Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Disclosure, I wanna bet


 “Even people who think we’re too commercial, which I don’t think we are at all, I say to them: what would you rather hear on the radio, "White Noise" or David Guetta? They can’t say anything back to that.”  – Guy Lawrence, Disclosure

You wanna bet?

First some context: Disclosure are this week’s G2’s cover stars; this year’s cover stars. With chart hits and sales over 300,000 for one single alone their commercial success is undisputable. But there’s something really depressing about the idea, as put forward by them in the G2 piece,  that it’s either them or Guetta.

In their paradigm there’s two choices for pop:
  1. terrible music
  2. them
The thing is, why can’t it be that people’s choices for successful music are:
  1. terrible music
  2. moderate music
  3. incredible music
I don’t have a specific beef with Disclosure I really don’t – I played the El-B remix of their tune at Fabric last year - but “it’s us or a shit thing” is what mediocrity looks like. It’s what capitulation looks like, I’m sorry but it is.

Fuck that.

This kind of slick, clean, sanitized music, when you look past the admittedly catchy saccharine hooks, is really empty. Disclosure themselves don’t even seem to want you to look past it: “All we care about is people listening to the music… they can take what they want from it.”

It’s time for something new.

We need to reject this kind of neutered brainwashed thinking and build something vital for this era. Something totally built by, owned by - and unique to - 2013.

Who are you, 2013?

Because this is sorta my issue with all the big “post”/“bass” guys, now playing housey tech mixed into techy house with additional retro anthem bashing, the guys who build up the DJ hierarchy which ends in Disclosure headlining your festival.

I keep thinking this…

In twenty years time, these DJs will be in their 40s and their kids will be old enough to ask them: “Dad, what did the music sound like when you were the biggest DJ?”

And they will safely be able to say:

“I could drop our song with Eliza Doolittle, "Neighbourhood" by Zed Bias and "Saved My Life" by Todd Edwards and no one could name what decade they’re from.” 
 Which is exactly what Howard did in the G2 piece this week.

If the fact that your sound is indistinguishable from music made over decade before doesn’t scare you shitless as an artist, I’m not sure we’re on the same page here.

Music should be vital.

It should be essential and it should be unique: of its time, for its time, belonging to its time. You where there. “Were you there?” “Yes I was there.” “Where were you in ’92?” “I was there too.”

Great music is the cultural journal of record of its time, the soundtrack to generations.  ’66, ’77, ’88, ’93, ’99, ’03, ’06 – if you read this blog you should pretty much instantly be able to tell just from those numbers what movements blew up then. Depending when you were born you’ll go misty eye’d to “Strings of Life” or “Valley of the Shadows (31 Seconds)” or “Spirit of the Sun (Steve Gurley mix)” or “Midnight Request Line.” They define a time and a place.

“[Disclosure] recoil from questions that go beyond the music,” notes Sam Wolfson in the G2 piece.

OK guys, I think we’re done here.

To paraphrase Vex’d, you were wrong, there is a third choice: lets make it something incredible please.

72 comments:

  1. epoch3:12 pm

    bwahaha. gwarn martin!

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  2. Yes, only the incredible please.
    Just looking at those pale boys is bringing my AM down.
    Classic statements / clueless

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  3. Anonymous3:36 pm

    2 options are better than 1 surely? I don't really get the negativity if an act like this like are exposing pop audiences to better music.. not everyone heard it the first time. Heard them drop LV and Pepe Bradock in a set recently, which they obviously don't feel they have to, but if that's no better than David Guetta then I don't know what to think!

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  4. Anonymous3:47 pm

    Can anyone help linking movements to the dates in the post ? ’66, ’77, ’88, ’93, ’99, ’03, ’06

    My knowledge and culture say thanks :)

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  5. Anonymous5:00 pm

    Disclosure aside your sneery attitude towards house / techno + inability to distinguish the 2 let alone picking apart the big differences in attitude and approach between camps in this recent scene shows up yourown shortcomings rather than anyone elses

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  6. rich furness5:01 pm

    66 - Rock
    77 - Punk
    88 - Acid House
    93 - Hardcore/Jungle
    99 - Garage/2-Step
    03 - Grime
    06 - Dubstep

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  7. great article, i really value your passion for the topic at hand however it is a naive to think the movements like dubstep/bass can continuously be churned out of electronic music nowadays.

