Well-known member
also important to note that a lot of techno owes more to chicago than the belleville three (i mean even it should be called the juans/may axis because Reece Saunderson don't neatly fit into it.) which is a bit of self-serving mythology. Detroit is very important, but through the way it makes the chicago music more abstract - eddie Fowlkes, D Wynn, Jay Denham, Shakir etc, and of course Rob Hood, who arguably is the purist exponent of detroit techno.

If you listen to the 80s detroit music you can see that techno was more of a marketting term used by Neil Rushton of network records, of course Derrick May always had to mouth off and over fetishise himself even tho hes not done anything since 1992-3, but that's just him. The guys been a bit of a superstar sleaze for years (heard from mutuals of acquaintances for a while now) hope the rape allegations aren't true, but wouldn't doubt it.

Anyway its important to demystify what pretensions musicians might have about their own art.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Hence, All sophistication after the '60s is kitsch
I don't think that's quite right

the pre-60s idea of sophistication is kitsch. sophistication itself has, as other people have pointed out, simply changed.

sprezzatura - major historical predecessor to sophistication - still exists, even if people don't act and dress like c. early 1500s Italian courtiers

sprezzatura can be loosely defined as "studied effortlessness" - is there a more apt description of the culture of social media influencing?

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Sophisticated adulthood was an American urban dream that was superseded in the 1970s. Mad Men was a homage to this vision, and its process of disintegration in that precise location and time span.
I happen to have been rewatching Mad Men recently, and the first couple seasons especially are an almost unrecognizable world

I think sophistication in that sense is more suburban than urban, though, and it's relatively brief, ca. 1950-68 or so

it was, as you say, aspirational - reading the au courant novel, intellectuals on The Dick Cavett Show

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
it's useful to remember how exclusive that dream was too - white, straight, affluent
in this sense it obviously isn't something to be mourned

I do think there is something to mourn tho

the idea of knowing things for the sake of knowing them, not merely as another cog in the machinery of self-branding

the idea that public discourse is a serious thing and should be treated that way

and so on

I don't know if you can really disentangle the good from the bad, however, and in any case it's not returning


Well-known member
Perfume and smells ads riff on some horrendous blend of kitsch sophistication. If there are musical equivalents, those cunts specifically should be shot. Perfume ad directors, their friends too, Jo Malone shoppers. Purge the cancer.


Well-known member
what about failed sophistication? I'm thinking of the harpischord MIDI melodies and pizzicato string sounds in UK garage, the ones that sound thin and digital but are clearly chasing that certain respectability