences and translated it their own way. Chad Hugo mentioned that sometimes there is an initial idea or root song but, by the end it’s a completely different song idea that is comprised.

I think the biggest thing they contribute to the industry is the subliminal idea of being yourself and reaching out for your goals. No matter how distant they may seem always go with a steady pace…like Pharrell mentioned at some point when you look up after all the investment of time and nerdy you will see the fruits of the labor in which you have strived to achieve. I take a lot of motivation from him because of the way he delivers the idea of a search for and appreciation of ” That that is not there.”

I plan on taking a lot of the ideas that they have given in the media and even the way it is presented. As I’ve learned Pharrell doesn’t really like interviews that is where I differ. I also agree on the aspect of not really giving away too much about the build up of an album. It is that arcane idea that really makes the team so epic in their bravado or work delivered. At the current moment I am working to build a near Star Trak equivalent with a few twist that will definitely pay homage to the ones before.

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The MAU5 is in The House!

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I think its time I got this party started right with DEADMAU5 aka Joel Zimmerman. If you hadn’t heard this guy is the main event at all your entertainment outlets whether you may even know it or not. From games to festivals and being one of the most prolific mover and shaker on the entertainment scene, even scoring big on Forbes this mouse is very busy in the house.

I see him as a mirror reflection in some ways…completely starting from gaming whether (PC)ing or consoling the roots of his success. This is where it all started. As I’ve been looking into his build up I put those fundamental ideas of making music that you feel rather than the rules associated with the status quo. This is what I consider his major contribution to the industry transcending just a feel of right of passage, but, more of a interpersonal reflection and testament of success of a gamers.

In essence it proves that gaming does a lot to expanding the horizons of introverts and extroverts alike. I hear it all the time where “political suits” claim that gaming is bad for you or it leads to bad dispositions…Where here is proof that with the right mindset as well as invested interest in your craft you can be successful. Deadmau5 has openly professed that he is not a musician, but, rather, a person that knows how music sounds. Don’t get me wrong this was years in the making and lots of man hours associated with making music for others. But, its that groundwork where the rubber meets the road and you have the icon as you see now!

I was even shocked to find others that have gone this same route on a music level but, in the composition line of things and I wondered what actually made that possible…The fella that I am talking about has actually stated it to DeadMau5 as well..You would not believe it…Hans Zimmer. Believe it or not he is actually cut from the cloth of oblique entry as well…

Even the delivery that Deadmau5 uses as his trade mark crosses bounds and is attractive to multiple industries. I mean at what point back in the day would that have been a trend to wear a giant mouse head? Now its a fashion statement as well as a being inline with a monolithic statement. You see it and your’e instantly like….WoW! Joel’s take on his trademarks and the music made in a technological way actually supersede the idea of the olden way…..Today you have to be versatile, forward thinking and this is a full purposed example of how that actually can be done. To you Mr. Zimmerman I say….Stay prototypical take the world. Continue proving them wrong again and again.

Simple, and ingenious features such as the mouse head gave a real stand out feature to the build of Joel’s moniker. A lot of others noted that the feel exudes a Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel feel but, From my stance I think its a league of its own. Take what is established and turn it into your own brew.

I take a huge amount of motivational aspects from this approach as a professional. What it encourages is that new train of thought and game on to the naysayers as well as the ones of the old way. I also think its a way to look for that what is absent in the realm of what exist.  I write that to the haters, skeptics and the ones that actually may travel the path all the time wondering if what they are doing is functional or instead of a waste of time….I challenge you to change your perspective and look at it as time well spent. Look forward not backwards….Stay Prototyped!

Nothing Compares to German Engineering….Kraftwerk

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There is a lot that goes behind the team of Kraftwerk….in some circles it is said that nothing beats German Engineering. The mere fact that they have held it down to the finest detail throughout all the trial and tribulation of previous established german mindset and ancestral undertakings is pure evidence enough of this.

I find this quartet to be trailblazers as well as going against the grain in regards to what is established as the system of thought about music generally taken as the main event. To have the knack and ability to persevere in times when Germans were not that ideal all the way to now where they too have etched their place in history as mavericks that changed the game for future generations is astounding.

Like other qualities that make great leaders as well as keep morale high. I see Kraftwerk as a rise to notoriety amidst the harsh times and future sound as well as the delivery of style as clean cut, suit wearing musical scientist. This was a conundrum in a lot of aspects because they did what they were passionate in as well as delivered it in a way that couldn’t be easily copied and also made a statement.

Kraftwerks early albums were heavily caught in the peace and love movement initially and then on to the future and transcending what was normally thought to be possible. This music caught the attention of major artist that actually made the move to seemingly bring in the tide of technologically advanced and out there music.

