Purity Ring - Fineshrine
You can thank the ‘witch house’ sub-genera for the beat [ which is fxxking nails ]
If I had my way Purity Ring would never put out albums. Instead they would just release EP’s & singles. I haven’t heard their full length release but I almost positive that if you try and listen to it from start to finish at about the midway point it would become extremely tiresome and the last 2 or 3 tracks would be a real grind to get through…
If instead you listened to 2 tracks a day off the album for a week I bet you would perceive the music entirely differently. These tunes make the biggest impact when they are heard next to the other pop music currently being released. They are epic in scope, they contain elements of southern rap, trance, Timberland era R&B, radio pop among others and somehow it actually works at sounding new. It might not be Purity Ring that makes it onto the radio but the formula that they are fleshing out right now will be on the radio soon. It is actually pretty amazing to think that they got different the parts of each sound put together so quick. I think this is a product of the internet area, where everything is available. Anyone anywhere can listen to songs of any artist from any genera in any era. I remember back in about 97 or 98 when hard rock and rap music were on a collision course. The fusion of this music was going to be the next big thing and would take over music. It seemed like every band took a stab at nailing down the sound. The better bands had a few tracks that worked but most of the songs released were complete trash. It took almost 10 years for anyone to get the sound dialed in and create something new and fresh. Now 3 years on after Pictureplane’s Travis Egedy jokingly called the style of music he made ‘Witch House’ a fully fledged sound has emerged out of nowhere with more influences then any other.
I guess that was a long winded way of saying that when I hear a track by Purity Ring I am taken aback by how bold it sounds. Not because it is the future of music or how far ahead it sounds then the rest of the pack, but instead because it feels like the embodiment of a sea change that has happened in my short life time. These tracks feel like the next step in the history of the ‘mash up culture’ for lack of a better term. You can go a lot farther back, but in my mind this current trajectory was started with tracks like Dynamite Hack’s
mind fuck cover of ‘Boyz ‘N tha Hood’ which I believe opened up a lot of suburban kids ears to the possibilities of what you could do with a tune and ‘A Stroke of Genie-us’ which opened up minds as to what you could do with technology. Then people like Gregg Gillis came along and took the whole thing to a new level with his Girl Talk project, completely blurring the genera lines. Now we see a band like Purity Ring using bits and pieces of all of it to create something complete on its own owing nothing to samples or the works of previous artists. These songs stand on its own 2 feet as the work an sound of an artist’s not of a mash up or a sample bootlegger.
In my mind a bridge has been crossed. What started as just a joke or a crossover has turned into actual art own its own terms and I think I think that is a big deal.
Post script :
When I started to write this, I can tell you I had no idea where it was going. I had no plans on writing about Purity Ring’s importance in the grand scope of things, but after listening to the track a few times and a few others from the past 15 years I few new synapses’ were connected in my head. This has me really thinking about the state of music in 2012. Music is a young man’s / woman’s game and right now everyone in that game grew up with Napster and YouTube. They all had the music library waiting for them at the click of a button. They could search for and hear almost everything. This new wave of producers has proven to be much more adept at making music that sounds correct and or authentic. This idea [authentic sounding music] seems to be very well rooted and entrenched into the current music scene. I for one and am HUGE fan of the Sonics and production values in music and I like that artists are paying attention to more than just the notes. I don’t think every track needs to sound crystal clean, some songs just sound better on a crackling AM Radio. Going forward I believe that the future of music production is stronger that it has ever been.
It is an exciting time for all of us paying attention.