on whether this was just to irritate the dance fans
well yeah, but i wouldn't say it if i didn't believe it. i listen to most electronic things i get sent and a lot of hotly touted mixes on FACT and all over the place, check most things people are talking about. but even the things i really like, pantha du prince or whoever, seem like they are reworking a set of established sonic tropes and tones, stretching them interestingly maybe but.... it's same with all the post-Nuum/nuum-not-nuum stuff, in the main. That is my history so I enjoy it, and sometimes a lot. But the point of my polemic is that it's no different, fundamentally, from the way indie bands operate, reworking this established vocabulary.
It seems to me that a lot of the pride and confidence that hip hop fans or electronic dance fans have in their area being intrinsically more cutting edge or advanced or superior, it's not substantiated by what's actually going on in the music these days, it's like a partisan attachment. A habitually maintained mindset, based on stuff that happened a long time ago, in the same way that indie groups in the 80s lived off the Velvet Underground having once been groundbreaking.
i read something a rap nerd posted on his tumbler, saying the innovation critique re. rap was irrelevant because innovation was all about lyrics in the last five years and there'd been astounding advances. but from that i drew a/ so he basically agrees with me b/ he's just trying to make out it doesn't matter. which is like shifting the goalposts i think, suddenly hip hop's not about the pursuit of the fresh beat anymore?
it reminded me a bit of what someone who was anti-indie would have said of a group like the Go Betweens in the 80s (who i liked), a fan of rap or early house might say it's just carrying on this tradition that started with Velvets, Modern Lovers, Talking Heads etc, and the Go Betweens fan would say ah but it's all about Robert Forster's lyrics and how creatively oblique they are. Or someone could have said the same about Steve Malkmus in Pavement, the music is a pastiche of krautrock, the fall, swell maps, but the lyrics are doing this John Ashberry stuff.