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OT: recommendations for "darker" synth music


J. Dan

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A lot of times the more electronic styles of music tend to be pop, dance, or if it's rock, still guitar oriented with great playing but on organ, AP/EP, or a minimoog solo.

 

I'm a fan of electronic music, but don't want it all happy, and still prefer decent songwriting to just mind numbing exercises in making beats and cool sounds.

 

In my younger days, I've been a rabid fan of Depeche Mode and Soft Cell (nto tainted love - listen to "art of falling apart" album). I eventually got into NIN and some of the other industrial stuf that's more aggressive/heavy and eventually seemed to still be pretty guitar heavy. I suppose people might drive me towards EMO but most of it just hasn't resonated with me.

 

I was also a huge fan of the first Sneaker Pimps album but was disappointed with everything that came after. I like Portishead to a lesser extent - not enough diversity in the songs for me. I like Garbage quite a bit though again, less electronic and more guitar but at least it's in the ballpark.

 

Any suggestions of anything I may have missed over the years or anything new? Hopefully I gave a good enough idea of what I'm looking for.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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How about some dark ambient?

https://www.lustmord.com/

 

Also, not really electronic music, but Porcupine Tree has some great stuff with synth blending on the darker side.

 

I think Moby has some stuff in the non-happy electronic category.

 

I will look through my playlists when I get home. I know I am not remembering something...

 

 

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Depends what you mean by happy. Plenty of "dark"-sounding synth music. Dark pop, darkstep, etc. Kebu isn't too bad, though not my thing at all.

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Drake's music tends to be in minor keys and uses dark synth pads and drones.

 

Sounds like musical heroin to my ears but the younger folks dig it. :laugh:

 

I have XM radio. The Chill station plays downtempo tracks.

 

There's no shortage of music with darker tones and moods.

 

Youtube is a great resource. Type in your favorite artists and follow the recommended listening. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I don't care for ambient. I like solid song structure with lyrics. I have some apex twin that I like, but most of it is not my cup of tea. Some decent money and radio head, maybe I should dig a little deeper. Some others here for me to check out. Think less ambient, pads, instrumental and more solid electronic but songs with lyrics. Something ranging from Depeche Mode to NIN is bast I can describe. Machines of loving grace was another good one, but still leaning more industrial and I'd rather it be more electronic.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I don't care for ambient. I like solid song structure with lyrics. I have some apex twin that I like, but most of it is not my cup of tea. Some decent money and radio head, maybe I should dig a little deeper. Some others here for me to check out. Think less ambient, pads, instrumental and more solid electronic but songs with lyrics. Something ranging from Depeche Mode to NIN is bast I can describe. Machines of loving grace was another good one, but still leaning more industrial and I'd rather it be more electronic.

 

How about Massive Attack?

 

[video:youtube]

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This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but The Art of Noise's In Visible Silence, to me, is dark and smart. Fairlight from front to back. The first cut, Opus 4, always makes me laugh.

 

 

 

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Have you tried this site?

 

https://www.music-map.com/

 

https://www.music-map.com/machines+of+loving+grace.html

 

I was not familiar with that site - looks pretty cool, I'll have to play around with it.

 

Here are just a few videos from some of the bands I've mentioned to give an idea....

 

[video:youtube]wjP-IOxJx94

 

[video:youtube]DTx4pBS6uq4

 

[video:youtube]vyrpRzdvp5U

 

[video:youtube]2iGt5lfYP_0

 

[video:youtube]TmDkzVvherk

 

[video:youtube]xk5Ki3qv-Dk

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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"Dark" is relative, of course, but I'm a long-time fan of OMD for their unique personality. I likewise recommend Rupert Hine's solo works "Immunity" and "Waving Not Drowning." Rupert is a good producer, so part of his work is a showcase for studio craft. While I'm mentioning 80s folks, I also recommend 'Kissing The Pink.' They only released 2 LPs and I'm sorry there weren't more. They were an odd sort of cut-above group in quality. All of these bands had thoughtful lyrics that broke with pop tradition by generally aiming *above* the crotch. I heart literacy.

 

 

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"Dark", yes, pretty subjective. I personally don't listen to much of this stuff, but well here are some references:

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

And one I dislike quite a bit:

 

[video:youtube]

..
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Not looking for instrumental stuff. Most of it is just background music and gets really repetitive and boring. Listen to the examples I shared.

 

I want songs....which admittedly I may define differently than others....music is not necessarily a song to me. I want lyrics and melody in some sort of format - verses and choruses - and a message and/or story. Electronic but not cold - needs to still have depth of feeling and emotion and be interesting songs, not just something that sounds cool and repeats over an electronic drum beat.

 

This is partially why it becomes difficult to find some of the less mainstream stuff, because everybody apparently identifies with and defines this stuff differently.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Xeno and Oaklander - they said the downside of touring with so much analog gear is the maintenance costs, but...

 

This one has some potential. First track is a little blippy for my tastes and vocals are a bit washed out on the reverb, but worth looking into some more.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Try Celldweller.

 

This one has some potential....reminds me a little of Machines of Loving Grace - stylistically, a little more to the rock/guitar side of things but lots of synth goodies in there.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Seems like maybe Visage could possibly have some potential but the only song I know by them is this one:

 

[video:youtube]PeGTJOFSIgU

 

My idea of "Dark" is not necessarily Marilyn Manson or Skinny Puppy or stuff like that, just not all happy and bouncy and bright. Some bands delve into both type - look at The Cure (not as synthy as I'm looking for, but still one of my favorites). Stuff like "Why Can't I Be You" is almost manic and "Friday I'm in Love" is very upbeat, but then you have "Lullaby" or "Disintegration". While it's not heavy or evil or anything like that, doesn't get much "Darker" (by my definition) than this:

 

[video:youtube]V35cxutR7gc

 

But again, looking for more electronic/synth driven type stuff along the style.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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But again, looking for more electronic/synth driven type stuff along the style.

 

Ok, Dan, I've never discussed this here on this forum but I have seen The Cure about 20 times in concert going back to 1985. I think you might like "Mixed Up", which are dance remixes that Robert Smith created for his singles and are heavily synth based. Here is a You Tube link

[video:youtube]

:nopity:
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Done. I have everything ever done by the cure and Depeche Mode not to me thing others. Trying to expand

But again, looking for more electronic/synth driven type stuff along the style.

 

Ok, Dan, I've never discussed this here on this forum but I have seen The Cure about 20 times in concert going back to 1985. I think you might like "Mixed Up", which are dance remixes that Robert Smith created for his singles and are heavily synth based. Here is a You Tube link

[video:youtube]

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Me thing = mention

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Really surprised no one has mentioned Metric. I guess they have a poppy label but a lot of their stuff is, when you actually listen to the lyrics, pretty dark. Plus, even though they're thoroughly modern they have that 80s feel to their production and they play DSI sythns on stage!

 

[video:youtube]

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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Hopefully there are a few here you haven't heard before. Many of the 80's Synth bands had one or two well known songs and only a few like Depeche Mode had a large body of high quality music. Here are some examples of Synth-oriented music in a darker style I liked in the 80's and still do.

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDZHApjM-SQ

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_8NZaoc4Y

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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Really surprised no one has mentioned Metric.

 

I had not heard of them. I wasn't entirely sold on the video you posted, but I listened to a few more songs and I like it!

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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