Corpsey

call me big papa
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?
 

thirdform

Well-known member
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.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
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. :crylarf:

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.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAfs6wggEWU
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
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
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
So "middlebrow" is a sort of commercialisation, albeit to a trendier crowd than the commercilisation of pop?
 

thirdform

Well-known member
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

that was going on before though. 94 kiss 100, general levy etc etc. that stuff started in 96.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
But General Levy would have been more of a pop thing, right? I'd not be surprised if 'Face' readers saw that as a novelty single, comical even.

Whereas Metalheadz was cool enough to have people like Bjork attending their raves.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
So "middlebrow" is a sort of commercialisation, albeit to a trendier crowd than the commercilisation of pop?
Yeah maybe. I mean kodwo eshun had loads of columns in ID in the 90s so not sure how well this all stands up tbh. like the thing with jungle is it inherently was a conscious backlash against the chipmunky whiteboyness of hardcore. hence why in populations with little black crowds they went hhc, force and the evolution, slipmatt etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoglWdMEPgI

jungle severing itself from the disco/italo house elements is not really discovered. but that was an attempt inherently to make hardcore more tasteful to a london crowd.
 
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