Stereolab were an English-French avant-pop band formed in London in 1990. Led by the songwriting team of Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier, the group's music combined influences from krautrock, lounge and 1960s pop music incorporating a repetitive motorik beat with heavy use of vintage electronic keyboards and female vocals sung in English and French. On stage, they played in a more guitar-oriented style; the band drew from funk and Brazilian music, were one of the first artists to be dubbed "post-rock". They are regarded among the most influential groups of the 1990s. Stereolab was formed by Sadier after the break-up of McCarthy; the two were the group's only consistent members. Drawing from Surrealist and Situationist movements, their songs were politically and philosophically charged, leading some critics to describe the group as Marxists, an accusation that Gane and Sadier denied. Other longtime members included 1992 addition Mary Hansen, who remained in the line-up until her accidental death in 2002, 1993 addition Andy Ramsay, still with the band as of 2009.
The High Llamas' leader Sean O'Hagan was a member from 1993 to 1994 and continued appearing on records for occasional guest appearances. Although Stereolab found success in the underground music scene and were influential enough to spark a renewed interest in older analogue instruments, they never had a significant commercial impact; the band were released from their recording contract with Elektra Records due to poor record sales. Since their self-owned label Duophonic had signed a distribution deal with Too Pure. In 2009, Stereolab announced via their website, they are scheduled to reunite for multiple live performances in 2019. In 1985, Tim Gane formed McCarthy, a band from Essex, known for their left-wing politics. Gane met Lætitia Sadier, born in France, at a McCarthy concert in Paris and the two fell in love; the musically-inclined Sadier was disillusioned with the rock scene in France and soon moved to London to be with Gane and pursue her career. In 1990, after three albums, McCarthy broke up and Gane formed Stereolab with Sadier, ex-Chills bassist Martin Kean and Gina Morris on backing vocals.
Stereolab's name was taken from a division of Vanguard Records demonstrating hi-fi effects. Gane and Sadier, along with future band manager Martin Pike, created a record label called Duophonic Super 45s which, along with offshoot Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks, would become known as "Duophonic". Gane said that their "original plan" was to distribute multiple 7 and 10 inch records "–to just do one a month and keep doing them in small editions"; the 10 inch vinyl EP Super 45, released in May 1991, was the first release for both Stereolab and the label, was sold through mail order and through the Rough Trade Shop in London. Super 45's band-designed album art and packaging was the first of many customised and limited-edition Duophonic records. In a 1996 interview in The Wire, Gane calls the "do-it-yourself" aesthetic behind Duophonic "empowering", said that by releasing one's own music "you learn. Stereolab released the EP, Super-Electric in September 1991, a single, titled Stunning Debut Album, followed in November 1991.
The early material was guitar-oriented. Under the independent label Too Pure, the group's first full-length album, Peng! was released in May 1992. A compilation titled, Switched On, was released in October 1992 and would be part of a series of compilations that anthologise the band's more obscure material. Around this time, the line-up consisted of Gane and Sadier plus vocalist and guitarist Mary Hansen, drummer Andy Ramsay, bassist Duncan Brown, keyboardist Katharine Gifford. Hansen, born in Australia, had been in touch with Gane since his McCarthy days. After joining and Sadier developed a style of vocal counterpoint that distinguished Stereolab's sound. After a concert in the early 1990s, the band was introduced to Sean O'Hagan, who had formed the band the High Llamas, he recalled: "we got on well. Their keyboard player left and they needed a quick replacement for a tour. I filled in but was invited in on record. I was allowed to make suggestions and the fun started." Stereolab introduced easy-listening elements into their sound with the EP Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, released in March 1993.
