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Re: Maybe why Avante-garde looping in US...
At 4:51 PM -0800 2/2/06, loop.pool wrote:
>>So, to summarize, there is interesting Hip Hop being made. You just
>>have to get out of the US to find it.
>ooooooh, I'm sorry but I will contend that statement with all due
You contention of my criticism accepted with all due respect, of course.
(One note before we get started however: I just want to bring it back
that because I don't find the current state of American beat music
very inspired, I don't necessarily agree with the article that
started all this. Just because I think there's not a lot of
interesting Hip Hop being produced here, that doesn't mean I agree
those artists here are inherently incapable of producing interesting
Hip Hop. That's due to a choice, not a lack of ability, IMNSHO.)
>There is wonderful experimental and very innovative hip hop going on
>in every big city
>in the US these days.
>There are also a lot of indie underground bands who have hip hop
>backgrounds as kids
>and are doing spoken word over backing tracks that is like a more
>laid back version of hip hop.
>There are at least three groups in my small home town alone
>exploring this territory.
The spoken word stuff sounds interesting. Since we're talking local,
I think there may be a couple of people here in Chicago doing similar
things. However, I think at times our own history here hangs around
our necks like an albatross. Supposedly, the first Poetry Slams
originated over in Uptown at the Green Mill decades ago. So people
seem to uphold tradition and venerate the spoken word performances,
and don't tend to push them too far out on a limb. House music
started here, so people also look at you a little funny if you try to
take that musical form further out -- as if you're somehow betraying
your roots. That's somewhat understandable considering the way
different cities put their own stylistic stamp on the same sort of
music; House from Chi, Techno from Detroit, Acid from London, etc.,
If anything, I see a lot of the innovators here slipping into
Beatboxing. I think that's because there's not any real baggage that
comes along with that. And there's a small IDM community here, but a
couple of the record stores that were at the center of that scene
have closed in the past year and left it a bit rudderless. It
doesn't help that a local artist will just start to get some
recognition, then suddenly blast outta here for parts unknown (Greg
Davis' recent move to Vermont, or Telefon Tel Aviv to New Orleans,
immediately come to mind here).
In addition, I think Hip Hop has become so mainstream that a lot of
innovators intentionally steer clear of it. It's sort of like when
the big-hair spandex metal bands were at their peak. For a while it
was tough to maintain your self-esteem as a guitar player when most
of your peers were more concerned with hair spray than doing anything
The guys who are left in the spotlight are, like the dinosaur rock
bands, more concerned with getting wasted or getting laid (not
necessarily in that order).
>Ever heard ClouDdead? Check 'em out.
Saw an article on them in Grooves magazine, but haven't actually
heard any of their stuff. Now I'll have to go find some. Didn't
they just put out their "final" album and call it quits (ala Big
(aside: speaking of Grooves, i just saw that they've now gone
completely digital. nuts, this is going to put a real crimp in my
bathroom reading material.)
>ps Also, and this is out of the US, but nobody seems to know about
>the wonderful group, originally from East Berlin before the fall of
>the wall, TARWATER.
I picked up "Dwellers on the Threshold" for a buck last year when
another local record store was going under. Didn't really get into
it, but I'm not sure what I was expecting. I'll have to go dig it
back out again.
On a completely different note, I was over on iTunes the other day
and picked up the Nation 12 collaboration with John Foxx. I don't
think I ever would have thought of that combination -- heavy Hip
Hop-style drum and bass tracks with Foxx's trademark monotone,
alienated (and often vocoded) vocals over the top. However, I was
pleasantly surprised to find that it actually works very well.
"If Television is a babysitter, then the Internet is a drunk
librarian who won't shut up..."