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Electronic music, Music, Public sphere, Radio

Archived ranting

I found this quite amusing piece that I wrote about three or so years ago.  There’s lots here that might be fun to clarify in the future, and although I agree with the general sentiment, I feel I’m scapegoating a world that’s easy to scapegoat.

I started writing this late-night rant in light of a discussion I was having with a friend this week about our approaches to composition.  We both trained as classical/western notated composers, but it is a training that I have significantly moved away from, toward beatmaking and a more abstracted pop practice.  I have as many issues with the world of classical contemporary composition as I have with the world of contemporary improvisation and other allegedly radical practices that position themselves as counter to what they perceive as more traditionalist/conservative music-making.  Classic FM is a particularly turgid bastion of self-satisfied conservative bullshit, but then to a lesser degree so is Radio 3, which relegates the most left-field of its output (generally the more accessible pickings of “experimental” music) to extremely late slots at night – mere novelty freak shows – but perhaps it is comforting that they broadcast these shows, if only to a small number of enthusiasts.  The problem is that Radio 3 could probably convince you that Nitin Sawhney is leading the vanguard of “experimental” music making, but the problem is, he probably is, and I have a feeling that the people who own Sawhney records are the people who own the Nu-Jazz wankfunk of Quantic Soul Orchestra, or the soul-sucking-deadness of the Gotan Project.  Of course what I’m really doing here is exposing my qualms with a certain brand of wishy washy, Alain de Botton*-reading London-centric middle-classness, where a need to appear to embrace or try and identify with the multiculturalism of the city is met by Sawhney and his cohorts who provide the appropriate stonewashed cultural signifiers in the form of this particular monstrosity, where we follow yet another gorgeous girl in a big red dress as she smugly fannies around affluent London neighbourhoods, singing a song so bland that my face melts off every time I hear it.  It is so fucking safe that it makes me consider slipping some hideous airborne poison into the air conditioning system at Waitrose.  But no, I wouldn’t do that, I like Waitrose…

*An Anglo-Swiss public pseudo-intellectual with a tumorous presence on the BBC’s Culture Show who has managed to forge, in Charlie Brooker‘s words, ‘…a lucrative career stating the bleeding obvious in a series of poncey, lighter-than-air books aimed at smug Sunday supplement pseuds looking for something clever-looking to read on the plane’.

About mannequinlicker

Mannequin Licker is a contra-pop electronic music artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Working within strands of new distributive practice and technology the aim is to explore notions of dissemination, interventionism, giving, audiencing, mobile publics, and ownership. The aim of this blog is to document my reflections on the project as it progresses, my intention being to post, if not regularly, then at least during its most productive stretches.


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