    I am a firm believer that it will "settle" down, specifically with a&r you realistically have two current options, either people that do an existing sound well (disclosure) or people that re-contextualize old sounds into new genres.

    Ideally you want on your label a combination of the both, offering something familiar (done well) and something different/interesting.

    Diversity will be the new mark of a good label,people are no longer bound by genres, what should be at the essence of any label are people with ideas about music should or more importantly should not sound.

    i enjoyed this read very much/

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  8. Children say the funniest things.

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  9. Anonymous6:33 pm

    Whoever said disclosure is the product of a corporation experiment, with both brothers chosen before birth, is right. I was there that fateful cool winters morning.

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  10. Anonymous6:35 pm

    The "retro" style isn't just in music, it's a cultural thing. It's almost become a part of our decade, how we go back and let us inspire by styles, looks and sounds that was "cool" 20 years ago.

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  11. I'll just say lets hope we "get lucky" with the new music :3

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  12. Honestly I tore apart an article on Noisey that tried to discuss "EDM as a genre", so it's obvious that EM is catching alot of people's attentions. We're just getting older and technology itself is becoming antiquated; which is ironic because technology above all else is obsessed with being cutting edge.

    The issue I have is no one has any real idea what electronic music came prior to the current popular trend. It's not really catalogued the same way either since it started off as a very niche, underground movement that was completely off the radar. Pirate radio in the UK was as close as you were getting to radio play until The Prodigy and LFO (and others too of course) started gaining notoriety.

    Let's not forget too that like it or not, EM is strongly associated with drug use; and anyone that downplays that aspect is being downright disingenuous. Cause the drug use coincides with the first " 'ardcore Rave!" culture, and has remained ever present in many of the genre inceptions that have taken place since that 90-93 era. It's difficult to gain mainstream notoriety when your music is so close entwined with drug use the way certain EM genres are (hell, you could even argue that Hardstyle was born out of the incessant demands of prolonged MDMA use since after awhile the euphoric properties become diminished and you're left with just another stimulant that demands rolling, obnoxious basslines).

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  13. Couldn't agree more, but I have a sinking feeling that this sentiment is going to be co-opted by the "commentary hierarchy" of FACT/Pitchfork/whoever reducing it to an meaningless oh-snap moment to move a few pageviews and regurgitate the same tired narrative of pop "sellout" vs. grumpy true-schoolers.

    Maybe cut out the "saccharine hooks" bit before journos take notice and they'll have to address your actual point? ;-)

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  14. Couldn't agree more, but I have a sinking feeling that this sentiment is going to be co-opted by the "commentary hierarchy" of FACT/Pitchfork/whoever reducing it to an meaningless oh-snap moment to move a few pageviews and regurgitate the same tired narrative of pop "sellout" vs. grumpy true-schoolers.

    Maybe cut out the "saccharine hooks" bit before journos take notice and they'll have to address your actual point? ;-)

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  15. "deep house as deep as a puddle"
    - Disclosure

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  16. "deep house as deep as a muddy puddle"
    - Disclosure

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  17. Anonymous8:23 pm

    Why not single out the acts that changed music unequivocally in the years of 03 and 06, for example, and compare it to what these acts are doing now? ....Skream? Dizzee? ... Are they immune to commercial-retro bashing?

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  18. Will01238:32 pm

    Listen, people who usually listen to stuff like Guetta are enjoying Disclosure's music, and so are the underground. Should it really be any more complex than that? They're making music they want to make, it's going down well, who gives a shit.

