What is the differnce between 'Electronic' and 'Electronica'

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Post by Thonk Support » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:13 pm

PhineasFreak wrote:This has entertained me for years as a satisfying answer...
Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music wrote:Electronica does not exist. Not as a genre or a description. It was coined by the North American music press to refer to the second wave of electronic music's explosion in the late 90s, and exists purely as a marketing buzzword,
hmm, that's simply incorrect.

That term was in use in the UK from around 1990 as far as I remember, the record label 'New Electronica' started putting music out in 93 according to discogs, and that term was already familar enough at that point for the label name to communicate pretty efficiently what it represented.

That Ishkur guide is a bit flaky round the edges in general i've found...
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Post by Babaluma » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:16 pm

i hate hate hate the term electronica almost as much as i do IDM. it's almost as annoying as an american quoting monty python in a fake british accent, but not quite.

does it really matter?

i've always used "electronic music" as a cover all term, but we could argue semantics all day and still get nowhere...

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Post by richard » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:20 pm

it's almost as annoying as an american quoting monty python in a fake british accent, but not quite.
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Post by mojopin » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:32 pm

Clearly, men write electronic and women write electronica.

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Post by Chuck E. Jesus » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:53 pm

a...

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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:13 am

electronica is a made up word for record companies to push electronic music to young people through crappy mainstream music stores and movie soundtracks circa 1995 - 1999

example
[video][/video]

everything else is electronic music. after 1999 all electronica should be filled under electronic music. in the example above, I would file that under a more appropriate genre like break beat or maybe even big beat. big beat is another made up name from the 90's so here we go again with that.
richard wrote:I thought electronica was invented by British Journalists around the early Aphex period?
exactly, british journalists and british record companies selling something under a new buzz word. I'm in the USA and I purchased a lot of "electronica"
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Post by PhineasFreak » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:15 am

Monobass wrote:That Ishkur guide is a bit flaky round the edges in general i've found...
please tell me you noted the word 'entertained' and understood that Ishkur's guide is treated as a joke mroe than anything else?

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Post by Thonk Support » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:45 pm

I'm going to write myself a note to find it entertaining next time.
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Post by PhineasFreak » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:10 am

And that's the exact rude, snobbish, cliquey attitude that seems to be leading to increasing numbers of people actively avoiding using this website/forum as a place to learn and enjoy due to fear of how they will get treated.

you're a proper asshole aintcha...

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Post by JohnLRice » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:27 am

Morley wrote:
suitandtieguy wrote:i'm with Ishkur.

as usual.
Me too.
And I really can't stand the synths on Ray Of Light. Nasty.


lol . . . no way! I LOVE the song Ray Of Light and the synth sounds on it! :despair:

:razz:

[video][/video]

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Post by Neo » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:26 am

Electronica is a term used to dignify the use of sample loops, in much the same way as the term erotica is used to dignify porn.

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Post by sb » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:45 am

usw wrote:I strongly disagree with the article, this word appeared around 92/93, in order to define all those tracks which couldn't be assimilated to the techno, house or chill out/trance genres (not what the mid/late 90's would call "trance" at all), and I remember a dutch label named "new electronica" from this era. Those tracks had a strong abstract bias, and weren't dance floor oriented.
usw wrote:I strongly disagree with the article, this word appeared around 92/93, in order to define all those tracks which couldn't be assimilated to the techno, house or chill out/trance genres (not what the mid/late 90's would call "trance" at all), and I remember a dutch label named "new electronica" from this era. Those tracks had a strong abstract bias, and weren't dance floor oriented.
This was when I first heard the term as well.....when those 'New Electronica' comps started appearing and people like Scanner, the EMIT label and all the stuff that didn't quite fit with the techno or ambient tags started getting filed in the 'Electronica' section in record stores.. Shortly after this some mainstream journalist or record companys started comandeering phrases like 'Trip Hop' and 'Big Beat' (which was actually a London club night) to describe Fat Boy Slim, Leftfield etc etc.

