Own track : Through the fields

When the sunny summer days are here,
The air hot, the nature alive,
enjoy an evening walk through the wheat, barley and corn fields as the sun slowly goes down towards the horizon. Enjoy those simple but magic moments where nature offers you and your friends the perfect scenery for some happy moments in life

Enjoy those moments of simple and happy life, far from the bling bling spirit often associated with housey music, follow me through the fields !

Technical data :
Song length : 3:44
Key : Bmin (camelot wheel coding : 10A)
BPM : 123
Extended version lasts for 7:32

Synths used : Synth1, Sylenth1, Dimension pro (Sonar X3), Korg M1 legacy, Dexed, Lounge lizard EP-4

“Palau beach” played back and deconstructed in the DAW (Sonar X3)

Playback of my latest track “Palau beach” in my DAW (Sonar X3), followed by a break down showing the various tracks individually, allowing you to see how Palau Beach has been constructed

Synths used :
Ichiro Toda Synth1
Lennar digital Sylenth1
Cakewalk Dimension pro
Korg M1 Legacy
Dexed by Digital Suburban
Musiclab Realstrat

DAW : Sonar X3
Mastering : Izotope ozone 3

“Monsoon heat” in the DAW (Sonar X3)

Playback of the track “Monsoon heat” in my DAW (Sonar X3), following the construction of the project and sometimes soloing certain elements so that you can hear how some particular sounds are made.

After the playback of the song itself, there is a quick demo of most sounds used in that production, using the following softsynths : Synth1, Sylenth1, Session drummer, Rapture, Korg M1 legacy, Truepianos and Dexed.

Unlike many producers of this kind of music (green house / deep house music), I’m not using Ableton nor Fruity loops but Sonar X3. Enjoy anyway that demo that shows that music making is not DAW dependant

Own track : Dragonfly ride

It’s summer.

The heat rises. The sun shines.

Flying like X-wings through a jungle of reed and sedges growing by the shores of their home ponds, the almighty dragonflies, the ultimate air force, designed 400 million years ago and still competitive, patrols the skies of their wonderful green and wet paradise. Join their extraordinary ride by enjoying that piece of music that embodies their short but intense life.

Technical data :
Song length : 4:11
Key : F#min (camelot wheel coding : 11A)
BPM : 127
Extended version lasts for 7:43

Synths used : Synth1, Sylenth1, Dimension pro (Sonar X3), Korg legacy M1, Real strat

Dragonfly picture shot at the Petite Camargue Alsacienne, where the green house style is born.

What is Green house music ?

Abstract :
– Green house music is more about feelings than classification actually.

The other day I was interviewed by David Snape and among his questions he asked me what the genre of music I do – Green house music – exactly is as he never heard of that particular genre.

Green house is a subgenre of house music I decided to define myself, to describe my own musical production. As nowadays’s music scene asks for genuine artists, I had to find really who I am, in order to produce music that focuses on what reflects the most my inner myself.

So I had to search for who I really am before. And my involvement in other forms of art – photography actually – got me the answer. After being nicknamed “Mr Green” for my green dominant pictures of leaves and other lush vegetal elements, I guess I found who I am : definitely a daydreamer looking for lush green warm environments. Thus my music had to reflect this.

Own cycas palm tree shot... guess why my fellow photographers call me "Mr Green !"

Own cycas palm tree shot… guess why my fellow photographers call me “Mr Green !”

Therefore, green house is green house because it is, unlike other house music styles, not inspired by urban environments, but rather by my favorite environment, that’s dominated by the green colors : green lush (rain) forests in hot climates (or in summer for more temperate climates), with lotsa leaves and lianas everywhere. A sunshine is not required (altough it’s welcome), but some tropical heat definitely is.

OK, so what comes in mind when you think about that environment ? Beaches. OK beaches are yellow through dark brown. Nothing green here. The sea… yep, this one is blue altough in some tropical paradises it can turn turquoise and even… green (see the andaman sea for example).

But that environment wouldn’t be what it is without it’s lush vegetation which is definitely… green !

Layers of leaves in a tropical green house... again, a great example of why I'm called "Mr Green" in the photography world

Layers of leaves in a tropical green house… again, a great example of why I’m called “Mr Green” in the photography world

So Green house is some house music inspired by the tropical nature. Yep, this could be a basic definition. But Green house is more than that. Green house is not only a style inspired by that lush nature, but also by the feelings it provides me : delight and bliss.

So we’re getting closer. Green house is the music about the delight and bliss the lush tropical nature provides me.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the tropics or even if you visited a tropical greenhouse (another reason to call that style that way 😉 ), but when you’re there, the intense heat and moisture rather invites you to indulge yourself than to get excited. That’s why deep house is, unlike other house music styles like big room, not based on excitment and power, it’s rather a laidback style, that can be used both for dancing but also as background music.

While green house features a steady rhythm, this aspect is definitely not the one on which Green house music focuses the most on. Melody and atmosphere are equally, if not more important in that style, which also makes it very different from other styles of dance music.