    I think you're blowing the Guetta comment out of proportion a bit. It was just an off-hand comment aimed at people who say they're making radio friendly music. I think Disclosure have, and are continuing to, make a great contribution to the house/bass/whatever-you-want-to call-it-scene by creating a link between the underground and mainstream radio, and hopefully bringing a bigger audience to club nights on the weekend who have looked through Disclosure's back catalog and liked what they've found.

    And if you're one of those people who thinks the underground should stay "exclusive" or if you don't like the fact that middle class kids are getting into this stuff, then fuck off basically.

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  19. Anonymous9:10 pm

    "Anonymous said...
    Disclosure aside your sneery attitude towards house / techno + inability to distinguish the 2 let alone picking apart the big differences in attitude and approach between camps in this recent scene shows up yourown shortcomings rather than anyone elses"

    This this this. I've been reading your blog for quite some time and you seem to prioritise a dark/nocturnal mood (circa 05/06 dubstep). But techno is doing this with more adeptitude (with greater focus on industrial textures) than the new minimalistic dark rolling hybrid you're pushing — not that I think you're sound is bad, I hasten to add, in fact I enjoy some of it and welcome it as a breath of fresh air for UK bass music. But I find it risible that someone would refuse to listen to oh I dunno, Regis, because his music isn't rhythmically corrupted.

    Techno doesn't even start with Mark Radford; I thought you would know this as an ex-aspiring techno journalist. Nor does it end with Detroit, London acid, Frankfurt PCP/Harthouse (berlin, obvs), Birmingham (downwards, Sandwell etc) Spain (Poll group) Rome (dozzy, Gigli). Need I continue?

    Techno isn't about relating to Detroit or some asinine tripe like that, it's more of a sonic aesthetic. It's easy to pinpoint what makes dubstep dubstep, but it's harder to distinguish between house and techno if you take the de rigueur detroit mythologising that journalists incessantly propagate. E: Derrick May's music isn't cold or futuristic, nor is it particularly electronic sounding.

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  20. fractal9:17 pm

    Spot on Blackdown, there most certainly is a 3rd choice! Keep the flame alive

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  21. Anonymous9:46 pm

    To add to my previous comment, I don't believe that there's much left to explore in the realms of bass music. What are you going to champion when 130 grime dies down and/or regurgitates a preset formula? Electronic music influenced by industrial? Postpunk? Somehow doubt UK bass culture bloggers are going to be receptive to darker sounds influenced by the aforementioned styles and/or records like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRu3FMMfyVY

    And no, footwork/footwork jungle isn't dark, imho.

    The future is, and will be, composed of composites, not mutants. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  22. You are what you listen to.

    Sounds like these guys need schooling :)

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  23. You are what you listen to.

    Sounds like these guys need schooling :)

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  24. You are what you listen to...

    Sounds like these guys need schooling :)

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  25. Anonymous1:14 am

    the El B remix, you mean the one that Disclosure turned down & wasn't officially released? right, that one.

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  26. A few disjointed points... (first time ive commented on a blog for a long time, kinda retro)

    Thank god Disclosure came in and made some great original material with different vocalists. Most of their contemporaries are busy 'remixing' old tunes. Whether it is cutting up old R&B vocals or Wiley beats.

    Another thing im glad they are doing is saluting the roots of where they are influenced from. Look at how many people who have got big and don't do the same back. Introducing their audience to these peoples music who shoudn't just be left in those eras they were made in.

    I'm not into looking into the past that much either, but there is a time and place for it. At points it felt like last year was the most I ever heard Wookies version of Sia's Little Man in raves which is about 12 years old, and ive been raving since 2004. Weird.

    House is the sound of 2012 and 2013. Its reflected on club line ups, festival line ups the charts and in any musical corner you will find: Rinse, Boiler Room, Radio 1 etc. If you can't get into any element of it, it is going to be a long year for you!

    I'm comfortable with it as a 'Grime DJ' I played a role as a compliment to Dubstep, now its as an alternative to House. Thats changed in less than 2 years.

