Monday, June 27, 2016

REACT TO: Velocities in Music POST ROCK *Deep Dive*

Podcast Link including a download

Spotify Playlist they made about Post Rock

As I've posted in the past, I really am enjoying Velocities in Music's podcasts, and some of these special Deep Dive episodes. So this is their deep dive into the history of Post Rock and a little bit on Post Metal.

Now, they said a few times how this while it was a deep-dive, there was a lot of ground they weren't going to be able to cover, so I took that with a grain of salt.

I guess I enjoyed most of it, including them talking about Godspeed and Sigur Ros, and a little bit about Russian Circles.

But a few points to bring up.

-The term or name "Post Rock" probably being the biggest thing, just when using that term. When you say it, namely to someone whose never heard the term, they ask "Is Rock Dead?" which of course isn't really true. And while the term still really doesn't make much sense, at least it seems it has become an accepted and somewhat understood name, even if the literal use still makes next to no sense.

-The similarities, origins, influences. Sure Talk Talk, Tortoise, and that nauseating band that every hipster seems to kiss the ass of, Swans, deserve some mention. But the thing is, what the style, at least the large majority when it came into vogue, really drew from, were a couple of things.

1) New Age music.
the nature-like ambient, atmospheric, drawn out soundscapes, are very similar to what dozens and dozens of New Age artists did long before any of this kind of music ever was created.

2) Soundtracks. The use of samples, music that creates atmosphere and has big climaxes, is pretty much the same format and style of, like New Age music, not dozens, but hundreds if not thousands of soundtracks to both films and television among other things.

Why I have rarely if ever seen anyone mention these 2 references with Post Rock, still baffles me.

That being said, I have over the last decade or more enjoy a good amount of it. Just for the sake of lists, here's a list I made 6 or 7 years ago, there are some names missing of course like Nordic Giants, does include a good portion of the artists who I still enjoy here on this list I made on

-They didn't mention much about the bands who use samples, or piano like God is an Astronaut. Or even some of the Western kind of stuff like Clann Zu, Crippled  Black Phoenix, or the early Murder by Death.

-Long Distance Calling, East of the Wall, Shelter Red also not mentioned, although they are Post Metal, and they even mentioned how they could do a whole Deep Dive separately, about it.

-I honestly found Caspian derivative of the 1-trick pony/nature music of Explosions in the Sky. Although I never listened to a ton of their music, but they were 1 of literally a couple of dozen artists I came across that sounded so formulaic to me. That honestly, at 1 point I didn't think I'd ever care for any of it. And Russian Circles actually since their 2nd album, have done that exact same style more or less to my ears.

-They didn't mention bands like 65daysofstatic who use keys/electronics. The Samuel Jackson 5 as well? .or actually I was thinking of bands who use electronic and trance music like Shpongle to point as well..

-They kept mentioning Don Caballero (I've always said their name like the former skate-boarder, Cab-ah-lare-oh), but from memory, that band was really a MATH ROCK band, at least their later stuff.

Now I know some people lump Mathrock in with Post Rock, but my feeling is the 2 are very distinct. Actually Mathrock is almost like Djent, in that it's really just the sound from that 80's King Crimson style of guitar tone/riff/rhythms ("Three of a Perfect Pair" largely). But if they are going to include a Mathrock band, they may as well open it up to the dozens and dozens of Mathrock and Mathmetal bands, lol.

I mean are Battles PostRock? They're rock, and they did mention the guitarist previous band. But I have never associated them with Post Rock.

-I would say bands like dredg, Oceansize, The Appleseed Cast are very much Post-Rock, even though they use vocals and prominent vocal melodies at times. But there's not debating their use of guitars and textures, along with influences come from much of it. dredg and Oceansize have both cited Mogwai as 1 certainly.

-The comparison they gave to Do Make Say Think with Explosions in the Sky, was frankly, kind of baffling. I am a Do Make Say Think fan, and why that is, is largely due to the varied use of INSTRUMENTATION. They use Chamber instruments, just like Broken Social Scene actually. Have Explosions in the Sky EVER used cello, or harp, etc? If they have, it certainly has never stood out in their music.

But as I included earlier, the Chamber/Baroque instrumentation is rather common now in bands who I would call at least use elements of "Post Rock." Forest Park for example, featured wonderful trumpet. So have *Shels and Nordic Giants...and even a lot of the chamber/baroque pop/rock/folk bands I've gotten into like Typhoon, Mother Falcon or The Family Crest, certainly are influenced by Post Rock.

Some even call Kayo Dot "Post Rock" which I can follow to a point, even though I have struggled to like them.

So when they concluded about where this genre is going, I would say the chamber/baroque instrumentation is as big a part of it as anything new in the last decade. Certainly as big as Post-Metal and the electronic elements.

But that all being said, I still really enjoyed this episode, and look forward to more of these genre deep dives. They may even do progressive rock at some point, although I imagine if they do, it'll be as long if not longer than the Radiohead deep dive, i.e. 2 or 3 episodes potentially.