The Warehouse (or the “House” for short) was a nightclub that was established in Chicago, Illinois in 1977 under the direction of Robert Williams. It is today most famous for being what many consider to be the birthplace and heart of “house music” under its first musical director, DJ Frankie Knuckles. A broad spectrum of dance music was being played; however, first and foremost were R’n’B and Disco.
After The Warehouse doubled its admission fee in late 1982, it grew more commercial and Knuckles decided to leave and start his own club, The Powerhouse, to which his devoted followers followed. To retaliate, the Warehouse’s owners renamed it the Music Box and hired a new DJ named Ron Hardy
It is possible that the term ‘house music’ surfaced in reference to the sounds played at the Warehouse by Knuckles. Initially it was a catch-all term to describe the wide range of music being played at the Warehouse. It soon became the word used to define the raw, drum machine based edits and tracks that Knuckles was playing in the early 1980s. Knuckles bought his first drum machine from a young Derrick May who, regularly made the trip from Detroit to see Knuckles at the Warehouse, and Ron Hardy at the Music Box.
The loudness war or loudness race is a pejorative name for the apparent competition to digitally master and release recordings with increasing loudness. The phenomenon was first reported with respect to mastering practices for 7” singles. The maximum peak level of analog recordings such as these is limited by the specifications of electronic equipment along the chain from source to listener, including vinyl record and cassette players.
With the advent of the Compact Disc (CD), music is encoded to a digital format with a clearly defined maximum peak amplitude level. Once the maximum amplitude of a CD is reached, loudness can be increased still further through signal processing techniques such as dynamic range compression and equalization. Engineers can apply an increasingly high ratio of compression to a recording until it more frequently peaks at the maximum amplitude. Extreme uses of dynamic range compression can introduce clipping and other audible distortion. Modern albums that use such extreme dynamic range compression therefore sacrifice sound quality to loudness. The competitive escalation of loudness has led music fans and members of the musical press to refer to the affected albums as “victims of the loudness war”.
The Factory was Andy Warhol’s original New York City studio from 1962 to 1968, although his later studios were known as The Factory as well. The Factory was located on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was “only about one hundred dollars a year”. The building no longer exists.
Other, less frequent visitors included Salvador Dalí andAllen Ginsberg. Warhol collaborated with Reed’s influential New York rock band The Velvet Underground in 1965, and designed the famous cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico, the band’s debut album. The album cover consisted of a plastic yellow banana that the listener could actually peel off to reveal a flesh-hued version of the banana. Warhol also designed the album cover for The Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers.
Warhol included the Velvet Underground in the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a spectacle that combined art, rock, Warhol films and dancers of all kinds, as well as live S&M enactments and imagery. The Velvet Underground and EPI used the Factory as a place to rehearse, though the definition of “rehearsal” should only be taken loosely.
“Walk on the Wild Side”, Lou Reed’s best known song from his solo career, was released on his first commercially successful solo album Transformer. The song is about the superstarshe hung out with at the Factory. He mentions Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Jackie Curtis and Joe Campbell (referred to in the song by his Factory nickname Sugar Plum Fairy).
The roots of ambient music go back to the early 20th century. In particular, the period just before and after the first world war gave rise to two significant art movements that encouraged experimentation with various musical (and non musical) forms, while rejecting more conventional, tradition-bound styles of expression. These art movements were called Futurism and Dadaism. Aside from being known for their painters and writers, these movements also attracted experimental and ‘anti-music’ musicians such as Francesco Balilla Pratella of the pre-war Futurism movement and Kurt Schwitters and Erwin Schulhoff of the post-war Dadaist movement. The latter movement played an influential role in the musical development of Erik Satie.
As an early 20th century French composer, Erik Satie utilised such Dadaist-inspired explorations to create an early form of ambient / background music that he labeled “furniture music” (Musique d’ameublement). This he described as being the sort of music that could be played during a dinner to create a background atmosphere for that activity, rather than serving as the focus of attention. From this greater historical perspective, Satie is the link between these early Art movements and the work of Brian Eno, who as an art school trained musician, had an appreciation of both the music and art worlds.
The Second Summer of Love is a name given to the period in 1988-89 in Britain, during the rise of acid house music and the euphoric explosion of unlicensed MDMA (“Ecstasy”)-fuelled rave parties. The term generally refers to the summers of both 1988 and 1989 when electronic dance music and the prevalence of the drug MDMA fuelled an explosion inyouth culture culminating in mass free parties and the era of the rave. LSD was also widely available and popular again. The music of this era fused dance beats with a psychedelic, 1960s flavour, and the dance culture drew parallels with the hedonism and freedom of the Summer of Love in San Francisco two decades earlier. Similarities with the Sixties included fashions such as Tie-dye. The smiley logo is synonymous with this period in the UK.
The Grandmother of Acid and TB-sounds, The Roland TB303.
The 303 is a synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation from late 1981 to 1984 that had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music.
The TB-303 (short for “Transistorized Bass”) was originally marketed to guitarists for bass accompaniment while practising alone.
Production lasted approximately 18 months, resulting in only 10,000 units. It was not until the mid- to late-1980s that DJs and electronic musicians inChicago found a use for the machine in the context of the newly developing house music genre.
In the early 90’s, as new Acid styles emerged, the TB-303 was often overdriven, producing a harsher sound. Examples of this technique include Hardfloor’s 1992 EP “Acperience”, Interlect 3000’s 1993 EP “Volcano” and Phuture’s 1987 “Acid Tracks” (sometimes known as “Acid Trax”)
Around the middle of the 1990s, demand for the TB-303 surged within the electronic dance music scene. As there were never many TB-303s to begin with, many small synthesizer companies cropped up and started to develop their own TB-303 hardware clones. This new wave of TB-303 clones began with a company called Novation Electronic Music Systems, who released their portable Bass Station keyboard in 1994. Many other TB-303 “clones” followed, including Future Retro’s 777, Syntecno’s TeeBee, Doepfer’s MS-404, MAM MB33 , Freebass FB-383, Future Retro’s Revolution, Acidlab Bassline, Acidcode ML-303, Oakley TM3030, Ladyada’s x0xb0x, Analogue Solutions Trans-Bass-Xpress and Will Systems MAB-303. As the popularity of these new TB-303 clones grew, Roland, the original TB-303 manufacturer, finally took notice and released their own TB-303 “clone” in 1996, the MC-303Groovebox. Despite Roland’s efforts, their new “303 clone” was an entirely new product that had almost nothing to do with the original TB-303, with the exception of a few bass samples and the familiar interface design. The most obvious difference was the inclusion of an inexpensive digital synthesizer, rather than the analog circuitry of the TB-303.
By 1997, software synthesizers were beginning to take hold among electronic musicians. One notable package was made by Propellerhead Software’s emulator package entitledReBirth. The software became very popular, providing a cheap and easy way for musicians to reproduce the classic TB-303, 808, and later 909 sounds, without the need for any synthesis hardware. Roland contacted Propellerhead to give the company an unofficial “thumbs up” which Propellerhead considered as the Roland “Seal of Approval”. As of September 2005, support for ReBirth has been discontinued by Propellerhead software, and the software is now available online as a free download…
Read the full wiki-article on the Roland TB 303