Breaking the Electronic Sprawl

Conference paper


Rietveld, HC (2015). Breaking the Electronic Sprawl. Guerra, P and Bennett, A (ed.) Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! (KISMIF): Crossing Borders of Underground Music Scenes. Porto, Portugal 13 - 17 Jul 2015 Griffith University and University of Porto. pp. 235 - 235
AuthorsRietveld, HC
TypeConference paper
Abstract

This paper will address a contemporary mediation of urban alienation and a delineation of sonic space through DiY electronic music. It will do so at first by addressing the intersection of the dub diaspora and post-punk nihilism London’s underground electronic music. Here, the modern subject is decentred through labyrinthine echoic effects, twisted rhythms and digitised audio traces. Lyrics speak of competition, anger and frustration, while the musical structures offer a mix of violence and melancholy. In The Dark Side of Modernity, social theorist Jeffrey C Alexander resonates with Bataille’s discussion of the sacred by stating that ‘The social creation of evil results not only in efforts to avoid evil but also in the pursuit of it’ (2013: 120) while with Michel Foucault it is possible to understand that power can be productive. The deconstructive musical aesthetic of dub step and grime can produce social empowerment through the seduction of their shared secret, a detoxifying inversion of its sonic articulation of evil. An understanding this broken electronic sound reaches beyond the limits of subcultural theory, as this approach to music resonates with, for example, the minimalist digital sounds of Kuduro in Angola, Gqom in South Africa, or Funk Carioca in Brazil, as well as in American ‘underground’ pop. In these styles, meeting points can be identified in the post-colonial posthuman(ist) urban experiences of what Benjamin Nuys (2014) calls Malign Velocities (2014), styles that break both with and against the electronic sprawl.

Year2015
JournalKISMIF 2015 Book of Abstracts
PublisherGriffith University and University of Porto
Web address (URL)https://kismif.eventqualia.net/media-events3/filer-public/2015/07/14/kismif_2015_book_of_abstracts.pdf
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Publication dates
Print13 Jul 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Apr 2016
ISBN978-989-8648-51-8
Page range235 - 235
EditorsGuerra, P and Bennett, A
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8764x

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