Re: Techno, ahem, Electronic music

Guru George (
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 19:23:24 GMT

> >From: Ray Peck <rpeck@PureAtria.COM>
> But techno seemed, to me, to adopt the "electronic" sound as a fetish,
> affectation, attitude or nostalgia thing. And, it all seems 120 beats per
> minute, 4/4, one or two chords to me, no matter how much filter "eer-
> err-oor-oop" and strange sampled vocals are going on.
Speaking as a techno musician, of both house and drum&bass genres, I
have to say that you are quite right about techno not being experimental
in a sense. Modern techno music is a quite narrowly constrained genre.
All the sounds, fx, etc., are designed with people in mind who are out of
their trees on drugs. There is a selection pressure that comes from the
dance floor, via the DJ, to the music-makers, that drives us to copy what
other people are doing that works on the dance floor.

But then, you see, techno is not art music, it is music that does a job
of work - to get people who are out of their heads as high as possible
and get them moving.

That said, what moves the genre forward *is* experimentation. There's a
cost/benefit thing here: if I experiment too much outside the acceptable
aural canon then I run the risk of not selling records; if I don't
experiment enough, then there's nothing fresh in my record, and again, I
run the risk of not selling records. If I get it right, then my
experiment becomes part of the canon.

The whole thing is a beautiful example of 1) the free market at work,
and 2) the aesthetic notion that great art comes from tightly circumscribed
art forms, not rule-less free-form 'self-expression'.