A plea for the gatekeepers of yore.
It’s more than a bit dismissive of some of his points to declare this conservative reactionary nonsense, but it’s about as far removed from my lived experience with music that it might as well be in Russian. Then again, I’m not a music writer trying to live in a world where bands “hustle” in a multivariate mediaverse because of the 800lb elephant he ignores – people don’t buy music like they used to, and the barriers to entry have fallen or split into dozens of tiny pieces.
I’ve seen a similar notion pop up about the creation of a trans-national musical monoculture (the favorite term of the nattering nabobs of the fearful future) or some such rot, simply because the world we live in is different than the one most of us (meaning post 25-year-olds) grew up in. I am convinced that this is a kind of romanticism, and not just the old cultural cachet of being in the know (the “firsties” of the end of the 20th century), but of a slower media environment. When finding things was more deliberate, perhaps, or at least more easily digested.
That said, a slower pace is not unavoidable. All it requires is a little bit of effort. And more to the point, Robert Christgau invented Twitter-snark decades before the kids who made Twitter existed.
Richard D. James Album [Elektra, 1996]
Jungle sure has livelied up this prematurely ambient postdance snoozemeister. His latest synth tunes are infested with hypertime electrobeats that compel the tunes themselves to get a move on. And where once he settled for austere classical aura, now he cuts big whiffs of 19th-century cheese. He even sings. Hey, fella–I hear Martha Wash needs work. B+
3 responses to “Standing Athwart The Record Bin Yelling “Please Slow Down!””
My favorite review of all time was in Stereo Review or Audiophile, I forget which, and was Twitteresque back in the 80’s:
SADE – Stronger than Pride
…and faster than Sominex.
at my first job, i worked with a dude who was kinda all up in the tuffness, used to work for rawkus, etc. one day he’s listening to a cd and i asked him what it was, and he shows me the cover of a sade album. (dunno which one)
i’d never heard her name pronounced, so i said “oh, you like sade” (as in sayhd) and he totally flipped out. “it’s sha-day, asshole!”
i’d had no idea so many tuff guys had their first breakups over her music.
anyway, the original talk is sorta almost kinda worth watching, but really can be summed up as “i wish we had the old gatekeepers back”.
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