    Also @Alistairr I think good labels will look like a mixture of things (like they always have) - Obviously consistent output, diversity, and how they get you to experience the music live. That's what I've always tried to do with Butterz I imagine it isn't different for any other label owner, although I have had a particular base I liked to work from. Some say it's limiting but I don't think we could have pushed artists the way we have if everything didn't have a interlinking thread.

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  27. First of all some context: Disclosure are a pair of brothers who never listened to electronic dance music until three years ago. Since then they have developed a mastery of production. Their seemingly flawless production has given them a huge level of online support. Only in the last few months have they really began to break from the internet and be embraced by radio, TV and clubs. There is something a little bit cynical about the fact that as soon as an act starts to get some mainstream attention they are suddenly shunned.

    To suggest that a throwaway remark made by a 22 year producer is a paradigm is ludicrous. These guys are as surprised by this media attention as we are, and I am sure have had little time for ideological reflection.

    "Because this is sorta my issue with all the big “post”/“bass” guys, now playing housey tech mixed into techy house with additional retro anthem bashing,…"

    Your knowledge of dance music obviously exceeds mine and I would fail miserably in any debate about such. But do you really think any music isn't built on that of it's predecessors?
    Okay, bass music is drawing on tech house, but don't forget house is directly derived from disco and you can be certain that there were disco naysayers when house began to break.

    Nostalgia, throughout cultural history, is what stifles creativity. Raiding the crates of your parents and chopping those records to pieces, has been what has pushed electronic music forward for decades.

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  28. Anonymous11:19 am

    I think what Guy Lawrence was saying was not that the radio can only offer shit music in place of them (how narrow minded of you)
    But rather, when it comes to dance music specifically ( i.e music that you tend to dance too) e.g techno/dnb/dub/house/funk/ etc etc
    The mainstream radio has little inspiration.
    Have we not been listening to the same Guetta and Calvin Harris songs for almost a decade now?
    People cling to genre's nowadays like fans cling to their football teams, adding this lame competitive edge to music which undoubtedly in my opinion is whats bringing about the negative vibes, rather than this harmless comment made by a young very talented UK musician that we should be supporting, not bitching about on some blog.

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  29. Anonymous12:34 pm

    Lol @ Blackdown bitching about Disclosure eekin off the 90's whilst simultaneously heralding music from 8 years ago slowed down a bit as a new movement. gd 1

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  30. Anonymous1:48 pm

    First of all claiming that that 2013 doesn't have a distinct sound is like looking for a forest in the trees. Let take a step back and let history make that determination. Though I am sure 20 years from now, Disclosure and their music will evoke nostalgia to anyone who listened to them. Possibly a slightly reminiscent or familiar to any youths whom appreciate music of their parents past... or they develop their own love for the music. Though I'm pretty sure that "Disclosure" will be more far more recognizable then "Blackdown"

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  31. Anonymous1:54 pm

    Disclosure themselves don’t even seem to want you to look past it: “All we care about is people listening to the music… they can take what they want from it.”

    If Kode9 said exactly that about dubstep in 2006, you would've hailed it as proof of dubstep's forward-thinking nature and refusal to be pigeonholed, etc. Yet instead the same 'it's just music, the rest is up to the listener' line which has been peddled by tens of thousands over the years, is somehow proof that they're part of a bland hype machine, solely because they refuse to dictate to people?

    Very, very poor.

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  32. Anonymous3:25 pm

    "I find it risible that someone would refuse to listen to oh I dunno, Regis, because his music isn't rhythmically corrupted."

    Regis' music is at least as rhythmically corrupted as the stuff Keysound pushes, if not more so, and certainly more diverse in terms of its mood and sound palette. And that's one producer of many, one attitude of many.

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  33. Anonymous5:29 pm

    Well that was my point entirely (irony). Would love to know how Blackdown defines rhythmic corruption. Does it have to be exclusively 2-step/grime influenced?

