Monthly Archives: January 2008

Electronic music genres, and musical guilty pleasures

Let me make an admission. I like electronic music. Granted, I have to be in the right mood to listen to it, and various bits of it make my head hurt if I’m not in said mood, but it’s an occasional guilty pleasure – in between all that Mozart, Nikhil Banerjee and Simon & Garfunkel.

Now Wikipedia has (are you surprised? I’m not) an extensive list of electronic music genres which, if my counting skills have not been impaired, weighs in at 188 items. Now call me an uneducated Philistine, if you like, but I refuse to believe that there are actually people who can distinguish between these styles. Not when some of them rejoice in names that are as similar as Breakbeat Hardcore and Breakcore. Do you really think people can make out what’s Freeform Hardcore, what is Industrial Hardcore and what is Hardcore Techno? Is there actually a difference between Dark House, Dark Electro, Dark Wave, Darkcore and Darkstep? Let me tell you, I am sceptical. I think every time someone came along with something vaguely different, he (and I’m not being sexist here; electronic music is dominated by men) had to give it a new, preferably cool-sounding name in order to point out that while the rest of the competition was at 116 bpm, he was at 117, yeah, baby! Thus such beautiful and essentially idiotic names as Turntablism, Indietronica, Neurofunk and Bubblegum Trance. If you don’t believe that those are actual names, just go check that list. It’s all about image and hence incredibly pretentious and pointless. So I’m a cynic about the names. I still listen to some of the music, though. I have a particular fondness for Progressive Trance. But not just any old Progressive, man. Some of that stuff is like, so 2005. Not for me. I like Progressive Downbeat Re-retro Uplifting Technocubic Metrofunk, thanks.

While I’m admitting to musical guilty pleasure, I might as well make a passing reference to a Eurodance synthpop technobilly/glam band called The Cartoons, which I discovered through while exploring music under the aegis of Kael. (For those too afraid to click on that link, they take novelty vintage rock-and-roll songs and overlay them with a dance track.) I know, I know. They’re terrible and their music is the auditory equivalent of a terrible, glutinous, nauseating, eye-poppingly sweet synthetic chocolate cake. But sometimes all you want, all you deeply, secretly crave is a terrible, glutinous, nauseating, eye-poppingly sweet synthetic chocolate cake. It’s a terrible burden to bear, but somehow I grit my teeth (ever tried to grit your teeth when they’re glued together? It’s a fine art, I can tell you) and survive. Let me, however, give you a sample of their lyrics, so you can also participate in the goodness:

Ooo eee,ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bang bang
Repeat 8x

I told the witch doctor
I was in love with you
I told the witch doctor
I was in love with you
And then the witch doctor
He told me what to do

He told me

Ooo eee,ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bang bang
Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla bang bang…
Ooo eee ,ooo ah ah ting tang

And then there’s this bit of genius:

Well she’s my hot potato
She’s my home dictator
Got her own sweet flavour
And she ought to know

She’s my girly Bono
She’s my Yoko Ono
She goes ‘Oh no no no’
But I love her so

Now I suspect the last line of the first verse there was something a tad more risque, but it seems to have been toned down, for which I am very glad. It’s bad enough having to deal with idiotic lyrics without having them offend moral sensibilities at the same time.

Well, there you have it. The Cartoons, ladies and gentlemen – long may their synthetic sweetness reign, to bring guilty pleasures to one and all.

The experiment is rumbled, phase 2

The QM circle has opened up quite dramatically – all through that one contact with Stuart; the friends of my friends are my friends, apparently.

The real irony, of course, is that he just decided to do this on a whim; if he’d done it a few days earlier, I wouldn’t have been there and none of this would have happened. Clearly coincidence in timing is going to be a large part of this exercise.

Funnily enough, though, today I was found by Bulbul, and I have no idea how. It must have been a random search again, with purely coincidental timing, although I do plan to investigate this soon.