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Digital Magma – Jean-Yves Leloup

Digital Magma – Jean-Yves Leloup

Leloup has the perfect name for the job, and a spiffy line in extended metaphors, so marvel at his “swirling magma” of music, DJs, producers and listeners. He reckons today’s electronic music – virtual, networked, playlisted and raved to – is a handy guide to how we’ll do everything in future. Hard to deny, really. If you like flowery academic language this is for you; if you decode it you’ll realise he’s not actually saying anything very radical. David Toop’s intro is nice.

Reviews.

Well, as I read most of your books with great interest, I know that you don't really appreciate the traditional academic approach and criticize many authors. But reducing this book to a flowery academic language seem very unfair. And joking about the author's name really hurts. The idea of this essay is that the emergence of electronic music with its new generation of artists and digital technologies has disturbed the world music landscape. From the musicians’ angle, since the end of the eighties, techno, house and their various subgenres, have brought in a new breath, sometimes sweeping aside the order established by rock and pop, and imposing new game rules: ephemeral and shared creations, widespread sampling, DJ rule, the practise of mix and remix, new and micro-economy. But that aesthetic revolution, which ended up contaminating most music during the nineties, is not only limited to artists. The democratisation of the digital, of the means of diffusion, and of exchange and listening, transforms the relationship between the audience and music. Today the MP3 generation, beyond the simple question of piracy, invents new codes and practises which have shaken our way of ‘consuming’ culture.

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