The work raised the band's profile and landed them a major-label American record deal with Elektra Records. Their first album under Elektra, Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, was an underground success in both the US and the UK. Mark Jenkins commented in Washington Post that with the album, Stereolab "continues the glorious drones of indie work, giving celestial sweep to garage-rock organ pumping and rhythm-guitar strumming". In the UK, the album was released on Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks, responsible for domestic releases of Stereolab's major albums. In January 1994, Stereolab achieved their first chart entry when the 1993 EP Jenny Ondioline, entered at number 75 on the UK Singles Chart, their third album, Mars Audiac Quintet, was relea
Electronic Music Studios
Electronic Music Studios Ltd. is a synthesizer company formed in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff, Tristram Cary and David Cockerell, based in Ladock. The founding partners had wide experience in both music. Cockerell, EMS' main equipment designer in its early years, was an electronics engineer and computer programmer. In the mid-1960s Zinovieff had formed the electronic music group Unit Delta Plus with Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Cary was a noted composer and a pioneer in electronic music—he was one of the first people in the UK to work in the musique concrete field and built one of the country's first electronic music studios; the company's first commercial synthesiser, the VCS 3, designed by David Cockerell, was produced in 1969. It was developed in the basement of Zinovieff's house and was nicknamed "The Putney" after the London suburb where he was living at the time. EMS' original aim was to create a versatile monophonic synthesiser that would retail for just £100.
While this proved unattainable in practice, the company succeeded in manufacturing and selling the VCS3 for just £330, less than its nearest American competitor the Minimoog and far cheaper than Moog's modular systems, which cost thousands of dollars. EMS released the DK1, a velocity sensitive dynamic monophonic keyboard controller for use with VCS3; the DK1 was nicknamed "The Cricklewood" after the London suburb. EMS used to have a R&D department based over a DIY shop in Cricklewood Lane, London, so that could have influenced the name of the mechanical keyboard, it is not known that EMS electronic equipment was made by another company "Hilton Electronics" based in Wareham, Dorset. The VCS3 consisted of 3 voltage-controlled oscillators, a noise generator, two input amplifiers, ring modulator, voltage-controlled low-pass filter, trapezoid envelope generator, voltage-controlled reverberation, level meter, two output amplifiers thus providing a stereo output, a joystick providing'X' and'Y' modulation control.
A distinctive design feature of the VCS3 was that, rather than using patch cords to route audio and control signals between modules, Cockerell employed a small matrix plugboard into which the user stuck special conductive pins that connected an input to an output. This matrix plugboard gave the VCS3 a high degree of inter-connectivity, comparable to that of much larger modular systems, far greater than similar small synthesisers like the Minimoog, it was much easier to examine than the tangle of patch cords used to interconnect other modular systems of the day, such as the Moog modular synthesizer and was many times smaller than the cumbersome Moog patch bays, which used patch cord leads capped with 1/4-inch'phone' jacks. A live performance version, the VCS4, was built the same year but was never put into production, it comprised two VCS3s side-by-side with a keyboard and signal processing in front, all in a single wooden cabinet. Although EMS lost track of the instrument in 1983, it has survived and at last report was known to be in the United States.
The company's next project, the Synthi KB1, designed by Cockerell never went into production. It featured the same synthesis modules as the VCS3, but housed in a horizontal box casing, with a 29-note mini-keyboard controller and two small built in speakers. Only one prototype unit was built and this was subsequently sold to the progressive rock group Yes. EMS moved into direct competition with Moog in 1971 with the development of its first large-scale modular synthesiser, the "Synthi 100", which retailed for £6,500; this unit was first known as the "Digitana" another was dubbed "The Delaware", after Delaware Rd, Maida Vale, the location of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Mounted in a free-standing console cabinet, the Synthi 100 was the third development level of the original VCS3, being in essence 28 VCS3 units by circuit board count, it was driven by eight VCF oscillators. Featured a built-in oscilloscope, two 60 x 60 patchbays, two joystick controllers, dual five-octave velocity-sensitive keyboard controllers and a 10,000 clock event with 6x6bit D/A outputs.
E.g. 256 duophonic events digital sequencer. About 30 units were built by EMS, these enjoyed wide use in the 1970s and beyond; the sequencer module of the Synthi 100 was made available as a separate unit, the Synthi Sequencer 256, which sold for £1,100. During 1971 EMS released a portable version of the VCS3, the EMS Synthi A called the "Portabella", a pun on London's Portobello Road. Built into a compact Spartanite attaché case, this unit was cheaper than the original VCS3 and retailed for just £198; the following year EMS released an expanded version, the Synthi AKS, which retailed for £420 and featured a sequencer and a small keyboard built into the lid. The first 30 AK units featured a black and silver touch pad, a Spin-and-touch random note selector and a resistive touch-sensitive keyboard.
