When the Asian Underground was very popular I got these two CDs from the Putumayo label called Sahara Lounge and Asian Groove. So here's this ethnic music with western drum kits and synthesizers mixed with scratching and special effects. It wasn't metal, classical, modernist, jazz fusion or ethnomusicological field recordings but I loved it. It has influenced me a lot.
I read where innovation in the arts allow us to have new emotions we can have in no other way and I think this applies to the music of the Asian Underground.
I didn't compose my music with an eye toward forcing to conform to a philosophy but I think it's useful to talk about Metamodernism in order to explain what my style means to me. Metamodernism is a philosophy which didn't come up through the peer reviewed journals like it was supposed to, and it has been criticized for misreading of the philosopher Kant. But it's been praised for being useful for analyzing the arts.
There's a lot I could say about Metamodernism but the important thing is it's proposition that all the experimental, eclectic combining of forms, styles, culture, instruments, and electronics is humanity trying to reach beyond it's boundaries. There's more to Metamodernism than that but I don't want to take this train too far off the rails.
I only chose to put myself in the trip-hop box because I heard music from it's artists who sound like they're doing what I'm doing.
The drug portion implied by the trip in triphop is not an important part of my music although experimentation there is perhaps natural due to young people's curiosity. It's another example of humanity trying to reach beyond it's limitations. But it's probably not the best road to stay on for long since the final destination may be greater limitation than when you started.
The history of the hip-hop (coming from the "hop" in triphop) was partially due to people being stuck between a rock and an impossible place. Here were those poor kids in the ghetto seeing their favorite artists on TV living in Beverly Hills or wherever. Them and everyone around them trying to figure out how to climb out of the financial hole of ghetto life.
Then someone had the idea to put two turntables together and manually manipulate them. The flow of the talk over the microphone and the entertaining way they backed up over the best part of the song to repeat it again before allowing the turntable to play the rest, and reading the audience for how many times they could get away with that became the important aspects of the music.
Those things require a lot of skill albeit a different skill than playing a regular musical instrument, yet the result is very entertaining in the right hands. Suddenly, an M.C., a rapper, or a "producer" could find themselves touring the world or on the Billboard charts in the top 10.
But even if they never make it, it's a rewarding way to give an impoverished life that brings people together, gets them to dance, makes them feel a little happier, more valuable to the community, even powerful. It's an avenue of expression for people who many of the avenues are denied.
I can totally relate having struggled with drugs, fucked up school before getting serious, hopped from job to job and all I could see was a dead end future.
I really like how stealing the beat from the drum break in a James Brown record has morphed into 80's and 90's hip-hop drum patterns. People still have a lot of nostalgia for the music of that time especially in trip-hop.
Another thing I like about trip-hop and hip-hop is how they naturally borrow sounds from ethnic music for it's emotional effect and I think this takes us back to how innovative music helps us have new emotions we can have in no other way.
I want to do that thing you're not supposed to do where amateur essayists say, "In conclusion, that's what my style means to me." And it does. So there. And pppbbb to all the anal grammarians who inflict high level language science on grade-schoolers. You know who you are.