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  34. Rakish Selector6:51 pm

    I dislike Disclosure and all their saccharine tedious euro house allies ... The embracing of staid conservative house based production by the likes of former pioneers like Loefah and Skream is truly shocking.

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  35. hmm....a lot of label managers say they are diverse though,( im not checking on you-just saying) but then you check them out and they are just a new torch bearer in a long line of labels that can be traced back to the start.

    the point being first that people should be breaking this mould from the start.

    and it should be musical ideas that override a labels sound not the label managers pointless vision. we are just the guides.

    part of the reason why the industry is so fragmented now i feel is because people dont really think out of the box and rewire the industry to what it could be...

    that being said there is a lot of interesting stuff happening.

    we are at one of those cornerstone locations....

    i personally feel the bass thing has had its day- for now at least and will start shrinking to key players,

    i went to swamp 81 gig at fire and it was full of 18 year art students, although i enjoyed myself, i dont think its relevant anymore.

    the industry is moving on, the fusion of bass and techno/house was the final chapter.

    in fact i think that because electronic music has been splintering off into all these fragments, more fusion across the board needs to happen...

    i am lastly a bit tired of electronic music dominating modern music culture in general, i think it will get deeper, slower and more eclectic (but of course i would say that- thats the sound of my label hahaha)


    lates

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  36. Anonymous7:31 pm

    whilst i agree with a lot of this article, my biggest criticism would be that you talk about how musicians should be terrified of making music that sounds like it could have been made by their predecessors, and yet Walton - Homage, coming out on your own label, is (aside from being a great tune, i'm certainly not knocking it, or the label at all) definitely a track that could have been made by Double 99 or many of the producers of that era. It's even called Homage...

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  37. Anonymous8:02 pm

    Interesting view, however good music is timeless, regarding of genre. Here's some points I have for you:

    Music doesn't have to move 'forward' in order to be great.

    Sometimes moving backwards moves your forwards.

    Disclosure's music is far superior to David Guetta.

    Disclosure are a talented duo.

    Pop music can be quality.

    There's is no identity crisis in Dance music.



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  38. Anonymous9:27 pm

    The difference between Keysound and Disclosure is quite simple.
    Disclosure make songs similar to the ones from 10/12 years while trying to be just slightly different(production wise).
    While Keysound tries something different and then looks to the past as an inspiration.
    I prefer the "try" intention. That makes a whole lot a difference.
    Btw, I actually quite like Disclosure but it doesnt bring nothing different to myself as a listener. While Beneath, Wen et al. at least make my head go bang!

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  39. Anonymous7:58 am

    "It’s time for something new." Hmmmm, lemme guess, something like Keysound? The problem with your semi manifesto, as others have pointed out, is that the music you are pushing is just as derivative as Disclosures. Not that that's a bad thing in either case, its just that in the end it really just comes down to "I like this and I HATE that." I mean, who gives a shit? Do you really see Keysound as competing with Disclosure? The whole point of their quote is that they are talking about a specific context, pop radio, something I doubt you have any interest in, so really, what are you going on about? Pop music is mediocre? So is the bloody underground! Why don't you talk about that?

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  40. Anonymous8:15 am

    really can't understand why an act like this bothers you so much. They make some catchy pop hits, how does that harm 'underground bass music' ?

    People central to the music you like, such as Zed Bias, love them, you didn't mention that.

    this comment is very funny (and true)

    "If Kode9 said exactly that about dubstep in 2006, you would've hailed it as proof of dubstep's forward-thinking nature and refusal to be pigeonholed, etc."

    lol at your Fabric comment, its only rm3 you get to play in, you're actually a bit jealous of ppl like Disclosure aren't you ?

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  41. Anonymous12:11 pm

    I think the point the guys were trying to make when stating how the music was played alongside those classic tracks was that they want to make timeless music. Not that it's identical. Have you actually played the three tracks together? There is quite a discernable difference. People often forget how when quotes are taken out of context they can be miscontrued. In some ways i can see your point of view but having met the guys and talked to them at length about music. They were passionate and certainly not dismissive of undergroyund music. I just find it hard to believe this article is actually representing them honestly.

