You know crowds can recite a wordless vocal refrain, right? Yeah that’s exactly where we are. We’re going above and beyond, I thought we needed words to sing but I guess not.
Vocals have been a driving force for music for lord knows how long, but what’s interesting is how they’re weaved in the fabric of production.
Cute little vocal chops give production uniqueness, edge, memorability and something definitive.
I wanna list 5 producers of the 2010’s who showed me just how effective the voice can be with used with technology and forward thinking ideas driving production into new territory.
1) Holly Herndon (similar stylistic mention: Arca)
Herndon’s production process makes use of deconstruction: synergy driven: “Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts”. Small vocal snippets replace standard instrumentation and become omnipresent glue across the track. Tricks like granular synthesis, sampling and resampling material allow vocals to morph into sounds we didn’t think are possible.
2) Clams Casino (similar stylistic mention: DJ Dahi)
Clams Casino utilises vocal samples and edits them to unrecogniseable lengths with lo-fi effects for soundscape, timestretching + delay, chorus, turning the popular and obscure into his hazy world that’s solely his and his only. His ability to create senses of rhythms and ambience that weren’t previously there changed my perception on how far sound can be modified.
3) Cashmere Cat
Cashmere Cat uses vocals as a 1,2 punch, usually creating a defining lead melody with them, using pitch bend to create interesting shapes that boost the existing production already – Cashmere delivers vocals as icing to an already tasty audio cake.
4) Jamie XX
Jamie XX uses vocals in an interesting manner. You can listen to a song of his and you won’t even realise it’s a vocal sample, it just sounds like another instrument. Well because it is one. Subtlety. His combinations of effects with vocals add so much depth to his instrumental production. Movement, memorable melodies, you got it.
5) Skrillex (similar stylistic mention: Diplo)
Yeah, Skrillex. Skrillex uses vocals everywhere, every corner you turn, if you don’t think it’s a vocal chances are it is. Skrillex’s use interests me because of the many ways he can find purposes (using vocals as a hype builder, melodic refrain, background sounds) His recent smashes created of a trend of post 2015 songs utilising the vocal as a melodic hook that millions can sing back.
The beautiful thing about Hip Hop is that it's so universal. Spreading across the globe and crossing musical genres. Taking...