The Music scene used to be for young people only, now to use the overused cliche 40 is the new 30, 30 is the new 20 and so on. As we all get older it is very tempting to look back and say that the music and the scene were better 5,10,15 years ago depending on our age. So if you are pushing 30 then I am sure that you have caught yourself complaining about the way the scene that you are into is changing and expressing your personal gripes to others that might actually care along with you. I bring this up because Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich just gave a pretty candid interview with pitchfork about the current state of electronic music with quotes like “The mainstream is horrible ” and “in Low End Theory [in L.A.], people would come in and play what the fcuk they wanted, and they would switch styles, and that’s the whole point!”.
First of all, thanks to comrade obvious we now know that mainstream is horrible, can we all agree that mainstream is generally considered to be as good as products made in China in the 80’s? So it stands to reason that any music, even electronic, once mainstream is going to be sub-par. Hell there are a lot of people that think the popular Radiohead tracks are “Not that good”. So to be fair to mainstream electronic since it is not all that constricted by copyright laws (compared to hip hop) the music can be a breath of fresh air to some instead of listening to the same recycled or simplified music of other genres. I will say that one good thing to come about since the popularization of electronic is that listeners are less likely to be labeled drug abusers by outsiders.
As for the “play what the fcuk they wanted” quote well that has always been the battle between the fans and the artists. I mean who has not complained about a show that you didn’t like what the artist played. Aside from a brief period of time some where in the 90’s and maybe in the early 2000’s artists could experiment at shows but still only some could get away with it (unless you were Kid Koala then you get a pass). Besides most musicians are so worn out from the tours that they think Music Concrète sounds good but to most listeners when a genre has a definition of “ the structure of the compositions is not restricted to the normal musical rules of melody, harmony, rhythm, metre and so on.” they can’t be bothered to listen for more than a minute. So when artists start to mess around they better make sure there fans are on a lot of drugs like in the 90’s.
Saying that electronic is Music is in a weird place is very true it’s kind of like when everybody in the 60’s discovered acid at the same time. All of the sudden even the Beatles started making music for the underground, you want to talk about weird Sha Na Na played at woodstock (in 69) imagine being on brown acid and listening to that. But for all of the bad and or weird and or mainstream electronic music that is produced it seems that there is still more of the early styles being produced like house techno and to a lesser extent DNB. These scenes are still alive and well and thriving in good clubs with good dj’s playing good tracks you just have to do your work or be involved in the scene to know. I believe that Mix Master Mike was asked if hip hop was dead in the late 90’s and his simple answer was “My Hip-Hop is alive and well” so I guess it is just a point of view.