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  42. Anonymous2:46 pm

    Disagree completely - surely the best music should be timeless, not obviously of a particular era. For me there's nothing worse than hearing a track and immediately knowing what year it was produced; that to me signifies the sort of band-wagon dross that I always try and avoid.

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  43. Anonymous4:03 pm

    Alistair, sad to think bassy rave music has had its day and is mostly enjoyed by art student sods. What do the real kids of 2013 want then? Acoustic indie shit? "EDM"?

    fuck.

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  44. >>"It’s time for something new." Hmmmm, lemme guess, something like Keysound? The problem with your semi manifesto, as others have pointed out, is that the music you are pushing is just as derivative as Disclosures.

    This piece had nothing to do with my choices as an (underground) DJ, it had to do with the choices people are presented in mainstream pop. I do advocate people - anyone - getting together to make new choices to confront this kind of mediocrity but I don't mind who that is.

    >>Pop music is mediocre? So is the bloody underground! Why don't you talk about that?

    I've spent almost a decade celebrating exceptional underground music and criticising mediocre underground music. Just look at this blog's sidebar.

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  45. do i want disclosure or guetta on the radio? dude, i stopped listening to the radio like 20 years ago and haven't touched it since then

    FOR

    THAT

    REASON

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  46. Anonymous5:33 pm

    when I think white noise, I think
    http://youtu.be/bEWrsLjfF4Q

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  47. Anonymous5:50 pm

    They dodge questions about their music because they don't write it themselves. Pretty obvious really.

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  48. Anonymous7:58 pm

    I think scapegoating disclosure is it bit harsh, but I can't agree more with the comments about the generic formats of sets at the moment and the lack of a distinct and innovative sound right now. producers seem very happy to make average attempts at a tried and tested template rather than take music in exciting new directions. Skream is a great example of this. I personally find Keysound, particularly its earlier releases to be exciting in terms of direction and in that you can hear at the same time how it draws influence on the rich heritage of past uk sounds. Producers seem to care less about their own integrity and originality and just seem to be trying to milk whatever the most recent hype is, I think that trap tune Rockwell made is another sad example of this, aswell as Zombys Soliloquy

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  49. Thanks for sparking such a great Debate! While I half disagree with the main points of your post it has sparked some great comments. As a few people have mentioned I find it strange that as such a proponent of underground music you dismiss the strains of house/ techno that seems to be the focus of new vital underground electronic music now. I'm not much of a genre-wallower and I love anything new that makes me go 'fuck yeah' and to me there seems to be a massive amount of really interesting raw 4/4 stuff coming out at the moment in the vein of L.I.E.S., DABJ and countless white labels/limited/handstamped releases flooding your local record shop, more than I have seen for ages. For some reason techno and house kinda stagnated for me mid 2000s but it has become exciting raw and innovative again. The fact that early innovators such as Skream, Scuba, Loefah and Zed Bias and many others have moved on into their own particular strains of 4/4 speaks volumes IMO.

    On the flipside is this swap partly about fashion? Is it about these artists wanting to get booked and this is what the latest set of 18yo's in London and Berlin who go to clubs and set the precedent for what sells like? Of course they are following and making the music they love, but was the tempo and bones fo this music influenced by fashion?

    Is a focus on diversity (from Swamp81 to L.I.E.S to Blawan et al to Scuba), nostalgia and 4/4 the " '13 "?

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  50. Anonymous11:26 pm

    Oh OK, so jungle/2step/grime and dubstep individually had the same impact on the world as punk did haha. Punk stopped music in it's tracks and made people take a good look at themselves...as did acid house/techno. Grime made a great attempt at this but surely not on the same scale. I love the original aspects of all these forms of music, just not the copycat rehashing the same old shite baggage that seems to degrade the original genius. The problem with Disclosure is that they are just shit, ignore and move on.

