It’s beyond a doubt that electronic music has been noticed by the mainstream. What seems to be most intriguing is how quickly non-electronic, instruments with strings and sticks, type of artists have embraced the computer based scene. Most recently the collaboration that seems to be making everyone say “Wait, who?” is Paul McCartney’s work with The Bloody Beetroots, and Youth for the track ‘Out of Sight’.
While McCartney’s interest in electronic music is nothing new, as he’s been know to work with Youth under the stage name of The Fireman. ‘Out of Sight’ remixes The Fireman’s ‘Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight’ off of his 2008 album Electric Arguments. The remix features a punchy, slow beat which leaves the listener with a soulful, almost sad feeling.
Collaborations and genre crossovers like this are becoming more and more common. Whether it’s older, more established artists trying to stay relevant (such as Steven Tyler’s self proclaimed interest in moving towards electronica), or artists simply trying on a new sound to see if the boot fits.
Avicii’s appearance with Aloe Blacc at Ultra this year was met with much criticism, and most of it wasn’t constructive. It seems that most people who disagreed with Avicii’s sudden on-stage folk transformation didn’t disagree because they disliked the music, they just didn’t pay good money to hear folk music. The song itself is actually quite catchy and pushes some boundaries on what Avicii is known for, but it’s debut in the middle of a primetime slot at Ultra (one of the largest music festivals in the U.S.) seemed to be a bit poorly timed. It’s quite difficult to keep all that energy that was built up with ‘Levels’ and ‘Silhouettes’ going when you stop the music, pause for a few minutes, set up everyone else in the band on stage, and then start playing hokey banjo music.
While the anticipation from both sides of the music industry (electronic and traditional, instrument based music) is a welcome sight to all, just like anything else it can be done hastily and poorly. Merging two genres is never easy, especially when the crowds those two genre’s attract can be vastly different from one another, but artists such as Rusko & Cypress Hill, McCartney and the Bloody Beetroots, and above all else just good, old fashioned remixes (such as Team Awesome’s ‘Bulls On Parade’ remix) have shown us that with the right mix of artists, timing, and audience targeting, just about any sound can be mashed up with another to make something even more awesome than before. However if the artists are just doing it to put two huge names together then they (and we) are going to be disappointed.