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  • Artistic Identity

    What I mean is, some artists like to remain associated with a particular style or genre.

    Sometimes this is a good thing.

    Sometimes artists (and I thinking of Steven Wilson as an example) do what they want, within a broad sense of a genre, and to hell with their fans.

    What I am leading up to here is, in my own case, I am doing a lot of jumping around at the moment.

    Prior to joining AO, just over a year ago now, I tended to stick to one particular "style" (I use that term loosely because even now I am not sure what that style was). But then I started to dabble more in what I think could be termed "ambient" things.

    Okay, that's just personal development, is it not? And, let's be honest, it's not as if I have any fans to upset and lose along the way (not strictly true... An old colleague of mine appeared to really enjoy listening to stuff I created around the 2000 ~ 2003 era and he hasn't liked anything I've done since...).


    Something has been bugging me a bit now, while exploring the "Dark Side," helped immensely by the OSD challenges, and hearing all the many different and varied stuff here. I appear to have been switching regularly between the lighter side of things, with guitar based droney tracks then doing darker, more spacey noise stuff.

    Do they fit together? I don't really think so.

    One thing I have been thinking about is creating one album which has the guitar and sequencer stuff on, and another with the darker stuff.

    I have been naming some of my darker tracks after those Iain M Banks "Culture" ships, so it seems obvious to me that they do, indeed, fit onto one album and should work together.

    And then I have a load of stuff that have names of astronomic "features" and are generally a lot lighter in terms of sonic content. And more recently I have been naming tracks after Greek mythology characters, which, again, are generally lighter.

    So, I have two sides developing. Dark, and light. Sounds a bit corny but, there ya go :D

    One thing I could consider is having two different identities. One can do all the dark stuff and one the light stuff.

    And perhaps I should dump the "synkrotron" moniker. That would be a really hard thing to do...

    If you got this far, thanks for reading my ramblings. Probably more difficult than listening to one of my toons :canthearyou:


    andy :D
    >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<

  • #2
    just juxtapose one style with the other in your pieces. doing something like that isn't so crazy that people won't want to listen to it; guitar-based dark ambient has certainly been done well in the past. see what percussive stuff you can do with the guitar and try incorporating that into your dark ambient if nothing else works.

    if you're not comfortable with this, then ask yourself: are you making music for yourself or for your fans? if pleasing your fans is more important to you than satisfying yourself (or if you derive more satisfaction from pleasing your fans than you would from having a piece satisfying only to yourself) then please your fans. if you'd rather make and release solely what you feel like regardless of what people think of it then do that instead. it's not like you'll disappoint all (or even, perhaps a majority) of your fans by switching up styles. you could even make a concept album that fits both the darker and the more lighthearted pieces in a way that flows satisfyingly.

    you got options, dude.
    my dark ambient discord server:
    my dark ambient group:
    my music:


    • #3
      Hi Ian,

      Originally posted by ian View Post
      then ask yourself: are you making music for yourself or for your fans?
      Oh, yeah, for me, and that's always been the case. Good points raised though, and this comes up often and I am pretty sure that many of us would say the same

      I'm just dreaming and deliberating, internally speaking :D

      I sometimes wonder what peeps think when they listen to stuff on my SC page... Sometimes it's "pretty ear candy," and if they return some time later they get something that's a bit "down and dirty." Well... Sorta ;)

      Bottom line is, I reckon, keep on doing what I'm doing.

      Eventually I will have enough stuff to put onto bandcamp, which is my ultimate (and only recently decided) goal. That should be interesting

      Cheers Ian, and thanks for responding to my ramblings :D

      >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


      • #4
        Hi! It's very interesting what you propose here.

        I think every artist can identify with one of the two sides, but darkness and light are manifested spontaneously in their art. The human being is naturally ambivalent

        Some artists achieve the magnificence of mixing both sides in a single album, but the artist's essence is always decant by one of them.




        • #5
          Originally posted by Hermann Holsgr View Post
          Some artists achieve the magnificence of mixing both sides in a single album, but the artist's essence is always decant by one of them.
          Hi Hermann, indeed, and as I read that I realised how narrow my thinking is and, I suppose, that impacts on my own art.