Any idea why I'm nicknamed "Mr Green" ? ;-)

Any idea why I’m nicknamed “Mr Green” ? 😉

On the map of the music world, I guess Green house must be somewhere between ambient / new age (for it’s lush pads, its serene atmosphere and its spiritual involvement), deep house (well for… it’s deep house aspect), pop (for it’s melodic aspect) and trance music (for what it is too). So take those different styles, mix them, shake them, add a little bit of myself, and probably you’ll land with some green house music.

Lyrically, green house music is often very minimal. If not completely instrumental, its “lyrics” are mostly made of oh oh, mm, oye alike onomatopoeias or small slogan alike sentances. The reason behind this is simple to understand : Humanity has so little known times of bliss and delight that it doesn’t yet have the right words to express those feelings. Maybe in such cases the music itself just says everything.

Tracks by other artists that could definitely have been described as green house music are pieces like Ferry Corsten’s A day without rain, 16 bit Lolitas‘s Premium emo or Croquet club‘s Only you can tell. The 1st one is trance music, the two later ones are deep house, but all are green house to my ears 🙂

Ferry Crosten’s A day without rain.

If there’s a place in the world that could define Green house more than another, I guess it must be tropical north Queensland, Australia. OK, I know, that’s just on the other side of the world for me, but maybe that’s also why it defines my music so well : isn’t the other side of the world what every daydreamer wishes ?

The daintree rainforest in Tropical North Queensland, Australia, or atleast the vision I have of it embodies probably the best the ideal of green house. It’s green, it’s lush, it invites to indulgement, and it’s both calm and so full of life.

The daintree rainforest in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

Some rhythm, some melody, electronic instruments with a few wooden percussion, passion for nature, daydreaming, feelings of bliss and delight… all this defines green house music.
As you can see, it’s far from a scientific definition, and thus its boundaries may be blurry and definitely designed to remain as such.

Green house music is more about feelings than classification actually. That’s why it’s so difficult to define… but so easy to recognize.

But probably the best way to discover green house music is to listen to some, and to feel its heart and soul…

Note : All pictures, except those in the videos and one of my artworks are taken from my green photography series that gave me the “mr green” nickname in the photography world.

Why didn’t I embrace an existing genre ?

Abstract :
– Genres are prisons… so rather build your own rather than let you get jailed into another one.
– Great genres get recuperated by the mainstream pop culture and often lose their identity by this process.

There are many genres of music around, and those genres have subgenres, and those subgenres even more subgenres… why did I decide to add another leaf to that already heavy tree by “inventing” the “green house” music style ?

The answer is quite simple : by inventing my genre, I invent my rules, and do not have to submit myself to rules other have defined. In other words, this turns me into a trendsetter rather than into a follower. Of course, my music isn’t born from nowhere and has roots in many previously existing styles : deep house, ambient, trance, pop… plus my little personnal touch. Thus you can say green house lives a bit where all those genres meet.

Yet to make this successful my music had to be slightly different from the rest and it is. Reasons why will be discussed in an upcoming post called “What is green house music ?

By definining my music as green house, I thus avoid all the sterile specialists debates whether I am or I am not in the genre I pretend to be. And those debates bore me to death. Some (sub)genres are that defined that its almost impossible to create something new in that framework. Thus setting myself free from some too rigid rules simply gives me the air I need to have my music breathing.

The other issue is that some genres that inspired me got their names recuperated by the  mainstream. Don’t get me wrong on this : if a genre really gets mainstream, that’s 100% ok to me… but if the name of a genre with some serious street credibility like deep house is used to describe something else, the genre loses its credibility in the underground spheres without fooling anyone nor getting underground respect for the mainstream song that “steals” the style name.

For example, some press say Julian Peretta‘s song “Miracle” were deep house music… to my ear it’s definitely no deep house, but rather a great electronic pop track !

Miracle by Julian Peretta

By calling “Miracle” deep house, it frustrates every real deep house fan in the world, and this fustration can cause some serious harm to what in fact is a great electronic pop track.

Loyal deep house fans will feel frustrated as the image the mainstream audiance will habe of their favorite genre will be biased. Some more hardcore freaks will even complain that their once niche style, that only them and a few other diehard underground fans knew, will get too “commercialized” and then turn itself into a fad, that the style they like will be turned into a soon has-been style… without even being recognized for what it really is.

It will also frustrate the mainstream audiance, who likes that “Miracle” song, and who’ll then google for more deep house, find some genuine one… but it won’t be what they will expect, as they won’t find miracle-alike songs in that genre.

This is some real deep house !

In other words, such moves will frustrate almost everybody. Another example that shows that Albert Camus was right when he said that “naming things poorly adds trouble to the world”.

By saying my music is Green house and by defining the genre, I avoid being caught by the guardians of musical orthodoxy. Yep green house isn’t coming out of nowhere, its got it’s origins in deep house, ambient, trance and pop music… but also deep in my heart and soul !

In other words : I invented a word to describe myself… that can’t be wrong as it’s defined by itself !

Never embrace a fad, start your own !

Abstract :
– styles more and more become fads, and in a fad-led business, only the founders of the fad make it.

