Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Electronic fantastic

So I got these new housemates, right. Now when I moved in, the first thing they characteristically did (while me and my sister were breaking our backs to move stuff out of the car and into the flat) was take a cigarette, walk out of the flat and light it outside of the building. The minute I saw them do that, I was shit scared.
- Why are you smoking outside?
- Oh, do you mind smoking?
- Oh no. No, There will be no smoking outside of the house.
- Hahahaha okay good nice
- Yes I know it’s nice that’s why we will be smoking in the flat. All three of us. Yeah? Ok? Is that nice?
- Yesyesyes inside
- Goooood.

So after the delightful pleasantries were over and done with, and all my stuff was inside the house, I walked in to find this sort of electronic music playing. Like with all bad music, you initially find it hard to describe. So one of them turns and says, do you like music (naturally as one does these days). I said, you can say that, yeah. Oh good, what music you listen to, oh I don’t know, good music I suppose, sometimes great music. And then you know, I got that smile. I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about smile. Well, I said to myself nevermind, we’re in this to learn new things, you know?
Well, these two girls are just 19, and ready to party and deservingly so, and they’re into electronic music, a bit of progressive house, vocal, melodic, wavy, crescendo-diminuendo music, which I used to love a lot, but I always found it very difficult to come by (at least the sort of electronic music which will satisfy my tastes). What happens with electronic music, and I suppose with all kinds of music, is that after a while you have to look for new artists who will make something new out of something that’s already been done. So you start off with your first CD being a collection of house hits compiled by this guy you used to know in school and who always got the trendiest girlfriends just cause he was a self-named DJ (doesn’t matter if he only played in his bedroom) and you start this journey into an abyss of labels and titles and hard to pronounce Japanese names and you don’t even know where this will take you. But time saves, and eventually you get to the stage where you think OK, I feel that I’ve listened to some really fantastic, get-down-and-dirty, heavy-bass-ed, kick-in-balls, sex-all-night, electronic music. There must be more to this, surely. And you travel other continents of electronica, like India, and Goa, and some really obscure parts of Europe, and you realise that, God this machine-made, man-led music has some really crazy fans out there and it can take you places, and although 80 percent of the time it comes out of computers, it commands feeling and even when it doesn’t have words, it can tell a story. All this mix and match of sounds, it does strike a chord, [no pun intended] and what I remember is that when I started getting really deep into electronic music I learned how to decode music, how to separate sound from sound, because in this genre, every track is compiled of a lot of things happening at the same time and you have to listen really carefully. So I bought this Danny Tenaglia Back to Basics CD with money I earned by cleaning toilets and I borrowed this portable CD player from my brother-in-law, and listened to it over and over and over again during my bus journey to college and back and realised that I’m not just listening to electronic music while getting ready to go out, or I’m not listening to it just cause it’s fun and funky and you can dance to it or because it’s in fashion. But I find myself in this bus, at 7 in the morning and I’ve got this lady’s voice coming out of my earphones and this fast, heavy bass that comes swarming down my humid morning and I think to myself, I know what this means. This is not the electronica of the clubs, of the rich and famous, of the pills and the thrills, of the one-night stand, of the fashionable. If I am able to listen to this progressive vocal house under these circumstances, then this dude behind the turntable has just put out some serious music, and music it is, even to a gal like me, who will never be able to get over the drums/bass/guitar situation. Nowadays, I feel I am the proud owner of some really, really good electronic music which I will always go back to in times of trouble; Roger Sanchez’s Release Yourself series, Tenaglia’s Back to Basic (with Terror by Fused being a truly beautiful and emotional track), Dave Pearce’s Transcendental by the Euphoria series, Global Underground’s sample collections, The Tidy Boys’ Tidy Addict, Deep Dish, Hernan Cattaneo, but most of all, Steve Lawler’s Lights Out series and Unkle’s Never Never Land was, I think, the pinnacle of my electronic education, the masters of all electrofuturisticneon music, and is right up there with my most precious musical memories.

Now playing Terror, by Fused

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