Digital Music

Digital Music

If I have seemed dyspeptic as of late, sure, it happens, I was listening to two versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, back-to-back. After so many years with just one version, I branched out and paid for a digital version on the iTunes.

Problems with the download, I finally got frustrated enough to buy a second version, slightly more expensive, and even better. Yes, I will review the works anon, but after two trips through, I was thinking about some DeadMau5 music, and his two “albums” that I have — strictly digital music, categorized, I believe, as EDM.

Part of the arcane material I’ve collected, I seemed to recall that DeadMau5 claimed he was not a musician, but a composer. Like a conductor. With his big mouse head? Thumping music, disco lights, and rave-like atmospheres?

So back-to-back with (heavy, German) opera, Shakespeare’s plays, local “country” music, I played the last album I got, {album title goes here} , which looks to be a 2012 offering, that’s OK, Shakespeare is over 400 years old, and the Wagner operas more than a century. Not like these are current comparisons.

As valid comparisons, though, that’s what makes it interesting to me. My previous exposure to the DeadMau5 — whatever taxonomy applies — was that a single album was very much like an orchestral piece, albeit slightly more rhythm and swing. From an artistic point of view, the “album” could be approached like a complete piece with various movements — broken down into songs. Thinking like that made the idea of another album purchase more attractive.

I stumbled into the notice about last year’s album, a title I fail to grasp:

W:/2016ALBUM/ – deadmau5

But I do recognize computer code, and coded messages, just, maybe I’m too old. There is that. But I stumbled across the notice of a new album in The New Yorker as I was skipping through an old issue of the magazine. It included a listing for DeadMau5 in concert in NY, for a few days, and I was wondering, “in support of the new album,” which, again, looking at it online, was from last year. Not that it matters.

”That is so 2016!”

Some of my hardcore “C&W” friends find this music blasphemous. However, after listing to the two versions of the Ring Cycle over and over, then hopping back to earlier DeadMau5 releases, I had to wonder if that music isn’t along the lines of orchestral pieces, intended to be listened to as a whole, not just some songs.

While the individual movements can be broken down into songs, is there an over-arching thematic element that holds the album together?

I am not sure I am the right person to make that call. I know I hear the theme echoed as riffs, in that opera cycle, over and over. While I’ve previously allude to this, there is the grand spectacle of the opera itself, and the way that German composer introduced the sub-sonic bass-line.

“Boom-boom,” started with Wagner.
(Hashtag: just sayin’)

Gets a bit prickly when I write about “albums,” as I miss the square foot of visual real estate afforded by a true “album cover,” and hardly accommodated with a CD sleeve, much less in digital format.

However, this is the way of the world, now.

The vinyl, allegedly richer in sound quality, although, another failure, I do not understand as the sound reproduction of grooves cut into a soft plastic, then worn away, as I understood it, after ten or twelve plays, albums lost their crisp qualities. I wouldn’t know — no vinyl for me in over three decades or more.

While I lament the loss of the square footage of the album cover itself, I don’t miss fragile sound systems.

I do miss the acres of art space afforded by album covers, and I lament the loss of that visual real estate. As albums go, though, like that opera cycle?

Much easier in digital format.

W:/2016ALBUM/ – deadmau5

> album title goes here < – deadmau5

4X4=12 – deadmau5


> Album Title Goes Here <


Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele & Pierre Boulez

Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen [16 CD/CD-ROMCombo]