Drama without meaning
Haha, yeah, bad techno! I remember someone complaining about how repetitious techno is and I was wondering what they were referring to and wondering if this was necessarily a bad thing, being it encompases such a broad category. My favorite techno would fall under the "IDM", "Braindance" or "Electronic Listening Music" subcategories- stuff with roots in house and techno but with an emphasis on composition and more "listenable" elements and layers, while still retaining it's dancability factor. I think lots of this music can be lost on people who don't listen to much music, or don't listen very closely to it, since there is a great deal of repetition going on, yet a track is constantly evolving within the mix, as bass and melody patterns drop, tempos shift gears, pitches rise and fall, ambient sound fragments surface and dissolve, etc. I find that mix of repetition and change almost intoxicating at times. Still, I think the perception most Americans have with techno stems from the worst of the genre, much like with rap/hip hop - two very misunderstood genres of popular music unfortunately. One band who did understand these genres (at least with house and hip hop) was New Order, very early on, especially with Substance.There is also the utilitarian (dance)factor and I think artists like ex Cabaret Voltare member , Richard H. Kirk, with his enormous solo output under his own name, as well as Sandoz, understood the value of the repeating beat and linked it back to ancient tribal dance ceremonies, mostly from Africa. A good deal of the African American originators from Detroit (Juan Atkins, Carl Craig and Derrik May) talk about this too,while also name checking bands like Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode.A couple of books I highly reccomend, which do an amazing job of putting such music in words is "Generation Extacy" by Simon Reynolds, and "Ocean of Sound" by David Toop. There is also "More Brilliant Than the Sun", which deals with black technology music (techno, house, electro, drum n' bass)and it's misrepresentation by mainstream media, by Kodwo Eshun. Unfortunately I think that book's long out of print and very expensive now.
In short, the comic pretty much represented to me the whole "cut and paste formula" techno music that is played at the night clubs today and so on. I liked all that "Acid House - Jack The Tab" stuff back in beginning of the 90s.Thanks for your input steve, and the book recommendations. I agree about New Order. I know that they used to make trips out to Detroit and meet up with DJs there. Substance was much influenced by House music. Especially Shellshock, Sub-Culture and Confusion. But you know I prefer the original version of Confusion and Sub-Culture any time.
Really? I like the Substance versions so much better, but it may be because I heard those first, so when I got around to the originals, they seemed kind of trite to me (a friend of mine feels the same as you and I always tell him the same thing). Anyhow, check out this video for the latest Bochum Welt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr4uDxUR8Y4He's an Italian producer on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label and Puts out some excellent, nostalgic-sounding nonclubby techno. The track is a good example of lots of repetition and lots of subtle changes within the mix. The video is pretty funny too.
Actually, I like both versions I just prefer the former versions. Substance was my first CD purchase. Remember when they came in those long boxes? I used to save them.Thanks for the link. I checked it out. Funny video. Where can I get one of those things?
Yeah, really! And I remember those long boxes. My brother kept some too. Funny, cause Substance was one of my first cassette purchases! New Order have put out so many compilations and such, it would be nice if they remastered and repackaged Substance (though kept the original artwork of course).
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