The ruins of Detroit identified a past that stands in contrast with Techno's futurism, but do the foreclosed homes, uninhabited luxury condos, and padlocked storefronts provide any kind of guide to tomorrow's music?
Vestigial organs like industrial music and the radio dial proved vital in 2011, while house and dubstep were invaded by hordes of uninvited outsiders, proving once again that electronic and plugged-in music is at the vanguard of change throughout the world.
Electronic music has always maintained an ambivalent attitude towards labor, at once rejecting the notion of wage internment and creative inhibition while embracing the beauty of the cyborgian mechanics of the factory and the allure of discipline and dominance.
With "Notjustmoreidlechatter", Paul Lansky attempted to make a piece that would withstand the monotony of archival recording, future-proofed against the technological developments in the field of digital sound manipulation.
The year 2010 saw two iconic music medium figures go out of production. Panasonic's Technics SL-1200 turntables, the primary tool of DJs since 1972, and Sony's cassette-based Walkman, which put mobile music in over 100 million ears since 1979. Both went the way of the dodo.
When we think of our experiences with electronic music, we can follow a thought trail that leads like a Wikipedia article from one incendiary album to many others. Their qualities are not always alike but for one: the nostalgic thread that runs through them.
Tobin's goal as a composer was to create music that truly reflected the time in which it was made, and to see how far he could remove his samples from their sources before arranging them in new contexts. He achieved such an artifact with each album.