Füxa is an American rock band. Füxa was formed in Detroit in 1994 by musicians Randall Ryan Anderson. Band members include Tom Meade Mark Refoy, Jonny Mattock and Stefan Persson; the band achieved cult status with their split recordings with artists such as the Azusa Plane, The Telescopes, Martin Rev and Britta and Stereolab. Füxa's first collaborative effort, bracketed within the psychedelic and experimental category, was a collection of short and synth driven, primal instrumental space rock songs, recorded at home on a borrowed 6-track cassette recorder; the tapes were brought to friend Erik Kassab of Gravity Wax for mixing and mastering at his Mission Control home studio. The resulting masters totaled over 90 minutes, the best hours worth of music was selected for their first release, a hand colored and numbered cassette; this tape was sold at local indie record shops, quite a few copies were given away by the band. College DJ Lunar Larry played many selections from this tape on his Friday night program, "The Life According to Larry", on WHFR radio.
Nieman & Anderson at that time began to play at Detroit coffee houses building a cult following with their brief, erratic performances. The duo performed with the assistance of an old falling apart Korg Mono/Poly synthesizer left to its own devices to produce loud, random arpeggios throughout the entire performance, which always emulated in a drum circle where audience participation was encouraged to "feel good" with the band, it has been suggested that the Detroit-based experimental rock band focus on a lo-fi, electronics-heavy blend of droning, treated guitars, vintage synths, sparse percussion in the vein of suicide, Spacemen 3 / Spiritualized, neu!. Ryan Anderson departed from the outfit in 1998, Randall Nieman took over Füxa as a solo project. In 2001-2003 Ryan Anderson Joined Delta Waves to perform on a few recordings, their debut single was the self-released split with friends Gravity Wax, followed by the ground-breaking "Free Your Soul" EP, which featured the duo's best song to date, "Photon".
Füxa's first full-length CD was a compilation of their first 3 singles, entitled "3 Field Rotation", released by England's Che Records in May 1996. To correspond with the release of the disc, the duo was invited over to London to play shows supporting the disc; that year, the band was featured on a split 7-inch with Stereolab, performed a few shows with Stereolab in the United States. Other bands they have split recordings with include Azusa Plane, Orange Cake Mix and Bright; the band's second full-length came out in late 1996, entitled "Very Well Organized" - a collection of songs composed around a 1963 Hammond organ situated in the band's living room. 1997 saw a contribution to Darla Records famous Bliss-out series of EPs. The band focused on the publication of their fanzine, with the first issue arriving in November 1997. Fuxa's swirling electronica and atmospheric downbeats are suggested to evoke a forgotten transient landscape. Füxa’s first album in a decade, Electric Sound of Summer, was released on Rocket Girl in 2012.
Both Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham donate vocals, as does Seefeel’s Sarah Peacock, while members of Spiritualized, Spacemen 3 and Spectrum all contribute. It is suggested to be the cross-pollination of these collaborators’ talents which gives Electric Sound of Summer its strength and bottomless depth, it was dubbed as a "celebration of creativity. Comprising a sixteen-strong army of collaborators, including BJ Cole, Ann Shenton of Add N to, Judy Dyble and Britta Phillips. Füxa’s tenth full-length album, Dirty D, was released on Rocket Girl in 2013, it is suggested to display a penchant for swirling electronica and atmospheric downbeats that have been compiled in a way, pleasing to the ear. The dirty ‘D’ of the title could refer to a number of disquieting facets of today’s society – the dominance of Disney, the illusion of democracy, dereliction – and, in contrast to Disney’s sickly saccharine supremacy over our children’s imaginations. 100 White Envelopes 1995 Free Your Soul 1995 Dreamlanding 1995 Standing Under U 1996 Pivot 1996 City/Metro 1997 Greenfield 1997 Venoy 1997 Green Field 1997 Techno Lite 2000 Hideaway 2001 Fuxa Vs.
