Song exploders for different genres
March 18, 2021 5:29 AM   Subscribe

I love podcasts and vodcasts that deconstruct songs and explain why they’re amazing. Strong Songs, Song Exploder, What Makes This Song Great. I’m in. However, they don’t scratch the itch for me of deconstructing such genres as electronic and hip hop. Are there any podcasts, or episodes, that I should follow the rabbit hole for?
posted by chronic sublime to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Dissect dedicates entire seasons to one single hip hop album.
posted by strangecargo at 6:16 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]

I just started listening to Switched on Pop, which seems to be more musicological than the ones you listed (that is, more interested in cultural history than the actual craft), but they do seem to cover a wider variety of genres.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:47 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]

The thing that scratches that itch for me in electronica/hip hop is Youtube deconstruction/reconstruction channels, usually oriented around particular digital audio workstations like Ableton and FruityLoops. They often identify original samples and show you exactly how they were cut, stretched, and looped.

Point Blank Music School has a few fantastic de/reconstructions of classic electronica in Ableton:

New Order - 'Blue Monday'
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
808 State - Pacific 707

I haven't found anything quite the same for hip hop. Generally I just search for a [particular track name]+"fruity loops" and see what comes up. For example:

Biggie Smalls - Hypnotize
Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell
posted by googly at 7:25 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]

This isn't entirely what you're asking, as its focus is more history/politics but the Louder than a Riot podcast does also get into detailed descriptions of hip hop sub-genres and individual songs.
posted by coffeecat at 9:44 AM on March 18

I love What Makes This Song Great!

Though this isn't a pod/vodcasts of one song...Over the last few years, KEXP in Seattle has spent the day doing a breakdown of hip hop albums, where they play all or almost all of the original sampled tracks.

So far they have covered three albums: De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions and Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique. They also discuss the albums impact, the clever use of samples, between tracks.

You can check the archived broadcasts here:

The programs are like 12 hours long (so many samples!!) so enjoy.
posted by Maude_the_destroyer at 9:46 AM on March 18

I know you didn’t specifically ask about opera, but Aria Code is really great!
posted by juliapangolin at 10:52 AM on March 18

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