Your music is mysterious and magical; you aren’t
It’s now 12 years since I stumbled upon the glorious world of compilation CDs packed with awesome hard trance tales of the future. At 11 years old, I was very impressionable and imaginative, and I enjoyed envisioning the abstract images of how this music was made.
Or rather, the concepts conveyed by the music and title seemed to me like a natural part of the creation process too. Mysterious faceless wizards, all manipulating sound waves to express imagination, each with his own distinct flavour of wizardry, venturing to magical places beyond the reach of ordinary humans and returning with epic tales.
All I had to go by were pseudonyms, accredited with abbreviated real names in the CD booklet. Similarly, I had no idea what trance parties were like – but in my mind, they were equally magical and awesome. To my disappointment, I later realised that my hyper-active imagination’s science-fiction daydreams were far cooler than a bunch of ordinary people jumping up and down.
Maybe it sounds pretentious, but this is what I aim to be part of.
Electronic music 2.0
Fast-forward to 2012: “Vote for me in DJ Mag!”, “Like my Facebook page”, “Check out my 50 profile pictures of myself looking artistically down to the side!”, “Look how good I am at meaninglessly conforming to genres!”, “I make all kinds of music, from tech-house to house to techno to electro to post-moombahtroncorestep.”.
I’ve seen a few of my favourite artists from back in the days become boring farts instantly. They start using their real names instead, post fancy profile photographs, “get with the times” and start making boring house music. These aren’t the main problems though – what bothers me is that the daydreaming, imagination, and mystery of it all seems to be gone.
From faceless epic wizardries to just an ordinary guy with a computer putting together sounds for the club.
Luckily, I keep discovering a steady stream of gifted and creative individuals on SoundCloud and elsewhere. The label King Deluxe’s artwork+music project “Dance like it’s 2099” is a joy for the senses. Music is probably as good as always, but with way more crap to go through to find it.
Burial dreams about the idea of ’90s raves. Kind of similarly, I dream about the idea of ’90s online tracker culture – a culture with no illusions of grandeur, just faceless wizards making the very best of very simple means, humbly and awesomely refining their supernatural craftsmanship, and innovating, rather than imitating and trying to get famous.
It just seems to me on the surface that more emphasis was put on imagination and storytelling in ’90s electronic music. Maybe all the unimaginative music was forgotten, and only the good stuff stands left; may be. Still, I really like the thought of reaching beyond this world – hasn’t that pretty much been the purpose of art throughout all time?
My favourite sub-chapter in my e-book is probably 1.3 about being a wizard instead of a producer. Wizards daydream, and when they daydream, anything can happen, and they can portray their dreams through music. Producers produce, and ask people to vote for them.