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Oh! – Boys Noize (2007) - A musical analysis
Oh! – Boys Noize (2007)
Currently I am doing some casual analysis of EDM tracks by popular artists in order to achieve a better understanding of the composition method. Recently I posted Halcyon by Orbital. This time I’m having a look at ‘Oh!’ from the album ‘Oi Oi Oi ‘ by Boys Noize. This is a compositional analysis rather than a production tutorial on how to achieve sounds. Whilst only a casual analysis I will employ the concepts of music (at least one of the many variants upon) as taught by most structured musicianship syllabuses to structure this analysis.
Most notable in this piece is the use of dissonance to create tension. By creating and the resolving tension Boys Noize pulls the attention of the listener. Dissonance is the disagreement of two sounds occurring at the same time be it harmonic, rhythmic, etc. Consonance is when the opposite – when two sounds compliment each other and sound good together.
Pitch – Melody and Harmony
The main bass line theme employs massive changes in pitch and dissonant intervals.
The bassline has a tonic of D# with progression
|: D# | B C# :|
The B is an accidental in either a major or minor D# key (diminished 6th or augmented 5th)
The C# is the 7th note of the D# minor scale. A progression from the 7th to the tonic creates a feeling of resolution.
In contrast to the dissonant bass line – the majority of the higher pitch melodies are consonant and do not include the extreme pitch shifts and as a result sound much more consonant.
Pitch shifting is utilised on many instruments – the vocals, the synthesised cymbals, etc
Duration and Rhythm
As with most commercial EDM the piece is in simple quadruple (4/4) time. The main beat is the conventional four to the floor style drum pattern of dance music. Cymbals/rhythmic synth voice creates a shuffle feel.
Rhythmic dissonance is employed before the introduction of the main theme and reintroduction of the theme. This is created by the addition of a sample on the last quaver (8th note) of the bar in addition to delay/echo effects.
A vocal sample ‘Oh!’ is heard on the downbeat of some bars – creating rhythmic consonance.
Timbre & Expressive Techniques
With the exception of some rather small vocals samples all timbres have been electronically synthesised or manipulated to appear as such. Three of the most effective timbres employed are:
1. the vocoded vocal track – creating a electronic feel for the entire track
2. the extremely heavy bass line – almost 8bit sound
3. the rhythmic cymbal synth thing – almost painful at times this instrument moves between an atonal rhythmic device and a pitched melodic device in some builds.
Conventional EDM expressive techniques such as filter sweeps, portmanteau, etc are employed to great effect.
Dynamics & Texture
Abrupt drops in the amount of sounds occurring, followed by restatement of the main theme is an effective dynamic technique to create structure. As with Halycon it appears that the addition and subtraction of voices is what creates structure – again most instruments only play one melody through the piece – a new melody has a new timbre.
Melodies within the piece are restructured – for example only the first half played and then repeated. The overall structure is below however the amount of drops in texture and abrupt stops before reintroduction is to numerous to list.
Intro – percussive elements and vocals
Main Theme – main bass theme with vocals
Theme with Variation – high pitch, portmanteau melody added in replacement of vocals
B section – new theme introduced over original and the main bass theme is lost.
Restatement of Introduction
Restatement of main theme with B Section
Ending – gradual falling away of parts until only drums left.
NEW SONG! download, share, etc
Bored Awake WTS REMIX…
My best friend’s band…
great track imho
a remix I’m working on - yet to be mixed/mastered etc… any suggestions?