The Null Device


Simon Reynolds on 80s revivalism:

This last microtrend -- effectively a re-revival -- highlights one of the ironies of the 80's resurgence, for the 80's were the first era in pop in which recycling and retrospection became rife. There were vogues for ska, rockabilly, psychedelia and other musical antecedents. "With 1980's retro, we have reached the point of second-order recycling," said Andrew Ross, a cultural critic who is the director of the American studies program at New York University. "It's the equivalent, God forbid, of double quotation marks."
Modern digital technology is so sophisticated that producers make electronic music that sounds almost as if it were played by a live band, full of subtle rhythmic irregularities that create a humanlike feel and jazzy swing. But just as punk rockers embraced a raw, elemental music, rejecting the overproduced sound of 70's rock, today's electro groups use old-fashioned synthesizers and drum machines. They prefer cold tones and stiff beats because they evoke a period when electronic music seemed alien and forbiddingly novel. They are making machine-music and proud of it.
For many clubgoers, the 80's were a time when rock and dance music were in lively conversation with each other. Club music then was full of punky attitude and personality, a stark contrast to the functional music and faceless D.J.'s who dominate today's post-rave dance culture.

(There we have it; New Wave's Big Comeback.) (ta, Toby!)

1980s culture dance music electroclash electronica music music journalism new wave postmodernism punk retro simon reynolds synthpop 0

Crikey gives May Day protesters a bucketing.

In Sydney, protesters attacked police horses, throwing marbles and firecrackers. Funny. OK, so the horses were asking for it by working for the pigs, man - as the SMH reports, one protester shouted "Police are abusing horses!" - but these people are probably vegans, too. Don't vegans like horses? They also staged a protest against the only country in the Middle East that can be called a democracy. Stick that in your bong and smoke it.

(via The Fix)


The Bush administration vetoes a UN declaration on children's rights, refusing to sign it unless provisions for sexual health services are removed, replaced with abstinence-based programmes. The US is supported by the Vatican in this (and possibly the Australian government as well). It is predicted that if the US gets its way, it will exacerbate the AIDS crisis in the third world, not to mention the other consequences of unwanted children being born. But hey, think of all the souls that will be saved...

abstinence culture war human rights politics puritanism religiots sex un usa 5