Thursday, April 05, 2012

Techno link roundup

The Guardian published an article about club closures in Berlin.  Is Berlin's run as the club capital of Europe coming to an end?  The clubbing boom in the city was in large part due to the sudden influx of cheap and abandoned properties after the fall of the Wall.  That had to come to an end eventually as the city becomes more and more gentrified.

Also from the Guardian, here is a list (with accompanying photos) of ten of the most "in demand" DJs in America. And to think, I laughed when Sean Combs said in an interview around 2004 that he was inspired by dancing in techno clubs, thought the music was the next big thing, and wanted to make a dance album of his own.  In retrospect, the surprise isn't that this music is breaking through, but that it took as long as it did.  The Neptunes/Timbaland wave of adventurous producers, who were clearly inspired by electronic music genres far removed from the nominal styles of the artists they were producing, broke through and dominated the pop charts over a decade ago.  Perhaps the record companies had to exhaust every other possible option (diva-dominated R&B, corporate indie and emo, etc.) and a generation of music fans had to come along who couldn't remember any of the negative connotations around raves and drug parties.

Dmitri Nasrallah wrote a cool overview/mini-history of Canadian Techno/House/Bass culture, focusing on the sea changes that have occurred over the past few years.  I'm still not sure how the rise of music distribution and publicity over the internet is connected to a supposedly healthier club scene, but maybe that's what happens when you move away from the city and lose touch with the club scene.  I made my exit around the peak of the   Berlin exodus, so the mentality of apathetic club goers and always finishing a distant runner up to other genres (hip hop, house, reggae + variants, etc.) is what's frozen in my mind.  Maybe electronic music doesn't come off as cold and calculating anymore, and you don't have to be embarrassed about buying the music, but how it this convincing people to tear themselves away from iTunes and hit the clubs?  Again, it's mostly due to the coming of age of a generation of people who don't remember anything about "illegal" raves, for whom dancing to techno or bass in a club is just a cool thing to do.

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