August 21, 2007

Low End Theory

The use of low end has been crucial to the success of several genres in recent music history, including:

  • Rap/Hip-hop
  • Techno/Dance
  • New Rock (think 808's and breakdowns)
  • Electronic
I'm not going to argue the difference between techno and electronic in this entry, but I'm considering techno to be rhythm and loop oriented and created for dancing. Whereas electronic is more of a subdivision of indie rock where the musicians have decided to use a notable amount of synths.

Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of low end abomination within certain sects of the music industry. Especially the metal/hardcore and other similar genres (-core or -metal). I recently stumbled on a list of 101 rules of black metal on Digg and found the follow depressing example of this mantra:

36. To producers of black metal albums: low end! If it doesn't hurt to listen to, it can't be "true".

While the list was written as a sort of parody of black metal, the fact of the matter is that this point happens to ring true. I'll also agree that such techniques can be a powerful way of helping the music support the theme of the band and lyrics, but take a listen to Every Time I Die's "Hot Damn" and tell me they havn't gone too far.

© 2008 Jim Robert