"Post-Club/Deconstructed-Club" thread


#81

i thought “future bass” was just the stuff teenage boys with anime avatars and cracked copies of fl studio had moved on to once they got tired of vaporwave


#82

akin to Rebore Kid’s release made entirely of gun noises and gun shots?


#83

that’s even more into the future, and called Future Core


#84

brb getting the kids to come see my naked city tribute band by sticking a sword art online character on my sax and calling it Future Skronk


#85

yh exactly.

wldn’t have to be grimy but i’ve really been enjoying grimy edits recently (e.g. spooky, mischief, gundam, finn).


#86

I think what discussions of “Post/Deconstructed-Club” often get wrong is that specific musical tropes (gun shot sounds, “foley”, young chop snare etc) are mistakenly equated with a particular conceptually informed creative process that may make use of genre-specific tropes. This makes it difficult to distinguish between creative use of specific tropes and simple reference.
Similar kinds of developments seem to have happened to numerous musical styles, forms and genres before: from Frederic Chopin “deconstructing” the form of the waltz, to free-jazz, to PC music. There is probably a way to package this in a way that situates “post-club” in terms of contemporary post-modernist theory but a purely formalist approach can probably get the job done as well. I don’t believe that it is possible or even desirable to reduce “post-club” to a fixed set of musical signifiers because post-club isn’t necessarily a genre to begin with.

Some examples:


#87

Very true. I think it comes back to just engaging with what you think is worth engaging with. Part of the musical experience is weeding out the bullshit, and there’s just no way around that.


#88

There is no fact of the matter as to whether it’s a “real” genre or not - ppl will think of it in different ways, but a lot of stuff that is marketed as “deconstructed” is derivative stuff that sounds similar. I think some of the resistance to the term comes from the fact that it’s a lazy contemporary descriptor (in the same way that calling something post-[whatever] would be). But it undoubtedly describes a group of current artists & sounds for ppl who are non-specialists.

I think there’s been too much overly avant garde practice in the underground recently and things have moved away from innovation to work as a dancefloor tool. That’s what I like & am interested in which partially explains why I amn’t really enjoying the stuff out at the moment.

But different strokes innit?


#89

I thought it was “wave” but I think that might have been more the bedroom grime teens from affluent neighbourhoods than the dubstep teens.


#90

Sure, there is no fact of the matter of whether “post-club” or whatever is a genre or not - the values of the term would be whether it carves out a space for meaningful discussion of specific musicans/musical and practices or not; I don’t believe the term is very useful.

I also think there is a lot of derivative work being produced - but I think that complaint can be lodged against practically all fields…

“I think there’s been too much overly avant garde practice in the underground recently and things have moved away from innovation to work as a dancefloor tool.”
I’m curious as to what you mean here and have two readings:

  1. current avant-garde practice in the underground has led to works that do not work on the dancefloor
  2. current avant-garde practice in the underground have not pursued innovation and are just attempts to make dancefloor tools

#91

Best. Summation. of. Wonky. Ever.

Seriously, this had me crying laughing as I remember getting those first two Mount Kimbie EP’s and only like within the past 6 months revisited them…they’re good! Haven’t kept up with their output and doubt I will any time soon…never thought about it in the way you put it, but I distinctly remember my interest being deaded by the end of 2011, especially as the electro pastiche wave turbo-charged by “Sicko Cell” hit an aesthetic dead-end near-instantaneously (remember when Boddika and Convex went from d&b to electro? Weird times.)

From @str_apx:
“I think there’s been too much overly avant garde practice in the underground recently and things have moved away from innovation to work as a dancefloor tool. That’s what I like & am interested in which partially explains why I amn’t really enjoying the stuff out at the moment.”

Well, that’s the problem, innit? Any practice that seeks to set itself up as avant-garde is kind digging their own grave plot, especially considering the fact that avant-garde movements are increasingly identified after the fact. I think I quoted this over in the HCC thread, but the avant-garde exists in an undefined, always-moving space…it’s ephemeral and nomadic (imo). I kinda think of how that word is used along the lines of when I hear someone describe themselves as a “nice person.” In my experience, the people I’ve met in life who are actually nice individuals would never define themselves as such as they’ve totally internalized that mode. Realize that might sound like a trite example and it’s one that ties into my thinking on some other things (mainly the valorization of ‘authenticity’ that has persisted, which, is ultimately something that can be performed; I like to contrast authenticity with sincerity as I believe the latter requires a certain mindfulness/self-awareness that forces one to be real with oneself…but perhaps that’s a whole other discussion).

