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Thread: Blackest Ever Black

  1. #31
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    i would probably enjoy London much more, but it's too fucking expensive and UKBA don't want to let me in.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    one sentence describes the oh so progressive and futuristic club culture of this city:

    background elevator music turned up really loud.
    ha! for some reason i haven't delved into the berghain sound (steffi, fengler, dettman, ben klock, etc.), how does it stack up against classic german techno? is it still minimal, or more industrial? while i still love all my old basic channel/chain reaction, etc. records from 10+ years ago, i lost interest in keeping up with the later developments and variations.

  3. #33
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    of all the Berghain / Panorama Bar residents, so far I've only seen Prosumer and I really, really enjoyed his set. he played lots of old house.
    Quote Originally Posted by juanroberto View Post
    how many threads have you had shut down?

  4. #34
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    Steffi is also ok, her split with Levon Vincent from a couple years back was a nice release too i think? think I prefer stuff on the housier side of the spectrum.
    Never actually seen any actually play @ Berghain though, only time i've been in Berlin was when they were doing a shared party with lab.oratory, no ta :/

  5. #35
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    More like Whitest Ever White.

  6. #36
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    ^ Zing.

    Zhao's post / rant is interesting (and funny). It's a strangely Adorno-ish argument in some ways.

    I'm a bit nervous about drawing a direct like between musical and social progression and openness - for instance, surely you can waste your libidinal energy in a creative, expressive, innovative scene just as easily as you can making predictable mnml. On the other hand, I guess social and musical homogenization go hand in hand...
    Last edited by Slothrop; 19-02-2012 at 05:51 PM.

  7. #37
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    Very interesting thread, will have to have a proper read/think later.

    Chimes in with my own feelings lately that a lot of electronic music doesn't really mean anything. But then, I think its hard to separate feelings of personal disaffection in this case - I mean, maybe it just doesn't mean anything TO ME anymore.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  8. #38
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    After all, most of the rap music I listen to nowadays doesn't really mean anything either. I think what rubberdinghyrapids said earlier about missing personality is something I feel too, but then I didn't really want that when I was into dance music and I just miss it now because I listen to vocal music most of the time. I don't miss it in classical music either, although I think that tends to be less repetitious than the average house/techno/dubstep/whatever tune. Listening to hip hop instrumentals generally bores me too.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    I'm a bit nervous about drawing a direct like between musical and social progression and openness - for instance, surely you can waste your libidinal energy in a creative, expressive, innovative scene just as easily as you can making predictable mnml.
    see, to me amazing musical experiences are subversive to establishment and status quo. good music can be mind expanding and opening, making one see and hear the world in new ways. and when you experience genuine ecstasy (no not that kind of ecstasy. well maybe sometimes), even though you paid your 5 or 10 euros at the door, the experience transcends quotidian capitalism, and reminds you of the fact that life is not about money or competition or any of that superficial irrelevant shit, but rather the moment, beauty, moments filled with immaterial, unquantifiable beauty.

    i know that is pretty vague and sounds dangerously close to mumbo jumbo... hey at least i didn't use the word "spiritual".
    i'm working on a blog post about ways dance music can be political. so more to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    On the other hand, I guess social and musical homogenization go hand in hand...
    they sure do. and that brings me back to Berlin: a city where people pride themselves on being "individual" and "different" - only problem is everyone has the same idea on how to go about it.
    Last edited by zhao; 20-02-2012 at 01:30 AM.

  10. #40
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    I meant to say something about form v content but I got really, really sidetracked so this is likely o/t but hey

    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    subversive to establishment
    I understand in an existential sense what you mean but you're underestimating how pragmatically difficult it is to escape "quotidian capitalism". alternative culture is driven by advertising, reliant on transportation networks + power grids, etc. much of it - dance music especially - is also dependent on the drug trade, which is capitalism on steroids. anarchist types talk a lot about creating dual power + temporary autonomous zones (free parties/teknivals + reclaim the streets both have a lot of taz sentiment) which is more constructive I guess but also completely futile unless you can perform them on a massive scale i.e. Spain 1936 or Paris 68. whatever you're doing exists completely on sufferance of the powers what be.

    I'm highly skeptical of the usefulness of music as a liberatory tool in general. I spent a bunch of years totally committed to the most severe + self-serious political music of all, anarchopunk. I could write a freaking book about that shit but I'll just sum it up: it's bollocks. some of the kids are for real but the music itself is just small businessman label owners + bands touring in gas-guzzling vans. I don't see how dance music is any different except in that's it more overtly capitalistic + the liberation some of it claims is spiritual rather than political. ultimately it's all just entertainment + money. which is fine. just, don't delude yourself otherwise. the disillusionment + ensuing bitterness really sucks.

  11. #41
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    also lol at that Chomsky quote, I got much love for him but christ he sounds like a cranky old man. which he is I guess.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    see, to me amazing musical experiences are subversive to establishment and status quo. good music can be mind expanding and opening, making one see and hear the world in new ways. and when you experience genuine ecstasy (no not that kind of ecstasy. well maybe sometimes), even though you paid your 5 or 10 euros at the door, the experience transcends quotidian capitalism, and reminds you of the fact that life is not about money or competition or any of that superficial irrelevant shit, but rather the moment, beauty, moments filled with immaterial, unquantifiable beauty.
    Totally with you on this. Watched a John Maus interview today where he said something along the lines of 'all music is political, but overtly political music just fucking sucks.' Drawing on my (very limited) experience it seems like the way in which engagement with music bleeds into political life is much more indirect/diffuse/transversal than is generally thought. Perhaps in the vaguest possible sense, the process of discovering something really meaningful and, yes, beautiful which in some way structures your life is politically emancipatory in itself (compared to the image of the consumer capitalist citizen who only has consumption on which to hang the meaning of their life).

