Blackest Ever Black

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
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.
 

slowtrain

New member
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.
 

paolo

Mechanical phantoms
Here's another cracker from Regis, not on BEB but in that sort of style

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VmnAheyLioE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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

grizzleb

New member
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.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
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.
 
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zhao

there are no accidents
i would probably enjoy London much more, but it's too fucking expensive and UKBA don't want to let me in.
 

Leo

Well-known member
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.
 

e/y

New member
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.
 

Gombreak

New member
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 :/
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
^ 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...
 
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Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
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.

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.
 
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padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I meant to say something about form v content but I got really, really sidetracked so this is likely o/t but hey

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.
 
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