the 2000s: worst era in recorded music?

william_kent

Well-known member
it was the era of "loudness wars", horrible compression to try and make tunes stand out on crappy ear buds

everywhere else we see a push towards better quality ( video: 1080p -> 2K - 4K - 8K, etc ) but with music we have seen a move from the quest for audio perfection / fidelity to "that'll do", "you can't tell the difference between a crappy mp3 and a Wav anyway", etc
 

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
it was the era of "loudness wars", horrible compression to try and make tunes stand out on crappy ear buds

everywhere else we see a push towards better quality ( video: 1080p -> 2K - 4K - 8K, etc ) but with music we have seen a move from the quest for audio perfection / fidelity to "that'll do", "you can't tell the difference between a crappy mp3 and a Wav anyway", etc
yeah, weird isnt it, people want a big fuck off widescreen TV but literally do not give two shits about playing music from a shitty iphone speaker. or if you care about audio quality, youre seen as a relic. all really cos music started to get controlled by tech nerds making the device playing it or later, the platform playing it.
 

Simon silverdollarcircle

Well-known member
did anyone mention 'microhouse' aka 'mnml' yet? all that music out of Germany, Kompakt, Michael Mayer, et al. Now that is some 'moderately diverting at the time', utterly forgotten / forgettable echt-2000s shit if ever there was...
See this is interesting to me because while I can totally see where you're coming from -and a lot of it WAS wallpaper- I still have a massive soft spot for a lot of this stuff, particularly kompakt

In my head it's the last stand, really of truely modernist techno/house that wasn't interested at all, sometimes to a fault, of referencing the past. The last moment too when the weirdos with direct links to the original late 80s rave and techno scenes - Wolfgang voigt, Sven vath etc etc - were still calling the shots before the baton got passed to attractive and well groomed graphic designers in Berlin. A final high water mark when new house and techno records were pushing things forward but still absolutely about dancefloor impact rather than urghh "deconstructed" takes on the dancefloor

Etc etc.

But of course it's not coincidental that I was going out loads in the mid 2000s to this sort of music.

It's almost embarrassingly obvious to say, but your personal golden age of music is always gonna be the music you listened to loads with your mates when you were young and having a wicked time and doing loads of drugs. There's no objective handle you get on this, I don't think, and nor should there be. It's all meshed into the overall moment when you were at your personal peak.

Sorry to bring him into this but this is why I don't buy someone like Joe Muggs. No one can be that enthusiastic about new dance music at 40 years old. It cannot possibly mean to you what it did, you cannot possibly engage with it in a way that makes it mean what it once did. And that's ok, as long as you admit it. Someone like Joe Mugs is invested in claiming that everything is still AMAZING when we know that it is not psychologically possible for it to be so
 
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blissblogger

Well-known member
there's certainly that (being on the floor off your head having adventures, leading to lasting good feelings about a particular era of music)

there's also this thing which I think is true which is that you get "full up". like there's no room for more new stuff. the last few years i have honestly averaged about one new record that I really really love. then there's a slightly bigger but still pretty small category of 'well this is pretty good / interesting'.

(strangely that doesn't apply to older music though - older music, before a certain cut-off point, that i've never heard before, can be admitted. so maybe there's something else going on)

going back to the fond memories of microhouse cos of being off tits... i would have been on the dancefloor with a lot of this stuff, most of the deejays came through NYC where i was living then, but not off tits .... but (and i don't know how it was consumed in UK) one of my memories of it was that it didn't musically inspire much frenzy or abandon in anyone, even its prime constituency. i seem to remember quite a bit of going to smallish clubs and bars where a lot of people were standing around drinking and then some people were frugging in a fairly desultory way
 

luka

Well-known member
See this is interesting to me because while I can totally see where you're coming from -and a lot of it WAS wallpaper- I still have a massive soft spot for a lot of this stuff, particularly kompakt

In my head it's the last stand, really of truely modernist techno/house that wasn't interested at all, sometimes to a fault, of referencing the past. The last moment too when the weirdos with direct links to the original late 80s rave and techno scenes - Wolfgang voigt, Sven vath etc etc - were still calling the shots before the baton got passed to attractive and well groomed graphic designers in Berlin. A final high water mark when new house and techno records were pushing things forward but still absolutely about dancefloor impact rather than urghh "deconstructed" takes on the dancefloor

Etc etc.

But of course it's not coincidental that I was going out loads in the mid 2000s to this sort of music.

It's almost embarrassingly obvious to say, but your personal golden age of music is always gonna be the music you listened to loads with your mates when you were young and having a wicked time and doing loads of drugs. There's no objective handle you get on this, I don't think, and nor should there be. It's all meshed into the overall moment when you were at your personal peak.

