…in case you’re interested; this type of site can’t do without a musical timeline (a.k.a. ego document). And yes, my musical 00s were quite dubious, I know.
*** CHAPTER 1 – THE VERY FIRST DAYS
Early 1990 till halfway 1991
I’m listening to music since early 1990: initially children’s music and my dad’s cds/lps (no current dance/chart music yet). Those cds and lps were filled with classical music, old pop/rock classics and corny stuff like Boney M, Luv and BZN. Never heard of the third act? Check ‘Yeppa’ at YouTube.
*** CHAPTER 2 – MY DANCE HEYDAYS
Halfway 1991 till +/- September 1993
Halfway 1991 I started listening to current music. From that moment till the mid 00s I preferred dance music.
In this era there was much variety (from heavily commercial to quite serious), despite the clear rave influences – due to being infected in the era of Dominator, Anasthasia and James Brown is dead. You can also count Get ready for this.
Music was found at house compilations, borrowed at the local library, and in Dutch radio shows like Dance Trax and For Those Who Like To Groove. The tape recorder was working overtime.
+/- September 1993 till late 2000
This era was dominated by danceable happy-go-lucky tunes, generating an endless list of embarassing ‘I liked that song’ memories.
Dig up an average ‘month cd’ like Braun MTV Eurochart/HitXplosion/etc., released somewhere between Autumn 1993 and late 2000 (for people outside of Europe: once véry popular illegal compilation cds), and you’ll find those tracks.
Those were my most mainstream years. In fact there’s not much to say about me & music in that era. There was a calmt before the storm; I guess not having internet or just having dial-up internet (in the latter part of the era) did help.
Late 2000 till Autumn 2004
Late 2000 I discovered internet radio, and since then I’ve always been an internet radio junkie (within 4 or 5 months, dial-up internet was replaced by broadband internet).
Internet radio made me listen to more grown-up sounding dance; groovy house/disco house/Hed Kandi (like) stuff in general, acts like Basement Jaxx/Audio Bullys/Groove Armada and some trance.
When it comes to being involved with dance music, +/- halfway 2001 till Autumn 2004 was the most ‘intense’ era; thanks to broadband internet. Besides internet radio there were also dance related discussion boards, services like Audiogalaxy and Kazaa Lite, etcetera. I even went slightly overboard with it.
Musical hiatus part 1
During the year 2004, feeling connected with the dance scene (much changing in that period) became harder. The last part of 2004/first part of 2005 turned out to be a breaking point, and I’ve listened not much music for a while.
*** CHAPTER 3 – AFTER MY DANCE HEYDAYS
Somewhere in 2005 till late 2007
In 2005 a strange, vague but also important era took off, dominated by ‘being searching’ and trying multiple things.
An important development having its roots in 2005 (still a common thread through a big part of the mish mash I currently listen to): paying attention to arrangement/details, and preferring tracks with an open, dynamic production and a natural undertone; even if it’s 100% electronic. Pre 2005 I cared less about such things.
During 2005 my love for other kinds of music grew. For music played on oldies stations (I hadn’t played that many oldies anymore since 1991-1992), semi-alternative stations, urban/eclectic stations, ambient stations, etcetera.
But there was also love for the deep house/tech house/classic house/minimal/electro station Underground FG; fine nowadays but really awesome in 2005. Although I discovered the station right after my dance heydays, the relatively subtle feel of the station left its marks. Dance remained a part of the combination of favorites, just less dominant and with another feel.
Late 2007/the first part of 2008
Late 2007/early 2008 there were influences by a couple of important jazz tracks, followed in April 2008 by discovering Lefto’s Studio Brussel show ‘De Hop’. That show played music from the ‘beat scene’, jazz, world music, the better side of hip hop, etcetera. Btw: That show still exists, is nowadays simply called ‘Lefto’ and in stripped versions available at Mixcloud.
–> The combination of these discoveries turned out to be important; my taste hasn’t changed that much anymore since this short period. Combined with the 2005/2006/2007 developments, the pieces were falling into place.
Musical hiatus part 2
The things mentioned in the previous lines were, sadly, immediately followed by the second musical hiatus; due to serious and stubborn health issues appearing spring/summer 2008. There wasn’t a standalone internet radio yet (they were just invented), which could have been an easy way to discover music.
When you just want to lie down, the good old fm transmitter (used to spread the sound of my pc through home) is not a very easy way to access internet radio.
…But in 2009 and 2010, the musical influences mentioned in the ‘late 2007/first part of 2008’ section made me (with two standalone internet radios, bought shortly after each other) listen to stations like FIP, Nova, Bolz, Alternativeradio, and Laid Back Radio. The last one, a very important ‘Lefto like’ station I’ve listened to from 2010 till 2016, doesn’t exist anymore; the others still do.
Anyway – I resumed discovering and enjoying music.
Like I said before, my taste hasn’t changed much anymore since 2008. In opposite to the 00s, I’ve spent the 10s in calm musical waters.
My favorites can be 50 years old, brand new, a number 1 hit, obscure, guitar based, drum based or synth based. The underlying feel is mostly natural though, I like interesting arrangements and many favorites have a funky touch (from subtle to obvious). And, possibly due to my dance roots, I care more about a certain ‘x-factor’ than about well-written lyrics.
–> Since the mid 10s there are a couple of tiny developments though: The general feel is somewhat more serious. And some old dance leftovers are played less/have even fallen off the map; especially housey tracks/Ibiza stuff with that typical ‘beautiful people standing in a club with a cocktail in their hands’ feel (I liked that a lot around 2002). But that’s all.
Personal music díslikes:
In general, I don’t like:
- Excessively ‘brickwalled’ music/loudness wars; from time to time in combination with annoying autotune.
- Specific types of EDM. Afrojack + music related to that sound isn’t my cup of tea.
- Same goes for that thing called ‘tropical house’. It’s hard for me to imagine music sounding more lifeless and watered down than this.
- Music sounding that overly hipster it becomes painful.
- …but in fact, forced hipness or just a contrived feel in general, on a level it becomes annoying. There are guilty pleasures among utterly plastic productions, though. It helps when the artist doesn’t seem to take himself/herself too seriously.
- There’s lot of stupid(/chimpanzee level) Dutch spoken rap music, often getting +5 million (and from time to time +20 million) YouTube views for some reason. Be conscious of the fact that the Dutch language is spoken in just a couple of small countries, and realize it’s a lot.
And, slightly related to those hipster music, that typical feel called ‘indie’ since +/- 2007 is somewhat difficult to me. A big part of it ranges from ‘okay as background music, but too beige/vanilla to hit me in the heart’ to downright annoying (like Lenka’s Windows 8 commercial track, with a contrived ‘twee’ feel I can’t stomach). And I don’t like the way of singing of many of the performers (that Lenka track again…).
Maybe I just don’t like the sound of today *rolls eyes*.