Honestly, a lot of what I’m getting at can be summed up by a quote a fellow DJ and critic said to me about a year ago that’s kinda become my MO: “At this point, the most revolutionary thing an artist can do is to simply focus on their craft.” Meaning, we’ve become so obsessed with performing ‘avant-gardeness’–and promoting oneself as such–that at the end of the day, it rings both hollow and fails to really endure alongside an artistic practice that is more considered, self-aware (sincerely so;) , and not concerned with self-promotion or fame. Cuz ultimately, I see so many of my peers utterly kiiling it in the self-promotion/branding game but their art kinda blows…and those whose work I’m in utter admiration of don’t seem to have much concerns beyond paying the rent and getting gigs. Not trying to posit some blue-collar avant-garde here, but rather point out that so much of what we’re talking about here has been filtered through press releases and corporate media (and for that matter, who the fuck started calling it deconstructed club? Clearly someone who’s never worked in a restaurant.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the criticisms many older critics (or at least those who lived through jungle) would lobby at dubstep when it was first emerging, chafing at the ‘self-awareness’ of the producers when really I think they were more put off by the historicization of post-rave UK dance music/hardcore continuum. I think for a lot of us, we can’t really imagine having been part of a cultural movement in which such gleefully utopianary thinking was bandied about like within the UK between 88 and 92 (rave would end hooliganism, end war with N. Ireland)…it’s like, how many people actually discovered and became ‘punk’ when it was first emerging v how many people discovered punk as a lifestyle, subculture, commodity…sorry, am conflating a lot of different trains of thought here but I think the whole idea of ‘being’ avant-garde is in fact being enamored with what has already happened and classified as ‘avant-garde’…nostalgia is a deadly drug for art, but not a deathknell. No one actually ‘is’ avant-garde or seeks to create ‘avant-garde’ art that is actually considered that decades later…I think at one point, that idea could work as there wasn’t an established history of the avant-garde to point to, but once it was calcified by the establishment, I think it becomes a matter of trying to encourage an avant-garde art practice without necessarily identifying it as such…or at least moving past emulation/mimesis, which a lot of contemporary art seems to struggle with (at least in my eyes).


#92

haha, good point, if you have to tell people you’re a nice person you probably don’t realise how grating you are. By that logic if you want to do something forward thinking, you should come up with a new name (like funk, or jazz, or hip-hop) but if you want to make something derivative call it Avant-Future Post-structuralist Musiccore.

I think what you are getting at in your last paragraph is similar to what I was saying a few comments up, that actually ‘avant-garde’ is a sound today, rather than an ethos. Like if you go to a venue to hear an ‘avant-garde’ show in 2018 you pretty much know you’re gonna hear something akin to the BBC Radiophonic archives from the 1950s, rather than something original and relevant to today.

There were quite a few moments on Mnestic Pressure that could have been on the Come To Daddy EP from 20 years ago [not knocking either record, just an observation], and it’s probably something about referencing the same era of exploration. In that sense, That’s Harakiri, or the work of SKY H1, or Songs For Midi, feel much newer and somewhat disconnected from the past. They might take a few conventions from that era, but they aren’t stuck digging the same hole as before.

Anyway, not sure if this is still related to Post-Club/Deconstructed, but maybe some response to lines like "too much overly avant garde practice in the underground recently and things have moved away from innovation” which i’ve seen a few times on this forum already. [and yes, I edited out the ‘dancefloor’ part, as much music today isn’t only tailored to dancefloors, but to boilerroom sets (remember those?), headphones, laptop speakers, there’s a kind of multifunctionality that seems necessary for music today]


#93

Coming more from the techno angle myself I regard a figure as Wolfgang Voigt as the embodiment of avant-garde mentality: Different developed personas, assembly line-production ethos( modelled after Warhol’s Factory), taking control over and making distributive practices part of the art (the 7" inch Kreisel series released every week in 1999), acutely aware of techno history, but frames it within a local/regional (german, not uncontroversial) historical culture, community building, personal investment without resorting to rock-cliches etc etc. Very few has done that since. Read a interview with him from his techno pre-GAS days (as Mike Ink) and you sense that this is a guy who is serious, although not pretentious.

