Friday, February 11, 2011

Dan Lopatin talking to Altered Zones about the new label he's started with Games-mate Joel Ford:

AZ: Is there a specific sound you want people to associate with Software?

Dan: Definitely. I mean, it’s an electronic label. It’s definitely geared toward what we’re calling digi-psych, CDM (Contemplative Dance Music), and popular noise.

This relates to something I'd wanted to develop in the C****wave piece, but was pushed for space: with the Zones generation, the artists think like critics. The artists are critics.*

For better and for worse, the music coming out of the Zones (and hauntology should definitely be seen as part of that constellation)is one of our era's few candidates for a music-of-ideas (in the same way that people talk about
literature-of-ideas--which is something that lit-crits are usually suspicious of).

That quote also manifests something else I meant to talk about: the sheer genremania of this milieu. In the Zones, there's an absolute lack of fear, a non-hesistation, about coining genre terms. Neologism as a manifestation of neophiliac enthusiasm. Genre-coinage as an expression of a will-to-newness. A faith in the possibility of the new.

It's why the Zones generation feels like a significant break with Amer-indie tradition. It feels rather... British. (And of course some of the key AZ contributors are U.K. based). This whole circuit reminds me in lots of ways of the UK music press at its various peaks, in that it is all about, in a very pure sense, hype. Getting hyped up. Hyperbole.

Hype was pure, in the music press, because the people doing the hyping weren't actually going to profit by it (the bands, and the record labels were), not financially anyway (maybe paid in cred). Now it's even more pure, because not even the bands/labels are profiting from it. It's hype, completely divorced from careerism.

* and perhaps too the critics can, sometimes, be artists. Creating rather than simply commenting. Decreeing rather than describing.