January 17, 2017

A Drone That Doesn’t Fly

Using Electronic Elements Effectively

If you’ve ever seen a film where there are scenes with tension, horror or something otherworldly, you’ve undoubtedly heard the ubiquitous (usually) low synthesizer or bass/celli drone. The static, unrelenting tone is generally the harbinger to something important is a comin’!

Whether you’re trying to convey anticipation of quietly stalking a wild animal or waiting to see if the engine you’ve been rebuilding will fire, the use of a drone can really perk up the tension. And it also serves as a sort of “intro” leading to the climax of the your scene.

At CSS Music we have a couple different sources for these types of tracks. Using our Keyword Alpha Lists you can explore topics like Evolving, Futuristic, Horror, etc. You’ll find traditional compositions that may embody some type of drone element or a track that fits the genre. But if you want to dive right in to electronic mayhem, the CSS Music 6 disc set of E-Efx (Electronic Effects) will provide you a wide selection of sounds.

Briefly…E-EFX is a potpourri volume with a variety of electronics. E-EFX II provides whooshes, zaps, swipes, etc. E-EFX III (Lite) offers more sparkly effects. E-EFX IV is more of the bizarro/alternative bent. E-EFX V and E-EFX VI are your meat and potatoes electronics with multiple versions of each category. NOTE: CSS Music recommends checking out the later tracks (approx. cut 70-100) on E-EFX II through IV. You’ll find more musical tracks that may perfectly suit your needs!

If you’re looking for music that evolves from a drone and has more of a futuristic vibe, check out CSS Music’s 2-disc Soundscapes library. This music could be deemed Electronica or Experimental—it’s definitely a unique experience!

Try flying in a drone! (Pun intended.) You might be surprised how this production element adds ear candy to your show!

January 09, 2017

Got The Blues?

Why The Blues Sometimes Makes You Feel Good

A couple Blues jokes. Q: What was etched on the Blues singer’s tombstone? A: “I Didn’t Wake Up This Mornin’!”
Q: What’s the difference between a moose and a Blues band? A: The moose has the horns in front and the a-hole in the back.

All joking aside, understanding The Blues—and understanding different types of Blues—requires a little exposition. While we at CSS Music can hardly be considered Bluesman, we do enjoy and appreciate the genre. In fact we have 333 tracks of various variety of Blues ready for your shows! On our homepage, click on Blues (all styles) from our Hand Picked Genres or choose Blues (A-G) from our Keyword Alpha List.

The Blues originated in the Deep South of the 19th Century with Black slaves lamenting their lives by singing in the fields. Later, as the genre evolved, artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, W.C. Handy and B.B. King popularized The Blues and brought the music to a larger audience. Then as people moved north, cities began developing their own brand of Blues like Chicago, Kansas City and Memphis.

And with these stylized derivations, the lone guitar—acoustic or bottleneck slide—were beginning to be augmented with full rhythm and later, horn sections. While the harmonic structure remained pretty much 12-bar-Blues chord progressions, tempos began getting faster, guitar virtuosity became the focal point and raspy, whiskey voiced vocalists became Rock Stars.

CSS Music invites you to explore our collection of Blues tracks. Need a modern ZZ Top influenced rocker? Listen to “Nothing But Smoke.” (Super Themes 47) Want to capture that smoky Blues club? Try “Baby You Done Me Wrong.” (Super Themes 29) Crave a smokin’ hot Blues Rock track with horns? Give “Rock The House” (Project Platinum 2) a listen. We believe once you audition CSS Music’s excellent selection of Blues tracks, you’ll never suffer from the blues again!

January 04, 2017

Getting Your Glamour On

A Look At Music From The Clubs To The Runway

If you’re a fan of Lifetime Network’s “Project Runway” you’ve undoubtedly heard a lot of Fashion music. The upbeat “4 on the floor” kick drum, pounding bass, syncopated synthesizer chords and arpeggio sequencers are the hallmarks of this style (pun intended) of music. And we at CSS Music want you to look your best while you “vogue” through this blog. J

The origin of Fashion music is borne out of today’s dance clubs; discos if you think old school. This music is commonly referred to as electronic dance music (EDM) or House. There is rarely any harmonic movement other than maybe two chords—it’s designed to mesmerize and move you with relentless repetition and rhythm.  

