Princess Stomper

The Age of Clank: Why Genres are Important

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Dancing about architecture

So here we are, dancing about architecture, and spending countless hours trying to find words to describe music in our uphill struggle to persuade you to click on those links and experience it for yourself. It’s easy to forget how essential these words are until you try to do without them, and the lack of a term like “clank” really highlights just how important genre classification is.

A couple of years back, I just assumed that almost nobody was making music worth listening to any more, because I didn’t know where to find it. Then, having found it, I was hearing one or two albums I loved, but had no clue where to look for more. Yes, sites like Collapse Board post great examples every day, and you get into a routine of reading those words and clicking those links, but there’s no feeling of connection between them. Just one band making a great noise followed a few weeks later by another band making a great noise. They’re like stars winking in infinite space with incalculable distances between them. There’s no feeling of continuity, of collective inspiration. No sense of bouncing ideas off each other and partaking in a thrilling relay race in which the listener is the winner.

Until finally you start to notice that there is a connection between them, and suddenly there’s hope. If it’s not a one-off, if a pattern is emerging, then that means there might be more. And not just more people having similar ideas, but more people having great ideas and making truly extraordinary music.

And that is why we do this – why we do any of this – because what we want to do over and over again is to find and experience the best music that there is in the world, and to show people how to find it, and to do that, you need to know where to look.

Those neat genre classifications aren’t a guarantee that you’ll love what you’ll hear, but they’re a clue that tells you where to start your search.

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