is a column by Chris Tweney
about the world of electronic music and its brethren:
new releases, trends good and bad, and
other trivia of the danceable world. Don't miss the pick of the month.
for more music reviews, essays, and rants.
There's no such thing as electronic music.
And it's a good thing, too. So, you may be asking, how can a writer with a column that's purportedly about electronica say there ain't no such animal...? Pick of the month: Coldcut,
Let Us Play (Ninja Tune).
Stereolab: Dots and Loops
After a year-long break following the nattily textured, very boogie-able Emperor Tomato Ketchup, the Franco-English drone-pop band returns with another electronic missive, Dots and Loops. But the new CD, while immediately recognizable as a Stereolab transmission, sounds flat, a bit airbrushed, like it's been run over by a sonic steamroller...
Pick of the month:
Theodor W. Adorno's essay "Perennial
Fashion -- Jazz" in Prisms (MIT Press, 1967).
The scene. It's everywhere you want to be: the fabulous clothes, slammin'
tunes playing till the wee hours every night, a quasi-religious community
of like-minded music fans, artists, and producers. Every movement in art,
it seems, flowers from the soil of a self-described subculture, and
electronic music is no different. Or is it?
Pick of the month:
Fatboy Slim: Better Living Through Chemistry (Astralwerks).
OTHER ESSAYS ON ELECTRONICA BY CHRIS TWENEY
"Headz Ain't Ready" - What to tell your parents about the history of electronica. Maybe you picked up a bargain copy of Portishead's already-classic 1995 LP, Dummy, and found yourself unable to meet the ultimate challenge in understanding electronica -- explaining it to your parents. For starters, don't tell them about the drugs....
What You Need to Know About Electronica (for at least the next ten minutes). The ferocious pace of record releases is a gold mine for those looking to score some hipness points at cocktail parties and watercooler gatherings. Electronica is so difficult to classify, and genres so quick to emerge and disappear, that the habitual bullshitter (that's you) will find that faking your way through the labyrinth isn't very difficult....
Axiom Dub: Mysteries of Creation.
Review by Chris Tweney.
hit the shelves at the end of 1996, just as media interest
in danceable electronica was showing its first signs of reaching
critical mass. Now from Bill Laswell, bass player/producer/experimental
advocate extraordinaire, comes a compilation that reaches down into the
dirty roots of 1970's dancehall dub and comes up with a brand new fistful
of deep tracks for the millenium....