Wednesday, December 9, 2009

via blog to the old skool

a late 1994 BBC 2 documentary on jungle!

part one
part two
part three

what's more, it's a masterclass in rockist ideology virtually from start to finish

not from the doc-makers or presenters, oh no

from the djs, producers, and scene-makers

5 comments:

Josh said...

Hi Simon, I'd really love you to elaborate on the 'rockist' ideology, if you have time.

SIMON REYNOLDS said...

it's full of sentiments to do with:

jungle as voice of the streets / kids on the street

the idea of "underground" vs corporate mainstream

punky-type do it yourself

not selling out / anti bandwagon jumpers like general levy

music moving forward / progressing

etc etc

and all coming from the artists or people on the scene who run labels

"rockist" is not an insult, cos these are all goods thing in my opinion, i just find it funny when people go on about dance culture being the polar antithesis of rock culture, when they actually share a lot of the same ideas, to do with authenticity, expression, realness, community etc etc

Josh said...

I see what you mean yeah. Its an interesting counter-point to the futurism of the actual music in a lot of ways, so I wasn't sure where you are coming from.

Those sentiments are similar to what I felt myself when this music was around in 92 - 95, but I also had that feeling that it was something which had never been done or experienced before. Bit of a contradiction, probably the idealism of my youth :)

Simon said...

oh you were right to feel like it had never been done before, music-wise!

and there are definitely certain aspects of techno culture that break with rockism, e.g. the fact that the scene is not so organised around auteur figures but flows of ideas through the anonymous collective, etc -- Eno's scenius versus genius thing

and obviously it's not bound up with lyrics or messages/statements to anything like the same extent as rock, the politics of it work in a different way

and yknow remixing, the dj's role, etc all that is going against the rock way of doing things in lots of ways

but equally, anything that sees itself as an underground or a subculture is going to have a fair amount of common with either punk or the hippie counterculture

even disco, in the original gay underground sense, has some rockism in its make-up, stuff that came out of the whole sixties/"heads"/liberation thing

Daniel said...

Yeah the early disco Djs were doing stuff like mixing the ambient middle of "Whole Lotta Love" with "Im a Man" by Chicago. This is all very funny to me b/c I get into arguments with club owners and musicians all the time about the merit of faceless techno bollocks vs "real" music. I'm pretty sure that if Hendrix lived into the 90's he'd be producing tracks (hopefully not tastefull jazz step)