For a lot of music fans, Hypemachine’s charts have become a way to find “the best new music on the internet”. For others it has acted as a promotional tool. For most, its nothing more than a way to find new tracks. Generally speaking the charts are biased to artists we’ve already heard of, tracks that have been overplayed, and they are often influenced by praise from magazines like Pitchfork. As an aggregator of so many different blogs it is a great repository of music and an awesome tool to help you find new things you might like. Â Ultimately, its not the billboard charts and isn’t subject to much oversight, rather it democratizes the way in which we are exposed to new music. This democracy isn’t perfect.
Hypemachine aggregates music from a plethora of blogs across the world, hence the nifty translate button at the bottom of SalaciousSound. Many of these blogs are biased, not just towards certain artists, because often they act as promotional tools for people in local cities their objectivity should be questioned. There are multiple blogs owned by record labels, DJs, and promoters. Record labels will often push new artists out there into the world. DJs will draw a following and give people an idea of what they spin through the music they post. Promoters will post songs in order to draw attention to their upcoming Justice show, or even a show by the little known DJ behind the Justice remix or mash-up they chose to share.
Bloggers are people with friends, people with enemies, people who aren’t subject to much oversight. I post what I want, often what I like, and some times music I don’t love for people who I like. In this case I choose to describe why someone might like something, rather than expressing my own personal opinion in a lot of these cases. Blogged music can, at times, be amateur. I remember about a year ago there was an advertisement for an afterhours that said “No Blog House”. Over the course of running this blog, I have come to understand why. Ultimately, the thousand Justice remixes rushed to completion in someone’s bedroom don’t compare to the original and official remixes that have been masterfully produced, mixed and mastered. Bloggers can’t post a lot of the music they love, often the result is a take down request.
Duck Sauce’s “aNYways” was one of my favorite songs of the summer, and I didn’t post it out our of respect for the fact that it is a Major Label recording. At the time, it was flooding blogs, HypeM, and Forums. The song is easily available for download in high quality whether it was posted here or not. I didn’t, in fact, post it until I had found a copy of the original song that they sampled in mp3 format that I could share. Now, one might ask, “why wouldn’t you just post the original?” The thing is if I had just posted the original many people who came to the post from aggregators like Elbo.ws and Hypem wouldn’t have found it. I wanted people who liked the “aNYways” to come find the Final Edition track that it sampled so I bundled it in the post. We received a takedown request.
A lot of music bloggers often worship the ground that Pitchfork took claim too. The desire to be at the forefront of innovative music, while telling people that major artists have litle value. Thankfully, because of sites like Pitchfork and Hypemachine, a lot more underground music has been given some light. At the same time, the type of music that is often proliferated by the music critique and blogger bourgeoisie doesn’t necessarily resonate with the proletariat.
There is a reason why Jay-z, Bono, and Tiesto sell out shows in venues that fit over 50,000 people and The XX and Friendly Fires show in Toronto is at theÂ Pheonix, a venue with a capacity of less than 1000 people, they haven’t established mass appeal yet. The show sold out, obviously, but at the same time could they sell out the Air Canada Centre? Probably not (at least yet).
Time Festival at Sound Academy featured a lot of fn Hypemachine favorites. The main room featured A-Trak, DJ Mehdi, Felix Cartal, Don Rimni, Rye Rye, Crystal Castles and Flosstradamus alongside other established local Toronto talents. There were 3 other rooms. One featured one of the forefathers of Techno music, someone who most Electronic music bloggers would respect, Jeff Mills. Another, featured a slew of young up and coming DJs in Toronto, including the new infamous Conor Cutz.Â One might assume that an event of this magnitude in a city like Toronto could potentially take place in a venue that could fit ten, maybe twenty thousand people. It took place at The Sound Academy where the capacity is less than five thousand. This is the same place Justice played an all ages show a year and half ago. Yes more people are falling in love with undergound music. I know to some of you, you can’t fathom why someone would listen to Miley or Britney, but the truth is… they outnumber us.
Ultimately the music bourgeoisie, isn’t the masses. Maybe we can call music bloggers the 5 percenters of music, attempting to free 85 percent from their ignorance, exposing them to the freedom of Animal Collective, Phish, The Cool Kids etc. to free them from the shackles of BET and the chains of Miley Cyrus. But when it comes down to it, that 85 percent is where all the money is. There o a reason why songs like Hathbanger’s (who the fuck is this kid?) mediocre mash-up of Biggie and Miley Cyrus made it to the top of the charts and is one of the most loved longs we’ve ever posted on the site. People love Miley, and other people love Biggie, you put the two together, even if it is mediocre, you get a lot of people who will love that song.
