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Has Electronic Music Lost Track Of The Future?
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #91
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🎧 5 years
I think maybe there was a purity of intent with some of the original electronic music people partly because the fashion or crowd element wasn't really there. If you're pioneering something with any significant level of dedication it's pretty much default that you're going to think about it and really feel it and feel for it. You're likely doing it cause it excites you in a way meaningful enough to dedicate a good part of your life and psychic emotional landscape to it, not because you're being swept up by the crowd or promises of fame and fortune or sex, because those connections haven't been well established. If it's been around a good while and it's even kind of trendy in a way, on the whole percentage wise there's probably gonna be less of a long view or an inclination to daydream of possibilities or secret meaning and more of an inclination to ride a fun though relatively superficial, thriving present status quo. The initial fringe exploratory element eventually gives way to a well defined establishment and yet another option for belonging to a relatively comfortable and static enterprise.

And maybe it was more about the future then cause it was very much the future, if not in the romantic or intellectual sense, certainly in the practical, as most popular music now incorporates electronic elements to one degree or the other. So in that sense maybe it's not about the future anymore cause it's become the present.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #92
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by memristor ➡️
This sounds so 1999.
It's 2014 already.

Compare music/culture of 1983 to music of 1968.
Two eras seperated by at least 2 other eras.

Why do you think it's a masterpiece? In what regards?
It sounds retro, not future, in 2014. At least to me.
This was released in 2003. A break in the clouds and the forthcoming releases on Border Community where absoultely groundbreaking at that time, no one was doing that sound. It was like a big middle finger to what was hot at the moment. That's why I refer to his music as futuristic.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #93
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🎧 10 years
Yet another point of view for this thread: it was actually the tools that created a genre. Like Les Paul created rock 'n' roll, Bob Moog created electronic music. If you were rich enough to buy a Moog modular you were already halfway there being a legend. Today it would be much harder. Urs (of U-he) might be legendary too or maybe the Native Instruments crew. But I don't think they're groundbreaking yet. Of course it has something to do with musicians too but you get the point. If you get really cynical you could say that it's the guys with dominant left brain activity selling dreams to other guys dreaming with their right side of the brain
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #94
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ ➡️
This is a great thread.
Interesting how today, electronic musicians want older gear to create there so called new sound. I would think musicians from the 70's and 80's would be very sad that this has happened. I understand older musicians wanting to recapture that feeling of their past buy re-buying old synths or buying old synths that they could not afford in their youth. But remember back then this gear was cutting edge. Where is the innovation now?
Once one discovers older synths one realizes that many were designed to be instruments first, with all the physicality and history that entails. An entire generation moved away from this (myself included) thinking it was the future. It wasn't. It was a marketing scam. Musicians are slowly re-discovering what electronic instruments are / can be. Interface, physicality, gesture, imperfection, costly, craft etc.

I'm not trying to say that hardware is the only future. But I can't help rolling my eyes every time I see a new software subtractive synth. Is innovation really me staring at a tablet, dragging my fingers across a flat screen? Staring at a laptop on stage? A bunch of clever algorithms that try to produce my music for me?

I think the innovative thing about what is going on now, is that companies are figuring out better ways to tap into a growing class of laptop based amateur musician who experiences music culture by buying and re-producing. For these re-producers, instant gratification and ease of use is key. Quickly achieving sounds of the past, current idols, all with a few mouse clicks. This is where the money is. Software as entertainment.

Despite this there are incredible instruments being built. I think DSI is on the right track, even though people bitch about it. Lots of modular stuff, analog digital hybrids... It's a fantastic time to be a synth person. If you want a speculative future, read the conference proceedings from NIME. (or better yet attend!)
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #95
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal ➡️
I think part of the problem is every teenage boys dog has a synth now and plays it in their hipster band.
That's a good thing. In means they're participating in making music. Wether their music is any good or not is by the by. There's nothing wrong with having a go.

If I had the means then I'd send a synth to every pensioner as well to see what they can summon up in their last quarter. A creative life is a rich life. A life spent polishing your car is a barren one.

