The Null Device
The New York Times has an article on the thriving indie music scene in Athens. Athens, Greece, that is:
The artistic director, Konstantinos Dagritzikos, who plays drums in the ’60s-influenced band Love Beverly, says he tries to maintain a balance between booking local independent bands and acts from abroad, like the London-based electro-punk outfit Publicist, which played at the opening, and the English D.J. collective Disco Bloodbath (traces of this group are still visible in the form of splattered fake blood handprints on Six D.O.G.S.’s graffitied facade).
Though musically diverse, the bands currently emerging out of the Athens scene like the Callas, Phoenix Catscratch, the singer-songwriter Monika, and My Wet Calvin, an experimental indie pop act that often performs in animal costumes, all share a commitment to wild, unconventional live shows and a high-concept, do-it-yourself aesthetic.I recall that there was apparently an indiepop scene in Athens in the 1990s, informed by Sarah Records-style pop from the UK and El Records/Shibuya-kei-style bossa-pop, with acts like The Crooner (who, if I recall correctly, had a few songs on compilations from the German label Apricot).
The vinyl record "died" in the 1980s, killed off by the increased convenience of cassettes and CDs (and the recording industry's drive to get people to buy their music all over again), though, thanks to hip-hop and dance-music DJs, enjoyed a vibrant second life. Niche labels started putting out vinyl, new pressing plants opened, and then the majors got back into the game. Now, it seems that vinyl's second life may be coming to an end; Technics have announced that they are discontinuing their iconic 1200 and 1210 turntables, as more DJs realise that digital DJing technology has improved spectacularly, and that the old arguments about it not being authentic or "proper DJing"* aren't getting any less tired than the ones about digital photography not being real photography. Indeed, while Technics scrap their turntables, their rival Pioneer have just released a new CD DJ deck which can play MP3s off a USB drive; though even such advances in dedicated DJing hardware are in part defensive actions against the onslaught of laptop DJing software.
* What's the DJing equivalent of rockism? Vinylism perhaps?