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Thread: Blackest Ever Black

  1. #16

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    Yes you could, and I'm entirely aware that the 'content' of a song is given to it by the person listening and the producer writing it.

  2. #17

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    But what is the content that is given to the music.

    That is the bigger question/issue I think.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO over easy View Post
    lack of 'content' (reduced there to visual/verbal descriptors of the music rather than anything specific about the music itself) is one of the ways dance music lends itself to so many varieties of communal experience and engagement

    prurient said something in an interview also conducted by kiran sande about his work being a way to explore selfishness and personal obsession without the constraints of genre or audience. although i like the music on blackest a bit that ethos couldn't be further from what i look for in dance music
    This. My dance music epiphany (and I'm pretty sure lots of other people's) in part involved realising that music can have a 'function', and fulfilling that function can be a major preoccupation for the people who make it, without that somehow making it 'inferior' art. What Kiran Sande might call conservatism is, from another angle, just a far tighter set of formal constraints within which innovation can occur. For me the fact that dance music, by definition, has to consider its audience is partly what makes it so compulsive to listen to/dance to/make. Obviously Kiran knows this too, or did at some point, but has I guess become jaded, which is his prerogative. Not saying that's the only valid way of doing things of course.

    Also uncomfortable about using the word 'content' here, as what people are referring to is extraneous content i.e. articulable concepts, cultural reference points outside of music. It's stuff that's hooked up to the sonic reality of the music, thereby adding extra dimensions to it, rather than something that is 'inside it'...I don't think you could argue any music is somehow sonically 'contentless' as it involves fluctuations in air pressure. Maybe that's pedantic but I think it's an important point. Implying that music w/o a message/meaning which can be expressed in words or images is 'empty' is a subtle way of replicating a kind of rock/pop-centric 'anti-dance' discourse.

    As Ben was I think hinting at the functionalism of dance music leads to a kind of communal engagement which can actually have a very concrete social/political 'use'.

  4. #19
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    LOL

  5. #20
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    As a recovering goth, I like that goth can mean something more than being a melodramatic anorexic Doors fan. At least musically.

  6. #21
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    Default Form is content

    The idea of dance music having no content - which alot of the time it doesn't - is missing the point, due to the fact that form is content.
    Sometimes that's enough, sometimes its boring except to the people making it, who think that the collective experience going on in their heads when making it is enough, and that that experience will mystically translate.

    Arrogant fucks.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistersloane View Post
    Is this hipster goth?
    Kind of, it depends how deep the down the hipster rabbit hole you want to go.

    I would say this stuff is at the more respectable (read: dull, because it isn't great, but it isn't 'omg wtf is this utter shite') end though.

    Interesting discussion of content, because this stuff kind of reminds me of all the Demdike Stare craze that happened last year, was sort of too perfectly fitting into a neat little slot.

    To me it is kind of like everything that I like mushed together, but done by some sort of computer algorithm, it fits all together too nicely, and doesn't add anything really new or exciting. I might as well just put together my own Gate/Burzum/C.C.C.C. mix, I have all those CD's already.

  8. #23
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    Thanks mistersloane for setting us straight

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondLine View Post
    Thanks mistersloane for setting us straight
    lol I'm completely blagging that last post, I don't even know if I believe it myself.

  10. #25
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    Here's another cracker from Regis, not on BEB but in that sort of style



    Those Vatican Shadow releases are very good as well, in a more 80s synthy coldwave type of way

  11. #26
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    For me music is pretty contentless in whatever form/genre it takes as a given, then a bunch of cultural signifiers get attached to it, via words, typical listener and typical listening experience. I guess the main beef I have with dance music of the day is what I see as the typical attached signs/referents being boring as fuck - unbridled hedonism, and clinical cool, and the typical listener experience being pretty much the same.

    And apart from that the 'form' seems so totally repetitive, I don't hear any novelty, I don't hear much possibility for opening up new mental spaces or whatever. I'm not trying to apply to dance music what shouldn't be applied to it - I'm just saying that the current uk dance scene seems to me quite, quite boring. That seems to me something that's a problem with the 'genre' itself more than anything.

    If musical genres are spaces in which a defined limit of possibilities can be explored by an artist, the last few years of uk dance seem to me places where the defined limits (to be found by exploration) are achingly boring and banal, in the main.

  12. #27
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    Grim 90s cyberpunk soundtracks reissued - http://boomkat.com/vinyl/485368-blac...tracks-1994-95

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistersloane View Post
    The idea of dance music having no content - which alot of the time it doesn't - is missing the point, due to the fact that form is content.
    a simple "lack" of content is IMO a false, or at least not a very good, focal point for a discussion about the pervasive vacuousness and rabid conservatisim at the heart of dance music culture that more than just this kiran sande or a few others have felt during the past few years or decade.

    of course pure formalism is fine. and form is of course content. but what KIND of form and what kind of content? formulaic, regurgitated content fearful of anything that rocks the status quo boat?

    of course repetition and minimalism can be used to amazing effect, but 1. that is FAR from the ONLY way to do it, and 2. no one is reinvigorating these methods. House and techno is largely not only repeating that same, once revolutionary, rhythm blueprint since the late 80s, not bringing more life into it in any way, but actively devolving it, making it more watered down, more middle of the road, more bland, more boring.

    Phuture, Thomas Brinkmann, Robert Hood, Mills, or any number of real artists who make dance music often work within a strictly formalist setting, yet their work is rich with nuance, with personality, with (formal, musical) IDEAS. and now the world is filled with thousands of Paul Kalkbrenners.

    so the problem with dance music today is not "lack of content", rather that it has set into a rigid, established structure, happy to use only the same 2.5 musical ideas among MILLIONS within global dance music history. it has become an establishment which encourages copy-zombies and shuns any kind of difference or innovation. and i know what i'm talking about, all too fucking well - i live in Berlin.

    and that's only musically speaking. i have a huge problem with the social vacuousness of a club culture filled with bird-brained promoters and vapid djs pushing an endless parade of tacky vanity and mindless consumption.

    Chomsky recently tweeted: "young people don't waste your focus, anger, and libidinal energy on clubbing, save it to fight capitalism".

    which is not the whole story of course but rings scarily true: instead of consciousness and vitality, dance music is largely just distraction and pacification.

    dance music should make people feel more alive. but if i go to any of the 99% of dance clubs out there, i invariably feel more numb, more lethargic, more dead. the djs and dancers alike joylessly going through the motions.
    Last edited by zhao; 19-02-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    and i know what i'm talking about, all too fucking well - i live in Berlin.
    I don't know if I agree with you 100%, but that had me dying.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowleyHead View Post
    I don't know if I agree with you 100%, but that had me dying.
    one sentence describes the oh so progressive and futuristic club culture of this city:

    background elevator music turned up really loud.

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