          Many great works tell a complete story consisting of two sides whereas most of the stuff I have been creating is a bit one dimensional. I suppose I am going a bit off topic in my own thread but it's all food for thought and I am in a rambling mood tonight :D


          >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


          • #6
            I've been having similar thoughts recently. Some of what I make is chill/relaxing/meditative/ambient whatever and some of it is harsh feedback noise that I purposely try to make unlistenable. It all goes up on my SoundCloud but I'm afraid someone is going to listen to a noise track, decide they don't like it, and not listen to the ambient stuff (or vice versa). I've thought about making a new SoundCloud account with a new moniker and splitting them up but I don't want to lose the stats on my current tracks. I'm about to hit 1600 total listens and while that is by no means a record breaking number I'm proud of it!
            soundcloud | facebook | bandcamp


            • #7
              Originally posted by AtlasKnelt View Post
              but I'm afraid someone is going to listen to a noise track, decide they don't like it, and not listen to the ambient stuff (or vice versa).
              Yeah, this is pretty much where I'm coming from really. When do you draw the line and become a different "artist."

              I suppose an obvious one would be if you created death metal stuff as well as quiet ambient stuff. Surely then you would have to create a new "presence", if you like.
              >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


              • #8
                It seems some artists get away with just chucking out wildly different stuff under the same name (Aphex Twin maybe though he has multiple aliases too) but maybe that becomes part of their reputation, the 'thing' they do. And I respect that. You just buy Miles Davis CDs, he didn't faff about with different names for different projects.

                I've found with my stuff that it's not so much light and dark as intent. If I'm messing around with some plugins and come up with a track that's, to be honest, not the most heartfelt of tracks, more of an interesting experiment then that goes under my lighthugger name (I'd admit most of my OSD entries fall into that category). The stuff I'm *really* serious about (nothing released yet...) I'd release under my own name. I want to be associated with it directly. Then again, I don't post much at all to Soundcloud, I have the 'release' mindset ingrained, I like collections of tracks that sit together, maybe share a theme.

                So, I wouldn't have reservations about releasing wildly different tracks under the same name as long as they shared some common artistic intent. If that makes any sense at all.

                I do, however, have another name lined up for my guitar noise project if it ever gets off the ground. :canthearyou:
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud


                • #9
                  Amongst other things, I'm a sysadmin. The su and sudo commands provide me with more than enough identity crises.

                  I don't really care that some of my tracks are in opposing styles to others. That's what I do, and I'm quite happy for it to continue. If I release another album, I might consciously try to give that album a particular vibe or bias towards a particular style, but then again, I might not. Either way, it will be a Whatsisname album.

                  If somebody finds my stuff on the internet and likes it, but then switches off after hearing another piece which doesn't fit their preconceptions or taste, there is a 50% chance of that being my fault. I can live with that.
                  Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello


                  • #10
                    Unfortunately there is a human need to conform to a norm. One that is popular and one that is appreciated by others; the more the better. We seem to relate popularity with success and quality. Popularity typically only means your marketing has worked. It does not necessarily reflect quality or peoples tastes. It is an indication that if enough people like something others will also jump on board and give it praise. Often people will give "likes" and "thumbs up" without ever listening to it, or only skimming through a few seconds of a particular track etc. They feel that if it is popular with my peers and friends, then I have to conform to that acceptance.
                    If something is hugely popular, like a current hit pop song, then I will most certainly know it is more trash and is popular because of commercial advertising and bias media promotions. Many people will simply fall into line with giving the thumbs up to everything that a certain "artist" produces, even if in their heart they don't like the new work, or only parts of it.

                    I personally don't try to produce work of a certain genre. It happens without having to think about it. I just let it flow and whatever comes out is what it is. I know it fits into a definition of so called ambient or dark ambient, but that is only following a widely recognised convention that may or may not be right or proper. It is all subjective.

                    In short I really don't care if no one likes what I produce. I don't care if no one listens - in fact I think it is a good sign that I have done something deep if very few "get it". I am certainly grateful and appreciate the "likes" and those who do listen. It does help to keep the juices flowing. But it is not why I do what I do, and it is not in my thoughts, nor is it in any way part of the criteria I use to judge the quality or otherwise of my own work.

