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Thread: The Middlebrow

  1. #1
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    Default The Middlebrow

    Luka tosses this word around like a stanley knife in my face from time to time (and cudgels me with "kitsch") and I want to pin him down on what it means.

    Does it mean aspiring to be highbrow but not being sufficiently ... something enough?

    Is it a word for pseduo-deep, pseudo-intellectual?

    Like how is El-B middlebrow, for example?

    And what would constitute "highbrow" as opposed to El-B? Or is El-B the opposite case, where he's aspiring to be lowbrow but can't be?
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Sounds like middle of the road. Bland, boring
    Took a rest stop that wasn't on the schedule

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    el-b isn't middlebrow.
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    middlebrow is stuff like radiohead, prog house, liquid dnb, jam city etc. playing it safe. highbrow and lowbrow stuff can be dreadfully boring as well.
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    it's a suburban sensibility. dreams of an idealised city. sade. Suzie su and the banshis.
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    Kate Bush. too dainty and prim.
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    A characteristic of the English.
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    jamiroquai.
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  10. #9
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    a timewarped sensibility. desiring the old without digging for it. A la acid jazz. different to the revivalist or the recontextualiser.

    El B no way fits into this.
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    I think Luka's definition is more about aesthetic tastefulness than some sort of class aspiration.

    Which actually I'd wager makes Kate Bush far from middlebrow cos she did stuff that was weird and probably massively offputting to a lot of people's ears.

    I guess Luka sees El-B (and co) as having aspirations to make garage as tasteful and impeccable (albeit in an apparently 'dark' and skeletal style) as Metalheadz made jungle.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    luke just needs to rob a few burberry and then he will be fully acknowledged in the underground cult. don't be like circle man, don't pay for the shit your ancestors toiled to make!

    proper breakbeat garidge slammer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    I think Luka's definition is more about aesthetic tastefulness than some sort of class aspiration.

    Which actually I'd wager makes Kate Bush far from middlebrow cos she did stuff that was weird and probably massively offputting to a lot of people's ears.

    I guess Luka sees El-B (and co) as having aspirations to make garage as tasteful and impeccable (albeit in an apparently 'dark' and skeletal style) as Metalheadz made jungle.
    is kate bush offputting? She's pretty much codified tory cunt music by now.

    Keep up with the times, man! things change so fast this decade. all that is solid melts in air and man is forced to confront the real conditions of his life. this decade has seen an unparalleled rewriting of values of the past which is my stumbling block with the philosopher king mentality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    I think Luka's definition is more about aesthetic tastefulness than some sort of class aspiration.

    Which actually I'd wager makes Kate Bush far from middlebrow cos she did stuff that was weird and probably massively offputting to a lot of people's ears.

    I guess Luka sees El-B (and co) as having aspirations to make garage as tasteful and impeccable (albeit in an apparently 'dark' and skeletal style) as Metalheadz made jungle.
    that makes no sense though. KMA productions were putting out dark garage in 96. there is shitloads of dark skeletal hardcore from 91. i get forum is predisposed to the album/hit single let's have something to write about value set but it doesn't stand up to historical scrutiny. My argument is that el b didn't make garage nearly skeletal enough. same with metalheadz. they needed to go even more drier, even more alienating.

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    Metalheadz didnt make jungle remotely alienating, quite the opposite, they made it acceptable for readers of The Face. They held their monthly night at the blue note, Londons premier acid jazz venue

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    But notice I emphasised the tastefulness over the darkness/skeletal thing. Perhaps you're even making the same point by saying they didn't go skeletal enough.

    Typing 'middlebrow' into google brings up the old literary definition of stuff that attempts to introduce the lowbrows to highbrow art. (And presumably therefore falls between two stools.) It was an elitist term used by modernists. I'm sure Luka isn't using it in that sense. He'll never say a word though.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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