A problem with music of the future is that there is no longer music history in the conventional sense. Now that we have access to such a colossal wealth of music, anything that you haven't heard from a period in time and culture is going to be new to you. I've been getting into Moldovian folk music lately and it sounds fresh to me (some of those musicians are funky old dudes).

Another thing is that any changes are going to occur in ever smaller leaps now so much has been covered. And there's such an abundance of material in so many different styles all jostling for attention that putting our faith in some new sonic supernova is rather misplaced. We could stop writing music today and it would still take us our entire lives to work through just a fraction of what's been produced if we only heard each work once.

I'm rambling a bit here, but I don't think there will be much in the way of innovation in the future in music alone. I think future innovation lies in its alliance with other arts and activities. Maybe there will be synth hover boards that react to what you're gliding over. You realise that certain surfaces create particular sounds, height adjusts pitches ("wrong D-Beam McFly!") etc, so you compose pieces based around the terrain. I don't know, but it will, as ever, be interesting.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #96
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Lepper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
This.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TremblingLarry ➡️
I think maybe there was a purity of intent with some of the original electronic music people partly because the fashion or crowd element wasn't really there. If you're pioneering something with any significant level of dedication it's pretty much default that you're going to think about it and really feel it and feel for it. You're likely doing it cause it excites you in a way meaningful enough to dedicate a good part of your life and psychic emotional landscape to it, not because you're being swept up by the crowd or promises of fame and fortune or sex, because those connections haven't been well established.
And this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TremblingLarry ➡️
And maybe it was more about the future then cause it was very much the future, if not in the romantic or intellectual sense, certainly in the practical, as most popular music now incorporates electronic elements to one degree or the other. So in that sense maybe it's not about the future anymore cause it's become the present.
I watch this doc every few months:



I just can't seem to get enough of it and I find it so inspiring.

For those who can't be bothered to watch all 90 minutes, the upshot is that the late 70s/early 80s British electronic, post-punk pioneers were inspired to record the future, as envisioned by JG Ballard, with the first of the available consumer synths and drum machines (Korg Micro-preset, 700S, Linndrum). Ballard is nothing if not dystopian, so the argument that visions of the future were much more positive back in the day simply doesn't wash with me.

Personally, I see the future as something from Ghost in the Shell. That world seems much more balanced than those postulated by proponents of the mass-extinction/apocalypse scenario. Particularly, the augmentation of the human body with technology, the obvious contemporary example being the Motorola password tattoo. That fictional universe also infers the type of influence the rich exert on present day reality and the shift of world governments towards right-wing politics.

As for artists who are envisioning the future, I can't think of very many. I suspect that, as someone already stated somewhere upthread, the dearth of decent science fiction, both written and filmed, is leading to an inspiration deficit. We're all (myself included) more inspired by the past visions of the future (Bladerunner, Asimov, early William Gibson) than the current "visions".

Perhaps, to get us all going, someone could suggest some contemporary futurists? Who's writing good sci-fi nowadays?
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #97
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Hollowman9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepper ➡️
Who's writing good sci-fi nowadays?
Richard K. Morgan
John Scalzi
Greg Bear
Arthur C. Clark
Julie E. Czerneda
David Drake
Orson Scott Card
Neil Gaiman
Joe Haldeman
William Gibson
Julian May
Neal Stephenson
Ian McDonald
....shall I go on?
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #98
Deleted 38a4a95
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 ➡️
Richard K. Morgan
John Scalzi
Greg Bear
Arthur C. Clark
Julie E. Czerneda
David Drake
Orson Scott Card
Neil Gaiman
Joe Haldeman
William Gibson
Julian May
Neal Stephenson
Ian McDonald
....shall I go on?
The stress was on good and on nowadays
Though I haven't read each and all on the list
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
I guess I have always thought of industrial as being the music in the future, as depressing and bleak as that may sound. It is like electronic punk for a dystopian society.
It's almost timeless too. I think it's time it comes back around too!