Sorry to bring him into this but this is why I don't buy someone like Joe Muggs. No one can be that enthusiastic about new dance music at 40 years old. It cannot possibly mean to you what it did, you cannot possibly engage with it in a way that makes it mean what it once did. And that's ok, as long as you admit it. Someone like Joe Mugs is invested in claiming that everything is still AMAZING when we know that it is not psychologically possible for it to be so
Muggs is 50
 

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
Muggs (not read anything by him in ages tbf) is/was a bit like film writer mark cousins, he loves being in rapture, being amazed, and in awe, etc. If he wasn't he prob wouldn't have much to say.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Well I was going to quibble with what you said – even though I think there's a lot of truth in it.

Cos although there's a lot of music I love because I was young and dipping my toe in class a drugs etc., I still don't think that e.g. dubstep was better than jungle. OTOH I have more memories of going out to clubs to listen to dubstep than jungle (bar the odd "Retro" night).

However, I definitely remember feeling like I'd missed the golden age for dance music. The mythologisation had kicked in - The Streets "Weak Become Heroes", Burial, etc. You felt like you'd arrived late to the party if you were into drum n bass.

Actually the 00s was when the internet was really kicking in and people could explore the history of music a lot more easily. And now, the older I get the more old music I discover, so that nowadays I probably listen to more music from the 70s and 80s (disco/boogie) than from the 00s/10s.

The 10s were a great decade for music AFAIC - all the rap, R&B, even the rinse fm pop/house stuff. Maybe that resurgence (if there was one) was connected to the way the internet opened up other genres and periods in history to people?
 

Leo

Well-known member
See this is interesting to me because while I can totally see where you're coming from -and a lot of it WAS wallpaper- I still have a massive soft spot for a lot of this stuff, particularly kompakt

In my head it's the last stand, really of truely modernist techno/house that wasn't interested at all, sometimes to a fault, of referencing the past. The last moment too when the weirdos with direct links to the original late 80s rave and techno scenes - Wolfgang voigt, Sven vath etc etc - were still calling the shots before the baton got passed to attractive and well groomed graphic designers in Berlin. A final high water mark when new house and techno records were pushing things forward but still absolutely about dancefloor impact rather than urghh "deconstructed" takes on the dancefloor

same here, especially agree with your point about the last stand of the techno weirdos. I still even pick up the annual Total compilations most years just to hear what they are up to. while I love sweaty, passionate dance music, I still have a soft spot for streamlined thumping German precision.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Cos although there's a lot of music I love because I was young and dipping my toe in class a drugs etc., I still don't think that e.g. dubstep was better than jungle. OTOH I have more memories of going out to clubs to listen to dubstep than jungle (bar the odd "Retro" night).
My first ever night on ecstacy was at a drumnbass night in nottingham and I came up on the dancefloor while Andy C was playing.

He was probably playing some Clipz or Pendulum or something, but he also played "Atlantis" by LTJ Bukem (presumably sped up to 170bpm) so in a weird way I associate a tune that came out in 93 or whenever with my halcyon raving days. There's probably loads of other examples of this.

2010ish was when I remember DJs starting to play a lot of old tracks in sets alongside the new stuff. There was a period when it was quite a novelty and then you got to the point where you'd always hear "Little man rmx" or "Rip Groove" in a set. Could be just the places I was going to. But I get the sense that's kind of how DJing has evolved - and that makes total sense given everyone can mix in every piece of music in recorded history if they feel like it.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
See this is interesting to me because while I can totally see where you're coming from -and a lot of it WAS wallpaper- I still have a massive soft spot for a lot of this stuff, particularly kompakt

In my head it's the last stand, really of truely modernist techno/house that wasn't interested at all, sometimes to a fault, of referencing the past. The last moment too when the weirdos with direct links to the original late 80s rave and techno scenes - Wolfgang voigt, Sven vath etc etc - were still calling the shots before the baton got passed to attractive and well groomed graphic designers in Berlin. A final high water mark when new house and techno records were pushing things forward but still absolutely about dancefloor impact rather than urghh "deconstructed" takes on the dancefloor

Etc etc.

But of course it's not coincidental that I was going out loads in the mid 2000s to this sort of music.

It's almost embarrassingly obvious to say, but your personal golden age of music is always gonna be the music you listened to loads with your mates when you were young and having a wicked time and doing loads of drugs. There's no objective handle you get on this, I don't think, and nor should there be. It's all meshed into the overall moment when you were at your personal peak.

