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Thread: Retromania

  1. #31
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    reading this on starkey (the historian, not american uk bass guy), made me think of retromania -

    For the past is another country, and there is a liberation in imagining a world that is human yet utterly different from our own. As the globalised economy ravages the last pockets of truly pre-industrial culture everywhere on earth, it is increasingly in history in the contemplation of other times when people thought in other ways that we can free our minds to imagine otherness.

  2. #32
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    I should really read this book. Does he mention Lyotard in it? I've been thinking recently, that the loss of 'narratives' have a huge thing to do with this. Once, we knew what we wanted the future to be - liberalist or social utopia. Now, thinking about utopian futures is severely discredited - the most important idea of the future in the sphere of politics today is probably the dystopia of the climate movement, otherwise it's people like the tea party, looking to the past. So we don't know how to find the future anymore, ergo, we wallow in the past.
    Cynicism VII: Niall Ferguson and Pankaj Mishra: The Centrifugue

  3. #33
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    reading at the moment. will post some thoughts when i finish

  4. #34
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    i dunno if i agree completely with reynolds that having too much music in mp3 form is as bad a thing as he seems to be saying

    my own collection is too much (best part of a tb and shrinking) and fairly widespread in genre. when i realised that i was becoming a fairly serious downloader i kept it in mind that i would be sure to have a broad enough selection so that if i felt the need i could always have a new style or area to explore, basically to avoid over saturating myself with anything. obviously there are limits but i made a big effort with that. also it helped towards having a john peel meets gilles peterson meets theo parrish meets old school solid steel era coldcut who occasionally hang out with nurse with wound type radio station when i put the whole thing on shuffle

    also there was the thought that maybe one day it would become impossible to download music or i would be living on a desert island and would need enough music to somehow stay sane

    like reynolds, a large amount of it comes from album blogs, but unlike him i see it as having my own massive record shop where i can rummage through stuff and find shit at random. maybe the odds of quality are a little higher than an actual record shop due to the discernment of the bloggers i used to follow. well actually, the odds are higher, but there is still a lot of fodder to wade through, which only adds to the random record shop vibe of it. there were only a few bloggers who i followed which managed to stay consistently great, but there were like 50x more which were were only occasionally great and then the rest of the time just flogging pap with a convincing blurb to hoodwink you into believing they had just dropped the heaviest shit ever on you

    at the moment i`m mostly listening to things on shuffle and occasionally i`ll hear something that makes me rush to the screen to see what it is. a lot of the time i will have forgotten what it was 2 songs later and in a way thats a good thing. a fleeting moment of excitement, maybe i won`t ever hear that song again?

    the part where he talks about ipod shuffle basically equating to radio me kind of rang true there for a minute and i felt a pang of remorse. ages ago i half heartedly (due to the fucking mammoth task) started going through a few of the smaller genre folders and deleting tracks i`m certain i`ll never want to listen to again. thus being able to right click/play folder the genre (hiphop being one of them) and then having some assurance that 85% of what i`m going to hear is going to be pleasing to my ear. i realise i could have done this with playlists, but i never really got into them with winamp and i quite like windows explorer for navigating the folders. not into itunes at all

    when i read his thoughts on it i first thought, `god, he`s right. i`ve taken the surprise and joy out of it.` but then i realised that if i wanted surprise i`d just tune into an actual radio station, of which there are plenty on and offline. i would like some control over what i listen to and i do still get joy from listening to the edited folders on shuffle (there`s enough there that i`m still coming across plenty of unfamiliar tracks)

    it did raise one arguably interesting point when doing the hiphop deleting though, for my personal tastes, there just aren`t that many albums that i wanted to listen to all the way through. when i finished doing the hiphop folder i realized that there were only about 6 albums where i didn`t delete a single track and then a little over 15 more which were like 80-90% gold. so that kind of goes against the idea that we must listen to whole albums as the artist intended. i guess with hiphop though, it`s not as much an album type of genre as say, 70s rock. so maybe this point is moot? was strange to realise how many classic albums had some serious duds on them, too

    the albums i usually do want to listen to all the way through tend to be the type of thing where a whole cohesive world is laid out in front of you that you can explore in your head as it plays along and it usually stays with you long after the fact. can`s tago mago for instance. a lot of instrumental music also fits the bill. and i guess a lot of music from the 60s&70s in genral does too

    i agree that it`s a shame a lot of us barely have the patience to listen to a full track, and that people are losing the patience for proper listening, but in certain areas it`s just not really applicable. maybe i`m stating the obvious here, i dunno?

