What Happened To Progress In Dance Music?

Not sure how I feel about this article tbh. It’s central thesis is one that Mark Fisher makes more eloquently and convincingly in his essay “The Slow Cancelation of the Future”, but even then I really disagree with it. Firstly, both pieces take a somewhat zoomed out and rosy eyed view of dance music history, conveniently forgetting that all these “innovations” actually came from somewhere and, when you understand the history of them, they’re not as much of a break as they’re made out to seem. Progressive, yes, but 90% f the time they’re not breaking from a lineage, but building on it. (An aside, but the mainstream in the 90s was constantly remaking the 60s in the same way that kids remake the 90s now.) Both pieces also seem to expect that “innovation” will be happening in the same places and in the same ways as it did back in the 90s etc…, which strikes me as somewhat absurd and a symptom of the same nostalgia that they bemoan. If you wanna find the fresh stuff, you’ve gotta put the work in and actually look for it. You can’t just browse Beatport and make ridiculously grand generalization. There’s so much incredible, boundary pushing shit out there now that couldn’t have been realized even 5 years ago - some of it even shows up on this forum lol. Lastly, we should really, thoroughly interrogate the value of futurism as a concept and the history of that idea. It can be, and I’ve found it, useful on a personal level occasionally. But on a larger scale, as a societal value, it can be easily interwoven with and co-opted by capitalist and fascist ideals. The value of futurism isn’t in breaking boundaries just to be edgy, as this piece implies. Instead, it’s in imagining a more just, equitable and accepting world and challenging the social and economic forces that prevent a realization of that (something that Mark Fishers’ piece actually fully understands and illustrates well). Afrofuturist scenes have been doing that exceptionally well for decades, and continue to. But tonnnnes of other scenes are doing this brilliantly as well, and finding them is as simple as doing a bit of research :slightly_smiling_face:


Could not agree more on your comments.

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