Tuesday, 3 February 2009

You know the score.....

After flicking through the superb cartoontastic Suburban Base cover art yesterday, I also came across a new (ish) post on music critic Simon Reynolds blissblog. Reynolds is participating in an event called The Hardcore Continuum, linking to a selection of his writings in uber music geek magazine Wire.

Reynolds is one of the only writers to discuss the idea of a UK hardcore heritage, most famously though his book Energy Flash, where he argues a case of UK rave and hardcore music as a genuine artistic subculture. In the process Reynolds intellectualises it with a critique that draws as much upon academic critical theory as rude boy ramblings.

The articles are great, and its bloody good to see a considered approach taken to music that doesn’t traditionally fit into the four white boys playing the blues school of rock journalism.

However there is a stage where it’s tempting to criticise Reynolds as slightly missing the point. Talking about The Aesthetic of Disappearance, in relation to a home grown youth culture does go someway to legitimising the backroom knob twiddling of the network of misspent youths who made it happen. However, the music has existed and evolved precisely because of its lack of media spotlight and legitimisation.

At what stage does a critic like Reynolds become the cultural big game hunter, on safari in the badlands of the jungle?

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