padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
everything was better back in the day
I'm sure it's partially tongue in cheek, but I see this and I think, no

it was just different back in the day. what does "better" even mean? it's art.

I don't make any effort to seek out new music beyond what I hear live and/or diegetically, and virtually everything I really like is mid-90s or earlier

but that doesn't mean any of it is better or worse
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I do think there's something to what third and luka were getting at - everything is a transaction, everything is a stealth marketing campaign, etc - that can't be divorced from the art itself

in the same way you can't divorce aesthetic judgments from production techniques or materials, or distribution channels, or cultural capital, or whatever

they're all ways of saying no art exists separate from its historical context, I suppose

but I also think - when was it ever not thus? when were relationships ever not a transaction?

the marketing techniques are more clever and integrated, but when was there ever a true underground culture?
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
take out its weird/eerie drug-related character and you have music merely suitable for fitness clubs, supermarkets, and preteens
I read this and think, is this is not the inevitable fate of anything?

to remain in obscurity or to become elevator music and/or the backing for a car, jeans, whatever commercial?

I mean is this not what Pop Art was onto, like, half a century and more ago?

(btw, what's wrong with music for "fitness clubs" and preteens, exactly?)
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
to sum up: people will keep making stuff, kids will be into it, old people will wring their hands and say everything was better back when

humanity will/won't be wiped out by climate change, replaced by algorithms + robots, etc. the future will/won't be utopian/dystopian

people will make art either way. most of it won't be interesting, some of it will be. judging art at the time of its creation is a fool's errand.

nothing is new, everything is new.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
ENTIRELY tongue in cheek, teasing third. I even put the emoji at the end!
right, but it's also a serious sentiment

in the way that it's often productive to treat silly things seriously and vice versa

why would someone devote a thread to "new stuff" is there wasn't an underlying feeling that new stuff isn't good, is uninteresting
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I liked the bit in Men in Black 3 where it turned out that Andy Warhol was actually an undercover agent churning out any old shit in order to maintain his cover and monitor the NYC art scene, which was full of aliens.
I've never seen that film so thanks for relating that anecdote which is indeed kind of amusing

even if it is basically a riff on the tired "haha, I/my 5 year old/anyone could do that" joke about any avant-garde or abstract art

I guess at least they didn't use Yoko Ono with the inevitable resulting racist and/or sexist overtones
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
anyway, not to derail your thread, I'll let you get back to it

for me, 2018 was the year Spacemen 3 surpassed The Velvet Underground as my favorite band, which should tell you all you need to know about my relationship with new music
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I think the difference is that you tend to come to older stuff that's already been categorised, curated and whatnot by tons of people during a time when there were decent ways of doing so, with new stuff, there's not only more of it but everything's so spread out and weird that nobody's really able to streamline it and separate the wheat from the chaff.
this is absolutely true of all art always

for me nowadays the energy I invest in new art is things besides music - mostly visual art, as well as theater, performance art, etc

or with music, it's like I said, seeing it live

idk, just not interested in doing the wheat/chaff curation work of digging thru endless whatever new tunes to find the gems
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I do think there's something to what third and luka were getting at - everything is a transaction, everything is a stealth marketing campaign, etc - that can't be divorced from the art itself

in the same way you can't divorce aesthetic judgments from production techniques or materials, or distribution channels, or cultural capital, or whatever

they're all ways of saying no art exists separate from its historical context, I suppose

but I also think - when was it ever not thus? when were relationships ever not a transaction?

the marketing techniques are more clever and integrated, but when was there ever a true underground culture?

Well never, but when have we ever had a *true* democracy? I don't buy that Athenian fetish. It was essentially built on slavery and slaves were non-citizens.


But the illusion of democracy like we have in England and the US, what i call the virtually violent form of democracy, as opposed to the direct and compulsive form you have in places like Turkey which i call kinetic. Well I'd rather an opiate than no opiate. and i think this underground yearning is a bit of that. we know it's tosh, but we can convince ourselves that something remaining small and localised can stay healthy. ofc that's not really true. but nor are most things today.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I read this and think, is this is not the inevitable fate of anything?

to remain in obscurity or to become elevator music and/or the backing for a car, jeans, whatever commercial?

I mean is this not what Pop Art was onto, like, half a century and more ago?

(btw, what's wrong with music for "fitness clubs" and preteens, exactly?)
I mean i guess it's the cathartic/cosmic/spiritual element isn't it. we're political non-agents. it's not that there's no future, we're just rendered surplus to that process. I don't really get political music in 2019. that was a 70s and 80s thing. most of us have deserted or systematically/socially engineered to be excluded from politics. all we do is tick a box with preordained choices. It's stalinism, just in its non-agrarian and most concentrated form. that's why the media pundits will say we live in an unfair democracy rather than realising they themselves are implicated in that process whilst they slam venezuela (not that I ever supported Maduro or even Chavez for that matter.) In terms of the fitness clubs thing I saw electronic music as this big funk forcefield of energy. I'm not angry about mainstream house or whatever, but I'd rather that powerful > human energy was not lost. and I think that can only be found in an atomised way. brostep tried to do that in a big way and I'm sure for many people younger than me it blew their minds - nothing wrong with that. but like i was saying once, we won't be able to get something like doctor p sweetshop on r1 airplay anymore. of course the underground can be just as responsible for this, all that minimal dnb which is just not as powerful as a paradox choppage tune. I mean it's an interesting question.
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Finding it hard to wrap my head around there never being any true underground. How do you define the term? No music was ever underground? Surely pre Internet there was plenty.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Finding it hard to wrap my head around there never being any true underground. How do you define the term?
think of it as another way of stating that there is no such thing as art that isn't a commodity

there are two kinds of underground: that which wants to be more famous and isn't yet, and that which rejects fame and attendant commercial success

it's probably more of a spectrum than either/or, and the rejection side has varying levels of sincerity, but it's basically accurate

ultimately as I said, everything either remains obscure or eventually becomes popular and commercialized to the level of its popularity

anything underground, no matter how far underground, will commodified sooner or later if it's worth commodifying. examples are innumerable but can be easily cited if needed.