Im thinking more early era industrial, not the dance music it evolved into.

Then again my opinion is biased. Clock dva, f.l.a., front 242, ministry...all still in rotation over here.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #100
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Lepper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 38a4a95 ➡️
The stress was on good and on nowadays
Indeed.

Only three people in that list were born after 1960.

Although, I will be checking Richard Morgan.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #101
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 38a4a95 ➡️
The stress was on good and on nowadays
OK, I'll plug Neal Stephenson again, and specifically recommend Anathem (2008) -- it's a great novel, thought-provoking and fun.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #102
Deleted 38a4a95
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf ➡️
OK, I'll plug Neal Stephenson again, and specifically recommend Anathem (2008) -- it's a great novel, thought-provoking and fun.
I still have to read this and Diamond Dogs
I've read some others including his latest which is a somewhat boring thriller, no SicFi, full of cliches.

Bruce Sterling has also written some stuff that seems to be relevant for our age,
but also a while ago, and, after I've discovered his tumblr and Wired blog I have to say I get the impression his become some kind of, what ever. Like as if he's author in residence for the CIA or something. Lot's of stupid anti Russian sentiments and stuff like that. Naive Maidan desaster tourist selfies.
Naive technology reports.

But I guess I have to take that back about no good authors anymore, it seems unfair, and SciFi is such a broad genre anyways
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #103
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Lepper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf ➡️
OK, I'll plug Neal Stephenson again, and specifically recommend Anathem (2008) -- it's a great novel, thought-provoking and fun.
Really??! I couldn't get through it. 200 pages in and nothing happens.

Cryptonomicon was good, tho.
Old 7th August 2014
  #104
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SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
synths were futuristic instruments back then - hence used for future sounding music...also as someone said I agree - that the idea of the future was much more prominent thanks to the advances in technology...

but at the end of the day - they are just instruments like the others...you use them to make music not just be futuristic...

I dont think JMJ and his vision is neccessarily the right 'track' in the first place - just 'a' track - of the times...
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #105
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepper ➡️
Really??! I couldn't get through it. 200 pages in and nothing happens.
You quit just about when things start to happen. A lot happens after that, and you come to realize the first part was necessary to set the stage.

Quote:
Cryptonomicon was good, tho.
Yep.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #106
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Lepper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➡️
synths were futuristic instruments back then - hence used for future sounding music
This is why I have such high hopes for the Modulus 002. It looks and sounds like the first forward-thinking synth for some time.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #107
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepper ➡️
This is why I have such high hopes for the Modulus 002. It looks and sounds like the first forward-thinking synth for some time.
My high hopes are pinned on LinnStrument (and the like). I think the controller part of the synth world has lagged behind the sound generation technology, and that a different more expressive interface might lead to different styles of music. For that matter, different styles of synths: I think too many synth engines are designed around the limitations of traditional keyboards.
Old 7th August 2014
  #108
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Future is NOW
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #109
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Hollowman9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by memristor ➡️
I still have to read this and Diamond Dogs
I've read some others including his latest which is a somewhat boring thriller, no SicFi, full of cliches.

Bruce Sterling has also written some stuff that seems to be relevant for our age,
but also a while ago, and, after I've discovered his tumblr and Wired blog I have to say I get the impression his become some kind of, what ever. Like as if he's author in residence for the CIA or something. Lot's of stupid anti Russian sentiments and stuff like that. Naive Maidan desaster tourist selfies.
Naive technology reports.

But I guess I have to take that back about no good authors anymore, it seems unfair, and SciFi is such a broad genre anyways
Along with Sterling I'd have to add Bradbury. It is a wonder to me how much his writings form the 1950s are so very insightful into our modern times. He was ahead of his time for sure.

