Monday, July 18, 2016

The Definite Article

What I like to feel are dubby, groovy, linear beats within which worlds collide. However, once in the mix it can be boring when it’s too smooth.  I don’t believe in obvious eclecticism as the best can mix it up and make it all sound like it’s always belonged together. Someone whose mixes I’ve been digging for a long time is John Osborn. There’s a tranced-out depth to what he puts together which never gets cheesy and raises the bar as far as fleshing out the minimal aesthetic is concerned. JoeyAnderson continues to move in a very singular direction production-wise, and from what I’ve heard of his sets is pushing a similar sound to any dance floor lucky enough to host him. One thing I should take the time to state is that I haven’t been out clubbing for quite some time. This is partially the result of getting older, but more about not being able to find anyone to go out with. There’s no way I’d be going out every week anyway, but I’d definitely be up for it once in a while. I’m a bit out of the loop these days, and writing this stuff keeps me sane. Whether anyone reads it or not is an added bonus.

It’s a real indication of how backward I can sometimes be when I still think that in order to be the consummate electronic music artist/DJ/both one has to be a rampant hedonist. Drugs have always been of interest to me, and I can’t imagine my life without them close at hand in some way, shape or form (The Amazing Kreskin). However, I’m finding out relatively late on that I can’t be doing with them much anymore. As far as a lifestyle choice is concerned they’re quite dated and overused. I’ll always have a stash, just to know it’s there, but dipping into it will be for special occasions only, normally when I’m on my own, or with those I haven’t been with for a while. It’s no longer the case that I think people are so preternaturally talented that they can just turn it on and off when they want without having to have done shitloads of hard work first. I suppose I’m connecting narcotics with the creative process more than anything else, under the auspices of them enhancing creativity under the correct conditions. It’s OK for bluffers, this approach, but not for real artists, whose work is their life. It was Chuck Close who said “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. ... “Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” This is the real nirvana.

Anyway, I digress. Trying to imagine the relationship, or dichotomy between relative sloth and genius can be difficult. We began by talking about certain artists/DJs and the music they play, more than what they make. And what’s often been notable when describing the approaches of artists who are also DJs is the difference between the music they make, and what they play out. I interviewed Derrick Carter in 2000 and asked him why this was often the case with him and he said “ . . . because making records and playing records are really two separate things that operate in two separate halves of my brain.” I’m not sure how it is for everyone, as Carter is one of that rare breed who excels at both production and playing. Elongated sets though, of the type I started this post with, are the stock-in-trade of a lot of what various areas of the dance music media have labelled diggers, as if anyone playing records isn’t in some capacity. The past is being plundered in a sort of Northern Soul style. I have the impression I’m repeating previous posts now, but isn’t the resuscitation of obscure releases precisely what used to put the feet on the floor at The Wigan Casino, and others? It’s all about what hasn’t been heard before, forgotten, or just better than what is currently being released. DJ Guy, who I interviewed last year, is a case in point when it comes to production. His releases still come, (as far as I know), from dusty boxes of tapes, etc, which he’s kept in quarantine for the last twenty years or so. Whether they would have made an impression when they were first recorded we’ll never know, but they definitely stand out now.

The nub of this cosmic gibberish is that spontaneity is all very well, but it’s all down to expertise in the end. Chancers will always get found out as there’s no substitute for passion. It can manifest itself in any way possible, and while one always deserves a bit of luck, I don’t really believe it exists, no matter how hard I cross my fingers at times. It’s down to a set of random coincidences, the type of which will always be possible due to the vast amount of disparate happenings. House is a feeling, but not everyone has it. Not anyone can be a DJ, despite what people say, but those who are and who get noticed live and breath it, even those who play crap. We’re talking about a many layered cake here, not all of it tasty.

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