the Internet has made "eventually" quicker if not instantaneous, but it's not a qualitatively different process.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
it's a response to everything is a marketing campaign, so think of it in that context

again, the marketing is more sophisticated, but process isn't new

this isn't a new idea either. Pop Art, the Situationists, culture jamming, these are many decades old.

and almost as old is the understanding that commodification trumps all attempts to derail it, by turning those attempts themselves into commodities.

underground is cool, cool sells, underground is no longer cool, new underground is cool, cool sells, rinse wash repeat.

tbf, "true" doesn't really mean anything, and sets ups a false narrative of true v false "underground", so I probably shouldn't have used it as an adjective
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
The majority of curation these days seems to come from algorithms and they aren't really an adequate substitute.
this is interesting and feels true

the very reason I've never used Spotify or a similar service is b/c I trust my taste, knowledge and instincts more than an algorithm

one of the few areas where algorithms or AI will by definition never be able to supplant humans, subjective artistic judgment

however, I'm old enough not to have grown up with algorithms feeding me things from a young age

and perhaps if you have there's not much of a difference

this is also feels like something that is more acute in dance music, albeit you all know much more about it than I do

it's true that punk is still, as third said, more "word of mouth", largely because of its commitments to DIY (i.e., there's no $ in it)
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Well in terms of that we can really trace that to the criminal justice bill in some respects can't we. yes those illegal raves were a commodity in the same way that clubs are, but clubs have different expectation. whereas a punk show is very short. not really an all night thing. that's not how it works. all economy is fundamentally an economy of time etc... there was more a looseness in the illegal rave thing i thought, all you needed is a shitty pa which you could over crank and a dj with a bunch of records, maybe even just music of their mates, totally anonymous.

But then that dug itself after 94 into braindead take drugs to make music to take drugs to which eventually ended up turning into 'freetekno' totally uninteresting ambient music in the truist sense, just a 180 kick with maybe a filtered sound on it no tension or drama or even a minimal funk feel. and nothing else. but I'm finding it hard to see for instance how hardcore techno would have developed without that illegal rave scene.

This is why i think purist ambient is a bit of a fallacy a pure ambient music is precisely something you're not really supposed to listen to, even whilst fading in and out. it' just integrative to an event. that's pretty boring, at least drone can be quite zen and dark/melodic/glitch/berlin school type ambient can be lulling or narcotic or submerge you. that's not really how freetekno works though.
 
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mvuent

Void Dweller
i don't really 'get' rashad becker. it sounds interesting at first (as in a few tracks) but i get tired of hearing shrill, mostly arrhythmic(?) squeaking noises entering from different corners of the stereo field pretty quickly (even if they sound "alien and alive"). he just seems more stylistically constrained than he needs to be. i end up wishing he would introduce more sonic variety and contrast like in older academic electronic music. but you guys praising him are much better versed in that stuff than i am, so maybe i'll be more discerning w/ his music one day.

as far as finding new music in the current atomized landscape (as in bandcamp type stuff specifically), it seems pretty obvious that it's impossible to give every release that you find intriguing the attention it deserves. i tend to just look for "trust-establishing" experiences with artists i'm curious about: if they do one thing i think is really exceptional, i'll give everything else they do a lot of time and attention, even if it doesn't seem interesting at first--and mostly disregard everything else. i completely agree with luka's last few posts in the music criticism thread that communities are very important now, because i think they help generate that sort of trust/engagement.
 
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continuum

smugpolice
There are journalist fan curated blogs out there. Mine for example: www.scuffeddeejays.tumblr.com

Reading this thread it’s like you don’t want there to be anything new and exciting rather than it not actually being there. It is there but you deny it. Most likely you are doing this subconsciously to protect something of your previous work and/or because you just can’t be arsed anymore? I’ve been plugging away for years finding and supporting new artists who then go on to become famous and influential but I rarely get much acknowledgement. Perhaps this is why you guys seem to have given up? It would be nice to get some acknowledgement but it’s not what drives me. I feel that your own egos are what drive you and since you all fell off years ago you haven’t had the balls to jump back on instead protecting what you previously cultivated or promoting something your friend wrote about for the Wire or Pitchfork. You could engage with people such as myself in a productive way but generally speaking it’s like talking to a load of schoolboys when I try to initiate engagement with you guys. Either that or I just get ignored.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
no the discussion is tiring coz it's like oh here's rnb sample, here is ragga sample, here is rap sample over house beat, here is bassline, let's put this into an acid house lineage even though it's over 30 years old now and the original constituency well even for garage doesn't really exist in the same way in london anymore. slapping a few samples over a break was not what made hc/jungle so great (otherwise it would be something like florida breaks or nu skool breaks, both really unremarkable and boring musics in my eyes, despite their use of breakbeats.) like if you just admitted you like regular house music I'd be cool with that, i do too, but you're trying to claim some epistemically privileged status for deep tech just to put it in the continuum. there is no hardcore continuum anymore. there really hasn't been since 2007 has there.

and once again this thread goes back to this yawn we should all be listening to sub par bassline imitations. if im gonna do that i might as well just stick with nu skool jungle which is always more appealing to me as I've heard 4x4 house/techno beats for so long anyway and the rhythmic possibilities are limited unless you go into the african house (not UK funky...)
 
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