Welcome to Trainspotters! And for those of you who visited this website back when it was America’s only all-drum and bass online vinyl shop, welcome back! Well, sort of, anyway. If you are in that latter category, I should let you know that I do not have plans to turn this site back into a record store at any time soon. However, I still have all of the remaining stock from the original Trainspotters, so if you’re looking for a forgotten DnB gem released on vinyl sometime between 2007 and 2012, drop me a line. I would be happy to have a look to see if there’s anything I can find among the 10,000-plus records that still line one of the walls in the basement of my home in Somerville, Massachusetts.
`For those who don’t know me, my name is Ross Tiefenthaler, and I am a DJ and music lover in the Boston area, best known for spinning drum and bass, a genre that will always occupy a significant place in my thoughts and my soul. However, I am, and have always been, interested in a much wider range of music, and lately, I’ve been busy expanding my DJ repertoire into a broader blend of styles and genres, and exploring the ways that they can compliment one another in the mix.
For example, I’ve been a hip hop head since the boom-bap era, and for the past few years, I’ve been in love with trap. I don’t mean the watered-down “EDM” version made for raves, but rather the Atlanta-born, still largely-Southern style of hip hop that dominates radio airwaves, Soundcloud and, really, pop culture in general today, to an extent.
I love the entire history of R&B, and I especially love the ways in which today’s R&B increasingly blurs the heretofore far more distinguishable lines between itself and rap in today’s musical landscape (some of the best rappers today are also incredible singers, and some of the best R&B artists are also great rappers). My favorite song of all time (by one of my favorite singers of all time), has been, since the age of six or younger, “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding.
I think UK Garage remains one of the funkiest and most danceable genres in the world, despite its relatively low profile these days. On a related note, I will always love house music, even if I rarely have time to keep up on it in the way that I’d like. This also seems like a good place to mention that Prince is a personal hero of mine, as I feel that his influence on the creators of early house music, while not completely ignored, is somewhat underestimated (but I will save that for another post).
I’ve been a big fan of reggae music since I was very young. In fact, the first concert I ever attended was a Jimmy Cliff show, back when I was in elementary school in my birthplace of Madison, Wisconsin (thanks Dad!). Coincidentally, Madison was also the place where Otis Redding tragically died in a plane crash, not long before the release of my favorite song.
Even if I don’t listen to much of the new stuff these days, I will always love rock & roll, especially the rich creative output from the late 60s into the 70s, when music production techniques and new technology were really starting to unlock new creative possibilities, and many artists from different bands and backgrounds were collaborating, sometimes forming “supergroups,” and often experimenting in new and surprising ways. In fact I see many parallels between 70s-era Rock & Roll and the exciting pace of innovation and collaboration that we see today from trap artists (I will expand on this in another post as well). All that said, I’m not a total dinosaur, and I do still follow a select few rock artists today.
I enjoy, and have a somewhat functional understanding of, jazz and blues, although I lack some depth on both. I can dig a bit of country music, and am trying to push myself beyond Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
There aren’t really any styles that I completely dislike. If anything, when a genre doesn’t appeal to me immediately, I try to do more to understand what about that genre moves the people who do love it. For example, I’ve been trying for years to understand why people love techno. I think I’m making progress, but oddly (considering my strong connection to other electronic music genres, not to mention DJing and dancing), techno has been the genre that has challenged me the most. For one thing, it seems like whenever I find a techno track I like, someone tells me it’s really deep house or tech house, so I keep finding myself back at square one, which seems to reinforce my feeling that techno is difficult to approach for a non-convert like myself. All that said, I remain open to suggestions and recommendations from any techno lovers out there, and will be discussing my struggle to embrace techno in a future post as well.
Anyway, I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Hopefully that gives you an idea of the kinds of music I’m likely to cover on this blog, although I’m not setting any particular rules or restrictions on what will or won’t be covered. Whatever the case, I look forward to filling this blog with links to great music, my own musings on music, and hopefully some good conversation in response to any comments from readers. Thanks for reading the new Trainspotters Music blog, please stay tuned for updates in the future, and feel free to drop me a line if you have any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions for what you’d like to see here. Oh yeah, or if you’re looking for some DnB records and want me to have a look through what I still have in stock. 😉