Saturday, April 30, 2011

Genre-bending vs Genre-making....

I heard a promo a while back on RTR for Golden Apples of the Sun and they described the show on their website as '... a journey into folktronica, freak folk, new wierd (sic) glitch and lo-fi chillwave.' It's funny that we feel the need to put a tidy little circle around everything but you do have to laugh that almost as soon as the line is finished, something breaks the edges.... problem solved by simply 'adding' another genre!

Occasionally I think about the 'future' of music and sometimes hear something - often enough on RTR - and consider that might be a likable 'Future'.

A classic example of this was the first time I heard Amon Tobin's 'Foley Room', DJ Spooky and a number of other bits and pieces. Inevitably there are - painful - moments that border on kitsch but others that 'fix' it. Tobin's newest 'Isam' is on his website and you can stream it live.

Another example of this is my love/hate relationship to Dubstep and it's ilk... often the lead-ins are completely cringe-worthy but then the tracks open up into utter chaos. There are some tracks that I particularly like where the music almost collapses with a lot of half-notes, static, 8-bit sounds, etc. I struggle to find exactly what I want in the genre but it does tend to come 'close' on occasion. ie. Lorn's 'Grief Machine' (2007) has it's moments.

Tying up the post, I guess the analogy would be that as artists we are encouraged to engage with the idea that 'anything goes' early in our careers. It doesn't (and perhaps shouldn't) need to be verse/chorus (repeat x 3). More over it shouldn't necessarily sit in something clear and definable. You should be aware of that around you but ultimately not constrained by it.

Only later do you find that the 'open house' very much isn't the case in the 'real' world. Too often we encounter Institutionals who are - often blatantly and shockingly so - closed off to certain mediums and/or concerns. This is even worse once dollars come into the equation.

Like any 'industry', the creative realm is very much handicapped by financial-ness, especially when regulated by what loosely could be termed market forces.

Where it gets dangerous, potentially damaging and ultimately tepid is when artists attempt to 'fit' rather than simply get on with it.

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