All The More Reason


Knowing the rules of the game
January 20, 2007, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Language, Uncategorized

This is Squarepusher. On his page one can read his philosophy. Here’s the opening line.

“I, Squarepusher, hold the view that the influence of the structural aspect of music making is in general underestimated. By structural aspect, I refer to the machinery of music making eg: acoustic and electric instruments, computers, electronic processing devices etc.”

In other words, the way in which electronic music, and music in general, is made has a far greater influence on the end result and its artists than people normally take for granted. For example, electronic music has gone from the use of physical synthesizers and digital tape to nowadays almost everything being done within the confines of a computer.

Extending this analogy, clearly the discussion of politics has also gone through a similar change with the emergence of the blogosphere. I’m sure that many a piece has been written on the changes to politics that have arrived due to this change. One wonders what changes the blogosphere has had on the individuals who participate in it, who perhaps in the past worked more with a real printing press and real ink.

Jonathan Smith

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53 Comments so far
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David T from Harry’s Place gave an interesting talk a while back where he argued that they are basically performing the role of the Millean ‘free market in ideas’. Anyone who posts on a well read blog will soon find their thoughts critically sliced and diced. Proponents of both sides of the argument may not end up in agreement, but their opinions will almost certainly alter as a result of the dispute. That is the intrinsic value of argument, and the internet allows this to flourish to an extent that has never happened (in print) before.

Comment by Michael P

I don’t know much about dance music, but I imagine that a lot of people are attracted to Squarepusher’s music because his approach is original and results in exciting sounds and ideas (even if those sounds and ideas sound like car alarm sirens fed through fax machines).

Interestingly, a lot of what you might call ‘rootsy’ bands, who wear their influences – and, hence, their unoriginality- on their sleeves (e.g. the White Stripes) have taken a similar view to Squarepusher and felt that the modern processes of recording and production are inimical to the end result that they wish to achieve. That’s why one of the fastest growing places to record music in London is an entirely analogue recording studio called Toe Rag Productions. I have a certain amount of sympathy with the view: a lot of rock/alternative music nowadays sounds rather too ‘clinical’ (it’s the only way I can describe it- everything is too crisp and ‘airbrushed’). I guess this lends itself more readily to dance music which has precision as its essence.

Comment by Michael P

I think that’s what’s so exciting about some of these internet debates and blogs. If one is really willing to throw out an idea, then that means one’s willing to have that idea refuted. It requires one to stay sharp. The wild west aspect of a lot of this is awesome.

Comment by J.S.

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
Are we safer today than we were before?
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

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