Several times i’ve started to write a critique of the UK journalistic conceit of a ‘hardcore continuum’, but stopped. If you haven’t heard the term, cease reading now & save yourself some mental space. Word.
I mention it here because, along with Word-the-Cat, BokBok just summed up all I would have said in this excellent post:
“I’m not normally one to be so dismissive, but isn’t the hardcore continuum just a way for older guys to relate to these off-the-wall kids making totally new original stuff that, aesthetically at least, bears little resemblance to the genres that the ‘Nuum designates as their supposed predecessors.”
Yes, it is.
To clarify: the ‘continuum’ notion is one among several that can supply a useful general overview of UK electronica/club migration patterns.
But more often than not, it gets used as a conservative canon in drag. In these cases, it’s a rather blatant attempt by critics to secure their formerly-relevant areas of specialization as the proper ones, usually by employing offensively reductionist binaries, rigid historicization & classification, and an (alarmist) overvaluing of drugs’ role in musical subcultures. Moves which alow them to import the same old interpretive frameworks, suppressing the wonder of unwieldy new variables to deliver the same old answers.
I don’t have time for stuff like this so i never wrote the post, but this week a few people wrote it for me…
note: I’ve read all the post-structuralists in K-Punk’s toolkit, and it strikes me as bizarrely inappropriate that he invokes Luce Irigaray in a “nuum” article reinforcing simplistic MALE vs FEMALE readings/classifications of club music. Écriture féminine his Fact piece is not. Even if the mistake presents itself as homage to another writer’s refried ideas.
As Chris says in his great continuum critique: “music is music, everything is everything (reductive yes, but liberating in its absolute reduction). we don’t need to map our own binaries onto music (screwface/smiley face — masculine/feminine — skunk/MDMA). music takes you past that.”
And I just saw John Eden’s hilarious, spot-on piece at Uncarved.
Re: actually talking to bassline producers, the mighty Dexplicit will stop by my WFMU show next week to drop an exclusive mix session, which we’ll follow up with an interview.