The belief that Hypemachine’s user base doesn’t fall victim to popular appeal and promotion is false. While the majority of music posted on the site tends to be new and cutting edge, there is also a lot of crap clogging its arteries. The outrage that has ensued over Conor Cutz and DJ Black reaching the top of the charts is, if nothing else, hilarious. The fact that they promoted his song being on hypemachine and got his fan base, which is actually quite large in the Tri- Cities area (Guelph, Waterloo and ?), to show him and DJ Black some love isn’t malicious. At the end of the day the song hit number 1 on Hypemachine, received the criticism it deserved, created some “tension” with DJ Jedi based on one line in his Bio and will be forgotten by those who didn’t love it and remembered by his friends who did. Hypemachine isn’t Billboard and if you can get enough of your friends to click a little heart beside your song name, you will probably reach the top of its charts(How to Become a HypeMachine Hitmaker).
The recently implemented Twitter Chart is pretty interesting on another hand. Different users have greater influence based on their number of followers. This makes it susceptible to the influence of those with a large twitter following. One tweet by Shaq and you are at the top of the charts? Quick, someone tell Shaq he can revive his rap career all my himself. Start a blog, post his own music, and tweet! Once at the top of the charts your bound to face greater criticism, and as much as I love Diesle I don’t think his poetry will hold up.
Recently, one of our writers, thehungriest, posted about Zeds Dead. They were recently featured on Skream’s Stella Aessions mix and have been receiving a lot of praise from the Toronto music community. These guys are the real deal. How much love did they get on Hypemachine? Not as much as they deserved. They are relatively unknown to most music consumers but have had a massive amount of support by some of the most respected DubStep sharing YouTube channel’s around. Support from one of the Dons of Dubstep isn’t enough. The fact that they won both remix competitions they entered through this site wasn’t enough. But really, does it matter? Their music has received recognition by the people who matter: arguably the best DJ/Producer in their genre, multiple music blogs, record labels and other taste-makers. Who cares if they got less love on Hypemachine than Hathbanger… This duo is actually GOING SOMEWHERE!
Hopefully people will realize that the Hypemachine charts aren’t perfect. Often they influence themselves. The higher you get the more exposure you get the more random people who will show you love. The more popular the more likely lots of blogs will talk about you. The better your EP and the remixes by other artists the greater likelihood that your song will be all over the charts in each of its unique incarnations. If your friends show you love, even the most mediocre producer can shine in its light. Hypemachine is democratic, which means its open to flaws and as songs become more popular they often face more criticism. Try checking out other social media based chars. I recently discovered We Are Hunted and its been a great place to find new music. In music’s increasing digitization, we are opening our minds to new sounds and different artists. More music is being created and recorded than ever before. The internet has removed barriers for undergound artists and allowed their music proliferate into markets that would have previously been unreachable. Let’s appreciate the fact that there is more opportunity to discover new music.
I thought about posting a fake Justice remix to add to my point, but decided against it. Instead here is some music I really like, the songs that have got the most love on my iTunes over the past few weeks. Some of it might be popular on Hypemachine most of it will be overlooked by many. CFCF’s music really deserves the attnetion it has been getting. Most of it will likely just add to the repository of unloved, but amazing music on the site. The XX remix of YGTL if amazing. Check out “Dance of the Sock Monkeys”, it’s definitely one of the more interesting songs I’m posting. Monarchy is great and I’m really enjoying what they’ve put out there so far, I can also relate to the name. Diminishing Returns deserves to be at the top of the pops.Â This a collection of music I found on some of my favorite blogs, including The Curb Crawlers, Plugged Not Thugged, Pelski and Disco Dust. Hopefully this post will give you glimpse into what I’m listening to rather than just what I have been posting.
[audio:Ali Love – Diminishing Returns (Extended Version).mp3,Bill Withers – Who Is He (Henrik Schwarz Edit).mp3,CFCF – Raining Patterns.mp3,CFCF – Monolith.mp3,CFCF – Half Dreaming.mp3,CFCF – Big Love.mp3,Erik Hassle – Hurtful (Penguin Prison Remix).mp3,Fever Ray – Seven (Martyns Seventh Mix).mp3,Florence and the Machine – Youve Got the Love (The xx Remix).mp3,Jupiter – Mama Used To Say.mp3,Monarchy – Gold In The Fire (Demo).mp3,Sub Focus – Coming Closer.mp3,Sub Focus – Last Jungle.mp3]