    anyway, i think that as long as you are aware of what you are doing with your collection and not letting yourself become a skipper then i`d say the fact that so much music being available to us now is a wonderful thing

  5. #35
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    also there was the thought that maybe one day it would become impossible to download music or i would be living on a desert island and would need enough music to somehow stay sane
    this made me laugh cos i sort of related to it. what music blogs did you use?

  6. #36
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    mostly the jazz ones like orgy in rhythm, ile oxumare, and then for the krautier side of things, curved air, way back. think i posted a list ages ago in a music blog thread

    one other place i got a lot of electronic stuff from was the funkysouls forum, google 'artist name' +funkysouls and you can get lots of nice results

  7. #37
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    yeah i downloaded stuff from those. curved air was pretty nuts then vanishd into the aether.

  8. #38
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    only got like 30 pages to go and keep putting off finishing this thing. probably because i don't want it to end yet. a lot of it brings to mind bill drummond and the ideas he puts across in his book the 17

  9. #39
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    Finished reading this the other day. Enjoyed it and made me flip back to the Post Punk / New Pop Interview book to read the bits I hadn't yet.

    Not sure what to say about Retromania apart from I agree with most of it. Kind of leaves lots of open ends and threads that could be explored but no solid path to follow (which I guess is the point). Learnt alot about other types of music I didn't know much about such as rockabilly.

    Don't know what else to say really. Definitetely worth reading. I hope the next book has more to do with UK Bass music - has enough time elapsed now for something substantial on this to be written by Reynolds?

  10. #40
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012...lds-retromania

    What, if anything, would you do differently if you were starting the book again?
    Define my terms more starkly, actually get into talking about what innovation and originality are, the various circumstances in which they occur and different forms they can take. I would also add a more upbeat final chapter, based on talking to people confidently engaged in trying to make future music: people working at the cutting edge of technology or combining sound and visuals. The book does end on an upbeat note, but it's not supported by anything, it's just a vague hope!
    id like to read that as an article - dont see why that couldnt happen...

  11. #41
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    I read this a while back. Really enjoyed it. Been reflecting on it a bit now that everyone is abuzz about the R&R Hall of Fame hullaballoo. Respect to Axl Rose for calling them out for being the anti-thesis of the spirit of rock and roll. Nice that he identified Hanoi Rocks as his influence. Listening to HR is like a decoder ring for GNR records. I can't listen to them without hearing a teenaged Axl's voice singing along in my head.

  12. #42
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    I see Andy McCoy and Mike Monroe on the street all the time here in Finland. Once McCoy unwittingly dropped his scarf and I picked it up and caught up with him to return it. Another time he purposefully strummed an acoustic guitar into my face in the beer garden of his local restaurant.

  13. #43
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    A Satin Island of the Mind - https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/satin-island-mind

    What’s operating against McCarthy’s avant-gardism, however, is a lack of political-historical significance. This political-historical context, or lack of it, rather, is key, I think, for a deeper understanding of Satin Island. Reading McCarthy’s new novel, I was reminded of something another fellow Brit, the film documentarian Adam Curtis, said in a 2012 e-flux interview about “our age”, that “we’re in the years of stagnation” artistically, culturally, economically speaking. Our “music, TV, and avant-garde art — is being used to shore up the present, reconfigure the past to somehow give a foundation to the present that can’t imagine another kind of future.” Curtis, who has convincingly traced the ways in which power has manifested itself in the 20th and 21st centuries, suggests our artists now are like archeologists mining the recent past, unable to look to the future.

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