Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Electronic Music, Digital Culture

For me, it is music—more than any other single thing—that makes life worth living. You may have already guessed this from my large collection of electronic-music-related links in the sidebar. Listening to music is often a sensual, visceral thing for me, like enjoying a particularly decadent slice of cheesecake. The right song at the right moment (usually something by Orbital, or maybe Beethoven) has been known to cure week-long funks I was otherwise sure would continue indefinitely. It’s the closest I get to calling something a reverent or spiritual experience (and I suspect my experiences are just as “transcendent” as any religious person's).

So, you might wonder why I don’t blog about music more often. Well, as someone smart once said, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture—it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” One’s tastes in music are about as rational as one’s tastes in ice cream—and, besides, mine are decidedly outside the mainstream. Moreover, I have no interest in making Die Eigenheit more shamelessly self-indulgent than it already is.

Having said all that, I do find myself sometimes wondering, “What is Die Eigenheit about, if it isn’t my peculiarity, hmmm?” I can’t come up with a good answer to that question at the moment (though you might reasonably wonder why I didn’t call the blog “Meine Eigenheit”), so I hope you’ll allow me a little self-indulgence, here. I’d like to recommend that you check out one of my favorite web sites—the one that, for good reason, tops my list of music sites: Static Beats.

If you’re a music lover, but disdain electronic music, then I don’t begrudge you your preferences, but consider this: Does your exposure to it consist entirely of brief stints at the meat-market “techno” clubs, bombarded with the relentless thud-hiss-thud-hiss-thud-hiss that your annoying friends call “electronica” (retch!)? If so, I submit you are unfairly judging an art form by its worst representatives. It’s as if you condemned all of Rock and Roll on the basis of hearing only Poison or Whitney Houston. Give the Static Beats webcast a listen with an open mind and see if you’re not pleasantly surprised at the breadth and depth that genuinely artful electronic music has to offer. Take it from someone who has been a die-hard electronic music fan since the first time he learned about the letter W watching Sesame Street (I’m sorry I can’t provide a link to a video that would clarify the reference. You'll just have to trust that I'm actually making sense, here).

If you are a fan of electronic music then you really couldn’t ask for more. What you can count on from Static Beats is a steady stream of innovative artists on the forefront of the genre, mixed in with just the right amount of classics from the past. The site showcases so much good music that I’m almost scared not to listen to it, because of what I might miss. This has a bit of a downside, though, too, because discovering two or three new must have artists per week is way more than I have the money for. My Amazon Wish List is getting unwieldy as a result, and I’ve taken to forcing myself to listen less frequently nowadays.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I do!


steve said...

This is a GREAT write up Abe and I can thank you for exposing me to Static Beats--if I were religious I'd liken it to a Godsend. Also check out the site "Boomkat" ( for great reviews and news on electronica. I love the whole analogy referring to judging rock on Poison too--so many folks simply aren't exposed to good electronic music--a real shame. Anyhow, be as self-indulgent as ya want to ma--it's YOUR freakin' blog. It's a shame though 'cause i don't think there are enough electronica heads on Blogger--I'd love to get more discussions going like this--like you said, it's almost a spiritual thing--this music, a reason to love life even. Oh, and thanks for the Wisp cd--love it. I'm diggin' the MD stuff thoroughly as well. Oh that reminds me, I gotta pick up that new Thom Yourke cd today. Peace!

Einzige said...

Wisp, MD, Bluetech... All great stuff I found out about because of Static Beats!

Glad you liked the post, Steve!

BTW, it's einzige, if you don't mind. I'm not going to be anal or militant about my anonymity or nuthin', because if you really want to figure out who I am it's not even slightly difficult.

On the other hand, I'd really like to ensure that my Google footprint in conjunction with the blog stays at an absolute minimum. Know what I mean? As it stands now, my footprint on the web is embarassing enough!


steve said...

ha ha--sorry then secret agent man. but no, i totally understand (and hey, digging severed Heads is NOTHING to be ashamed about--those guys were/are great!!

Einzige said...


Speaking of which, I may just have to come up with something to blog about regarding them!

V said...

So true about "thud-hiss thud-hiss" that most annoying people call "Electronica"

It's really HARD finding good electronic music. I'll have to check your link and see what I can find.

I do love electro music - but I fall in love with all types of music and sometimes even (yikes!) the mainstream stuff.

Einzige said...

There is a lot of crap out there.

A good rule of thumb: If the cover art is a photo of a woman in a bikini, stay away!

Dikkii said...

Great post.

Although I can't say I'm greatly a fan of electronic music these days, I did go through an Autechre and Aphex Twin period in the late nineties, a stint of incessant raving in the early nineties and a Jean-Michel Jarre obsession that continues (from the mid eighties).

Yeah, it's not all "thud-hiss thud-hiss" or as I like to call it, "boom-chi boom-chi". Quite right. I just wish that the mainstream would develop on some of the ideas that has come out of the uncommercial and not just focus on "untz untz untz".