Surprised to hear of two house producers deaths over the last day or so – Romanthony aka Anthony Moore, better known as the vocalist on Daft Punk’s greatest moment ‘One More Time‘ (I’m not big on their dancier tunes, but that STILL does the business, and is a classic tune) has died earlier this month.
Also Pete Rauhofer died on the same day (why did the 7th of May hate dance music so much?) remixer and DJ who produced the remixes which were ALL over the gay scene in the 90′s, usually the more ‘tribal’ or trance/hard house I’m really not into, but I did like his work with the Pet Shop Boys, such as the Break for Love cover.
BTW Radio Clash Live is down because the host has been taken down by DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack which I assume is some overcompensating micropenis 12 year old script kiddies with too much time on their hands, probably trying to nuke some game server to win some game on WoW. *sigh*
So for the moment RCL is down, and tbh, it might stay that way. Kind of tired of it all…far too detailed to describe here (especially as the ‘first world problem’ response has already been invoked by someone else) but lets just say recently me and social/online media and server woes has invoked a similar response to the video above. Time to retreat I think, for my sanity. I think the first thing is to make my Twitter protected, and setup a Radio Clash twitter for other things – in fact I have done that – the new Radio Clash only twitter is @radioclashbog – update your following lists, because unless I friend you back my personal twitter will be protected.
Via a friend posting a Terry Vision video (oh how I love him – even if I don’t actually ever watch the Eurovision Song Contest) I saw the Greek entry* by Koza Mostra & ???????? ????????? called Alcohol Is Free. Moustaches, beards, accordions, kilts and gypsy punk…what’s not to like? Having checked out a fairly bad translation of the lyrics, pretty sure it’s an allegory too for the state of Greece and the world, charge of a boat drunkenly not caring and heading for trouble…
A second place in my heart to Winny Puhh who sadly did not make it to Malmö, which is when I tuned out…not that I really tuned in, Eurovision is one of those things going on in the background, like Z-ListFactor Final, this queer is not down with the ESC, and you know me.
* not a euphemism. Well it could be, if I was left alone with certain band members, ho-ho. That reminds me, saw John Grant last night on tour, his Icelandic bassist was CUTE. JG wasn’t bad either, a cute dancer. And loads of bears there, obv.
(Why the video? Well Diplo was taking the piss out of the new DP album and posted this video as what it sounds like. It’s not far off – talkbox slide guitar? TOO FUTURE. I want more like this!)
You won’t have heard, but Daft Punk have an album out. I know! Who knew? But it’s been an interesting ride – tracking how those who expected Discovery V 2.0 (*cough* sorry that was Human After All, and we all know how that worked out…), and those who are open to hearing something new from the robots. I must say I was surprised when I first heard the first track ‘Give Life Back to Music’ – I was wondering ‘where is this going?’ but the second track got me, ‘The Game Of Love’. Organic, laid-back, but also like one of my favourite DP tracks ‘Something About Us‘ it made perfect sense in the DaftWorld, but also was new. Which is why I don’t completely understand the haterade – yes it’s jazz funk in places, surprisingly so, in a sort of Michael McDonnell/Dave Axelrod/LA Yachtrock fashion – but if you ever looked up their influences you’d see it was all mapped out, from the Casablanca 1978 Chic-ism to the dirty funk and jazz chords.
What I do understand is the problem with DJs – in fact the subtitle for this post is ‘Why I Am Not A DJ’ which seemed a little to self-referential but it’s why I have problems being part of the group, and also the current state of EDM/French touch/electro house. The laugh about DJs being ‘tastemakers’ is that really they are some of the most reactionary group going, if it’s not ‘electro bollocks’ and uptempo, many of them don’t want to know. The electro/EDM ghetto is real, and I’m not surprised Daft Punk want to escape it, given that recently the likes of Aviici, Guetta, Skrillex and co. have taken over the asylum and pissed over all of the heritage for profit. As Moroder said in the Collaborators video, they had to go back to go forward. Self indulgent in places (FFS jazz-funk IS self-indulgent, as it most of that Yachtrock genre) but necessary. They made the album you need not the album you want.
And that’s another point – they self-funded this project, alluding to times when disco artists could suddenly record a soul album, or a funk instrumental album about plants (Sylvester and Stevie Wonder, stand up please). But market niches and demographics have destroyed that innovation, that creativity. Sad thing is people are so used to having their music in easy to digest fast-food packages that even the DJs have become inculturated – rather than leading them into new (or old, but relevant) areas, the mantra of ‘give em what they want’ has become king.
The reaction to the DP album tends to underscore something that’s really bothered me about electronic music over the last 10-20 years – the one that electronic music MUST be danceable, or it’s some IDM niche, that the tyranny of the dancefloor must happen otherwise the DJs get all huffy. Daft Punk have just done this in reverse – I remember certain DJs being ultrasniffy about Hot Chip’s first LP, or The Presets first LP. ‘You can’t dance to it’ ‘Not electro enough’. No, but in the case of Hot Chip it was genius soulful Prince-meets-Putney songs. Songs to fall in love to and with, a British response to the American sexual bravado, adding loneliness and melancholia and irony back in. But when they had a surprise hit with ‘Over and Over’ they got shoe-horned into being ‘dance’ – and the same happened with Presets after the Cut Copy remix of ‘The Girl and the Sea’…Given this kind of commercial pressure to be a ‘dance act’ and ply electro-house twaddle to the masses, can you blame pretty much all exponents of this genre going and doing something else? (In fact people have said DP is doing a ‘Justice’ but I see it Justice already blew that open with their first album, by then the writing was on the wall for electro-house).
Also amazed some have very short memories – I remember the people who loved Homework HATING Discovery, which sounds strange now since it’s become such a benchmark for a perfect album, a mix of electronic dance and soul and pop. But they did. For the record I never got the love or ‘classic’ tag for Homework – Around the World is an amazing song, Da Funk was revolutionary for the times if sounding a little tired now, and Teachers is a wonderful namecheck which LCD Soundsystem cribbed like crazy – but the rest reminds me of the problem of ‘dance’ albums in the 90′s, which where more a collection of singles going bosh bosh bosh than any real flow or soul. Discovery has songs you can *love* without any pills, as does Random Access Memories. Hard to love the endless technowank likes of ‘Indo Silver Club’, it just bored me in 1997 when I taped about 4 tracks off it, and it bores me now – a good reminder that the majority of music to dance to is necessarily disposable and for the club *only* – it’s home is not on an album. Unless it’s 20 Club Bangers!!!! or something from K-Tel that saves you a few bob, but doesn’t have any pretension to any form of narrative or flow…I mean contrast it with the likes of Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Better Living From Chemistry’ also I think from 1997 – there’s a real humour and soul, and also diversity on that album, and a new genre (big beat) whereas Gusto had been caning that disco-’french’ touch sound for aeons along with a few others…it wasn’t new to me, apart from the singing robots on ‘Around…’.
Not saying all of the Random Access Memories album is great, I could happily lose the Todd Edwards track (why?) or Instant Crush, although the latter is growing on me and some of the tracks are overlong – but Touch – a Daft Punk Muppets in Space filmic epic about depersonalisation and love – has Paul Williams on it, and singing children, and the sort of oompah Disney music you’d expect from that – so wrong, but it still works within Daft Punk’s world. And shows you what they were trying to say on Human After All but the machines got in the way – that robots have feelings too.