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  51. Anonymous4:39 am

    >>This piece had nothing to do with my choices as an (underground) DJ, it had to do with the choices people are presented in mainstream pop. I do advocate people - anyone - getting together to make new choices to confront this kind of mediocrity but I don't mind who that is.

    In this piece you switch back and forth between talking about pop and the underground, so its not totally clear what you are saying.

    i.e. you say

    "Great music is the cultural journal of record of its time, the soundtrack to generations. ’66, ’77, ’88, ’93, ’99, ’03, ’06 – if you read this blog you should pretty much instantly be able to tell just from those numbers what movements blew up then. Depending when you were born you’ll go misty eye’d to “Strings of Life” or “Valley of the Shadows (31 Seconds)” or “Spirit of the Sun (Steve Gurley mix)” or “Midnight Request Line.” They define a time and a place."

    You are talking about populist, underground musics, not mainstream pop. And then using that as a stick to bash Disclosure with? It doesn't quite add up. Like, are you just saying, "I wish there was a populist underground movement like jungle, ukg, etc that broke through to the mainstream, as opposed to disclosure, who aren't that"?

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  52. Anonymous7:33 am

    if you feel stupid listening to music of a past era now, then the music is not timeless music. being able to listen to music which sounds similar from era to era does not mean it sounds the same, it simply means it's timeless.... and disclosure's music is timeless. some people confuse 'empty' with clean, and it being a requirement for radio. any bozo knows that mass audiences won't like dirty fuzzy atmospheric burial tracks, let alone the tempo, so in order to grab a wide audience, and get charted, like disclosure have, clean and sleek is necessary. this doesn't have to be your taste, but people who write articles should know what they're talking about rather than simply spitting theirs.

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  53. Firstly, I'm not being held to moral account by someone who doesn't have the balls to log in with a name or online identity. Man up and use one of the multiple identity log ins provided to stand by your comment or pipe down. These comments are pre moderated due to repeated spam attacks but if you reply anonymously again I will delete your waffle without publishing it.

    Secondly, the underground/overground division is one of your making. The summer of love, punk, acid house - were they "underground" or "overground" movements? The division is artificial, frankly: every genre of note has examples at both ends of the spectrum. I chose a techno, jungle, garage and dubstep classic example because it is relevant to the audience of this blog not because I was making a choice about some false dichotomy but because I wanted to make a point about the strength of feeling people should encounter with truly vital music.

    It's especially unimportant whether the music was "underground" or "overground" in my example because I purposefully chose not to say "scene X is what should replace Disclosure's sound" - I leave that open for generations to come to choose, I'm merely calling for people to get together with others to build one or multiple truly vital alternatives. I think good people deserve better music.

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  54. the wombles9:07 am

    Underground/overground - we've been struggling with this one for years. Big-up wimbledon :)

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  55. Anonymous9:17 am

    Daft Punk on their new album:
    “The ability for everyone to have the technology available to create electronic music at home is truly a wonderful thing. But it created a strange paradox…On a technology level, everyone is now a magician. But the question we can ask ourselves is: does magic still exist when the audience knows the trick?”

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  56. Edward C9:41 am

    Fair enough if the underground/overground thing is a red herring - am just trying to clarify what you are saying.

    In your post you are trying to say that you aren't just having a go at Disclosure and trying to make a more general critique of something bigger, but then it just boils down to "I think good people deserve better music." - thats so subjective as to be meaningless IMO i.e. I think you are just having a go at Disclosure.

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  57. The Wombles12:48 pm

    Also kids, we love recycling, especially when it adds new dimensions. Mindless cloning however is not permitted on The Common.

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  58. Anonymous5:35 pm

    I think your all cunts tbf

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  59. oh, come on!

    who gives a shit if their music is appealing to more of the masses? they're doing their thing and happen to be damn good at it.

    if you enjoy it, enjoy it.

    if you don't, fuck off.