Living in London in the mid 90's I'm amazed that artists like Future Sound of London, Aphex and Portishead were selling like hot cakes in the chain record stores.....my how far we've come since then.

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Post by Thonk Support » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:09 am

PhineasFreak wrote:And that's the exact rude, snobbish, cliquey attitude that seems to be leading to increasing numbers of people actively avoiding using this website/forum as a place to learn and enjoy due to fear of how they will get treated.

you're a proper asshole aintcha...
if experiencing something first hand (like tens of thousands of other people did along with me in the uk) compared to reading a fifth-hand americanised, commoditised and recycled version of it on the internet is cliquey... so be it :band:
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Post by PhineasFreak » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:21 am

Monobass wrote:if experiencing something first hand (like tens of thousands of other people did along with me in the uk) compared to reading a fifth-hand americanised, commoditised and recycled version of it on the internet is cliquey... so be it :band:
what has experienceing a phenomenon under discussion for real or not got to do with the atitude you take towards someone else making a joke?
my use of the words cliquey, rude and snobbish were aimed at the fact you felt it necessary to come back with a snide remark just to make yourself seem big and clever when you could ahve quite easily ignored the joke if not amused or siad something to play along if it had suited your sensibilities.

your reponse to my rejoinder perfectly amplifies the impression that you seem to think you're somehow better than other people who use the forum due to some percieved status that gives you green card to be unpleasant without necessity and yet get on your high horse when some one calls you on it.

is it really necessary to act like a cunt just to inflate your ego?

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Post by flashheart » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:33 am

Never had a problem with the term electronica, actually kind prefer it to 'electronic music'. The latter to me refers more to a more purist /experimental form whereas electronica is much more wide ranging. I'd rather have that than numerous subgenres.

Was certainly aware of it in the early 90s - it may have been coined later on by the US music press to refer to 'dance' music in general, but that's mnot what I think of.

Always found Ishkur's site mildly entertaining, never taken it seriously.
I'm not buying a maths though, not my idea of fun...

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Post by Thonk Support » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:34 am

PhineasFreak wrote:
Monobass wrote:if experiencing something first hand (like tens of thousands of other people did along with me in the uk) compared to reading a fifth-hand americanised, commoditised and recycled version of it on the internet is cliquey... so be it :band:
what has experienceing a phenomenon under discussion for real or not got to do with the atitude you take towards someone else making a joke?
my use of the words cliquey, rude and snobbish were aimed at the fact you felt it necessary to come back with a snide remark just to make yourself seem big and clever when you could ahve quite easily ignored the joke if not amused or siad something to play along if it had suited your sensibilities.

your reponse to my rejoinder perfectly amplifies the impression that you seem to think you're somehow better than other people who use the forum due to some percieved status that gives you green card to be unpleasant without necessity and yet get on your high horse when some one calls you on it.

is it really necessary to act like a cunt just to inflate your ego?
just skipped to the last line of this one, a lot of words for one without ego there.
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Post by PhineasFreak » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:20 am

Monobass wrote: just skipped to the last line of this one, a lot of words for one without ego there.
ahh yes, of course!

no. of words = size of ego

well known equation.

yet of course, being to special to read what someone has to say before comin up with a glib retort isn't in anyway a sign of overinflated ego?

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Post by Thonk Support » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:32 am

I'm sorry your post count isn't high enough for me to respond
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Post by sandyb » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:30 am

PhineasFreak
Monobass

if you wish to continue this love-fest please do it via pm.
thanks.

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Post by shamann » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:54 pm

American music or Americana?

If you take the first and then boil it down into some kind of perfume, you'll eventually get the second.

Electronic music might mean any music made with electronics. But then, a lot of music is made with electronics today that no one would actually think to call electronic. So more purposefully, any music concerned with the musical capabilities of electronics.