Avant-garde has nothing to do with mere beat trickey or fiddling around with sound design. And it is definitely not “let’s break all the rules, but only while cleverly referring whatever cultural artform that’s in vogue” in a trad-modernist way. It is a much broader practice.

Here’s an informative retrospective interview


#94

While I’m personally hesitant to dub anyone avant-garde as I haven’t really defined what that means for me yet, 100% with you on Voigt, has always been a huge inspiration to me (I mean, the number of genres and styles he personally created is sorta nuts).

Reading over the different criterion you loosely lay out (control over distribution et al) the name that instantly came to mind was Omar-S…lots of examples one could point to in the D but he always has the quality of someone who has a marvelous sense of humor because he’s deadly serious about his craft. And he worked on an assembly line at GE;) But I do think taking ownership over one’s own distribution is often a telling sign…and one that’s quite important personally.


#95

I find it funny that unlike the UKG thread, this one has no-one sharing any music at all, just people disputing the genre even exists.

well, let me throw another snapper in the works. I’d posit that the fore-runner to the sound was actually Lapalux with his ‘Many Faces Out of Focus’ EP. It came in 2011, a year before Arca’s first EPs and you can actually hear a lot of the same time-stretching techniques Arca was using (especially) around the &&&&& era.


Interestingly, references to “deconstructed club” don’t start appearing anywhere until 2014/2015, meanwhile the term “deconstructed pop” is used in the Pitchfork review of Lapalux’s 2012 EP “When You’re Gone” and 2013’s “Nostalchic”.

Just a bit of archaeology there.

Obviously Lapalux ended up going in a very different direction than the artists associated with the term, and there’s no smashed glass or sword swishes, unfortunately. [it was just as challenging on the dancefloor / soundsystem though]


#96

I think that there are definite sonic similarities but key aspects of that sound were already found in things coming from Brainfeeder in LA - Flying Lotus being the obvious example:

Flying Lotus would then be something like proto-post-club? But that seems like a strange conclusion, which is again why I believe that a reduction in terms of musical qualities won’t capture what is distinctive about this movement. Defining the sound by reference to Arca, Lotic, M.E.S.H. is easily done but it makes it difficult capture diverse artists such as a Dinamarca, a coucou chloe, or a Jlin who are all generally lumped into this scene or movement as well, but who share few sonic similarities the above artists.

This resident advisor podcast from 2016 also suggests framing the discourse more in terms of aesthetic/political approaches to music making rather than specific sonic vocabularies:

I also think that this movement is intrinsically a performative movement, where DJs (that are often also producers as well!) have played an important role in showing how things like contextual juxtaposition do not mean that dancefloors would necessarily empty.


#97

Ppl have been using that time stretching technique way before both artist tbh. Lapalux is definitely not the first to do so


#98

Coucou Chloe kinda sounds like a Arca rip-off to me. It especially sounds a lot like Arca’s first two EPs

This song is the exact same vocal effects used on most Coucou Chloe tracks


#99

@b60231 yeah I defo think Arca, et al, are essentially ‘beats/future bass’ with a darker aesthetic to put it in the most simplistic terms ever (at least to begin, with Stretch 1+2, etc.). You can see how sexuality/politics divides the presentation of both scenes, there’s kind of the same pool of ideas at play which then splits along cultural lines.

Me personally, I like to see a difference in Post-club ‘~Post-beats, Plus+’… and Deconstructed-club, which would be Total Freedom, Elysia Crampton, including Dinamarca – literally music made by deconstructing club music from all corners and reassembling into something else… but in the real world, people just use the terms interchangeably and then it ends up making no sense.

@cesar Yeah I know dude, it’s a pretty basic function of Ableton, but the thing that’s interesting with both is the effect is literally used on the master track, you can hear the entire track has been resampled and put through the process post-production.


#100

again not the first time someone has done that. Literally MPC sampling does that all the time