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

December 14, 2016

Hmm. That’s Odd!

Music For When You’re In A David Lynch/Tim Burton Mood

One of the directives at CSS Music is to follow the slogans of Austin, TX and Portland, OR: “Keep It Weird.” While many of our composers would love to get their creative fix creating disc after disc of the strange and bizarre, we must reign in this desire…most of the time. But when these talented people do let loose with the unusual, outré music is born.

Click on “Eclectic Retro Lounge” on our Hand Picked Genre homepage and prepare for a trippy experience! A track like “Curiosity Lounge On Mars” (Repro-File Plus, Vl. 34) is…well…the title describes it! Want a little Tim Burton film music? Listen to Busy Life (Super Themes Vl. 69) with its light, magical yet slightly dark track vibe. Want to go old school sci-fi? “Martians Invade Hollywood” (Digital Ditties, Vl. 2) will evoke images of Ed Wood. How about a truly strange hip hop track? Check out “Hood Wanks” (MaxTrax Vl. 45) Goofy and fun kids track? Have some “Cheese Corn!” (Super Themes Vl. 20) How about a real quirky World track? “World of Mystery” (Repro-File Potpourri Vl. 12) fills the bill weirdly! Something fun and whack? “Stambaugh’s Sassy Shuffle” (PowerTrax Vl. 35) is a happy track that’s been seriously jacked with!

If you’re looking solely for film music with that peculiar, something’s-not-right feeling, “Strange Cinema” (Super Themes Vl. 1) might be ideal. And if you audition the large selection of Super Themes film discs, you’ll find a number of unique and unusual film score tracks.

You never know when you might want to try music that’s definitely strange. And we at CSS Music will continue to Keep It Weird for just those special occasions!

December 09, 2016

Rockin’ Round The Clock

A Look At CSS Music Oldies

Ask even a Millennial: What music makes you feel good? We’ll wager they’ll mention music from a bygone era. Be it Doo Wop, British Invasion, Southern Rock, 70’s Soft Rock or the electronic and danceable sounds of The 80’s, music from these earlier eras seem to bring listeners either a nostalgic feeling (for us oldsters) or a simple, happy sound for those who are hearing older music for the first time.

For you guys/gals producing shows every day, you might consider tapping into this vein of “Gold” to underscore a special scene in your next show. CSS Music has a number of retro tracks in our BackTrax library or you click on Rock (Oldies) or Rock (Pop/Clasic) on our Hand Picked Genre homepage to hear the cream of the crop.

An idea: you get your show’s personalities to individually dance to a track like “Running Around With Sue” (BackTrax Volume 2). Then you edit a montage to the music, apply a 50’s television effect to the video and voíla! Instant fun for everyone, especially your viewers! Double especially fun if they’re terrible dancers!

Of course hot rod shows and male-centric programs are great for good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n roll. A track like “Rock Me Right” (Super Themes, Volume 65) is so universal in its appeal with its retro vibe I-IV-V chord progression and solid beat that it could sync perfectly under any number of scenes.

If you want a Feel-alike of Bill Hailey’s famous rock ‘n roll classic, there’s “Blues Around The Clock” (Super Themes, Volume 29), “Rockabilly Rocket” (Super Themes, Volume 8) and “Roll Around the Clock. (BackTrax Volume 2) When it comes to Oldies, look to the young bucks of CSS Music!

December 03, 2016


The Changing Sounds of Nature Music from CSS Music

Remember when you really couldn’t underscore a morning outdoor nature scene without hearing a flute trill? J Composers most likely thought of the opening stanza from Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” that was used extensively for morning scenes in film and cartoons. In fact, for years the flute has defined nature music due to its bird-like sound and light, lilting nature.

Today, a solo dobro slide, fiddle crescendo or arpeggiated acoustic guitar chord can underscore the sun rising on an outdoor morning scene. And these instruments are much more in “tune” with the popular sound of roots music today from the likes of Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers. 

At CSS Music we continue to add the contemporary styles that serve contemporary nature scenes so perfectly. Review our exceptional Super Themes library and you’ll find an entire CD (Volume 9 Nature Sphere) devoted exclusively to the nature genre. There are also solo guitar, bluegrass and “Swampabilly Rockers” volumes that will serve you well from Super Themes.

When you need a terrific “bad weather is coming” track, we highly suggest “Dark Swamp Adventure” on PowerTrax Volume 31. This track is structured similarly to a movie trailer with beginning, middle and finale. CSS Music has beefed up our roots-based music selection with a number of new volumes this year. Click on Nature (Outdoors & Environments) to audition some of the creative and varied tracks in this category.

What’s that? You’re doing a tongue-in-cheek outdoor morning scene and you DO want that opening from the “William Tell Overture?” No problem! Simply scroll down the CSS Music/Zero Fee Music home page to Build-A-Search and type in “Rossini.” You’ll find both sections of this classical masterpiece in our Digital Ditties library!