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  60. Not sure that the retro thing is all bad. The radio-friendly stuff at the moment (Guetta, Nikki Minaj, Avicii) definitely couldn't be confused with something from another decade. It's made up of old formulas with a new sheen but it's still soulless. I don't think having artists that challenge that state of affairs is a bad thing (even if they recycle retro elements themselves and admit that their product is probably only mediocre rather than incredible). It just means it's up to other producers/artists to try and challenge it with something that is incredible.

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  61. When I saw your list of years, I could pretty much work out what you meant by each one - except that to me '77 means Fleetwood Mac and Dire Straits more than Punk, which is interesting given that those bands both had that "music could have been made ten years ago" sound going for them too.

    Nothing ever changes, I guess.

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  62. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/15525-disclosure-when-a-fire-starts-to-burn/

    Really nothing to get excited about or even to call it "Best New Track" I guess.
    It feels like I've heard it about 1000 times before.

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  63. The music of a generation has largely been defined by confluence of the music they hear and the technology available at the time.

    Rock is what happens when kids hear blues records and amplification spreads. Punk is what happens when kids grow up listening to rock and have access to cheap guitars and speakers.

    Synths.
    Samplers.
    Ableton.
    etc.

    We're currently living in a time where kids can grow up listening to any music ever recorded at the push of a button. Kids have never had so many opportunities for a vast, rich musical education.

    Expect a retro future. Variety (and not just some kind of global musical homogeneity - it's just too easy to be different) will define this decade, and I think this is a good thing.




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  64. in 20 years time kids won't care what music their oldies were playing, they'll be making their own sound, completely ignoring what came before, I think this is when the best stuff happens

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  65. Anonymous2:01 pm

    Glad other people have seen this for being totally unproductive, I'm gonna go and listen to Walton's Homage and remind myself of 2013.. oh wait

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  66. I dont know who i am suppose to be replying to anymore haha. but anyway this is a pointless discussion as its pretty subjective.

    perhaps im getting old now and dont want to go to a rave with 18 yr old pilled up art students but it did remind me of a massive students union that swamp81 gig.

    but there is still great music to be found, with or without sub, i would just like it all to open up a bit more then this cliched scene bollocks.

    you know, "oh we dont like this or that," ....fucking hell mate, just get more open minded.

    i was actually discussing how the analogy of a tree with branches is pretty accurate to the overall picture of electronic music today. all these close minded scenes leading each leading each other on and on and on, someone needs to wipe that slate clean and start a new tree otherwise we will literally just sleepwalk our way through genres like already have.

    meh...ill fuckin do it if no one else will ;)

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  67. John Evreemann11:28 am

    "Firstly, I'm not being held to moral account by someone who doesn't have the balls to log in with a name or online identity."
    This makes no sense. Someone could just use an anonymous alias so why are you getting your panties in a bunch? I'm seriously baffled that a writer would take this tack.

    "These comments are pre moderated due to repeated spam attacks but if you reply anonymously again I will delete your waffle without publishing it."
    That's a really odd way to handle comments on your post because you disagree with their content. I thought you were a mature writer just from a few things I've read but after this reaction I'm not so sure.

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  68. Anonymous3:16 pm

    Saw disclosure wearing matching lurid one piece shell suits at dmz 8th birthday....

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  69. Anonymous11:55 pm

    Ummm if you cant hear the difference between disclosures sound and older garage such as the zed bias tune you mentioned you seriously need your ears cleaned. I fucking hate critics sometimes, self appointmented or otherwise. Where's your music, then, as you clearly think you can do better?

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  70. Anonymous7:19 am

    Oh please fuck right off. I've been a fan of Disclosure since their remix of Daddy. Big ups for them for supplying amazingly well produced tracks that span the generations (genreations?) Yo but anyway seriously, they have an ear for catchy tunes and if you think that shit is "mediocre" or "overplayed" please check yourself and please inform me of anyone else that is doing ANYTHING on the level of what they're doing that crosses the fucking shit cheese EDM barrier and gets the kiddies on to the good shit. Fuck, You. Sincerely, Blueshift.

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