Six Clips 2004 Electric Sound Of Summer 2006 Fuxa Commits Suicide 2007 Füxa / Dean & Britta 2011 Füxa / Martin Rev Marty Suicide / Coyote 2011 Sun Is Shining 2013 Photon 2013 Füxa, Cheval Sombre - I Love You / You've Got To Hide Your Love Away 2013 In Another Direction 1994 3 Field Rotation 1996 Very Well Organized 1996 Inflight Audio 1998 Accretion 1998 Fuxa2000 2000 Supercharged 2001 The Modified Mechanics Of This Device 2001
Garage rock is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United States and Canada, has experienced various revivals since then. The style is characterized by basic chord structures played on electric guitars and other instruments, sometimes distorted through a fuzzbox, as well as unsophisticated and aggressive lyrics and delivery, its name derives from the perception that groups were made up of young amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage, although many were professional. In the US and Canada, surf rock—and the Beatles and other beat groups of the British Invasion—motivated thousands of young people to form bands between 1963 and 1968. Hundreds of acts produced regional hits, some had national hits played on AM radio stations. With the advent of psychedelia, a number of garage bands incorporated exotic elements into the genre's primitive stylistic framework. After 1968, as more sophisticated forms of rock music came to dominate the marketplace, garage rock records disappeared from national and regional charts, the movement faded.
Other countries in the 1960s developed similar grass-roots rock movements that have sometimes been characterized as variants of garage rock. During the 1960s garage rock was not recognized as a distinct genre and had no specific name, but critical hindsight in the early 1970s—and the 1972 compilation album Nuggets—did much to define and memorialize the style. Between 1971 and 1973, certain American rock critics began to retroactively identify the music as a genre and for several years used the term "punk rock" to describe it, making it the first form of music to bear the description, predating the more familiar use of the term appropriated by the punk rock movement that it influenced. "Garage rock" came into use at the beginning of the 1980s and gained favor amongst devotees. The genre has been referred to as "proto-punk". In the early to mid-1980s, several revival scenes emerged featuring acts that consciously attempted to replicate the look and sound of 1960s garage bands. In the decade, a louder, more contemporary garage subgenre developed that combined garage rock with modern punk rock and other influences, sometimes using the garage punk label and otherwise associated with 1960s garage bands.
In the 2000s, a wave of garage-influenced acts associated with the post-punk revival emerged, some achieved commercial success. Garage rock continues to appeal to musicians and audiences who prefer a "back to basics" or "do-it-yourself" musical approach; the term "garage rock" used in reference to 1960s acts, stems from the perception that many performers were young amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage. While numerous bands were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, others were from rural or urban areas or were composed of professional musicians in their twenties; the term "garage band" is used to refer to musical acts in this genre. Referring to the 1960s, Mike Markesich commented "...teenge rock & roll groups proliferated Everywheresville USA". Though it is impossible to determine how many garage bands were active in the era, their numbers were extensive on a still unprecedented scale in what Markesich has characterized as a "cyclonic whirlwind of musical activity like none other..."
According to Mark Nobles, it is estimated that between 1964-1968 over 180,000 bands formed in the United States, several thousand US garage acts made records during the era. Garage bands performed in a variety of venues. Local and regional groups played at parties, school dances, teen clubs. For acts of legal age, bars and college fraternity socials provided regular engagements. Groups had the opportunity to open at shows for famous touring acts; some garage rock bands went on tour those better-known, but lesser-known groups sometimes received bookings or airplay beyond their immediate locales. Groups competed in "battles of the bands", which gave musicians an opportunity to gain exposure and a chance to win a prize, such as free equipment or recording time in a local studio. Contests were held, locally and nationally, three of the most prestigious national events were held annually by the Tea Council of the U. S. A. the Music Circus, the United States Junior Chamber. Performances sounded amateurish, naïve, or intentionally raw, with typical themes revolving around the traumas of high school life and songs about "lying girls" being common.