But even with the stricter definition, I think it's fair to say that the music of Morton Subotnick and the music of the Black Eyed Peas are equally electronic music. And even "Electronic music." And American music. But probably not "American music," and neither would be called Americana, although Black Eyed Peas might be comfortably referred to as Electronica.

If we live in a world in which a term, such as electronic music, might readily describe the music of either Morton Subotnick or the Black Eyed Peas, then I think we have but two choices of substance. Either we put some effort into it and come up with better ways to describe music, or we give up altogether, and stop trying to describe music. I like words, so I'd prefer to stick with the first option.

It might also be worth noting that the spell check in Firefox doesn't believe that Electronica is a word.

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Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:24 pm

I think a previous poster had it right (sorry, too lazy to find the post) - Electronic Music (capitalized) is as it first was used, experimental and thematic concert music using purely or mainly electronic instruments (including all the tape machine in Musique Concrete). If you use it lowercase - electronic music - then you mean, if you want to narrow it a bit, anything made with purely electronic instruments (electric guitars don't count) and Electronica is a sub-genre of electronic music. One could also say Electronic Music is a sub-genre of electronic music but that may be going to far.
Anyway that it what I've landed on and it works for me. I play Electronic Music.
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Post by shamann » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:17 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:Electronic Music (capitalized) is as it first was used
Given that 1950 was a long long time ago, I'm not sure as it first was used provides much understanding of as it has been used ever since.

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Post by daverj » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:44 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:I think a previous poster had it right (sorry, too lazy to find the post) - Electronic Music (capitalized) is as it first was used, experimental and thematic concert music using purely or mainly electronic instruments (including all the tape machine in Musique Concrete). If you use it lowercase - electronic music - then you mean, if you want to narrow it a bit, anything made with purely electronic instruments (electric guitars don't count) and Electronica is a sub-genre of electronic music. One could also say Electronic Music is a sub-genre of electronic music but that may be going to far.
Anyway that it what I've landed on and it works for me. I play Electronic Music.
This just doesn't work in my brain. Distinguishing two almost identical genres by giving them the same name but capitalizing one just seems counter intuitive to me. I could see capitalizing the words if it's a company, or a web site, or a magazine, to distinguish a genre from a physical entity. But for two genres it seems to just add confusion. (at least it confuses me)

I'm not even really clear on how you are dividing them:

- they are both music
- they both could be made using purely electronic instruments
- one is widened by including "mostly electronic instruments"
- the same one is narrowed by saying it is only concert music
- and further narrowed by being experimental or thematic concert music

So if somebody is making weird bleeps and blops in a performance on a stage it is Electronic Music, but if they are doing it in their basement for their own enjoyment it is electronic music?

We have a lot of words in the English language. And can even make up words (ie: electronica). So if two genres are virtually identical but slightly different, I'd suggest we add or change a word to distinguish them instead of capitalizing one. Especially if you expect non-native English speakers to go with it.

genre ideas:

electro-concert music
electonal music
experitronic music
rotting banana music

:nana:

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Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:21 pm

daverj wrote:So if somebody is making weird bleeps and blops in a performance on a stage it is Electronic Music, but if they are doing it in their basement for their own enjoyment it is electronic music?
:nana:
Not at all. What I meant by concert music is music designed to be primarily listened to sitting down vs music primarily made to be danced to. It is a distinction that I make because I see the term "electronic music" being used to describe music of such variable types as to now be almost a meaningless term. When you say "I play electronic music" what exactly does that mean? If you have to explain further with another term then the first one is basically useless. It is like saying all music made with electric guitars is rock music and all made with acoustic guitars is folk music. It just doesn't work for me when it is broadly used as it is. The sub-genre names are more useful.
Last edited by ersatzplanet on Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:24 pm

shamann wrote:
ersatzplanet wrote:Electronic Music (capitalized) is as it first was used
Given that 1950 was a long long time ago, I'm not sure as it first was used provides much understanding of as it has been used ever since.
That's the point. It now doesn't mean anything since it has been used to describe so many different types of music.
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