Saturday, September 06, 2008

What's so funny about...

... Techno these days? Or maybe not these days but throughout the last years when somewhat like the "Neue Deutsche Witzigkeit" - roughly translated as: New German Funnyness - broke through and labels came up with shitty names like "Platzhirsch", "Kahlwild", "Ostwind", "Musik Gewinnt Freunde", "Freude Am Tanzen", producers chose names like "Die Rotbauchunken Vom Tegernsee", "Flora & Fauna" for their tunes and now we see the latest release from a label named "Hundehaus" coming up soon. Seriously - what's the point in naming a label "Dog House"? I remember that Techno in its early days stood up for a kind of anti-stardom, anti-establishment, futuristic thoughts and of course technological progression which somehow ended up in a competition for the newest, weirdest, harshest, most experimental and craziest sound or wildest idea - this is how genres like Gabber / Hardcore Techno were born as well as cheesy Dancefloor / EuroTechno came out of this competition, last mentioned often humourous in a cheap, crappy mass appealing way but still reflecting on what was happening on the scenes dancefloors or picking up, stealing ideas from the so-called underground and transforming them into something more commercial. Nowadays its the so-called underground releasing nothing but mostly stubborn, totally exchangeable Minimal Techno with a half life of two days only trying to raise attention by creating a funny name for what isn't worth to have a name anyway and all those wasted druggies on the dancefloor think the use of the "Neue Deutsche Witzigkeit" is the new cool. It ain't, 'coze Techno - used here as term for all kinds of electronic dance music - is or still should be about futurism and technological progression, maybe about some kind of escapism as for those who've been named as innovators, creators and godfathers of this movement, those still rooted in Detroit, Chicago and still - maybe not financially no more but for sure stuck in a world of prejudices and social instability - suffering from what this society has to offer for them this music is still about getting away from their pain and their daily sufferings. Not to forget the gay african, latino or hispanic people who found their freedom in Disco, HiNRG and early House in NYC - for them this music and the clubs which played this music meant freedom of expression, escape from oppression and at least sexual freedom. They're still fighting - worldwide. Those roots - although this aspect focuses on the afro american side of the Techno movement only - shall not be forgotten, neither be denied or made fun of by those who don't understand. Focusing on the european roots we've EBM, NuWave and Industrial - all of these styles weren't about fun at all but about anti-oppression, anti-capitalism and, if u want to name it like that, anti-music as groups like Throbbing Gristle worked on new musical (and cultural) aesthetics from scratch, Test Department worked shoulder to shoulder with the striking miners of South Wales in the mid-80's, Laibach evacuated journalists from the war zone of the former Yugoslavia and so forth. No matter what - todays Techno wouldn't be here if all this didn't happen, if those activists didn't put the power of the new music that was electronic music back then to the masses on the map. So where's the point in denying and disrespecting all this by trying to be funny?


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