Here's Kieran Press-Reynolds with his latest piece for No Bells - looking at how Spotify's creation of a "Webcore" playlist lumps together a whole bunch of different online microgenres, collapsing their distinctness into meaningless mush, and what the consequences might be for those mushed. That reminded me of how "electronica" became a marketing term in late-90s America and similarly conflated UK + Euro sounds with discrete histories, vibes and functions. Kieran comes up with a bunch of parallels himself while continuing his cartography of the constantly mutating, subdividing, splintering and recombining genrescape of the 2020s.
Over at his new-ish website, David Stubbs takes a delightful memory-lane trip through his earliest days as a music journalist - making the jump from Monitor to Melody Maker, via the briefest of interludes at Arthur Young. The Wing Commander deftly weaves together the vivid immediacy of those halcyon days (so young, we were, and so full of ourselves) with the hindsight wisdom and uncertainties of age.
I do not know Hari Kunzru well - I think we met just the once - but I've often thought that we seem to be on a similar wavelength, going by the kind of things he writes about in his novels. Still, I was startled when Melody Maker and The Young Gods popped up in his new piece "Broken Links" for Harper's - a meditation / taking-stock of the effects of the internet on culture, memory and desire, starting with the realisation that "I've now spent more of my life online than off".