if it were not for this coming together of styles, cultures, and peoples, industrial and house music would never have happened. (no vnv nation- boo- fucking- hoo.) if black guys in detroit hadn't been listening to kraftwerk, new wave, funk, disco, and the surreal and diverse music of nyc circa late 70's , early 80's it would have meant no techno, no moon boots, no revival of 'goth' as german S/M disco anime Hot Topic themed freak show by the late '90's.
trying to inventory all my music has given rise to the nagging insistence that it has to be pigeonholed, each release filed away as being this or that. every database for music demands an entry into an often predetermined set of genres and their limited, often nonsense, subsets. so neat. so tidy. so irrelevant to a large portion of the dance music being played in clubs for nearly the entire decade of the 80's. it's the 90's that gave rise to the splintering into warring sound tribes, producing a million different sub-genres of largely crappy, repetitive popular musics and underground 'dance music' abstracted into airy nothing( which some like to call ambient, IDM or trance) ,random nob twiddling best reserved for the electronics lab or the museum. a re-branded new age drone , post modern EZ-listening.
by the late 90's, when trance threatened to zonk us all into waking comas, i was pretty much a decade over that sort of sound. having lived through the electronics revolutions of the 70s and 80s and spun for those heady days of acid house meets industrial meets early techno meets high camp, i just was not feeling it any more. having graduated high school as rap and electro was invading dance floors everywhere, i was so not feeling the gangsta thug with bevy of bitch/'hos money grubbing celebration of violence,ignorance and self genocide that popular rap and hip hop de-evolved into. the irony of how a DIY culture of the inner city that decried the depredations of drugs, institutionalized poverty, and pervasive criminal violence was never apparent to all the getting jiggy with it hoards. suburban american white youth, whose spending habits largely determine the popularity,character,and availability of our entertainment medias, replaced their own home grown negative, destructive patriarchal barbarism with more of the same only of a projected inner city black flava . american blacks energetically distanced themselves from the highly creative, highly expressive hybrid musical genres that had in fact arisen from their culture- house and techno- to celebrate turning self and cultural destruction into a desired lifestyle and only authentic expression of black experience. and we got a lot of cliched, uninspired dance and clubbing music for the better part of a decade. dancing madly backwards with a backdrop of divisiveness, suspicion, and sometimes outright hatred defining and retarding relations amid all the different sub-tribes of the New World whose intertwined, amassed and converged ethnicities have largely defined the tastes of global youth culture since the 60's.
from sly and the family stone, modern funk and soul based dance music may have often reflected concern for the ills of society , its injustices and prejudices, but also celebrated love,respect,freedom, and unity as the sources of the solutions to the many problems. pretty much the best, most worthy of the aspirations we inherited from the hippies and their happenings. that is the ancient magical purpose of dance- union, physical and spiritual. bodily freedom as an expression of spiritual freedom and growth. communication with forces beyond the physical via physical expression . harnessing and transforming the emotional content of what we hear and feel collectively, at once communal and also highly personal.
once a type of musical expression passes from underground fad specific to the quirks and passions of a small group into marketability, it's about selling the optimum amount of drinks and units. promoting only certain material played by certain people for certain people who will behave and look a certain way or else. the dance floor of the 90s was the dance floor asperger's syndrome created- boutiques of those disconnected from others and disinterested in the advancement of consciousness, the spirit of evolution, transcendence, and coming together the late 80's was so keen for, so smitten with. bars like the paradise garage were the last remnants of the spiritual over the soulless consumerism that now defines how we as a society choose to relate to our art forms, selling and buying instead of experiencing.
would the psychedelic poster makers of haight-ashbury circa the summer of love ever have created a poster for a mainstream political figure running for president of the US,especially one who, like nixon, has continued an unpopular war not unlike the one in viet nam ?
that moment where it really is " all about the music" and your own intimate relationship with the music never lasts long. hold on to it while you can. for years i have been hounded by the notion that, because we have turned music into a spectator sport- where fans stand around staring attentively at other people preforming on instruments instead of dancing or, perhaps, playing instruments as well, we have severed our most primal and important relationship to music. music becomes what other people do. we are encouraged not to dance, not to go near the stage, not to interrupt and to vote, eat and use energy the way the artist wants us to. we just consume and do not participate beyond clapping at the correct intervals and purchasing stuff,please, lots of stuff. that modern interactive video games addressing this void have been so successful indicates the need for this manner of fulfillment from music. wouldn't this need perhaps be better, more gainfully satisfied by actually creating music not by virtually experiencing, in essence, only the emotions connected to playing an instrument well before others? or have we redefined our relationship to music where gratification with the least amount of effort, served up as quickly as possible satisfies us ? why don't we want to feel things through the enriching lens of experience and enjoy the fruits of applied efforts toward a goal? why can't we submerge ourselves for more than a moment, for more that a text message, into any form of expression without getting frustrated and bored?
