Two things worry me much today. One is that I fell bitter about music I love. The other is the lack of imagination and the total fuck-up of the minimal dance music aesthetics

Don't get me wrong. I've been really deep into Germany's minimal scene since the Basic Channel/Chain Reaction era (that never ended, actually... check the Scion Versions and the T++ releases at the Hardwax store). For a long time I listened only to Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and similar stuff. I've fully supported it through the years, and I'll probably do so in the future, but right now I'm truly fed up. I refuse to buy another record just because it's something that will work for the club (or not even for there). And for sure I won't do it for a zillion record labels for ten 12inch releases and a CD per month each, just because some guys spent an evening in front of a laptop and created a 'masterpiece for the dancefloor', a 'guaranteed burner', etc etc, and now would like to enjoy their 'hard-earned' money. This is not music, this is BUSINESS. Building a hype on some sub-genre of dance music, sucking the blood out of it and letting it rot in a year or so, jumping to the next big crap thing is MARKET POLICY, not love of music.
I think it's about time for some things to be heard. In MY opinion, 'minimal' in its majority has transformed itself to an imbecile cross-breed of crappy pop-art and marketing. Or, if you prefer, a combination of the progressive house/trance attitude with a cocaine and weed hangover (it's not hard to see why all UK big-time DJs play this stuff now). The only resemblance to Techno lies in the clicking drum sounds and the fierce basses.
Do I sound bitter? So: Where is the innovation and the beauty? Where is the meaning in all this? Most importantly, why do I have to wait through a 3 minute break in EVERY track? What have Grungerman's 'Fackeln im Sturm' and Maurizio and Dettinger's 'Puma' and Robert Hood's 'Minus' in common with all these? Why does someone think it's interesting to listen to the 'subtle fluctuations and micro-changes' of a drum track with some bass, some reverb and an echo on top, identical to million others? OK, mr.Villalobos may be able to shift three knobs for 15 minutes and make it sound interesting in a way, but not a lot more can do this. Oh, and mass production ALWAYS minimizes quality (unless you are some God of Inspiration, but again not a lot of us can make this claim). In other words, it's getting BORING. Techno has become a flat aural backdrop for the speed freaks and the models to dance to. Because of the 'Minimal Scene'.
The whole attitude of the scene is for laughs. I won't mention names, although I feel that certain label (and mp3 e-shops) owners ARE to be blamed for making all this hype. Being popular doesn't mean selling your ass. Making a living doesn't mean 'Cheat your fans'. Talking about the 'Underground' and crying 'Buy records, help the scene' on a beach in Ibiza fucked up with a coctail should look really funny for the nerdy guy who just cashed his month's paycheck to buy your trillion records. I see techno DJs as idols in fashion mags, producers using alter egos but making sure to enclose a photo and reveal their names, etc. It's sad, because some people actually believe in this kind of stuff, the ideas of anonymity, alternative personas and detaching your face from your work... At least I do, and I see a lot of others like me. It's NOT a marketing trick, but these guys managed to turn it all the way around.

To sum up:

Through the advance of software technology, everybody gained access to a mini home studio and was able to produce something that otherwise would lay buried in her/his head. Somehow, very few people realized and creatively used this potential. Somehow all sound became homogenized. Now music production resembles a factory line and marketing rules all. No surprises, except when needed. These things happen when you follow the easy way. Which one is the true Futurist, the 'oldschool' TB303 user that sweats to get a sequence out of this little box because he likes the fuss and the sound of it, or the mediocre musician and DJ with an up-to-date laptop, loaded with the latest version of the X state-of-the-art software that makes his/her productions sound good and his/her life easy? And they DO sound good (not great though) and life IS easy, except that all s/he can think to do is another copy of the last week's hit, or a bootleg of that and an 80's hit mashed-up with some cheesy acappella on top. It keeps the market running, it's fun and it's good business, but with nothing more to say. No sweat, no gain.
I understand that noone ever told the new artists that you can make miracles, as long as you have something to say. Without an individual viewpoint, you just end up like everybody else. Common sense.

I navigate through the endless web of net-labels and the Creative Common license releases (so much music, with so little time to listen to it..). At least here I don't feel cheated. Nobody's trying to rob me in the name of the 'Underground'. My expectations are really low (I am depressed) and actually I find the majority of artists to be, simply put, unimaginative. Not bad, more like making exercises in sound and structure instead of expressing themselves. Luckily, a few of them prove me wrong. Check out some less known works from well-known artists and some stuff from unknown ones I liked, as reference and a starting point for further search.

I Need It Records
Audio Aubergine
Contexterrior Media
Observatory Online
and of course the mother of all archives,

Here may you find the next Pop Star or the future Hidden Warrior of the Underground, or just Some Good Music. Time will tell, it always does.

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