Somewhere in London, at 202 Westbourne Grove, there is this gorgeous magazine called Sobieski, in which a part of the below article is published.
Less Sound, More Music
”The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between” (W.A. Mozart)
The sounds we call music, the art form whose medium is sound and silence, the ”art of the Muses” – nothing weirder than browsing through definitions of music and listening to today`s most popular tops. Some weeks ago, Billboard 200 displays only 11 slots setting a difference between Michael Buble`s 1st place and Lil Wayne`s 12th position, and there`s no telling why the same taxonomy applies to both Skrillex and Mozart – for an example.
To keep it simple: at the end of the 20th century, the ”super group” slowly faded away. Its brilliance was shadowed by the take-over of electronic music, which appeared to be the next best thing. Nowadays, anything except mechanized hit-generating entities is underground or non-mainstream and therefore appreciated only in micro communities. 1940 – Earth`s population was not even of three billions – now there are likely more than seven. So many more ears to please and so many more judging voices in matter of taste, a phenomenon which is also easily to be observed by the genrefication of the main typologies previously set up in music. Sure Internet played an incredible role in the music business, also as a blessing but nevertheless also as a curse – by generating a facile access to this increasing database of sound. Music`s cyclical nature has showed how vital it was for different creators to get inspired from previously produced music – but nowadays music turned to be more of a question mark, in the meaning that its predictability is quite uncertain.
Over the last few decades, popular songs have switched from major to minor keys. Recent hits are longer and slower. Researchers E. Glenn Schellenberg and Christian von Scheve suggest that listeners are today musically sophisticated and C. Nathan DeWall and his colleagues used linguistic analysis to show that popular song lyrics became more self-focused and antisocial between 1980 and 2007. Also music got obviously louder – affirmation for which no one needs a quote. Joan Serra of the Spanish National Research Council, who led a study published in the Scientific Reports journal, said: “We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse.” So what`s the deal?
Probably because it is difficult to set boundaries in a continuous shift of information, music got slightly emotionally ambiguous. As every genre got associated with cultural patterns, there is a new thing going on lately among young people with a bore: the ”slow music”, but that originated from minimal, techno or electronic, with a little flavour of folk or local influences, which turned into some sort of combination between a weirder dance music and atmospheric sounds. After the days of IDM and trip-hop, there is this fresh generation of alternative sound creators delivering a combination of pop or soul and electronic music, sometimes touching indie, hip-hop or alternative r`n`b. There are countless bands, singers, composers and producers using a lot more delicate approach to music – delivering the next best thrill not in your headphones or at home, but on the dance floors of clubs worldwide.
Zooming in to Europe`s map, somewhere in the middle, there`s this country that looks like a fish. Its capital city is frequently mistaken for Hungary`s Budapest, just because it sounds similar. Bucharest, 2013, Silent Strike. What is Silent Strike? Is it a band, a DJ, a producer, a composer, a singer or a plane in the sky?
Silent Strike is Ioan Titu – the first thing one needs to know about this entity. Often confused with being a band, the Romanian producer is just this pile of talent composing music ever since he was a teen. Growing up in Bacău, he actually studied Informatics in Iași and only later came to Bucharest, where he started working at an audio studio without having many connections or clear plans of a musical career. Nowadays, Ioan mentions: ”I don`t imagine having done anything else except music. I do not know how to do anything else but this.” And Silent Strike was an accidental correlation of terms that sounded right in the mind of young Ioan – a both fragile and strong music, that found an adequate name.
This dedicated musician stated a very personal sound of electronica, sometimes merging his composure with hip-hop and rock. He is renowned for years for his unique atmospherical IDM, which is apparently quite prolific. Ioan scored three films and also composed music for numerous TV ads and made the soundtrack for Gravitarium2 iOS app. Simplicity and crystal clear structures define his very honest discourse, which makes his music so flexible. This is something that will definitely last in time and will hopefully influence future young musicians in a manner that will make it obvious that real music comes from real talent, not good marketing or a successful debut.
Silent Strike is very interesting because one would assume that an IDM-focused producer is prone to dedicate his interest to slow sounds or rare genres of music. The magic touch of Ioan is that even when he collaborates with the most respected artists of music genres that are not necessarily predictable to merge with his, the music as a result can go loud, but never did he make a compromise of designing low-quality sounds like brutal or mindless noise. Some of his music can be categorized as dubstep, but that is a very vague term, since this young music genre already has numerous categories and styles. Hence Silent Strike`s everlasting flexibility and transparency – this is a producer compatible with endless opportunities, especially thanks to his combining electronic music with instrumentals.
Writing different styles of music since 1998, he released five albums and three EPs, collaborated with tens of musicians, from the electronica and jazz world to string quartets and various vocalists. As a stage artist he had concerts in 10 European countries and opened for Faithless, Amon Tobin, Robot Koch, Kode9, DJ Food, Saul Williams, Bonobo, Recoil, Jazzanova or Venetian Snares. Songs by the artist illustrated the official promoting videoclips of the campaign “Sibiu – European Capital of Culture 2007″.
Silent Strike also performs live with instrumentalists, in combinations that are often unexpected but totally compatible. His collaborations always have an original and interesting sound, that makes the listener fall in a hypnosis of continuously browsing for more music produced by him. His personal input makes the cookie crumble like it did when he turned 27: that birthday, on the 27th of August, he released his song called ”27”, because he wanted to return something on the day everyone congratulated him. His discography reveals this exact delicacy and sensitivity and since his first album, that he now considers to be rather puerile, up to his latest productions, Silent Strike is that one particular feeling generator which makes it so easy to narrow down an iTunes playlist in favour of real, touching, soul-quenching music. Perhaps the evolution of musical taste can only happen when one reaches maturity and discernment to appreciate the ever growing force of talent in a true artist, phenomenon which is rarely to be found among today`s internationally acclaimed hot shots. Perhaps the new definition of music could be the product of a muse one respects.
His demoreel is available online alongside a more detailed presentation (on Facebook.com/SilentStrikeMusic, YouTube, BananaSociety.ro/Silent-Strike and SoundCloud).
Silent Strike by Adrian Scutariu