Monday, May 17, 2010

If I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that the complaining about the malaise in music is actually part of the same malaise. You have a point there. My increasingly laboured attempts to refine and pinpoint this vague dissatisfaction of mine do seem to mirror the music: over nuanced, fiddly, somewhat arid, lacking the original spark. But don't you find this same airless, turgid quality everywhere in the writing about this area of music? It just seems to be what the music demands! The boosterish, echo-chamber stuff is worse, to my mind, because it's coated in this sheen of unconvincing positivity. My very occasional contributions to the discourse aren't even meant to be inspiring, really. Sobering, more like. Which is a bit dreary, but someone has to do it.

I don't think there will be any new ideas or real energy in the writing on this area of music, from anyone, until the music enforces it.

The reason I am resorting to these ever more tortured formulations is trying to get to grips with this paradox which is that -- the problem with the writing is the same as the problem with a lot of the music, which has something to do with the fact that it is well-written/well produced but... missing something.

Maybe it's partly to do with the nature of journalism now, which is that it is information processing, people stuck at computers, doing interviews by email, listening to mixes they've downloaded. They might well be out in the clubs and on the scene but none of that is seeping into the writing. And because of that you can do this kind of writing perfectly well without having the slightest contact with the scene.

Also the other problem with it is that it is nearly all of it sub-theoretical, operating just below the level at which new concepts are created, or large connections made to the social realm.

So the writing is neither buzzed up on the energy of the social/experiential/adventures after dark (EMPIRICAL) nor is it creating new ideas and patterns (THEORETICAL)

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