A Neuro-Hopper’s Guide to The Galaxy

If you claim fandom in the electronic music scene then there is a chance you are familiar with glitch hop & drum and bass—two extremely prominent factions in the International House of Electronics.  Imagine a sound on the cutting edge of underground electronic music that encompasses the best parts of each these two in a fluid fashion, a perfectly happy medium, bending each of them to its will in time, creating sonic masterpieces the likes of which will have a rug-cutter cutting rugs on the mountain top, or a space cadet drooling at the mouth in awe of the mind-crawling swampy-robot sounds that he/she is hearing.  It inevitably must sound something not too entirely dissimilar to what we experience with ‘neuro-hop.’

If I were to attempt to explain a neuro vibe strictly from an ear’s perspective, I would say something like this:  that little point that you try desperately to get underneath your thumb, to get its pulse, anything so that you can know what’s gonna happen next.  Deep bass grooves and catchy drum rhythms lay flawless foundation to the atmosphere that comes in ever-slowly and gently from above—but also from all angles at once.  Next comes some crazy noise that sounds bifibacterial-in-nature, slowly it takes shape while growing the feeling in your chest.  Then comes the moment where they all meet simultaneously in time—perfect stereo synchronicity right there, at the tips of your fingers, waiting to be tapped into.

To lay out for a listener one (technical) point of reference that I find helpful in the average neuro-dump: the drums patters are ever-clever.  Considering that our general idea is rooted the key elements of glitch hop and drum and bass, the symbiosis of the respective drum styles are a good place to look in getting an idea of what’s going on.  The obvious differences in the two genres are the tempo.  However, what the two genres have in common is also tempo—and that the drum patterns are broken, as opposed to four on the floor.  How can the tempos be the same but different?  Mathematics!  Hip-hop tempo’s can commonly be charted in the 75-90 bpm (beats per minute) range; while a common range for drum and bass could easily be charted at 150-180 bpm, or twice that of the range given for hip-hop.  Again, this is only one example of what makes neuro-hop for me; I encourage exploration on your own accord.  Above are two tracks that capture the idea of fulltime//halftime//doubletime.  The first, ‘Usul’ by Tipper, has a nice little full time build up and epic half time breakdown.  It also has some subtle drum and bass fills within the breakdown that are showcased more in the following track, ‘Black Spheroid’ by DET.

There really aren’t any limitations on what can be found out there.  I kind of find that marginalizing what it means for a track to be neuro-hop is counter-intuitive to the very train of thought that brings us the genre.  As a listener I love how the sound design seeks to utilize every single remote space within the stereo image, in as many ways as possible.  Forever pushing the envelope.

My hope for this piece is that it piques an interest towards the vibe that really gets me up and going in the morning.  Join us in an evening of neuro-charged dance that will surely paint a decent picture of what I am describing—Beatnik Generation//Fayetteville Arkansas welcomes Denver producers Jade Cicada (Skyler Golden) and  Detox Unit (Joeseph Roberts) [local support from Jonteal (Jon Jackson)] on the ‘Studio Tan Tour’ where they will be showcasing some of their favorite respective ideas in neuro.  We hope you are as excited as us for an evening of mind-numbing, face-melting wib wubs, see you Tuesday! :}

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By Cade Waller

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