Some of there initial works were aimed at the delivery of trendy audiences with the delivery in line as the beach boys but, with a well disciplined and clean cut appearance at all times. They eventually went harder with the path less taken with lyrics in their native tongue. Some even had the idea this was a political movement they were on. In a sense they were activist.

The way that Kraftwerk has influenced the flow of electronic music in todays sound, would’ve been their hallmark to the norm. I look at acts such as Daft Punk, DeadMau5, even new fledgling such as Skrillex with that out there sound. They have paved the way for lots of artist and bands of today with the technology based sounds. All the way down to instruments used, think native instruments…and you cant even go too far back without them contributing to the build / sound in some way.

Today they still are turn up in the ways that they deliver and the best part is there is no lackluster in-fact its uniformly welcomed. To me the best acts have awesome showmanship and they are responsible for the unearthing of the idea. As a professional this is what need to be harnessed more. I feel like it shouldn’t be how you look initially when you sound off but, only as you progress you take more time into your strategic delivery of memorable performances….They are founders…and to them……homage.

Marvin Gaye: I Bet You Didn’t Know What Was Going On (J. Sanders Reflection)

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Where do I start….a lot of people knew Mr.Gaye by his music and the way that he delivered R&B…overly prolific with his sexualized delivery and a male sex symbol of his time. A lot of us either heard our parents talk about him or either introduce us to his music. Either way we know musically Mr. Gaye.  I’ve been sitting here trying to get the epic studio stories out and really reflect on him and what he went through as well as did with his repertoire with music. You really have to analyze lyrics as well as the delivery that influenced a generation. So while you read this just put on some of his work and get in that train of thought.

I’ll start off by what he was on musically before he really just sat back and analyzed his surroundings and society at the time. If you were listening to him prior to Whats going on his message was simple….love, relationships and bright days. I think a lot of artist at this time were into the good days. As soon as wars took off and racial barriers were cemented and attained more publicity this was the forefront of music. During those times I can see why everyone was so active politically and civilly. Just for a moment think of all the action that happened in the 60’s…though I wasn’t born during this era I feel like I would have been along the same line of speaking through music.

The roots of the song started with Renaldo Benson of The Four Tops & another lyricist Al Cleveland….their premise was based on reflecting on a park out in San Francisco named the People Park. At this point they mentioned how the Berkeley police were attacking the protesters yet they were in peaceful protest. That started a chain of events that inspired the writing of the epic single “Whats Going On.”

There was a lot of discontent involved with the release of this song initially. To be honest I never knew Mr. Gaye was a fighter…I always though his fight was with sonic delivery. But, as I read more I discovered that he did take any trash from anyone. I had to laugh because he’s described as getting into fights even with his boss Berry Gordy. the funny thing was that he was way smaller than him so it was definitely a sight to see with them fighting out disagreements in the rain soaking just getting out all the aggression. Mr. Gaye was a rebel on all fronts and really was “about that life.”

They got into it a lot because Mr. Gordy “thought that Whats Going On was the worst song he had heard in his life. Eventually and as a testament of tim they worked it out by Mr. Gaye protesting all the way up to the head office. He was adamant about not making anymore music for Motown if they did not release his work. These are the stories that really make up the full person behind the music that a lot of new-schoolers don’t really know lest they watch some documentaries about it.

The things that set this album apart from others released by Motown is that it was a heavy political tool used as a stance on the times at hand. It also featured the one of the most powerful icons that had a following already widespread. Mr. Gaye definitely had a movement erupting. I feel like somewhere in this artful sonic protest as a professional I can take away from it use your gifts wisely and with the best imprint. I just think that maybe for a second thing civilly would probably be different. If you didn’t have these constantly remind people of the times at hand and the disarray that was caused by ignoring it. Just some food for thought.

Brian Eno: The Visionary Intellectual (My introspect)

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Alright, to begin on this enigma, I must say that he is highly prolific in his degree of knowledge on the lack of a element missing. I could equate him to Davinci in some of his idealistic ways. As I began to research Mr. Eno I began to look at the way he though and that stood out to me the most because of how he tackled life in a abstract yet successful and impacting way.

To look at him just as a revolutionary idealist with music is a dis-justice…Literally he came at music as an artist with painting pictures rather than a musician…a self professed non musician he does well….This goes so perfectly in the spectrum of music creation. It really changes the ground play to exist on. You have a lot of purist these days swearing by that linear train of music creation but, to see such a maverick tee off from a different angle entirely with success against the grain is inspiring.

Hailing from the roots of post-cage avant-garde ideas and electronic music. Mr. Eno has done a lot for the game in the respects of changing what it means to actually be able to comprehend music that is “experimental and out there.”

