Princess Stomper

The electronic double standard

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Light Asylum

By Princess Stomper

A Quietus piece on Bruce Springsteen that suggested that there’s an “assumption that electronic music is automatically more modern and progressive” got me thinking.

I’ve always had a dismissive view of certain bands. Any act that is described as “the new Strokes” gets an automatic snort of derision from me: I didn’t like the old Strokes. I hated The White Stripes. I thought Beady Eye were bloody rubbish, and don’t even get me started on Oasis. If asked, I’d come up with a glib remark about how it’s like xeroxing from a photocopy: the quality degrades with each iteration. After all, why listen to something that sounds like the Stones when you can just listen to the Stones.

Yet I don’t have this attitude towards the slew of electro acts that seem to be absolutely everywhere at the moment. They dominated SxSW – when Bruce Springsteen wasn’t playing – and they mostly sound like this:

I think this is absolutely beautiful. It’s not doing anything that Danielle Dax or Bjork hasn’t done before, but it makes me feel like a cat having its ears scratched. Or take this one:

Or this:

Cynical thoughts don’t pop into my head – I’m too busy reaching for my credit card and impatiently waiting for iTunes to load.

(continues overleaf) 

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2 Responses to The electronic double standard

  1. Jean March 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I can’t listen to those bands because they look like the worst of then. That’s the first hurdle for me to climb over. Then the music . . . . mostly fucking yawn.

    “It just sounds like Bjork so you might as well just listen to Bjork.”


  2. Daniel March 29, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Freshness is relative. Personally, I never get fresh with relatives. That being said, I don’t begrudge someone’s soft spot for overdriven guitars or reverb-laden synth. We want to see bands perform, or living music for living people. I can’t see the Rolling Stones live because they’re not alive anymore. They’re around, just… not alive.

    The case for certain genres being viewed as more progressive is rooted in who they give a voice too. A progressive genre probably doesn’t exist. It’s another high vs low art argument, where privileged snobs celebrate giving a voice to an unheard minority by speaking for them at length.

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