Friday, December 30, 2011

further to my "is rock finally dead then?" query here

jon caramanica states the obvious, but states it starkly and sharply, and it's a point well worth making:

mainstream rock (he means rock released on US major labels, regardless of whether it's from the US or not, played on mainstream radio) is

"a musical universe in crisis like no other, full of old bands spinning their wheels, praying for one more summer out under big-tour sheds, and their young reinforcements, not much more than a field of dullards who are the artistic equivalent of grocery store generic brands. 2011 may well be remembered as the most numbing year for mainstream rock music in history.The genre didn’t produce a single great album, and the best of the middling walked blindly in footprints laid out years, even decades, earlier. Plenty of juggernauts — U2 and Bruce Springsteen, among others — took the year off, but the genre’s failings are creative, not commercial. At this point rock is becoming a graveyard of aesthetic innovation and creativity, a lie perpetrated by major labels, radio conglomerates and touring concerns, all of whom need — or feel they need — the continued sustenance of this style of music. The fringes remain interesting, and regenerate constantly, but the center has been left to rot."

the only thing i disagree with is the word "regenerate" in the otherwise correct nod to the continued interesting-ness of the fringes... i don't think that word, with its biologistic connotations of renewal and growth and evolution ... of generation and generative-ness... i don't think it really applies to the way that the Zones of Alteration operate... Hyperstasis, being a fundamentally digital/inorganic rather than analogue/organic syndrome, works through replication, recycling and recirculation, techniques of recreativity such as pastiche, appropriation, citation -- in other words, forms of asexual reproduction. (Or perhaps that should be asocial production - art practice that is incapaable, through its mode of operation and dissemination, of letting "the social" leak into it)

Repro ( according to this dude )as opposed to retro in the strict sense of the term, maybe, but still something that very much falls under the sceptical and unforgiving gaze of Retromania.

(Hyperstasis is, after all, nothing if not a churlish concept, looking a gift horse in the mouth, looking past the immediate bounty to the long-term dearth).

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