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Not pissing in the ocean. But how much does that matter?

Not pissing in the ocean. But how much does that matter?

Are you a neophile? Do you hunger for novelty?

Are you a magpie, snatching each shiny object within your gaze and devouring any worth it might offer before looking up to continue your search, hunger barely dented? Does the idea of a static culture, free from the everyday bombardment of data on the information superhighway cause you to break out in a cold sweat?

Do you like Zomby?

I feel an affinity with his influences – 80s video games and 90s UK rave – which coaxed me away from resisting the largely lumpen, monochrome sound named dubstep and reminding me of the need to diversify. But to what end?

Zomby’s appeal exists also as part of THE NEW. Specifically the much derided (by him, amongst others) term ‘Wonky’, on the subject of which posts can be written as intricate and expansive as this increasingly notorious article. Although many genre terms refer to textural elements or structural rules, Wonky appears to exist purely as part of a dichotomy with an opposite – the wonkification of music is to change it, make it different and it is those factors which, when (and only when) viewed in contrast with the un-Wonky, necessitate the term.

The cult of the new deems Wonky to be good, as it is different. Unfixed time signatures, rhythms almost arrhythmical in nature, gloopy, undefined sonics… all unusual in dance music therefore worthy of intense scrutiny. This championing of all things Wonk has given my little neophile brain a bit of a bruising, the increasingly academic and opaque nature of the internet chatter surrounding such artists as Zomby has begun to repel me, leading me to forget what I saw in such music in the first place.

When I started college, I chose English Literature. We began by reading a book, the name of which I can’t recall and do not wish to as its content here is irrelevant. The next term was spent picking apart and analysing the text, to the point where it could no longer be enjoyed as a single piece of art and I could only appreciate it as a huge jigsaw of factors, elements and influences. I dropped the subject immediately.

I never wanted that to happen again, but I fear this unrelenting wall of comment, opinion and analysis which constitutes the interweb many be once again undermining the direct, sensual and physical appeal of music which feeds my mind and body. I once again refer to the excellent Dan Hancox and direct you to his Buffoon Empiricist Manifesto: (I implore you to read about it here)

Buffoon Empiricism is a response to the terrible perseverance and proliferation of information and music online. Everyone can access everything, all of the time. Every message board post has a download inside. Every riposte has another riposte. Club music has become more of a spectacle than ever in the last five years; regarded, consumed and critiqued from a metaphorical and physical distance.

Yes, dancing is far preferable to RSI. Zomby’s One Foot Ahead Of The Other EP is out 7th September on Ramp, featuring the track below. It’s awesome and right now, it doesn’t matter why.


  1. poorly informed ‘review’ of a groudbreaking album

    your 3rd comment ever congratulations

      • expendableyouth
      • Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:50 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Not meant as a review, just a few thoughts.

      Comments always welcome though, thanks!

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