Thursday, December 23, 2004

Get Low, Take Me Higher

I always feel a tinge of music-nerd 'finger on the pulse' panic (coupled with 'I am engaged in our vibrant local culture' guilt) that I'm missing some incredible strange new wonderful thing when I listen to CDs in the car instead of the radio. Every now and then I actually encounter something that justifies all those jabs at the FM button. A couple days ago I heard (what I can only assume is) a local track with a recognizably afro-house feel (I'm gonna struggle here articulating just what it is that I recognize here - slower than regular house, maybe syncopated handclaps sometimes? My utter ignorance when it comes to music theory really makes this writing thing difficult sometimes), but with trance chords and undeniably trance emotionalism! It made me think of what Jess said about 2004's Electro whitewash, re: the exorcisism of recognizably 'black' (funk, soul) influence from house (the default characteristics of.. at least most afro-house)(not to be confused with kwaito btw). That's not a reading that can be neatly mapped onto the local scene - electro, as far as I can tell, has never had much of an impact here (deep house is largely our dance music of choice, right?), but it makes for interesting thinking.

So why then us uplifting saw-wavey candy-ravey stuff suddenly getting let into the club? (even if what I heard on the radio was but one lone trespass, it seems significant). Dunno. One not very plausible theory: Lil Jon's euro-synth production tics having agitated a new definition of 'urban' music that's open enough to include one note riff hands-in-the-air (and once antiseptically white) euphoric cheeze?

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