Of more recent authors I have to say Morgan is my favorite right now, followed by Bear and Scalzi. They are all brilliant. Bear's stuff is very intelligent "high" sci-fi with futures so well resolved and so far flung it is tough ot wrap my head around at times. I like his way of painting these gorgeous utopian future societies and then whittling away at their cracks until they crumble.
Old 7th August 2014
  #110
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pinkerton's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think autechre deserves a mention here. their stuff is always futuristic and forward, IMO.
Old 7th August 2014 | Show parent
  #111
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preston135 ➡️
the way how i see the future... the film idiocracy sums it right up.

do you think the internet makes dumb people smart?
I did when I was younger but I was so very very wrong. Yes you can have great communities, and the internet can be a great educational resource with things like wikipedia, Youtube, Google Scholar, and so on. But it can also bring out the worst in people. I was big into the internet early on in the 1990s (wrote a tech book about it, worked for a pioneering email software company), consulted or pitched to lots of existing companies about the coming digital revolution and I thought that if all newspapers etc. could have reader comments on articles and so on it would lead to a sort of democracy version 2, in which the wisest arguments would rise to the top. Turns out my extremely optimistic view of human nature was deeply mistaken

So even at a personal level I'm a lot more skeptical of techno-utopias than I was 20 years ago; nowadays I feel our technological ability grows a great deal faster than our ethical or social skills. Overall I still feel optimistic about the future (in terms of science and technology) but with the awareness that when we have new opportunities we create new problems. So for example I don't worry about evil artificial intelligence taking over the world terminator-style, but I do think that when recognizable AI appears, which is not very far away, there will be a strong social divide with some kinds of socially conservative people trying to outlaw or restrict it.
Old 7th August 2014
  #112
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🎧 5 years
Stephen Baxter.
Old 8th August 2014 | Show parent
  #113
BM0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anigbrowl ➡️
I did when I was younger but I was so very very wrong. Yes you can have great communities, and the internet can be a great educational resource with things like wikipedia, Youtube, Google Scholar, and so on. But it can also bring out the worst in people. I was big into the internet early on in the 1990s (wrote a tech book about it, worked for a pioneering email software company), consulted or pitched to lots of existing companies about the coming digital revolution and I thought that if all newspapers etc. could have reader comments on articles and so on it would lead to a sort of democracy version 2, in which the wisest arguments would rise to the top. Turns out my extremely optimistic view of human nature was deeply mistaken