why won't you dance to something you don't know? lord knows what the hippies were hearing through the sensory distortion of LSD and those hippie girls twirled and twirled and twirled. i learned to dance from gays and hippies of that generation . they didn't care what the music was- as long as they felt it.
it's hard to ignore the reemergence of virulent misogyny. from time to time, a cultural sub-set refuses to represent women exclusively as emaciated whores, mere ornaments for malignant female-hating, sociopath narcissists. women not collectively portrayed as seeking validation only via being compliant, largely disposable and inter-changeable receptacles for and of male desire. women maybe not, conversely, reduced to robotic psychotic but still barely clad meat puppets trying to channel klaus nomi and leigh bowery while on a bad angel dust jag.
grade school girls are sold clothing fit for the bargain basement down and out 'ho stroll. neologisms, like 'prostitots', emerge with dismaying rapidity. we're not evolving, we're de-evolving into cruel fairly pointless savagery . companies with the help of media are marketing pedophilia and parents are buying it, robbing children of the right to their innocence and the right to be protected from the depredations of adult sexuality. sexually abused and used children have the alarming habit of growing up into moral and emotional monsters, enslaved to their own destruction, and, sadly, often preying upon others like sexual and psychic vampire cannibals. society is clogged with damaged , destroyed, and betrayed souls who are therefore easily controlled, kept in place through substance and other forms of self abuse.
it's not white skin or the west that invented and continues to subsist and wallow in slavery, it's patriarchy using sex, gender, and sexuality as a weapon against children, females, and homosexuals.
'nasty boys' was written about sexual harassment and the tacit societal approval of unchecked, entitled sexual aggression toward women- rejecting it instead of enshrining it as a sacred right of males and the best indicator from which young women can assess their self worth. ( yes, that's paula abdul, who choreographed all the early miss jackson stuff.). it's all more b-boy, bob fosse, and 'west side story' than thugs, bling, and willing, always available bitches in heat. that is, it's culturally sensate and knowledgeable; fluid and diverse instead of isolated, characterless and rigid within the bombastic hatreds of self and others that thrive in rigidly defined cultures with rigidly defined roles where conformity is enforced and individuality is punished.
janet also looks like a real woman not some sliced up, peeled and powdered stick dolly. and notice how racially diverse the video is.
nasty boys/ janet jackson 1986
we were, however, forced by media and its manipulated marketplace to choose a specific music, a specific set of stifling cultural cliches. the kaleidoscope of styles that technology such as sampling and electronic instrumentation encouraged in the 80's evaporated. stagnation with its soul mates, repression and depression, replicated throughout the media landscape. cultural apartheid is back if full effect. everyone demands to be considered part of society, not to be one of it's outlaws, begging to conform to society's straight jacket as various self professed outre subcultures likewise demand conformity. if love is really the message and freedom the goal,why does any of that matter? belong to life, not to a herd. be anything. be anyone. be no one. be nothing. and dance to whatever makes you feel, and as if you're all alone in the universe- because you are.
the following group of songs- all pulled from my crates- were all created, largely, by the same small group of people. who today equals the quality and diversity of this output? what dance floor has the patience, love, and dedication anymore to take a wild ride through shifting genres?
"cherchez la femme"/ dr. buzzard's original savannah band-1976
"deputy of love"/ don armando's 2nd avenue rhumba band-1979
"there but for the grace of god go i"/machine- 1979(under every single youtube entry for this song there is at least one wit claiming it to be 'racist', proving there are several generations of illiterates clogging up the internets with their typing tourettes. reading without comprehension and hearing in one's native tongue without comprehension. back in the day this song was an anthem in black and latin gay clubs .it is heavily sampled primarily by black musicians. everyone at the time understood it as being against bigotry. it speaks volumes about our world and its race relations that we no longer hear one another but ,rather, are only focused on accusing, belittling, and blaming others irrespective of their actual words and actions.)
marathon runner/ aural exciters-1979
" is that all there is?"/cristina 1980
"me no pop i"/ coati mundi- 1981
endicott/ kid creole and the coconuts 1985
i know there's no way back . still, some songs make me hope there is through feeling that there is someone else, somewhere who still believes, despite all the barriers we erect or falsely perceive between one another.
"jaguar"/ the aztec mystic ( dj rolando)-1999