Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sometimes it's getting too minimal

So called minimal techno is becoming (actually have already become) a hype word, even in Latvia, which is a somewhat good and bad thing at the same time, IMO.

In a way it's OK to use this cliché, because "those who know" and are familiar with the history of electronic dance music they know that it is just a label for all that new techno / tech-house, and that even using "minimal" as a description does not necessarily means that it is really minimal by traditional standards — a highly repetitive, looping techno where nothing much happens apart from subtle changes that, if produced properly, create a special psychedelic effect (think of early Plastikman, DBX, Robert Hood etc.). On the other hand, the contemporary minimal can be quite minimal actually (for instance, Sleeparchive, some of Guido Schneider's and even Luciano's tracks).

So, its becoming mainstream may be annoying for the insiders, but, on the other hand, there are good things about it, too. I can't see any harm that young kids learn about this music and fancy this entire minimal thing, quite contrary. For instance, I see that many rather young girls in Latvia who does not necessarily represent underground techno community, just normal girls, have got into minimal, listening to this kind of music and coming to the parties etc. That's not bad.

Actually the newcomers include also many DJs, who used to be into other music. Sometimes it looks like simply following the trend, particularly regarding those DJs who were into more commercial house music and progressive house. It can seem like a funny mimicry, but as far they play better music than before, let it be.

Given that minimal is all around and it has become so accessible, what might be indicators for what is better or just more honest and true? Well, music itself matters, of course, but not only that. As I've stated before, DJ-ing is not just a technical but also a spiritual and emotional thing. Some deeper understanding and openness are essential. However, after all, those are people who come to parties and actually make them happen. Playing the same tracks for different public won't work the same way. So, not the DJs but people who come to dance to their music are the essence of a scene.

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