So even at a personal level I'm a lot more skeptical of techno-utopias than I was 20 years ago; nowadays I feel our technological ability grows a great deal faster than our ethical or social skills. Overall I still feel optimistic about the future (in terms of science and technology) but with the awareness that when we have new opportunities we create new problems. So for example I don't worry about evil artificial intelligence taking over the world terminator-style, but I do think that when recognizable AI appears, which is not very far away, there will be a strong social divide with some kinds of socially conservative people trying to outlaw or restrict it.
You and I think alike. I too was once optimistic about the Internet back when I was the typical geek exploring this, then new, cyber world. I gained a great deal of knowledge that I otherwise probably would not have and I still do. Back then, I could never have predicted what Internet has become for the majority of its use. Data mining of people, Social media obsession, YouTube, opinion based "news", whatever it takes to get popularity...that whole thing. It is just not what I saw in the Internet. Not surprising that is how it turned how in retrospect. And yes, I also completely agree that technology/computers is so far advanced beyond the average people that use it, which is a dangerous thing. Highly intelligent people are behind these technologies, and when you have that type of power, you will have corruption.
I do not have such optimism about the future, at least right now. I do not see a terminator-like world in the future as it was in the film, but I can see robots become very prevalent one day and people becoming far too dependent on them which would be dangerous. Again, intelligent people are behind the software that run these technologies, and with that power. I personally don't trust one particular highly-intelligent Internet corporation that I'm sure I do not need to name.
My true feeling is that a "reset" will occur, before we see some futuristic utopian society. Something extremely catastrophic will occur setting civilization back decades or centuries for many years. This may either be natural or man caused.
Old 8th August 2014
  #114
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
everything is fukked because human brain the way it is cannot handle the technology and info onslaught. until genetic engineering begins evolving the species into creatures that would be totally alien to human of today but thoroughly adapted to handling and absorbing technology and info, the people of today are headed for severe nervous breakdown and all that will affect society. its gonna be real bad before it gets any better
Old 8th August 2014 | Show parent
  #115
227861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
You and I think alike. I too was once optimistic about the Internet back when I was the typical geek exploring this, then new, cyber world. I gained a great deal of knowledge that I otherwise probably would not have and I still do. Back then, I could never have predicted what Internet has become for the majority of its use. Data mining of people, Social media obsession, YouTube, opinion based "news", whatever it takes to get popularity...that whole thing. It is just not what I saw in the Internet. Not surprising that is how it turned how in retrospect. And yes, I also completely agree that technology/computers is so far advanced beyond the average people that use it, which is a dangerous thing. Highly intelligent people are behind these technologies, and when you have that type of power, you will have corruption.
I do not have such optimism about the future, at least right now. I do not see a terminator-like world in the future as it was in the film, but I can see robots become very prevalent one day and people becoming far too dependent on them which would be dangerous. Again, intelligent people are behind the software that run these technologies, and with that power. I personally don't trust one particular highly-intelligent Internet corporation that I'm sure I do not need to name.
My true feeling is that a "reset" will occur, before we see some futuristic utopian society. Something extremely catastrophic will occur setting civilization back decades or centuries for many years. This may either be natural or man caused.
Like I said...greed. Data mining, advertising online, native advertising in news stories.....all greed. Everything is transformed and technology adjusts to this greed. It contains and uses technology for this. Sad. Social media, in the end, to make a buck for the creator. Google, in the end to make millions / billions for the creators and the company.
Old 8th August 2014 | Show parent
  #116
227861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
My true feeling is that a "reset" will occur, before we see some futuristic utopian society. Something extremely catastrophic will occur setting civilization back decades or centuries for many years. This may either be natural or man caused.
totally agree with this. Thinking more like privacy exposures, hacking breakins, viruses, cyberwarfare will probably cause this.
Old 8th August 2014
  #117
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ionian's Avatar
 
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The phones get smarter and the people get dumber.
Old 8th August 2014 | Show parent
  #118
BM0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 ➡️
Like I said...greed. Data mining, advertising online, native advertising in news stories.....all greed. Everything is transformed and technology adjusts to this greed. It contains and uses technology for this. Sad. Social media, in the end, to make a buck for the creator. Google, in the end to make millions / billions for the creators and the company.
I find greed to be a product of power, which power comes from knowledge and wisdom. I think you would agree that many people are not driven by greed from the beginning. Yeah, some are born into it, but good, highly-intelligent people can become corrupt.
Most people go through a time of reflection at some point. Could you imagine living such a life, with such power and influence and then at one point look yourself in the mirror and ask, am I a good person to my fellow man?
Old 8th August 2014
  #119
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🎧 5 years
Technology has enabled mankind to evolve from Dumb & Dumber to Idiocracy. Huge steps.
Old 8th August 2014 | Show parent
  #120
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🎧 15 years
There is a lot of technology coming out right now that is pretty awe-inspiring. Some of it is almost like science fiction becoming reality. Not necessarily computer-related (much of it is, of course).

Honestly it seems like not so many people care. The USA doesn't even participate in World Expos any more, which is terribly sad.

I might be wrong, but there is no equivalent to Phillip K. Dick or J.G. Ballard now - no one to inspire or horrify artists into creating a movement as we've seen in the past. Stevenson? No way. If he was at that level we'd already have seen a movement inspired by his work.

At the same time, music technology today is anything but futuristic. Probably because there is not enough money to be made in the music industry any more to put a lot of R&D into new designs. Also I remember Roger Linn talking about how difficult it is these days to introduce something new and different into the market, which was not the case in the past.

All these things have had an impact... but I think the pendulum will swing the other way eventually. I don't think the internet or computers are the end of the evolution of technology, not at all... too much focus there I think... let's face it, a computing device is by its very nature, kind of boring. Nor do I think that rehashing the past will continue to dominate music forever, especially not electronic music. Eventually there will be a backlash, and where to go but towards the future?
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