                    In short I enjoy the process far more than I enjoy the finished product. I put the finished work "out there" mostly because that is the final part of the process and for me means that I have reached the end of that project and it is time to leave it and forget it and move on. Having said that, it can be fun to go back and re-visit some old work. Mostly that is not an enjoyable experience, but sometimes I find that on rare occasions I like something I made in the past. If others like it that is cool and I appreciate it greatly, but that is an unexpected bonus and not the desire or aim of producing the work. It fulfils a need within me and that is all it is about.

                    Very short word(s) on the thread - don't worry about it - it is really not important - unless it is for you :dunno:
                    Last edited by Maharg; 10-21-2016, 01:59 AM.
                    | Bandcamp | Hearthis | website |


                    • #11
                      I was going to post a link on David Bowie(born David Jones and then was briefly Tom) but this photo popped up when I opened a new tab so I'll share it instead, as it works just as well -

                      But all artists progress and mature, and experiment, hopefully. Changing a name if it's been outgrown is one thing, but I'd find using multiple names to be discombobulating. I could see it being necessary as a business decision, but less so as an artistic one no matter the identities latched onto. One can mark the different identities(or output) through branding and design rather than by name.
                      | Ambire Seiche - @ heart this | @ Sonic Squirrel |
                      | @da


                      • #12
                        Hi Andy

                        For what it's worth ( and that ain't much), I certainly don't think you should drop the Synkotron moniker.

                        I have also explored a range of genres over the years and am for now happily settling in with ambient/chill music. I see no problem with an artist producing different kinds of music or even other art forms.

                        I'm surprised to read that you're still aiming to get stuff up on Bandcamp. From what I've heard of your material, it's quality. I see no issue with getting some up on Bandcamp. Bandcamp doesn't require a certain quantity - you can put singles up, for example.

                        Music appreciation is obviously entirely subjective - something that sounds great to one person is an awful row to another (take my daughter's taste in metal for example - I'm too ignorant to know what type of metal it is, I just hear a load of screaming). I think the issue for us is how on earth we find those people who will think our music is worth listening to, and that seems very difficult. I think we've just gotta carry on producing music for ouselves, putting it up there (in as many places as possible) and hoping and enjoying every mini success and positive comment that comes our way.

                        I may have rambled off topic here :dunno:
                        Bandcamp / Soundcloud / Website


                        • #13
                          Hi Peeps,

                          I'm glad I raised this point... Some interesting thoughts up above. So thanks to everyone who has chipped in so far :D

                          Further to my OP, one of the reasons I raised the question of creating another entity to publish different styles of work under, is that is what some artists appear to be doing. Their SoundCloud page may be for one particular style, and in their profile they state, "for my blah de blah stuff, go here."

                          I think as long as I keep within a sort of electronic/ambient computer music style I will carry on as is. If I suddenly find that I have developed a taste for Prog Death Metal I will create another identity (not likely I hasten to add).

                          As for Bandcamp, I think what I am getting at there is, I want to, need to in fact, create some definitive albums of work, which I will then use Bandcamp as the place to create/store them. When I look at what you other guys have done at Bandcamp, I like it.

                          Plus, SoundCloud doesn't seem to me to be the place to create albums, even though they have now added album functionality.

                          The bigger picture for me, and I'm not deliberately trying to be morbid or anything here, is I'd like somewhere where my music will still be around for a time after I have "gone." And I get the feeling that Bandcamp may be that place. I dunno... I could be wrong, it's just my gut feeling.

                          I already have a couple of tracks up at Bandcamp, but, as singles, I don't bother "marketing" them.

                          Actually, as I am typing this, I have just remembered that I have a Google Play artist account, so that is another option, on top of Bandcamp.

                          My little piece of immortality :biggrin:

                          Keep on ramblin'

                          >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


                          • #14
                            I've thought about this as well, and decided to put all my ambient, soundscape, and abstract music under the ablaut moniker.

                            And if I ever get interested in beats again, then I'd make that music (most likely to be psydub or synthpop) under another name.


                            • #15
                              Having different monikers for different styles is a good idea.

                              It does not make sense to me, but if I would start making techno some time...

                              It makes it easier for SC followers - if they like the style of "X", they can follow him, but they are not bothered, with what the same person makes under the name "Y".

                              Sometimes I did not follow someone, just because there was too much different music under the same name. It makes no sense for me to follow someone because of his soundscapes and find all his house things too in my stream.

                              On the other side, I do not know, whether one needs so many project names as Peter Andersson uses:
                              Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
                              Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light