Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"who are you, 2013?"

talking about retrodance, Martin Clark aka Blackdown takes Disclosure to task in an open letter

which picks up on a quote Howard from the group said:

“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.” 

Martin's response:

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.

He further proclaims:

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?”

... Music 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

I don't mind Disclosure, but of course I agree with Martin's thrust here – how could I not, it's basically the "atemporality" syndrome he's railing against

What is confounding for nuumheadz like he and me is that the younger generation just don’t judge or appraise or respond to music like this - in terms of a dialectic in which there's a series of advances that entail jettisoning previous styles that have been superceded.

Instead these are simply options available to us as listeners and as creators ...  styles that are fully present, in the present

(An aside: it's a bit too perfect that it's the El B remix of Disclosure that Martin would deign to play!).

 Martin's  "Dear Disclosure" has engendered a fierce, 45 comment debate in the comments box, making it the Dissensus/UK-bass world equivalent of the Peace / Barlow / Kulkarni flap and the Savages debate


  1. i don't suppose you witnessed the flutter over the Daft Punk album on twitter between Limmy, Pete Paphides and Caitlin Moran?

    Somebody literally said "Is NK behind this?"

  2. i say flutter, there was actually a threat of violence behind it. clearly very serious business. something seems to have rattled a lot of people