    padraig, clearly your opinion won from years of experience is a totally valid one but I wonder if in music, the directly/explicitly political is just setting itself up for failure - after all, as you say, it's virtually impossible not to be complicit in the everyday functioning of capitalism when you record/tour/promote/eat/sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    and that brings me back to Berlin: a city where people pride themselves on being "individual" and "different" - only problem is everyone has the same idea on how to go about it.
    Again a half-remembered quote, from the Terre Thaemlitz RBMA lecture - something like 'we all know what being individual is right - we know which clothes people buy to be individual, what books they read'. The cult of individuality totally plays into the hands of pre-existing power structures...hence why unity is so important (*cough* the unity of the dancefloor)

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    I understand in an existential sense what you mean but you're underestimating how pragmatically difficult it is to escape "quotidian capitalism". alternative culture is driven by advertising, reliant on transportation networks + power grids, etc. much of it - dance music especially - is also dependent on the drug trade, which is capitalism on steroids. anarchist types talk a lot about creating dual power + temporary autonomous zones (free parties/teknivals + reclaim the streets both have a lot of taz sentiment) which is more constructive I guess but also completely futile unless you can perform them on a massive scale i.e. Spain 1936 or Paris 68. whatever you're doing exists completely on sufferance of the powers what be.

    I'm highly skeptical of the usefulness of music as a liberatory tool in general. I spent a bunch of years totally committed to the most severe + self-serious political music of all, anarchopunk. I could write a freaking book about that shit but I'll just sum it up: it's bollocks. some of the kids are for real but the music itself is just small businessman label owners + bands touring in gas-guzzling vans. I don't see how dance music is any different except in that's it more overtly capitalistic + the liberation some of it claims is spiritual rather than political. ultimately it's all just entertainment + money. which is fine. just, don't delude yourself otherwise. the disillusionment + ensuing bitterness really sucks.
    yeah i hear you. and it is mostly in the existential sense that i mean.... i realize it's a long long long almost surely impossible shot to try to reconcile my love of dance music with my politics... as it is with reconciliations between a lot (all???) of other things in life with my politics and conscience. but at the same time i think there are a few, not entirely, but maybe partially subversive dynamics at play which are possible in dance music...
    Last edited by zhao; 20-02-2012 at 12:58 AM.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondLine View Post
    Totally with you on this. Watched a John Maus interview today where he said something along the lines of 'all music is political, but overtly political music just fucking sucks.' Drawing on my (very limited) experience it seems like the way in which engagement with music bleeds into political life is much more indirect/diffuse/transversal than is generally thought. Perhaps in the vaguest possible sense, the process of discovering something really meaningful and, yes, beautiful which in some way structures your life is politically emancipatory in itself (compared to the image of the consumer capitalist citizen who only has consumption on which to hang the meaning of their life).
    good point that the process of appreciation, enjoyment, experience and dedication to art has a lot more going on than simple one way consumption -- for one thing it is active not passive, and involves creative, imaginative participation.

    and there is the angle that the creative process itself, with all its "unconventional thinking and behavior", opening up of normally disused neural pathways and new channels of libidinal flow, etc, etc, is inherently insurrectionary, and outside of the work/consume cycle prescribed by capitalism.

    but on the other hand (sometimes really wish i could just chop that other hand off), the system really does love a clever and productive little entrepreneur, and on some levels what else are artists but that, and what else is art but another commodity.

    a lot needs to be thought / said about the cooptation of creativity, and how it is done in different ways, to different degrees, with different creative activities (professions). surely it's a sliding scale of grays and not black or white as it is with anything else -- music, visual arts, film, fashion, advertising, all work a bit differently, and occupy different places on that scale...

    i saw the best minds of my generation seduced by
    corporate capitalism, distracted calloused oblivious,
    pleasing clients in hip offices in the afternoon
    after the next big project,
    accessorized hipsters apathetic to the world outside
    their little insulated bubbles refusing to see the bigger context,
    who amused and sarcastic and ego-driven and narcissistic sat
    up laughing in the artificial comfort of
    fashionable bars floating through gentrified parts of the city
    contemplating money,
    who bared their brains for career within companies and
    saw lifestyle brands reaching target audiences successful,
    who passed through universities with sexy cool eye wear
    dreaming of fame attending exclusive social functions
    among the celebrities of tomorrow,
    who graduated with honors from the academies for excellence &
    publishing fresh ideas on their fresh personal blogs ,
    who conformed upwardly mobile in tasteful denim,
    untouched by distant horrific reality reduced to soundbytes and choosing
    to ignore their removed complicity in it all.
    Quote Originally Posted by SecondLine View Post
    padraig, clearly your opinion won from years of experience is a totally valid one but I wonder if in music, the directly/explicitly political is just setting itself up for failure - after all, as you say, it's virtually impossible not to be complicit in the everyday functioning of capitalism when you record/tour/promote/eat/sleep.
    yes. Padraig: of course that's the tangible reality of it. but what about the unquantifiable, immaterial side? for instance the ideas spread to youths who otherwise would not think about their life in terms of work/exploitation/alienation/emancipation at all and pacify their discontent somewhere else (raves lol)? that must count for something no?
    Last edited by zhao; 20-02-2012 at 01:25 AM.

  15. #45
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    "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."
    Yeah, seems like someone who has rejected so-called rockist arguments, been into dance-music and come out the other side with what amounts to the same argument with some new clothes on.

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