Friday, 20 April 2007

The (Un) shock of the new

I worry sometimes. I worry that there isn't anything musically that sounds brand new. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being a jaded 'heard-it-all-before' because there's tons of new music which sounds as fresh and as exciting as only new music should. No, what I'm looking for sometimes, and never find, is music which has NEVER been heard before.

A great article in The Guardian sees Maddy Costa declaring, a bit lemon-lipped, "This year's bestsellers have provided plenty of reason for gloom about our ability to produce forward-looking music"; ie, they're cherry-picking musical styles from the past. That may be true, but there's nothing wrong with it when the music is so strong.

I'm not naive enough to think that one day there will be a track or song which suddenly appears. BRAND NEW music appears in tiny amounts and gathers pace like a snowball until a scene or genre forms. As a generation with sixty years of popular recorded music we're in a unique position of being able to to rob like a magpie, just picking up the shiny bits if we want. But how did the shiny bits - the new bits - ever come about? There are no new intruments to start another revolution like the electric guitar and the synthesizer. But having already spawned the dance music monster, Paul Morley correctly predicts that it will be the computer, specifically the internet, which drags us out of our current musical rut: "We've got the new thing - we just haven't been looking in the right place for it."


xolondon said...

Ya, sheesh! Does that lady think that the top of the chart is the place to look for forward-thinking music?

Phil said...

I know! And how disappointing is it to read sweeping statements about brand new artists who actually produce great music. Who cares that they're not the ones bringing new ideas. There'll be somone.

Great article though, wether or not you agree with Jon Savage and Paul Morely, they're always worth a soundbite.

Phil said...

My spelling!




That's better.

Yuri said...

So if we take this lady's advice, then Timbaland is the "future of music"... I THINK NOT! :)

I'm sure his flunkie, Justine Timbalake, would agree that he is tho...