Phutureprimitive Drops Knowledge On Modern Music Production

what is real music
Photo via Facebook/Phutureprimitive

Surely anyone who has immersed themselves within the electronic dance music community has encountered social scrutiny at some point.

Those who haven’t experienced the magic of a modern music festival experience are quick to shoot it down. There are endless myths that are perpetuated by critics who are quick to pass judgement.

One of the most common myths is that EDM is not real music.

Known for his consciously aware, bass heavy, dubstep infused sounds, Phutureprimitive seems to have had enough of the cynics.

The Portland based electronic music producer has taken to Facebook to share his perspective on what constitutes ‘real music.’

To those who say a computer isn’t an instrument:

Sure, its not traditional.

Neither are digital cameras.

Does this mean movies shot with digital cameras instead of film are not “real” movies either?

Sure, there is electricity involved with a computer. But then, there is also electricity involved in an electric guitar, or the speakers used to amplify a band, or the synthesizers used by Pink Floyd, or the gear used to bring us any kind of current recorded music whatsoever, acoustic, electronic, or otherwise.

A computer may not have strings or a keyboard or a mesh head like traditional instruments. But then, neither does the human body, so you better alert Bobby McFerrin his body isn’t a legitimate instrument. I guess that goes for every other beatboxer for that matter, since a mouth is not really a drum kit.

Sure, they don’t sell computers at the music store but …. wait, have you been to Guitar Center in the last decade?

Sure, computers allow a person to make music step by step (or real time if you prefer), one note at a time, thereby allowing those who don’t have the skill or dexterity or years of practice with an instrument to still express themselves musically or produce a musical work of art. Should we tell them their form of expression isn’t valid because they “do it differently?”

A computer may not fit into your “traditional” definition of an instrument. Yet, do you realize how many things we interact with daily, how many conveniences we have, how much art that exists all because there arrived a technology or way of thinking or a single person who chose to push the boundaries of what is “normal” or traditional?

Consider this… the first instruments weren’t instruments at all.

They were animals and sticks and wood. Horse hair strung across a bowed stick and plucked. Animal hide stretched across a bowl to make a drum. Deer hooves fastened to the end of a stick to make a rattle. Instruments started out as something totally different. Things repurposed in order to create sound and rhythm and melody. You could say the same thing about a computer.

Fellow producer Random Rab also jumped in on the action:

Well said! As someone who plays a lot of instruments and sings, I can tell you that computers require the same patience, creative impulse, and dedication. All that matters is the sound, unless the sound is less important than your ego projection.

When I first started out playing drum machines as sequencers, I was nearly assaulted on stage by a guitar player who said I was ruining music for all the “real” musicians.

As expected, the open-minded legion of avid Phutureprimitive followers contributed a wealth of thoughtful and humorous comments regarding his digital monologue.

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What do you think about his thoughts?

Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know.

Listen to the sounds of Phutureprimitive below.

4 Responses to "Phutureprimitive Drops Knowledge On Modern Music Production"
  1. I agree that you can classify a computer as an instrument if you want to and that we shouldn’t restrict the definition of an instrument to the things that we already know because words are limiting and constantly evolving. However, I think that what people who don’t view EDM as real music, myself included, have a problem with is the difference between a real live music show and an EDM live show. I am not trying to pay to go watch one individual press play and act like they are pressing a bunch of buttons to make it a “unique” experience. “Real” music is going to a concert venue and watching the musicians actually make music before your eyes and hearing the beauty of music being made in real time right in front of you, it’s not about going and watching someone press play on some sort of beat/melody they created one time and recorded that can be played over and over and over again without any real variation or skilled enhancement. Anyone with a good speaker system can play that very song on their own system and that is the problem with EDM shows, the artist is not making music on stage, they’re just replaying something that has already been heard before – and you can guarantee they’ll play the same exact set at the next show. And that is why people consider EDM to not be real music and why they accuse the artists of not having talent. The computer being or not being an instrument is just semantics. Anything can be an instrument if you use it in that way, so that’s not the real argument. A real artist creates new music each time they play their instrument, even if they are playing the same exact song. An EDM artist does not.