Music’s important to me and has been for almost as long as I can remember being me. Certainly for all of my adolescent and adult life. My tastes have changed a lot. Most recently I’ve gotten excited about some electronic music. I met someone recently into the same stuff and with a similar personal history as a music fan – moving from punk and whatnot into this stuff. This guy was about ten years younger than me. He said “this is the first time I’ve been into music that’s happening now as a scene.” That’s not the case for me, but it is part of what I find exciting. It’s nice to be somewhat plugged into a creative something current. There’s stuff I like about this music that’s tied to how it differs from the stuff I’ve been into for a long time (punk shows don’t really work for me anymore at this point in my life, hopefully they will again someday), but what’s most interesting to me is the aesthetic sensibility that’s in common across these kinds of music. Some quotes in this review – of a Hyperdub compilation really captured this for me. (These bits also have what I like in music writing, stuff that explains things to me that I’ve already been experiencing and have had a kind of intuitive grasp on but which I haven’t articulated or seen articulated clearly.)

“Dubstep– the nocturnal, claustrophobic subgenera of British electronic music that emerged from garage and 2-step– is descended from dance music but doesn’t sound like it’s made for dancing. The tempos feel slow, the mood is usually threatening, lonely, or both. (…) Hyperdub is usually cited as dubstep’s most prominent and progressive label, but it’s hard to even call most of their releases dubstep, strictly speaking. (…) Hyperdub’s sound isn’t dubstep, it’s urban noir in the 21st century, or at least how the 21st century looked in 1970s science fiction: A procession of florescent signs over an empty street. (…) Most of the music on it sounds made for the head, not the feet. In a way, it’s like a modern analog to Warp’s 1992 compilation, Artificial Intelligence, whose sleeve was a picture of an empty armchair in a living room– electronic music that has a place in the home. (…) These guys aren’t public faces, they’re lost in the crowd– they’re people spacing out in their living rooms, alone.”

Note to self: think about other art with a similar sensibility. I’m sure there are photographs and paintings that fit with this, and probly some literature. An example that springs to mind is Carson McCuller’s novella “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” but I’m sure other stuff has a similar feel though that’s not an urban story. Maybe some of Nelson Algren’s work as well.