On a historical note: the aforementioned 4 on the floor kick drum originated during the disco era of the late 1970’s. Artists such as Donna Summer, Chic, The Village People, the Bee Gees and others brought the world an entirely new musical genre (and some huge hit records) via disco. In fact, the film “Saturday Night Fever” was built around life in a disco and became a huge album for the Bee Gees.

As disco evolved into EDM and House, melodies were replaced by repetitious ostinatos; live orchestras lost out to synthesizers. The lyrics still revolve around partying, dancing and the nightlife, but soaring melodies and meaningful lyrics are now rarely heard.

Using our Hand Picked Genre menu on the CSS Music homepage, click on “Fashion/Glamour/Buzz.” We have 87 of these tracks in a variety of arrangements. We believe there’s a track or five that will serve you well any time you need to get your glamour on!

December 28, 2016

Exploring The Swamp

Examining Music From The Bayou and Beyond

Over the past few years a new genre of music has emerged. Call it Swamp Rock, Country Rock, Hick Hop or Alt Bluegrass, this style of music combines different rhythms with traditional bluegrass and country instruments.  CSS Music has created a number of these styled tracks--if you’re producing an outdoor or male-centric show or just want to add ear candy to perk up a scene, you might find this music is exactly what you’re after!

You may wonder why we don’t group this style into a County sub category. After all, aren’t the instruments in Swamp music extensively used in Country? Yes and no. We view Country—no matter what the subcategory—to be more melodic, evoke emotion and generally develop thematically throughout the track. Swamp on the other hand, is just there for groove. It’s more attitude than music.

If you go to the CSS Music Hand Picked Genres on our homepage and select Rock (Swamp-Southern Edge-Rural Rebellion) you’ll be treated to 123 of these specialty tracks from our library. Notice that the first track, “Swampbilly”(Super Themes 71) melds a country rock guitar lick with an electronic hip hop groove. Can you picture a couple good ol’ boys trying to get their 4-wheeler out of the mud? Very atmospheric.

A track like “Wild, Wild Hick Hop” (Project Platinum 14) uses a swampy funk groove overlaid with licks from a blues harp, banjo, dobro and pedal steel. It’s the type of track that perfectly underscores a “work” or “goofing around” scene.

The genre of Swamp actually borrows from many iconic styles like hip hop, blues and funk. And the vibe is something all its own. Audition a few of these CSS Music Southern flavored tracks and imagine them in your next show. Til then, happy producin’ y’all!

December 21, 2016

Dark Emotions

Exploring The Shades of Gray

At CSS Music we often are asked for tracks that are “dark.” But what exactly does this mean? Are you after end-of-the-world doom and gloom? A lonely scene with lots of emotion? Or perhaps you need a thematic to explore a highly troubled character? The shades of “dark” are quite varied and we try to provide you with subdivisions of this generic description.

Try this: use the CSS Music Keywords drop down menu. Make your first selection (A-G) Dark and then choose Heroic from the H-Q menu. You’ll see the first track is titled “Dark Hero” (Super Themes 73) followed by “Fighting Evil” (Super Themes 76) and then two more pages of similar tracks of this styles.

But if you try another search again using Dark (A-G) and Sad (R-Z) you’ll find tracks like “Dramatic Change Question” (Project Platinum 16) and “Listen To My Story” (Target Tracks 50) that while “dark” they offer a more emotional, lonely and forlorn vibe. You will also notice a glimmer of hope in the music which differs from other dark tracks.

If you’re looking for dark action, try the same Dark (A-G) with Sports (R-Z) and you’ll have six pages with a potpourri of powerful music that runs the gamut from orchestral to dubstep.

And don’t forget to audition the “Emotions (Dark Side)” that features 252 tracks of our favorites from our CSS Music Hand Picked Genres. When you need dark music, look to us to make your real sad! J