Abstraction and intertextuality in William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops
This link between the work and the events of September 11 has led to The Disintegration Loops being ‘canonised’ as a major artistic response to the disaster. However, the convoluted compositional process of the work, along with its inherent abstraction, raises questions regarding to what extent The Disintegration Loops can be said to be ‘about’…
Ed Sheeran, the Brit Awards and the politics of ‘authentic’ performance
What is ‘authenticity’ in musical performance; and what does a hegemonically-determined authentic musical performance look like?
The Avicii industry
The recent trend for EDM/’American roots music’ crossovers contains some of the most unreal, aesthetic-as-commodity, artistically (morally?) bankrupt music I’ve ever heard, and is proof, if nothing else, that the culture industry is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
Rethinking retromania: temporality and creativity in contemporary popular music
The overriding thesis of ‘retromania’ critique is that recent technological and cultural circumstances have led to something of a regression in the creative impulses of musicians, leading to a lack of innovative styles and an overreliance on pre-existing forms as the inspiration for ‘new works’.
Spectatorship, accelerationism and art’s critical potential
To gain an understanding of the way in which art can itself be an agent of cultural critique it is vital to explore the true nature of spectatorship, how this relates to the production and reception of meaning in art and, ultimately, how a lucid understanding of these two issues contribute to a recognition of…
In defence of pastiche and retromania
I’ve been intending to write about vaporwave for some time, but I’m glad I have refrained from doing so until now, as two pieces I’ve recently read have led me to completely reassess my thoughts on the genre, and by extension what I believe to be the misunderstood role of what is commonly identified as…
Manic Street Preachers – Rewind the Film (ft. Richard Hawley)
There’s a case to be made that ‘Rewind the Film’s overt sentimentality can be more damaging than invigorating, despite the undoubted power the images possess in conveying a sense of heartbreaking decay and loss.
The influence of jazz on the literary style and technique of Jack Kerouac
From what we know of Jack Kerouac’s life, in addition to evidence within his poetry and prose, there is on display a deep love, knowledge and understanding of jazz.
Four instances of the sublime in music
Possibly more than any other form of art, it is music that lends itself most often and most effectively to feelings of the sublime. This is perhaps because music, unlike visual art, and certainly unlike literature, is abstract in its very essence.