Under the dark skies: nine dark musical genres
To write this article was not an easy task, because it contains a philosophical paradox: a person always subconsciously strove for what he most fears. The darkness of the night surrounding the Cro-Magnon in his pitiful home, around a hostile world inhabited by dangerous creatures. Dark jungle of forests, the depths of the seas and oceans. An even darker and more frightening cosmos where it is extremely difficult to survive. But the most terrifying – where will he go at the end of his path? This place in the mass consciousness has always been inhabited by terrible monsters and terrible pictures of existence there after. Well, it can’t all end like this, right? Should there be anything there? Well, here it is …
Sigmund Freud ultimately reduced all human aspirations to the dualistic principle of the struggle between two basic instincts – sexual attraction and death drive:
If we accept as non-exempt the fact that everything that lives due to internal causes dies, returns to the inorganic, then we can say: the purpose of all life is death, and, conversely, the inanimate was earlier than the living.
And if someone wants to argue that he does not personally seek death in any way, then it is too late – old Freud has already decided everything. Later, leading psychoanalysts denied Freud, but, as they say, the sediment remained. Over the centuries, this theme has developed its own world of art: artists, writers, cinematographers, myth-makers, “paranormal researchers” … And indeed, it seems very strange, why should we also colorize what we all need the least? Indeed, in real life there is so much beautiful and joyful, but here is one frustration! But the instinct revealed by Freud cannot be overwhelmed by such rational arguments, and even more so by the pastoral paintings of a green lawn with flowers under a clear sun. We need something more terrible to get scared! In the early 1300s of our era, Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, where by himself as a hero he compiled with the compagno Virgil explores the otherworldly existence. No, in order to limit the viewing of the heavenly bushes, he undertook a walking tour of the gloomy palaces of hell and the surrounding area. That’s what he went there, I ask? That’s right, we wanted to dilute a dull, well-fed existence with something so specific, otherwise everything is fed up. Pepper sprinkled in hateful borscht. Therefore, everyone, I think, can answer for himself why all this has always been. Well, not at all necessary, but … terribly interesting, but what is there? Though out of the corner of my eye! And naturally, the musicians could not stay away. They picked up their gusli, lyres and rushed to create the surroundings. And it is natural that in the XX century a whole subculture formed in the musical environment, which was called the “dark scene”.
Therefore, the demons assigned two places of punishment: one in connection with their sin, and this is hell, the other – for the temptation of humans, and this place of their punishment is called the dark atmosphere.
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theology
In the Divine Comedy, Dante personally descends through 9 circles of hell to the center of the Earth, where Evil and entrenched itself. And there suddenly, at the very bottom of hell, there is a frozen lake, in which Satan sits tightly frozen into the ice in person.
Hello, how are you today?
Apparently, all the millennia of contemplation of human sins were so boring that he ultimately did not invent anything smarter. And you naively believed that hell is hot and everything burns in a flame? It was inappropriate to reason like this in the era of Dante! Let us try to follow how modern musicians follow this path and express a desire to voice the route. Gustave Dore has illustrated us his talent in his time. LimbSinti-pop (synthpop) is probably one of the most famous and popular genres of the dark scene. It is completely called “synthetic popular music”, because it is recorded mainly with the help of synthesizers and a computer, and is saturated with sound special effects. The vocalist’s voice, most often male, is usually cold, slightly alienated, even somewhat arrogant. Lyrics traditionally have a social theme.
At first glance, everything is not so bad
The name of the synth-pop genre appeared in the late 70s of the XX century. A new era began in pop music, because many projects that previously played post-punk began to actively use new equipment – a synthesizer. At first, synthpop was more like a mixture of other popular genres at the time: new wave, electropop, neo-romanticism and postpunk.
The pioneers of the synthpop genre are the Japanese team under the name Yellow Magic Organization and the British band Ultravokh and Hanyan League. They actively used monophonic synthesizers and achieved a simple and understandable for many sound. A similar sound was available to most musicians in those years, which was explained by the wide distribution of low-cost monophonic synthesizers and the new standard in musical instruments – MIDI. At the same time, drum machines began to be actively used, making such a “trademark” sound even more affordable.