Re: more techno music/transhuman art

James Rogers (
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 18:04:42 -0800

At 12:27 AM 12/12/96 +0100, you wrote:

>James Rogers <> wrote:
>>I don't know if you could do the same with a $1500 budget, but I suppose you
>>could come close if you really worked your equipment. I've seen people do
>>amazing stuff on a very minimalist setup. I don't generally consider Ace of
>>Base to be quality music anyway (from a musical standpoint).
>In what way is it not 'quality' music ? It's produced well, it feels good,
>it works on a dancefloor and sells well!. I have none of their
>records, as they are not 'my cup of tea', but i try to remain as open minded
>toward music as i try to be to things in general. What is musical ? I assume
>you are not refering to the purely technical musical when you define
>'quality' as your choice of other (techno) bands are not on a higher level
>(bands which by the way i find more pleasing than ace of base). So you view
>quality in experimentalism, much like me, many others have different ways of
>looking at it. In its style/genre, Ace of Base IS quality music, i'd like to
>hear anyone can deny that without involving their personal taste in music.

Selling well doesn't qualify music as "quality". I cringe when I think
about some of the music that has sold well over the years. I was defining
"quality" in a technical sense. I would submit that on a technical level
(musically), that Ace of Base is a very average band in its genre with few
outstanding features. I recognize that some of the music *I* like is
technically mediocre, and am fine with that. But I won't ever claim that it
is "quality" or "great" music simply because I like it.

By technical quality, I guess I am referring to the level of musical talent
required to produce the music. The music Ace of Base puts out did not
require a terribly large amount of musical talent, IMO. This doesn't mean
its not very likeable music, but that musically it is nothing special.
Admittedly, Ace of Base is not my "cup of tea", but this has little to do
with my evaluation. There are many genres of music that I don't
particularly like, but which contain bands who have great musical talent. I
like to think that musically I have an open mind and my collection of music
does contain bands from almost every genre.

I suppose that part of this is my upbringing. I have a few family members
and relatives who were professional musicians (orchestral), and I studied
music from the ages of 4 thru 14. I have a tendency to evaluate music on a
technical level. In fact, I often consider the lyrics to be secondary to
the music. The upshot of this is that my judgements often appear correct to
music snobs, but incorrect to the more average person because my musical
values were created by music snobs.

>another trivial detail:
>J saul Kane is back as Octagon Man these days, making 'new electro', (the
>music industry hasn't involved itself in the new style yet, so there's no
>'real' name for it yet), basically it's the latest split-off of techno
>combining new sounds with 'retro eighties' (disco, electro, ebm, industrial)
>rhythms and structures. Those of you who don't follow the music closely,
>will hear more about it in say ...four years or so. :-( ,As the music
>industries first attempts to 'launch' it, failed last year, and they seem to
>have lost interest for now. (wrong choice of name: 'electro' was not 'new'
>and hype enough)

I heard about this, but I haven't had the opportunity to listen to it yet.

>max m wrote:
>>It's amazing how many people spend a lot of money on gear and then never do
>>anything with it.
>It's also amazing how many people make hits with only an amiga... Ofcourse
>they won't tell the press, they'll just say they build their own synths or

Well, this statement might be pushing the threshold a little bit. Very few
people are making "hits" with only an amiga. Although those machines were
way ahead of their time in terms of their audio capabilities, you can only
weasel so much horsepower out of them. Still I have great respect the
people who try. I think part of it is how much you expect out of the
machine. If you are willing to work within the limits of the machine,
you're okay. I wish more audio centric computers and software would become
available (or maybe I should design one myself!) because I have yet to find
a machine that can do all the things with sound that I want it to do. Synth
architectures seem to be stuck in a rut.

-James Rogers