The lyrics and delivery were more aggressive than the more polished acts of the time with nasal, growled, or shouted vocals, sometimes punctuated by shrieks or screams at climactic moments of release. Instrumentation was characterized by basic chord structures played on electric guitars or keyboards distorted through a fuzzbox, teamed with bass and drums. Guitarists sometimes played using aggressive-sounding bar chords or power chords. Portable organs such as the Farfisa were used and harmonicas and hand-held percussion such as tambourines were not uncommon; the tempo was sped up in passages sometimes referred to as "raveups". Garage rock acts were diverse in both musical ability and in style, ranging from crude and amateurish to near-studio level musicianship. There were regional variations in flourishing scenes, such as in California and Texas; the north-western states of Idaho and Oregon had a distinctly recognizable regional sound with bands such as the Sonics and Paul Revere & the Raiders.
In the 1960s, garage rock had no name and was not thought of as a genre, but
7 (Beach House album)
7 is the seventh studio album by American dream pop band Beach House, released on May 11, 2018, through Sub Pop. It follows the B-Sides and Rarities compilation album released in 2017, which served as a proverbial "cleaning out the closet" to pave the way for a new creative process; the album saw the group departing from longtime producer Chris Coady and instead collaborating with Sonic Boom, whilst not having a producer "in the traditional sense". The recording of the album lasted over eleven months, as opposed to the speedy process of previous efforts, beginning in the duo's home studio in Baltimore and finishing at Carriage House and Palmetto Studio. 7 received acclaim from music critics, who praised the adventurous nature of the record and the consistency of the band, with some calling it the duo's best album to date. Five singles were released from the album: "Lemon Glow", "Dive", "Dark Spring", "Black Car", "Lose Your Smile". Unlike with previous records, Beach House took their time with the recording process of 7.
Instead of one long studio session, they recorded when inspired by batches of songs, which resulted in five mini-sessions over the course of eleven months throughout 2017. All of the songs on the album began in the duo's home studio in Baltimore called Apple Orchard Studios, were finished at Carriage House in Stamford, CT, with "Lose Your Smile" and "Woo" being recorded at Palmetto Studio in Los Angeles; the band stated that their goal throughout the recording process of the album was "rebirth and rejuvenation," continuing: "We wanted to rethink old methods and shed some self-imposed limitations. In the past, we limited our writing to parts that we could perform live. On 7, we decided to follow; as a result, there are some songs with no guitar, some without keyboard. There are songs with layers and production that we could never recreate live, and, exciting to us. We let our creative moods, instead of instrumentation, dictate the album's feel."The band stated that 7 did not have a producer in the traditional sense, which let the ideas drive the creativity and not any one person's creative process.
The band's touring drummer since 2016, James Barone, played on the entire record. They worked with Peter Kember, known by the stage name Sonic Boom, who helped "in the shedding of conventions and in helping to keep the songs alive and protected from the destructive forces of recording studio over-production/over-perfection." Thematically, 7 deals with "the beauty that arises in dealing with darkness. The album's title itself represents it being the duo's seventh studio album, saying they "hoped its simplicity would encourage people to look inside. No title using words that we could find felt like an appropriate summation of the album," although they mentioned that the number 7 represents some interesting connections in numerology, which further inspired them in naming the album as such. Legrand described the album's sound as a natural progression and a product of her maturing as an artist, saying, "There were a lot of new and different things that went into making this record, but I think that the way that we wrote, how we recorded while we wrote increased the speed of capturing ideas and gave us a lot more freedom than previous records...
I think every time you do something, you become more adept at it. You sort of know better and don't get fooled the same way you got fooled when you were younger."The band cited the "societal insanity" during 2016 and 2017 as a deep influence on the creation of the record, elaborating: "there is quite a bit of chaos happening in these songs, a pervasive dark field that we had little control over. The discussions surrounding women's issues were a constant source of questioning; the energy and moods of much of this record grew from ruminations on the roles and conditions that our society places on women and present. The twisted double edge of glamour, with its perils and perfect moments, was an endless source." The band released "Lemon Glow" on February 15, 2018, announced it as the lead single from the then-unannounced album, which they stated would be released "later this spring". They released a second single, "Dive", on March 7, shared a pre-order of the album, revealing its title, cover art, track listing and release date.
