|Originally posted by SYSTEM-J |
It never went away because it was there for a long time before 2010, but in terms of its dominance over clubbing taste, I think the movement built up in the second half of the 2000s with stuff like The Field and LCD Soundsystem and peaked around 2010.
One of the more general cultural trends of the last decade is the switch in catch-all label for disparaging the mystifyingly popular from "hipster" to "millennial". I think hipster culture, with its attendant mouthpiece blogs and all-powerful cultural influence has died off in the last ten years to be replaced by social media, word-of-mouth and algorithms. You keep citing Resident Advisor as though they're some big cultural force, but nobody outside the electronic music scene gives a fuck about RA, not in the way they did/do about Pitchfork. In many ways the "blogosphere" was the last dying spasm of the traditional "tastemaker" media outlet, and the decline of that kind of media is why you can't find the same grand narrative for dance music, and the big albums that landmark those narratives. When everyone gets their tastes refined by a Spotify algorithm, who cares what the Big Important Albums are?
I keep citing RA because for the last decade they've been the only outlet in electronic music left with any sort of influence. That their influence, like all traditional media, is waning is not up for debate - their reviews obviously won't make anyone blow up like Pitchfork could do back in the day. But I think they still matter as far as credibility goes - they're clearly still relevant enough for the business techno crew to keep throwing money at sponsored RA reviews. And as far as legitimacy through traditional outlet still matters, RA is the only supplier.
Anyways, obviously you are right that there has been a massive change but what makes me sceptical of the idea that the death of traditional media necessarily equals the death of grand narratives in music is that these narratives still exist in other genres. Maybe not to the extend that they used but certainly still to much larger extent than in dance music. Like, if you hop on Reddit and check what Gen Z teenagers listening to Hiphop care about, they really care about what the big important albums are and spin all sorts of grand narratives. Obviously the tastemakers have largely changed - they're now Youtubers, podcasters, influencers and playlist managers (even in 2019, all of the important playlists are put together by humans) but tastemaking and narrative consensus (e.g. the "best of decade" discussion being completely dominated by the same ten artists) still seems to exist in that world. That said, obviously Hiphop has always been much more about narratives than dance music. The average punter probably has never cared much about lists and narratives and critical acclaim. I suppose it's very possible that with the death of what you dubbed hipster culture, there's just no demand for new narratives within dance music. Which makes me wonder how the scene is going to function moving foward, I've spoken to people working behind the scenes for a living and even they don't really understand how exactly social media and streaming works, especially since things are moving so quick and one has to change their strategy ever six months.
June 2018 mix
Last edited by Woony on Nov-10-2019 at 22:55