Beat Bang is a fun application for smartphones and tablets helps you explore electronic music from 1988 to the modern day thanks to 500 musical references
How does it work?
The x-axis is the timeline, showing the years of record production, and the y-axis represents the BPM (beats per minute, or in other words, the disc’s tempo). By crossing these two types of information we have been able to put the 500 albums in different sized clusters. By exploding the bubbles you can see what each cluster contains.
The album covers, as well as the date and the BPM are shown as a bubble-constellation. Behind each album cover you have access to a great deal of information about the album, such as a short description, audio extracts of each track, location information, artist, genre, and sometimes even a picture of the artist.
That’s the basic principle. There are many ways of finding your way around, for instance by pressing/clicking around the bubbles you can zoom out, and at this point you can move left or right to travel forwards or backwards in time, upwards and downwards for more or less BPM.
Right at the bottom of the app, the bubbles are blue: this is a very distinctive category which brings together three distinct scenarios. On the one hand, the music with almost no musical beat, for example drone music (textured music in general) or ambient music (hypnotic music with little rhythm) – scenarios 1 and 2; or on the other hand (3rd scenario) music with such an irregular tempo that it is impossible to find a constant.
A mobile multimedia library
For a long time, the only way to make the most of this fantastic multimedia library was to get lost within the walls and shelves of PointCulture (ex the Médiathèque). Nowadays, PointCulture (ex the Médiathèque of the French community of Belgium) has chosen to unpack this precious resource and make it available on mobile screens everywhere, so becoming available at any time. This is the start of a collection of apps. designed to be a living memory of our heritage: both music and cinema, so offering a broader perspective. Throughout the creative process, these PointCulture projects will become intelligent and eventually collaborate with one another, thereby creating a total sound map of our cultural heritage.
The content proposed by these apps. has been meticulously put together using the latest navigation systems, excellent documentation and innovative search methods. The key areas and philosophies of discovery favour complete immersion in the sound, while an editorial platform places the artistic productions in their true context – with various subdivisions using archived information and various musical tracks.
Beat Bang is the first of these projects. A map of the electronic beats that have been the musical background for almost a quarter of a century, and that has changed from generation to generation.
Beat Bang – the rhythm, a passionate story
Beat Bang tells what got us how it all started in 1988, and how it very quickly became a series of interlinking stories. Everything started with a social confrontation: gruelling assembly lines, greater industrial alienation and an accelerated rhythm of production symbolised the overall growth of society transforming our lives to a far from brilliant consumerist world. Very quickly however, deindustrialisation arrives in the major American cities where the first light of this industrial rhythm had set in. The initial fast pace which brought about a trance and the promise of a fine future was followed by a tremendous decline and slower and more depressing rates. Rather than passively undergoing the fate of time, these two inseparable periods of the modern age were adapted and transformed into music. From its glory days to its hard times, the industrial beat has harnessed and been transformed by electronic equipment, and in the end has become the material for one of the most important musical adventures of the 20th century carrying, and it continues to this day.
Techno is important in that it reveals the violence of the rhythms imposed on the body and spirit and which are then liberated with the transformation of the beat into one of release and pleasure. This is where the story of the social beat creates a musical bang: it’s when the huge factories have transformed people into robots, and when the imagination frees the robots and organises the cyborg revolution.
Afterwards, the story expands and changes depending on the country, the city, the technology and the new economic alienation. The beats multiply and new genres are created, freeing people from their frustrations by creating new dance sensations, new kinds of parties, and new aesthetic dissidence. Electronic music becomes an ever-expanding universe, ranging from the purely tribal to the more intellectual. Outside the initiated, we often hear it said that “this music all sounds the same, and that the beat is similar”, but an in-depth examination reveals an innovative diversity that has stood the test of time. An objective measure can see/hear this variety as it spans a wide spectrum, from zero BPM to one hundred and eighty four!
The Beat Bang story – to be continued …
In the first version, the period of 1988-2012 has been chosen with no less than 500 reference tracks.
Beat Bang will subsequently benefit from sister applications, which will cover electronic music from 1920 to the present day, creating an even wider range of genres.