They released "Dark Spring" as the third single on April 2 alongside a music video directed by Zia Anger, "Black Car" was released as the fourth single on May 2, with a music video directed by Legrand's brother, Alistair Legrand, being released on June 18. Sub Pop customers who pre-ordered 7 were given access to an exclusive stream of the album which occurred on April 27, two weeks prior to the release of the album, via Sub Pop's website; the album was released on CD, cassette, digital download and streaming services on May 11, 2018, through Sub Pop worldwide, with the exception of Europe and Australia/New Zealand, where it was released through Bella Union and Mistletone, respectively. An animated album visualizer directed by San Charoenchai was uploaded to the band's YouTube channel upon the album's release, with each song being accompanied by psychedelic animations in black and white. Beach House performed a live in-studio session on KCRW in Los Angeles on May 15, were the musical guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 16, with a late night TV performance of "Drunk in LA".
The band headed on a North American and European tour in support of the album, beginning in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 30, 2018. They announced Australian tour dates, which include shows between February and March 2019. On October 23, 2018, the band rele
An audio engineer helps to produce a recording or a live performance and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the "...technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer... the nuts and bolts." It's a creative hobby and profession where musical instruments and technology are used to produce sound for film, television and video games. Audio engineers set up, sound check and do live sound mixing using a mixing console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, sports games and corporate events. Alternatively, audio engineer can refer to a scientist or professional engineer who holds an engineering degree and who designs and builds audio or musical technology working under terms such as acoustical engineering, electronic/electrical engineering or signal processing. Research and development audio engineers invent new technologies and techniques, to enhance the process and art of audio engineering.
They might design acoustical simulations of rooms, shape algorithms for audio signal processing, specify the requirements for public address systems, carry out research on audible sound for video game console manufacturers, other advanced fields of audio engineering. They might be referred to as acoustic engineers. Audio engineers working in research and development may come from backgrounds such as acoustics, computer science, broadcast engineering, acoustical engineering, electrical engineering and electronics. Audio engineering courses at university or college fall into two rough categories: training in the creative use of audio as a sound engineer, training in science or engineering topics, which allows students to apply these concepts while pursuing a career developing audio technologies. Audio training courses give you a good knowledge of technologies and their application to recording studio and sound reinforcement systems, but do not have sufficient mathematical and scientific content to allow you to get a job in research and development in the audio and acoustic industry.
Audio engineers in research and development possess a bachelor's degree, master's degree or higher qualification in acoustics, computer science or another engineering discipline. They might work in acoustic consultancy. Alternatively they might work in audio companies, or other industries that need audio expertise, or carry out research in a university; some positions, such as faculty require a Doctor of Philosophy. In Germany a Toningenieur is an audio engineer who designs and repairs audio systems; the listed subdisciplines are based on PACS coding used by the Acoustical Society of America with some revision. Audio engineers develop audio signal processing algorithms to allow the electronic manipulation of audio signals; these can be processed at the heart of much audio production such as reverberation, Auto-Tune or perceptual coding. Alternatively, the algorithms might carry out echo cancellation on Skype, or identify and categorize audio tracks through Music Information Retrieval. Architectural acoustics is the engineering of achieving a good sound within a room.
For audio engineers, architectural acoustics can be about achieving good speech intelligibility in a stadium or enhancing the quality of music in a theatre. Architectural Acoustic design is done by acoustic consultants. Electroacoustics is concerned with the design of headphones, loudspeakers, sound reproduction systems and recording technologies. Examples of electroacoustic design include portable electronic devices, sound systems in architectural acoustics, surround sound and wave field synthesis in movie theater and vehicle audio. Musical acoustics is concerned with describing the science of music. In audio engineering, this includes the design of electronic instruments such as synthesizers. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of. At the heart of audio engineering are listeners who are the final arbitrator as to whether an audio design is successful, such as whether a binaural recording sounds immersive; the production, computer processing and perception of speech is an important part of audio engineering.
