What would it take to sound “new”?


interesting… but techno actually grew from a very specific scene/story. it started to come together around 81/82 of course in detroit. Kraftwerk were played but nothing before trans-europe express.

much more specifically, roots are in tracks like this:

then people actually from the scene started doing their own (more forward looking) stuff; i.e.

while there are no videos of the parties, this TV segment(from 1982) kind of gives a little more context


well, it’s not what it’s missing, it’s not even that it has another feeling.
thing is that historically it isn’t fair to call this techno.
techno has its own history and it begun later than this.

you can find techno alike tracks in bruce haack songs of the late 60’s, but that doesn’t make them “techno”.


thanks @ht73 for putting it a bit more into perspective.
yes, i kinda remembered the whole start a bit later (about half of the 80’s) while cybotron was 81!!! fkin geniuses!!!


Aware of history, but thanks. Always fun to listen again.

Let me put it another way. I’ve been hesitant to state this so categorically. But here goes: nothing is new. Everything is recombinant. New is a ridiculous goal.

Had a great time last night listening to Royal Jelly Jive, Balkan Bump, and Beats Antique. You could say that you probably have never heard Turkish banjo quite like the way David Satori plays it (the Jimi Hendrix of Turkish banjo?) but everything he does is conscious of roots in prior music. Balkan Bump, a kind of klezmer hip-hop. New? From a certain angle…

So, it’s fair to say that Kraftwerk concert isn’t techno. It’s ridiculous to say that techno didn’t have Kraftwerk in its rear view mirror.


sure I just didn’t want a specific story to be lost. of course Kraftwerk was in there, as well as P-Funk and other interesting/forgotten people like Mandre (Andre Lewis) also from Detroit. but whatever Kraftwerk they played was karl bartos Kraftwerk. they didn’t care about the early stuff.

what you posted though was cool, I don’t recall that one from their early albums.


of course kraftwerk was there.
of course @jasonw22 nothing is ever really new, but that doesn’t mean that everything is everything else.
there was something genuinely unique in the detroit scene of those years, lot has been written now that the whole movement has been historified.


also: in your first post you tipified techno as something 4/4 with kick on every beat. it’s fun that you rarely find those characteristics in early techno tracks :slight_smile:


Gah. Yes, it’s always possible to split the hair further. It’s always possible to tell someone on the internet that they are wrong.

Let’s shift the tone a bit? When does recombinating pre-existing things create a 1+1=3 situation? I believe that gets at the spirit of the original post. Since we’re mostly recapitulating most of the time, but always introducing disparate elements that may never have been mixed together before, when does that combination rise to the level of “new”? Is it necessarily subjective, or could we find a way to describe the nature of that x-factor?

If not, then I go back to “new is a ridiculous goal”. Maybe it can’t be a goal. Maybe it’s just magic that rarely occurs.


4/4 was more chicago, which had the italo disco influence

here is craig loftis, 1982 (this ron hardy always credited to himself then the truth came out)


man, i have no intention to say you are wrong or disrespect you.
i only aired my opinion.
chill, please


i usually use emojis like smileys to express exactly this kind of intention to be inside a friendly conversation.


Sorry if I lacked chill.

Slippery topics. Probably why I shouldn’t make categorical assertions. The bright lines just aren’t there.


I don’t think it’s about arguing on the internet, I appreciated and learned from what you posted. As I have all the Kraftwerk albums and most solo projects and was not aware of that performance. But stuff like techno (a.k.a. “the new”) developed in such a rich and influential way because it was rooted in things that were very specific/urgent and meaningful to a really cool group of people, it wasn’t based in abstract/formal qualities.

(also sorry if it seems we’re piling on, hyena and i are posting simultaneously it seems…)


and of course kraftwerk was among the influences, the cool things those cool people listened to, among others…

it is really interesting to look at recent music subcultures evolution. a lot of insights.
people like kodwo eshun or even kode9\steve goodman in his own “sonic warfare” book are examples of a kind of literature i enjoy very much re: this stuff.


an early “snare fill” … kind of… ok i will stop now


Oh cool, new-to-me reading material. Thanks!


you are very welcome and you’ll have an helluva ride on those two :slight_smile:
eshun has a more accentuated poetic style, while goodman is more on the sociologic\scientific approach, but both explore the mythopoietics inherent in sonic subcultures.
another good one (a bit different, an anthology of shorter articles) is dj rupture’s “uproot”, he talks a lot also about his encounters with middle eastern music cultures, very interesting.
slightly different is “not your world music” by cedrik fermont: a mapping of noise\experimental\electronic music in the whole south asia. arghhh i’m derailing the topic a bit :slight_smile:


Love that book!

Will add Cedrik Fermont to the list too.

Maybe? Or is this pointing at the x-factor I was talking about?


I don’t want to lose this either, though, it’s important too & thanks for this. our projection of ourselves onto the horizon of the future also involves recalling (or inventing) a specific past: we mine the past for the resources (habits/skills etc.) that can help us close the gap between present and future. (i.e. achieve our goals.)

how about combining the two ideas: we need to be recombinant, but at the level of the stories (the "sonic fictions) we’re trying to tell. at the level of communities we form. not merely at the level of formal musical characteristics.

(I say this in a bit of frustration, as there are communities I think are really important, yet they’re kind of indifferent to the musical aspect; if music is involved it’s basically commercial EDM, or something else I don’t particuarly like, but in the broader sense music isn’t really yet integrated into the narratives. hence my perpetual anxiety/frustration of always being “between worlds” & not really fitting into either, etc. etc.)


i totally get what you mean. this feeling of being an outsider strikes me very often. i grew up in the free party scene, while i still support and enjoy the practice (of reclaiming empty decaying spaces and in parallel reclaiming\stealing the time from the capitalist time of production to give it back to free expression) i am often abased by the silliness\cheesiness of the music. definitely more mainstream oriented than 20 yrs ago…