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Re: (TV) rap-PE are the bomb !

jpg <jpg@sirius.com> wrote:
Now , now lets not all assume that black artists, rappers, etc. are all the
same just because they are black.

Good point!  Of course not all rappers are the same, but that does not mean
you cannot generalize about the genre.  For whatever reason, most of the
quantum leaps in R'n'R rhythm have been introduced by black men.  Chuck Berry
(without whom, well, I wouldn't even want to think about it) and James Brown
are the obvious examples.  I think rap is the next step --it's almost pure
rhythm, with much of what we traditionally think of as "music" left out. 
That's a lot to leave out, and I think that's why many of us reared on
seventies music can't really hear it.  Think of Ornette Coleman's free jazz,
where the listener was asked to give up the whole harmonic backbone of
traditional popular music.  Most people at the time called it noise; most of
us, with forty years hindsight, would probably call it good noise.  Just as
with Ornette's music, I think that for anyone with an interest in modern
popular music, rap is worth the extra investment in time to really hear it.

Now for my admittedly crank theories on why seventies music sounds better:

1.     Analog sound.  There's something about digital, or at least about the
digital we have now, that makes it tough to listen for any extended length of
time.  The brain just has to do too much work reconstructing all those little
fragments of sound into a whole.  Makes it hard to focus.  And the bass!  I've
never heard a CD that reproduces bass guitar with authority.

2.     Production values.  The seventies were a time when recording technology
finally caught up to rock and roll.  Most of the records recorded in the era,
even Eagles records, sound more or less like guys sitting in a room and
playing.  In the eighties, technology started to advance a little too far. 
Artists wanted to make records sound larger than life.  They introduced that
BIG drum sound, which meant that anything more than simple snare beats on the
two and four would sound way too busy.  (Imagine listening to Billy Ficca if
his snare sounded like the one on Springsteen's "Born In The USA" -- he'd
swamp the rest of the band.)  (Not that there's anything wrong with "Born In
The USA.")  Then came the digital manace...

Sorry for rambling...


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