Ensuring speech is transmitted intelligibly and with high quality. A variety of terms are used to describe audio engineers who install or operate sound recording, sound reinforcement, or sound broadcasting equipment, including large and small format consoles. Terms such as "audio technician," "sound technician," "audio engineer," "audio technologist," "recording engineer," "sound mixer" and "sound engineer" can be ambiguous; such terms can refer to a person working in music production.
Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music; the term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, seen to be descended from punk rock. Alternative rock broadly consists of music that differs in terms of its sound, social context and regional roots. By the end of the 1980s, magazines and zines, college radio airplay, word of mouth had increased the prominence and highlighted the diversity of alternative rock, helping to define a number of distinct styles such as noise pop, indie rock and shoegaze.
Most of these subgenres had achieved minor mainstream notice and a few bands representing them, such as Hüsker Dü and R. E. M. had signed to major labels. But most alternative bands' commercial success was limited in comparison to other genres of rock and pop music at the time, most acts remained signed to independent labels and received little attention from mainstream radio, television, or newspapers. With the breakthrough of Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the 1990s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became successful. In the past, popular music tastes were dictated by music executives within large entertainment corporations. Record companies signed contracts with those entertainers who were thought to become the most popular, therefore who could generate the most sales; these bands were able to record their songs in expensive studios, their works sold through record store chains that were owned by the entertainment corporations.
The record companies worked with radio and television companies to get the most exposure for their artists. The people making the decisions were business people dealing with music as a product, those bands who were not making the expected sales figures were excluded from this system. Before the term alternative rock came into common usage around 1990, the sort of music to which it refers was known by a variety of terms. In 1979, Terry Tolkin used the term Alternative Music to describe the groups. In 1979 Dallas radio station KZEW had a late night new wave show entitled "Rock and Roll Alternative". "College rock" was used in the United States to describe the music during the 1980s due to its links to the college radio circuit and the tastes of college students. In the United Kingdom, dozens of small do it yourself record labels emerged as a result of the punk subculture. According to the founder of one of these labels, Cherry Red, NME and Sounds magazines published charts based on small record stores called "Alternative Charts".
The first national chart based on distribution called the Indie Chart was published in January 1980. At the time, the term indie was used to describe independently distributed records. By 1985, indie' had come to mean a particular genre, or group of subgenres, rather than distribution status; the use of the term alternative to describe rock music originated around the mid-1980s. Individuals who worked as DJs and promoters during the 1980s claim the term originates from American FM radio of the 1970s, which served as a progressive alternative to top 40 radio formats by featuring longer songs and giving DJs more freedom in song selection. According to one former DJ and promoter, "Somehow this term'alternative' got rediscovered and heisted by college radio people during the 80s who applied it to new post-punk, indie, or underground-whatever music". At first the term referred to intentionally non–mainstream rock acts that were not influenced by "heavy metal ballads, rarefied new wave" and "high-energy dance anthems".
Usage of the term would broaden to include new wave, punk rock, post-punk, "college"/"indie" rock, all found on the American "commercial alternative" radio stations of the time such as Los Angeles' KROQ-FM. Journalist Jim Gerr wrote that Alternative encompassed variants such as "rap, trash and industrial". In December 1991, Spin magazine noted: "this year, for the first time, it became resoundingly clear that what has been considered alternative rock – a college-centered marketing group with lucrative, if limited, potential- has in fact moved into the mainstream"; the bill of the first Lollapalooza, an itinerant festival in North America conceived by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, reunited "disparate elements of the alternative rock community" including Henry Rollins, Butthole Surfers, Ice-T, Nine Inch Nails and the Banshees and Jane's Addiction. That same year, Farrell coined the term Alternative Nation. In the late 1990s, the definition again became more specific. In 1997, Neil Strauss of The New York Times defined alternative rock as "hard-edged rock distinguished by brittle,'70s-inspired guitar riffing and singers agonizing over their problems until they take on epic proportions".
Defining music as alt