Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Dentist Test

I recently spent 45 minutes in the dentist’s chair. This being a real dentist’s chair rather than the ‘legendary’ drinking game you can imagine that it wasn’t much fun. The experience was ‘enhanced’ by my practitioner’s choice of accompanying music, BBC 1Xtra.
 
I consider myself open-minded when it comes to music and I wouldn’t expect my dentist to play classical music in an attempt to relax his patients, I’d generally prefer that he was more relaxed than me. At any rate I’m sure no-one is brave enough to argue with their dentist.

I doubt I’ll be adopting 1Xtra as my station of choice, it isn’t aimed at the likes of me even if I’m far from immune to the appeal of repetitive electronic music.

Like a lot of music the cliquey genres and sub-genres have got out of control to the extent that it’s hard for those of us with a casual interest to define what it is that we actually like. Is that hardcore dubstep ragga with a tinge of electro house or just a decent song that happens to fall into the category of EDM?

Though I’d always hesitate to call myself ‘old-fashioned’ I suppose my tastes still bend towards what I might consider ‘authentic’ in that I may still prefer music that employs a degree of ‘real’ instrumentation whether that’s sampled or played live.

Clean Bandit fall into this category, teasing us with classical inserts in what is inevitably a very modern sound. It also plays cleverly with our conceptions of what EDM is.



As a ‘traditionalist’ (another word I hesitate to use in reference to myself) I always think it will come back to the ‘song’. If the song is good enough then it transcends the boundaries of genre and has an overall appeal. An increasing number of people can play well and/or create a sound but not everyone can write a song. The other test may be whether anyone can write music that makes you forget you’re at the dentists, that may be more of a challenge.

The next blog will be more soulful – examining the likely soul stars of 2013 – so as a segue here’s another burst of the excellent ‘Kids Like These’.

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