Introducing the new era of club music
A typical last question in interviews goes something like this: “How do you see the music culture changing – how will the scene evolve?” First of all, why even bother? Second, you will fall asleep when I start rambling, trying to explain the nature of the music industry and why new technology will free artists from the money moguls. zZZZZZz! Just try reading my prediction to that question in this interview I did, and tell me that you really care ;).
What I can do though is tell about what I find fresh and interesting. And to please the freaks out there who like to intellectualize music, I will do a little bit of that too. More after the break.
dOP is a band. They drink, play, smoke and have fun, cause that makes them happy. Happy people attract more happy people and then they dance. That’s what we call a party. Now for those of you out there who like going to clubs and hearing DJs spin – when was the last time you really partied and felt alive? When was the last time you felt that the DJ added another layer to the show, an element of a live performance as you know it from the live concerts? (post your reply in the comment section.)
I am not suggesting that what dOP is doing is a new invention (live music has been around since the dawn of man), but a new trend in the club scene is definitely evolving. The emergence of a new form of band that does not look like the conventional bands we know (bass, drummer, vocals, guitar). These fusion constellations are all constructed differently and all have very different approaches to the technology (effects, samplers, DJ setups) and instrumentation they are using. Yet they all have one thing in common – they want their music to be a reflection of the now. It’s like a combination of a DJ and a Jam Band, using the strengths of prerecorded parts as well as the strengths of improvisational live performance on instruments.
So, why now? What has changed? The emergence of new technology is absolutely a part of the answer. With programs like Ableton Live or Native Instruments Traktor it has become relatively easy to merge on-the-go-mixing productions and live instrumentation together, without having to bring a truckload of equipment. But, if we dig in deeper, there might be another explanation with deep historical ties that is causing this phenomenon.
Music has lost it’s meaning. At least in the format that it has been presented in over the last 100 years. The fact that you can download almost every song that has ever been created and store them on your 160gb iPod, already containing tens-of thousands of songs, makes the supply/demand structure of our current market work its magic. Recorded music has become – or will be in the near future – free. Due to this abundance, future-oriented artists are now looking to reach their audiences in different ways – they are reviving century old traditions relating to time, place and occasion. They instinctively understand that these factors will enable them to communicate with their audience in a meaningful way, instead of just having their music ending up next to thousands of other artists in a clogged up iPod used to block out the dull, outside world.
Thanks to Bill Drummond for inspiring me to write this post. If you are interested in hearing a great recording of his thoughts on this subject check out his blog.
Please post your thoughts – and let me know what you think the future will bring.