An example from his repertoire…..the progressive intro on “Another Green World” starts off seemingly minimalistic and turns into a well written composition that take you to a place of serenity and then loft off to high synths that carry a melody really stabs it in the listeners mind sonically. I really wished this was longer because it has a smooth texture through the full ride of the track and is relaxing. I also did a run with “Discreet Music” another one of his noteworthy pieces. This one like Another Green World starts off with the same minimalistic approach but, unlike the latter it actually sustains the senses of ambience throughout the entirety of the track. Definitely something to write blogs to such as this….

Some of the musicological characteristics that set Mr.Eno’s projects apart from other recordings are the idea that music can be created from anything and as I listened to him give some introspect he said something that was powerful that I had never considered fully. There is complexity in simplicity…a lot of producers run with the idea that you can derive complexity from complexity but, he broke it down to a well though out system. You can literally build complexity from simplicity. He used the idea of a game he played called “The Game of Life.” Basically its a system of dots that you start with and based off what he was saying was that the epitome of his thesis was there in the sense that you build life or ideas from the ground up not the other way society puts it down on you.

That actually bring me to another point which I hold in high regards…his philosophic way of tackling plans, music or ideas. He created a way for others to get past creative block or decisions that cause you to hold back from completion or at least an angle. The name of his creation was the oblique strategy cards. In this set of cards are seemingly whimsical ways to actually step outside of your current phase and then reflect on maybe some minute angle that you’d normally see but, due to just being in the creative dig moments you can get flustered and overlook them. I downloaded it on my Ipad today to see after-the-fact would this increase my maverick way of thinking. As they say everything happens for a reason and I really like his angle on it. I’ve gone so far as to say to others during a creative ideas moment literally…”I’m on my Eno trip.” Some immediately know…well other musicians that is…others are like ok…….Im still waiting on that query of who or what is Eno’.

As an industry professional I can take a huge amount of sustainment in these ways from him because of how it is done with major success. I like the whole train of though behind the way of Eno. I just wish there were more out there that could break the bonds of the norm or the mold or die mentality. I feel like it really is empowering to be in that train of though with an identity that everyone can ascertain as your own. There are so many ways I can go from this enlightenment. I just have to remember to apply the simplicities and continue routing for success.

Brian Eno: The Visionary Intellectual

Brian Eno: The Visionary Intellectual

An inspiring look at an amazing forward thinker…Come along for the ride as I have prepared a cool visual presentation that appeals to the visual, auditory, and touch senses. I also got cool links to get cool swag to use on your smart phone….So come one, come all…….Step right up!

References Inside the Rubric

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The Beatles

Policy, u. o. (n.d.). The Beatles. The Beatles. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://thebeatles.com

Ingles, P. (n.d.). PRX » Piece » Everything Was Right: The Beatles’ Revolver . Public Radio Exchange . Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://www.prx.org/pieces/15368-everything-was-right-the-beatles-revolver

Howard, D. N. (2004). Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp..

The Beach Boys

Howard, D. N. (2004). Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp..

WIlson, B. (n.d.). Pet Stories – YouTube.YouTube. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0vAL8dHBxA&feature=youtu.be

The Beach Boys. (n.d.). The Beach Boys. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://thebeachboys.com

Brian Eno

BBC. “Arena – Brian Eno – Another Green World – YouTube.” YouTube. BBC, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPOz5-rcIeA&gt;.

Howard, D. N. (2004). Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp..

Later. “Brian Eno on Later, 2001. – YouTube.” YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQVMulkBqg&gt;.

Marvin Gaye

Edmonds, Ben . ” What’s Going On by Ben Edmonds | Books | theguardian.com .” Latest news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | theguardian.com | The Guardian . N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/

Watch Mojo. “Marvin Gaye Biography: Life and Career of the Soul Singer – YouTube.” YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6gYcdQSIG4&gt;.

Kraftwerk

“Kraftwerk History.” Google Drive. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B4vMxruV62K5TXNaUEtBY2NTYVk&gt;.

Deadmau5

Noel, Blue. “DEADMAU5 BIOGRAPHY.”Lyrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Deadmau5-Biography/B9AB7797A3C8B6C8482578070006A885&gt;.

Studio Q. “Joel Zimmerman a.k.a. deadmau5 in Studio Q – YouTube.”YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zeb3dGbhvTM&gt;.

The Neptunes

Marine, A. (n.d.). The Neptunes Biography. Last.FM. Retrieved October 27, 2013, from http://www.last.fm/music/The+Neptunes/+

Company. (n.d.). The Neptunes – The Eighth Planet. YouTube. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MR-RJSbDdCQ