This Friday, Haarp Media and The Workshop are presenting the first showcase to address and challenge generic concept – Top Shelf. This first showcase addresses the genre of FUTURE BEATS (also known as left-field or wonky beats). I for one am fucking excited about this.
Some people might be wondering what “future beats” are, right?
As curator of this event, I figure I owe you guys a bit of shit-talk in my reasoning to putting the show on and why I chose these particular artists.
Well, the essential idea is that there’s a genre called ‘future beats” which is sort of a fusion of future garage and R&B/hip-hop sensibilities, especially in regards to the percussive boom-bap hits and 808 snares. As an objective genre, it checks out in regards to labelling tunes, and you can use it to conform certain sounds to certain sounds.
But just like any other genre, “future beats” suffers from overkill, with 90% of tracks in the tag consisting of barely inspired composition, or being shitty remixes or bootlegs that attempt to carry the genre’s sound unconvincingly.
I feel there’s more of an idea and broader scale to how we can approach “future beats”, and I’ve three distinct questions to ask you as a listener that you might like to take into consideration.
How can we have future beats without knowing our past?
My personal opinion is that if you want a serious understanding on the in’s and out’s of electronica, it’s important to have a healthy respect for electronic music’s rich and lively history. The whole idea that music has reached this point can only be attributed to the past. With no recognition of the past, how can we have a future – or for that matter – even know where we are right now historically?
When we consider our past in beats, how does this relate to the genre of future beats?
The textbook definition (if there is one) of future beats is rooted in hip-hop, r&b, garage, and all the textural embellishments of electronica that make niche beats so unique and pleasing on the ears.. But what significant aesthetics would we take into consideration here?
Well, there’s the boom-crack of original dirty hip-hop percussion. There’s the rolling 808 snares that continuously make us confuse future beats with chill trap. There’s the off-centre and unstable synth work that wobbles and fizzes and crackles in a dervish with the central key melodies. Another important thing to observe with future beats is the progressed use of 2-4 timing, as lended from dubstep and trap (and their variations). Also present in a lot of tracks tagged as future beats is the central timing of juke/footwork, as well as the frenetic and trippy syncopation of the crazy 160bpm genre
it might be remarked that rather than future beats actually being a certified and original genre, it’s actually a hybrid of various past genres. If this is the case, why don’t we expand on the sounds that are already present in future beats?
What ways can we expand on these foundational ideas of “future beats” as so far defined by the genre?
Where else do the previously stated aesthetics fit into modern electronica? What other styles of beats relate to generic future beats, and how can we make it all flow together?
For me, the answer to this question is Haarp Media’s leading slogan for genre – Submersive/Subversive. Never do what’s expected out of you.
Subversion is key to the expansion of future beats and indeed key to injecting life into any stagnating genre or sound. We need to keep thinking, we need to keep subverting in order to remain fluid and stop stagnation. Music – and indeed life – rots without subversion. We need the chaos of motion and anxiety to keep us in agitation, or any given body will basically die on the inside. Subversion, motion, life, chaos, alertness, (non-paralysing varieties of) anxiety, all these things are one and the same.
If we at Haarp Media say we’re going to do a “future beats” joint, you can expect not much of the event will conform to DJ Joe Blow’s generic set of “future beats”. We wouldn’t want to bore you shitless.
Our artists and how they tie in with these ideas….
I feel that the five artists we have playing at this first edition of Top Shelf will take us through five seperate trains of thought and movement involved in future beats. These modes will be represented by the five artist’s approaches to DJing/production and their unique tastes in music. All five DJ/producers come from our own city, so therefore I feel symbolically represent the collective local mind’s attempted definition of “future beats” within the global macrocosm.
Some modes within our showcase of future beats are obvious, whilst others may not initially seem to be entirely related to future beats if you weren’t to read this article.
Of course, the artists may essentially disagree with these statements and say they’re just playing beats, but let’s not spoil the spell here.
Dave Di Paulo is Australia’s most prolific representative of contemporary future beats as a DJ. His small label Uncomfortable Beats has helped unearth a lot of new sounds, and quite a lot of these sounds are also future beats/wonky in terms of genre. You also couldn’t get a more active guy in terms of his involvement in the overall scene in Melbourne, and this also affects the eclectic degree to which Able8 presents future beats.
Oh, that guy. Okay, so I guess I can say I’m basically influenced by all these artists and ideas. I’ll be keeping things fresh by mashing the different aforementioned aesthetics of future beats together in a way that’s chaotic and unpredictable. But hey, wouldn’t it be funny if the promoter of a future beats event barely even played any future beats? Maybe I’ll end up playing a whole set of micro-house to rock the boat of what you think are percussive elements of tomorrow.
This guy has always been expected to play “glitch-hop” (another genre I have qualms with in definition) at every “normal” gig he plays at, but recently he brought out an album that was more “future beats” than anything. I think his ability to keep fluid as a producer is awesome, and he represents cleaner yet glitchier ideas I have of the whole future beats movement in Melbourne with his sweeping synths and melodic nouce. He’s an ambassador for Australian festival-style future beats, and it’d just be great to have a broader audience hear his stuff.
A producer who to me is possibly the most under-rated hip-hop producers in Australia, and has a clever and chaotic way of making beats that might classify him with some of his listeners as being a left-field or wonky beatsmith. He pretty much represents my previous point of needing to know your foundations in order to progress to some sort of future beat. This is reflected in his rough and ready percussive sampling, performed live utilising his “caveman” approach to hardware.
Melbourne’s #1 party DJ always gets things cracking, and his element is also in subversion. Not only can you expect future beats here, but also footwork, UKG, and pretty much where-ever the hype and dancefloor vibe leads. The main reasoning for me to put 2fuddha on is that he gets a party storming, and this to me is the main reasoning with any urban-styled beats playing in a Friday night club, am I right?
So there you have it. Not much more to say, really.
Get the fuck on down to the first adventurous episode of Top Shelf – Future Beats gone Haarp Media style, baby.
Written by Kayhat.