B A R R Y L A N D .



mad skills.








a musical offering.
the strange recipe for a sunday morning instrumental

killer music.
my score for sea world's shamu show, and the story behind it

hear some samples of my first solo effort

we 3 kings.
the protagonists' christmas CD

music to go.
order some of my CDs


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 I 've been enjoying the resurgent serious-dance scene the past couple of years. Around these parts, it's doing right nicely, in spite of thoughtless and short-sighted opposition lately from lawmen. On any given weekend, there's likely to be a large-scale rave, an intimate 100-person-or-so party, or a nonhostile club takeover.

My favorite subgenre, house, is robustly popular in this region. In Austin, they go more for trance and deep house, and here there's an enthusiastic audience for jazzy vocal house. (Dallas and Houston, I think, are less fun in that they go more for drum 'n' bass in Dallas, and in Houston they don't know how to dance.)

A bit of terminology here: you might have thought, as a friend of mine did till recently, that "house music" is a term equivalent to "house dressing": that is, whatever a club happens to be playing. Nope. It's actually a category with definite attributes: first and foremost, it's dance music. Unlike other branch-off forms of electronica, it's intended to get large groups of people jumping around. Its basis is the 4/4 thump it inherited from disco; its tempo is the slightly quicker 125-135 beats per minute; on top of that, riffs swirl and dodge — either frankly synthetic electronically generated sounds or instruments and voices sampled and repeated in endless combinations.

Music critics rhapsodize about its being therefore nonlinear and static, as opposed to following the formal progressions traditional in Western music. But that's not quite right. The raw tracks themselves are hypnotically minimalistic, but a skillful DJ blends different recordings together right there on the spot (using those big black vinyl disks everyone thought were obsolete), and uses terraced dynamics, crescendoes, and cadences to cajole the crowd into a throbbing frenzy.

A while back I recorded this track as an experiment. Some DJ friends of mine have enjoyed it, and I've even been invited to do a live PA, improvving on a keyboard as a DJ spins under me.


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gabriel.mp3   5 megs