Another reason I didn’t want to embrace any previously existing style is that styles tend more and more to become fads, and unless you’re the one who started and made a fad popular, there are very little chances for you to get only close to the dream of being big one day.

The reason is simple : fads last less and less long as time goes by. If you embrace a fad, the time it takes to get to the top will (often by far) exceed the lifespan of the given fad. So to say, if you embrace a fad, be sure that the day you’ll be ready to get discovered, your style will already be outdated.

A fad is very easy to recognize. It’s a style defined by some very characteristic elements that were uncommon before and that suddenly appear in each and every track of that given style, so that that genre turns into a small prison where every track sounds the same. And thus leads to some rapid frustration.

Examples : In 1993-1995, there was the eurodance fad. Many tracks of that genre were produced, but only a few of the earliest ones remained.

Corona – The rhythm of the night – An eurodance anthem, still often played (and remixed) today.

Then in 1996 a new fad appeared : Dream house (or dream trance) music. A song started it all and is probably the only one in the memories from that age : Children by Robert Miles, altough by that time, many other producers embraced that “genre” that finally was no more than a fad.

Robert Miles – Children – the one and only dream track that stood the test of time.

And so on…

Nowadays (june 2016) (so called) deep house and tropical house genres are popular. But like everything that gets high in the pop culture, its fate is doomed and soon a very large mass of the fans who nowadays like those styles will turn to something else that will then be trendy, and turn their ears off the styles they loved.

Such music always go through the same cycle : Underground – Hype – hated. If you start while it’s unknown, you might be there when it will be hype. If you start while it’s hype, you’ll be there only to get hated by those who once cherished that style…

That’s what will probably happen to those genres. The best example nowadays is Tropical house. Be sure that Kygo‘s firestone will be the anthem of that genre, and thus producing tropical house nowadays is just… coming too late.

Firestone by Kygo – THE song that will pass the test of time as a definition of what will have been the mid 2010’s tropical house fad.

For Kygo, this is great news as with that one and only song he’ll still be booked in 20 or more years, and have his breakthrough track remixed over and over again. But for all those who tried – sometimes producing even better tracks – to follow his path, I’m sorry but I think an overwhelming majority of them are doomed to fail, despite the musical qualities of their productions. Simply because they were too late. The ones that make it on time become classics, the others fall into oblivion. It’s sad, but that’s how the show business works.

So rather than being a Kygo-alike, I prefer (and I advise you if you’re a producer too) becoming the (very hypothetical, I must admit) next Kygo, the guy that no one heard about before that suddenly makes it big with his own style. The chances at succeeding might be very thin, they are yet by far much bigger than they were if I had embraced another one’s style, especially a now overdone one.

Therefore, if you define your music your way like I did, it will only be outdated… after being hype ! So as long as I’ll not be on top of the charts, my musical style will remain virgin and I’ll be able to describe my music that way without being outdated. I’ll have been there while Green house was still Unknown, I still might be there when it will become hype… if it does !

Own track : Sunset lounge (short radio edit)

Relax…
It’s summer…
You’re lying in a lounge in front of the pool or the sea.
There are palm trees planted all over the place, and the white sandy beach isn’t far.
The gentle marine breeze blows some delicate fresh air in the tropical heat.
You’ve got your favorite cocktail just on the table next to you.
The one you love is just here, right next to you.
Everything’s fine.
You feel like in paradise. You are in paradise…

You’re in the sunset lounge…

Enjoy it !

Technical data :
Song length : 3:26
Key : Amin (camelot wheel coding : 8A)
BPM : 127
Extended version lasts for 6:21

Synths used : Synth1, Sylenth1, Dimension pro (Sonar X3), Korg legacy M1, Dexed

Cover art photography CC-by Greg Knapp

Own track : Summer storms (short radio edit)

After a long hot summer, suddenly the air fills up with moisture, turning our temperate climate into a quasi tropical one. The atmosphere gets thick, dark clouds gather in the sky, before unleashing their power in a flash of rain, lightnings and thunderstorms.

Its the atmosphere of that very short moment that this song tries to capture and to convey in the form of a progressive green house track.

The cover art is BTW a personnal shot of a summer storm that hit our town on june 6th, 2015.

Enjoy it !

Technical data :
Song length : 2:43
Key : Emaj (camelot wheel coding : 12B)
BPM : 126
Extended version lasts for 7:08

Synths used : Synth1, Sylenth1, Dimension pro (Sonar X3), Korg legacy M1

Own track : Monsoon heat

All arount the globe, in the tropical latitudes, the long and hot dry season ends up in a flash of lightning and thunder, announcing the return of the wet season.

That particular moment, when everything gets lush and green again thanks to the warm monsoon rain, is what I tried to catch in that typical green house track called Monsoon heat.

Enjoy it !

Technical data :
Song length : 4:03
Key : Amin (camelot wheel coding : 8A)
BPM : 126
Extended version lasts for 7:25

Synths used : Synth1, Sylenth1, Dimension pro (Sonar X3), Korg legacy M1