My first encounter with clicky music was with Burial’s Untrue, which is a good album. It takes some patience to make it all the way through if you are actively listening. It is a good album to do something to though; like writing, or carpentry. I call it clicky because basically every song on the album is laid with quick syncopated beats, over which some ambient music lurks creepily in the background and a singer, with what I like to call ‘octopus voice’, croons about love in strictly repeated phrasings. Clicky.
I still don’t know what specific genre of music Burial’s falls under. Probably something called post-dubstep. When I first heard it, it was labeled as dubstep on Pitchfork and for the longest time I thought frat kids were getting wasted and bobbing around to tunes that aren’t too distant a cousin of shoegaze. Which didn’t make much sense to me. As I later found out, dubstep is something fairly different in tone and mood, the only commonality a generally confusing array of micro beats segmented into larger more receivable ones.
I don’t know much about this kind of music, but I really enjoy Post-dubstep. So when I heard Jamie xx’s – Far Nearer, I was blown away. Even though it is fairly generic within the genre, it is strong, well-produced example. You’ll find the octopus voice makes a strong showing here as well.
As far as I know James Blake falls under post-dubstep, and his stuff is right up my ally when I’m in the mood to dance around my room in my underwear under the red light.
Where post-dubstep comes full circle for me is Blood Orange’s album Cupid Deluxe. The main single off of the album is You’re Not Good Enough, which if you haven’t already heard you might just not be good enough. 😉
When the song first came on my playlist I was afraid to listen. I was afraid that it’s chorus, “You were never good enough”, would get stuck in my head and it would subliminally persuade me as such. Well, it’s definitely stuck in my head. The jury is still out on whether I believe I’m good enough.
But the album definitely doesn’t stop there. It’s funky, and slow. Funky like the dark slow disco songs of the 70’s and 80’s. Slow like slow. The lyrics throughout the album are all exceedingly sappy, almost to the point of poking fun of love songs. There is a hint of Sade, a touch of George Michael, and a whole lot of Prince. Even some Depeche Mode if I’m going to make shitty analogies.
Songs like ‘Chosen’ and ‘Chamakay’ are the kind of slow jams that just do it.
Blood Orange isn’t really Post-dupstep, but it makes a clarification for me. The album relies on simple, efficient, and above all–elegant instrumentals. The electronic aspect of the album is minimal, and that minimalism is what makes Post-dubstep so attractive. It brings electronic music back to it’s roots when it was first being experimented with. Like an iPod it doesn’t have a lot of complicated buttons. It just works.
Plus there is a good amount of saxophone in Cupid Deluxe, which is just a beautiful instrument.