Sorry to bring him into this but this is why I don't buy someone like Joe Muggs. No one can be that enthusiastic about new dance music at 40 years old. It cannot possibly mean to you what it did, you cannot possibly engage with it in a way that makes it mean what it once did. And that's ok, as long as you admit it. Someone like Joe Mugs is invested in claiming that everything is still AMAZING when we know that it is not psychologically possible for it to be so

i mean the thing with Muggs is he made a smart subcultural decision (at least initially!) to escape the hippycore he was into before it ended up here.
The thing however is that these investments of capital from then onwards have meant he has to convince himself he's always down with the cool kids. Luckily and somewhat ironically enough for hin, the cool kids are now into hippycore, but precisely when the job of the music journalist is largely being rendered surplus to requirements by capital - hence our boy Christou Mackintosh being slated by hin, which was really just a pining for a lost golden age of music writers where a nebulous originality was de rigueur. The problem with Joe however is he should probably admit that he himself contributed (at least in the area of dance music) to this dumbing down, consumer guide style of writing — not that he is the worst offender or anything, but there is really no harm in being truly partisan, and at least in music, being ideologically blinkered to varying extents. Lord knows prejudice in music is one of the safest ways to express it, much more than politics and organised religion. It is prejudice which to an extent fuels transcendence. I like Andy Weatherall's adage that originality comes out of bad approximations of previous styles - through mistakes in other words. This is why I want our boy to pick fights on twitter and write another book after that — but I fear he's left it somewhat too late. Ah well, c'est la vie.

I would, however, disagree about techno, at least until the mid 2010s. If anything the return to simple manipulative emotions of the trance and tech house eras has killed the majority of contemporary techno. Techno works best when it is primitive complexity, a 909, 303 and maybe some shuffle, bleeps, electro lines, etc. If you listen to any hör Berlin set today it's in a way harkening back to 1999 stadium trance and hardstyle. Of course the cologne boys were proper weirdos, but I feel like by the time the first Kompakt releases that weirdness was being lost. Can you really say M. Mayer is as weird as 90s Jammin Unit? There's just no chance, and then Wolfgang voigt going on about how he really liked T Rex and Scritti Politti in RA and fact interviews in the 2010s, fer fuckssake! I say this whilst unhealthily loving most of the music that lot put out until superpitcher and co. came around, but ironically the last stand of modernist dance music was not techno, not even original dubstep but that much maligned subgenre, brostep.
 
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thirdform

Well-known member
I'm happy to admit that there is no way I would have become an ardent brostep/rhythm devotee in the 2010s, but that was merely because futuristic modernism insofar as dancefloor impact is a gateway, and my modernistic gateways were elsewhere. I often marvel at the baroque awesomeness of the productions of these men (it's usually always men) just completely miles above yer Richie Hawtins and Jamie Jones and whatsits, stringently precise engineered brutality for the festival circuit. My issue with it, and why I harken back to classic forms is that a distorted 909 with a furious 303 or a filthy reese, is because of the way in which I go out clubbing, minimalistic and somewhat dank spaces. The shock of the now is underrated in much dance music discourse. In part I can interface with this because as a disabled person those sorts of massive brostep raves are just totally inaccessible to me without sighted assistance — and I don't think anyone wants to go see excision or whoever for the sheer purpose of field research.

 

thirdform

Well-known member
this is extremely irritating but its mad mathematical bassline completely lays much club deconstruction to rest. Doesn't make it any less grating, but it's modern as fuck.
 

Simon silverdollarcircle

Well-known member
My first ever night on ecstacy was at a drumnbass night in nottingham and I came up on the dancefloor while Andy C was playing.

He was probably playing some Clipz or Pendulum or something, but he also played "Atlantis" by LTJ Bukem (presumably sped up to 170bpm) so in a weird way I associate a tune that came out in 93 or whenever with my halcyon raving days. There's probably loads of other examples of this.

2010ish was when I remember DJs starting to play a lot of old tracks in sets alongside the new stuff. There was a period when it was quite a novelty and then you got to the point where you'd always hear "Little man rmx" or "Rip Groove" in a set. Could be just the places I was going to. But I get the sense that's kind of how DJing has evolved - and that makes total sense given everyone can mix in every piece of music in recorded history if they feel like it.
Yeah I remember that there was a big to-do around the same time when people like Villalobos were playing old house records in their sets. It's seems mad that it was even remarked on now but I do remember message boards being like OMG RICARDO PLAYED LIL LOUIS!

YouTube destroyed time innit. All of a sudden you never needed to listen to any contemporary music ever again
 

luka

Well-known member
there was a period when every hiphop event you went to in London you would just hear the same 12 records all night,
just a best of 1994 selection what always included OC Times Up. they were all great records but it started to do your nut in after a bit.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Did people dance to Times Up?

If they did that's funny to think of cos I never imagine that as a record people would do anything other than nod studiously to.
 
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