Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Those Awkward Origins

None of us start out cool. None of us are ever really as cool as we think. Until the drugs hit. Then we think we're cool. Until we get off drugs. Then we realize cool doesn't matter.

Back in the late 80s when 'techno/electronica' was starting to bubble up from beneath the surface, it was apparent no one was really quite sure what to do with it, including the musicians themselves.

Considering that The Chemical Brothers in 1998 won and Propellerheads in 1999 were nominated for the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental it was obvious they still didn't quite know what to do with it.

For those of us there early enough to remember its infancy and emergence from the underground, this was the beginning of the end as it was poised to be the next big thing. It more or less went back underground as the Grammy's lumped it into the blurry category of 'dance' music. But it could not be conatined. A genre was being born.

In 2005 a category for Best Dance/Elecronic album was created at which point that heinous industry derived term 'EDM' (almost as bad as the uninitiated's use of 'techno' to cover anything electronica) was pushed, marketed and more or less vomited onto the populace at large and that phase of electronic music was officially complete. It had reached critical mass and spilled over, its journey from Comiskey Part through the underground to the Grammy's had come full circle.

Certainly an oversimplification but as the videos above show none of this should be taken too seriously. We aren't saving the world here, contrary to how many of us may feel when first discovering 'that sound' that takes us somewhere else.

Fear not though as for those of us with attentive enough ears know the underground is still alive and its pulse can be sensed wherever it may be found.


  1. So very true... I remember going to The Jesus and Mary Chain show in Phoenix with some unknown band opening called Nine Inch Nails

  2. That is awesome. Can't tell you how many times I dug the opening act more than the headliner.