Well, we made it to three years old and no one is more surprised than me. It feels like a very long time since I sat down that night at the start of February 2014 to write the first post. Back then I had little idea what I wanted to do, except find a subject which might energise me to write more than I had been. As any writer knows all too well, very little kills the muse than working a full-time job – particularly when it’s a job you hate – and being subject to all the attendant niggles and irritations which build up during the course of the 9-5 day.
From that point of view it has been a personal success, even if the last year has been something of a struggle to keep going in the face of a work life which has been bordering on the ridiculous for a long time now, and reached a new nadir during the spring. As a result of that my blog output fell away here and there during the year while I attempted to deal with other issues. Such is the life of a blogger. The bad news is that work related issues continue to be a major pain in the arse. The good side is I’m trying to focus on the blog more.
That’s all just bad gravy though. The real focus has always been on the music, and one of the things which has been interesting to me as I’ve looked back at old posts over the last few days has been the evolution of my tastes over the last few years. A blog like this is always going to be a different proposition to writing professionally for one of the big publications, and one of the obvious joys has been the relative freedom to focus on music which I love and which excites me. As regular and veteran readers probably know, I only got back into electronic music properly five or six years ago after pretty much trying to escape from it for a decade. As the big man said in The Godfather ‘just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in’ and I found that electronic music was such an integral part of my DNA that I really couldn’t go on pretending it wasn’t there.
What I’ve discovered since my triumphant return is that there was a world of sound which had gone on developing, splitting, and growing that I knew nothing about. There will always be some constants; I like my techno snarling, tetchy, and funky, I like my house dirty and acidic, and I love my electro neck snappingly fast and alien. But there was so much more. Some of that I’ve grown a bit bored with, as is going to be the case with anything. In other instances, such as the current rehabilitation of hardcore and rave, I’ve found myself coming to terms with my own historic snobbery and ignorance and beginning to both appreciate and understand the mammoth impact these genres has on the development of everything else. This was an eye opener for me, because there was no way that the younger me, elitist and snobby about Detroit techno as I was, would have ever countenance such blasphemy. The older me? It’s all good.
From a very personal perspective I am head over heels in love and excited about electro again. To be fair, I never stopped loving it. It was always the genre which, after Detroit, seemed to hold within it all the things which made electronic music so special to me – the speed, the futurism, the idea of man and machine coming together. Many people have always attempted to play up the more organic side of electronica but that was something I never cared much about. I’ve always loved the synthetic and cyborg nature of the music, and that is something electro does better than any other genre. It was also noticeable that my desire (actually a need, if I’m honest) to write about electro has lost me a few readers here and there, and it must have been something of a shock for people who originally came here to read about lo-fi house to find I was dumping a lot of that to make time for 140 bpm weirdo music. Well, I’d like to say sorry. I’d like to but I can’t. Electro is too damn fine.
So, what next? Well, I have no idea. I’d really like to get more occasional podcasts going but between everything else and my own natural laziness it hasn’t really happened yet. I talked a while ago about doing interviews more often (EG: at all) but the same caveats as with podcasts apply, perhaps even more so. I did think about changing the name of the blog, but I’d really only want to do that if I was going to make material changes to what I’m trying to do. I’ve also a couple of ideas for non music writing I’d like to start taking seriously, but that’s for tomorrow.
What I can promise is that I will continue to write about the music I like in the way I like. I could probably stand to be a little more critical of some of the records I review but, you know, I get excited about stuff and then the prose kicks in….There are in truth records I buy which I don’t like, but I just cannot be bothered talking about them. I’d rather blather on about the ones that get me going and the ones that I think you should like too, and I’ve always been very happy that a lot of the records I’ve covered don’t seem to get much publicity anywhere else, and I’m especially proud that a few names have had their first actual exposure here before being picked up elsewhere. What can I say, I define the Zeitgeist (and if you believe that….)
So thanks for reading, and for following me on social media, even if I’m probably more politically whiny at times than you were expecting. I might take the piss out of the scene and the community a little bit here and there, but I think it kind of needs it occasionally, and it’s healthy to burst a few balloons now and again. Besides, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t, deep down, love it all – the silliness, the seriousness, and the obvious love so many people have for music made by dorks in their bedrooms on machine that go bleep. Three years down. Wow. Let’s see where the next one leads.