What Does the Internet Sound Like in the Club?
Six bangers sampling browsers, modems, and, uh, Angry Birds.
Everyday billions of people use arcane technological portals to access an unlimited ocean of data, where we spend hours avoiding scams, jacking off, and arguing about libertarianism. We also consume substantial amounts of incidental sound. The interfaces embedded in our pockets, ears and cars emit a perpetual chorus of chimes, alerts, beeps and clicks, which our brains process more as background noise than as "music." For some adventurous producers, consumer technology provides a fresh reservoir of sample material—vaporwave-affiliated artists like James Ferraro and New Dreams LTD have isolated the sounds of phones and browsers, creating ambient environments rich with the sonic textures of modern experience. "But," you fret, "how can I satisfy my new media obsession in the club?!" Relax, we're here to help. These six tracks flip surreal tech samples with aims more sensual than intellectual—get physical and use your Bluetooth at the same damn time.
Grime star Lethal Bizzle spit over the "Forward Riddim" in 2004, resulting in "Pow!", a legendarily brutal track banned in clubs when it began starting riots. Three years later, someone remade it with the startup sounds of Windows XP. Humanity, innit?
Jam City is signed to Night Slugs, the UK label known for pushing the boundaries of club music on its own terms. Last year's "Her" juxtaposes romantic synths with stainless technical surfaces, instilling emotion in the "snick" of a digital camera lens.
What provokes more nostalgia and hatred in millenials than the sound of dial-up? Associative music don Hot Sugar flipped the modem's mournful cry for this Heems-equipped heater.
"MSN Riddim" made the rounds in Kingston six years ago—Vybz sprayed the hardest, possibly wiping out MSN in the process.
ATL's Maceo incorporates the eponymous chirp to illustrate the tactical use of burners while under surveillance. Chillingly universal advice in 2013.
Jersey Club producers have built a cottage industry of unexpected samples—here, DJ Sliink flips his Blackberry's vibrate. I guarantee you will check your pocket when the bass drops.
Video game samples are nothing new, but this might be the first to use a game exclusively developed for mobile platforms. Probably also the only track that will ever bring pig sounds into a social environment club.
Ezra Marcus is on Twitter—@ezra_marc