OUR FINE ARTS

these shoes

Please allow me to generalise for a while.

A new form of political apathy masked as lazy online activism has been borne out of the internet age. I’m not going to write about that though, this isn’t fucking Buzzfeed. Do people not see the irony of posting content denouncing social media platforms across their social media platforms?

One thing I have noticed in this new trend of cut-and-paste, watered down “awareness raising” is the sheer blindness that individuals possess in regards to other worthwhile issues, equally deserving discussion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this. After all I am a millenial/public enemy no. 3.

It’s this strange idea that someone promoting or showing interest in a certain cause means they are completely ignoring or trying to brush over another cause that follows a similar theme and even occupies the same political agenda. This is prevalent on both the left and the right of course, but it certainly comes packaged with the (positive) rise of social awareness  online. From a leftist viewpoint this banal infighting is the last thing we need right now.

R.I.P The Labour Party.

Our social media echo chambers are now coliseums in which ever-woke gladiators do battle over social justice and civil rights issues that in an ideal world would all garner equal attention. Remember when arguing with fascists was the common cause, not telling your allies that the social injustice they’re highlighting and campaigning against is unequal to yours.

“Why are you discussing [maligned group] when [related but slightly more maligned group] exist?”

“Why are you talking about the economy when global warming is happening?”

“Why are you helping refugees when there are our own citizens living in squalor?”

“Why is your favourite colour green when mine is blue?”

WHY IS NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THE DEATH OF BASSLINE?

This is a real problem in society, forget the war on terror. Forget veganism. Forget how weird the weather is nowadays. Remember Bassline?

If you’ve been anywhere near a student night or a current online radio platform you will have heard the ever creative sound of Bassline House, or Bass House. Essentially it’s Garage. Or Bassline Garage, but with a modern socially acceptable tinge of appropriation.

I’m not going to suggest in any way that I predicted this, but I fully fucking predicted this. I saw this coming. I told you so.

We’ve witnessed a real shift in “mainstream underground” music of late. When once it was jangly guitars, winkle pickers, and white guys pretending they’d been to Camden soundtracking the rebelliousness of youth it is now the sounds of Electronica.  Electronic music, once relatively maligned, has forced its way into mainstream society’s consciousness in various forms, namely Deep/Bait House, Grime, and to a lesser extent UKG and DnB.

The general shift of the rockstar image from the lank-haired indie fop to the bedroom producer signifies a reinvention of the underground’s ability to evolve based on trends. The (generalised) shrinking  of the creative bodies to often just one producer/deejay means that much less communication and teamwork is needed for known, and unknown, artists to jump on a stylistic movement. This and the combination of the information rich internet age and the shapeshifting capitalist industry has led to a state where trends in the Mainstream Underground can morph, mutate, and ultimately die at breakneck speeds. All I’m saying is that freshers don’t listen to nearly half as much Deep House as they did last year, and they definitely don’t listen to Dubstep.

Of course there is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the key trends that crop up in the rave culture of the Mainstream Underground. It’s rehashes of older musics, repackaged for consumers who may or may not be aware of the lineages of the initial scenes and movements. It’s this separation and disregard from heritage and iconography that removes a sense of artistic merit from a lot of these trends.

Bassline House is proper shite init.

There’s a real separation from the musicality and artistry of works from the Niche era, which echoes through the swathes of ravers that belong to this movement, whether they truly care about it or not. It’s this disregard for culture that makes Bassline House true machine music, removing actual human attachment and emotion. It’s formulaic, following the same structures and using the same preset sounds. But unlike other repetitive music forms that create senses of hypnosis, allowing the raver a new level of exploration, Bassline House follows a merely thematic and stylistic cyclicality. It’s cold, it’s harsh, there’s a slow attack bass sound followed by a screechy thing and then maybe a reese and then that same kind of bass used in that tune by some other guy on the same record label but it’s cool because I dropped that second half earlier and my Strongbow is still tepid and the next tune is going to make everyone go oooooooooooooooh and throw some beer about when it kicks in and it too has a 4×4 drum pattern with sparse hihats but the screech preset is closer to the end of each bar and this is basically EDM but here comes the next tune you can hear the white noise building up and oh god hopefully they wack  in a sample of someone saying something in an old grime radio show or a watermark of the producers name before the sub bass hits and here it comes ooooooooooooooh none of us will ever be able to afford our own homes.

Artists share bass patches and production techniques laissez faire in order to best create the genre’s singular climactic trope, the Drop. However there’s nothing climactic about something you’ve heard countless times during the last set.

If every “Drop” sounds the same does anything really “Drop”?

I don’t really know what I was trying to achieve with this post to be honest. Something else will come along soon. Imagine if it’s Hardstyle. That would be jokes.

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