I interviewed I Sagittariun about four weeks ago. He had quite a few things to say so it was a pleasure, and an easy job, in the end, to get something worthy of publishing out of him. One of the comments which were made in reference to the article though, referred to him as ". . .someone who takes himself way too seriously." Which got me thinking why someone would actually bother posting such a comment in the first place. Being a music and arts lover generally, I've always appreciated the full package, i.e.: the artist living life to the full and the music being just one outlet for expression, hedonism, politics and other areas of the arts being examples of others.
The idea of the artist just making music for the sake of doing so reduces what should be a passion and a search for meaning to a job like any other. Sure, the music may be a collection of loops and a distillation of key influences but it's the creative process and what it is endowed with which counts the most. To have no opinion is to reduce oneself to the level of the journeyman DJ and performer who endlessly tours the globe, living what many believe to be a glamorous life, the reality of which is often the opposite. Rootless and without a scene to latch onto, life is lonelier that it sounds and once locked in a spiral of constantly travelling to gigs, hosting personality-free radio shows which are just recorded mix sessions spewed out from iTunes containing a wedge of new promos in order to satisfy distributors and thus give the impression you are giving your "full support!" because you "will play!" . . . a lack of rigour and detail starts to dominate. I've always found it a little paradoxical that this is often something which affects the older, more stalwart members of this scene. Paradoxical because I would hope that once someone's made shitloads of cash, or at least elevated themselves to s higher level through their music, then they'd do everything they can to keep on evolving.
But as we know that isn't always the case. Richie Hawtin has arguably been the most innovative musician making house and techno over the last twenty five years. Like him or loathe him his influence can't be ignored. What happened though? As a DJ and musician he was always so far ahead of the game, but then came the sell out. His obsession with technology and style over content. Luciano is another, Carl Cox probably hasn't played a decent set since the mid-nineties, Slam really should be churning out much better stuff than they do with all their years of experience . . . But it's not just the old guard either.
The anaesthetised "house sound of today" as pioneered by the international libidinous funk crew and evangelically laid at our feet by them and their cohorts, has stumbled on a winning formula and it's going to get milked it for all it's worth. It's a pity because it could still be so much more. However, it's happier to stay on autopilot rather than go further out on the limb that looked like being explored a little more thoroughly than it actually is. No one can blame it for wanting to purvey a good time and do what it is doing, it's just that there are a lot of worthy characters out there who are just as, if not more talented and not getting what they deserve, Who am I kidding? This is the age of selling yourself and a lot of these guys work their arses off. There's also the vagueness of enjoyment. How can you possibly be enjoying yourself while your music has a message to impart? How can you party while half of Europe is on or below the breadline? (Not to mention most of the world). However, wouldn't it be nice if the impression of caring about something else other than partying was given? Interesting people make the most interesting music. There's a direct correlation that's impossible to fake.