Sunday, July 09, 2006

Close (To The Song)

Today's Pink Section has a piece that suggests in it's opening that electronic music might be the new medium of the singer-songwriter. The article as a whole is less on point than the opening paragraph, given that one of the three artists they profile works on a decided non-"singer-songwriter" IDM canvas, but it's an interesting theory in light of the recent increase in "indie/electronic" artists on myspace. Often the whole classification thing is more about marketing than an artist's higher intentions but there is a enough recent cross-pollination of ideas that there might indeed actually be something new forming out of the murk that Erlend Oye and The Postal Service stirred up a couple of years ago.
One cutting quote from Halou's (who have been on this whole songwriting path too long to make this a "new" trend) Count caught my attention:

"Today you hear monotonous electronic music in every retail store and restaurant, but people will eventually realize that melody and actual songs transcend quirky sounds," he says. "Without real music to back it up, electronica is just noise."

: Which reminds me of another quote that Mylo protege Linus Loves gave to EQ Magazine that ArjanWrites mentioned:

"It didn't feel to me like that was how people wanted to hear electronic music," he continues. "I felt they wanted it in a more pop structure – get into the substance of the record and get out again. That's our way of thinking – we want to make electronic music fresh again so people aren't like, 'Oh bloody hell. I'm seven minutes into this record and there's still two minutes to go.'"

: I'm all for bringing structure and pop elements to electronic music and what I believe both these artists are getting at is that there is plenty of room for song oriented artists in the electronic "genre". I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say that "electronica is just noise" because there are too many examples of people who work extremely well outside the confines of traditional songwriting structure without mindlessly playing out a sub-genre's conventions. Ultimately the "short-form"/"long-form" debate is more an ongoing issue that a new development in the electronic music world particularly since Daft Punk's "Discovery" and Electroclash reopened the doors to "songs" a few years ago, but The Chronicle's piece suggests that "outsiders" are taking the matter into their own hands. I'd just like to see more of it from people who have never wavered in their love electronics.

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