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SimonReynolds has been on about re-territorialization in music.

Key idea : many of the most exciting musics of recent years have been totally bound up with a sense of place– dirty south rap, grime, dancehall, Miami bass, New Orlean bounce, Baltimore breaks, reggaeton, etc. These are all local musics, not impervious or impermeable to outside influences, but obsessively referencing parochial details and surroundings. I would argue that this very insularity is integral and intrinsic to their ability to generate intensities. True, they all draw on other musics but the specific hybrids created make sense in a specific place and are addressed to a specific constitutency’s audio-erogenous zones; they service a demographic, a tribe. This contributes heavily to their vibe and flava.

(Note : I don't agree with everything here, seems to me both sides of the war in Sri Lanker share a common experience of having been set against each other by the colonizers.

There are several important, resonances.

ManuelCastells in "The Rise of the NetworkSociety" keeps pointing out that Our societies are increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the Net and the self. Networks of affinity / NetoCracy etc. And personal identity within it.

In a sense, you can see Reynold's new localities as nodes in a global network, still defining their identity. And HyperMusic is network-shaped, not a universally blended field.

MusicHeralds : and localist music, the flip-side of network music, heralds the further fragmentation into local tribes, LocalCurrencies, etc.

Update 2022 : OMFG, did localist music herald PeopleOfSomewhere retreat from globalisation and RightWingPopulism?

More comment : http://shoelaces.typepad.com/laces/2005/02/narrow_horizons.html


  • contrast Momus on "CosmopolitanSophisticates" who also talks about "localities" (cults) without wanting to invoke disturbing notions of place / tradition.

Another thought. I think I have a response to Reynolds' side-taking.

Music is network shaped, and musical influence is a social network. The local communities Raynolds admires are only one necessary part of the structure of a healthy network. They're the maven nodes (to use TippingPoint terminology) : taking in influences, processing, digesting, fermenting them, constantly re-emiting the new genre. They're Kuhn's "normal" scientists. They are deeply conservative. Making gradualist mutations of the existing vernacular within the community.

DJ Marlboro and Diplo are connectors (have BridgeCentrality). Going to a new place and finding something from outside the horizon of the genre and bringing it home to make something new. (SocialOriginOfGoodIdeas)

Both types are necessary.

PodCasting promotes it to a wider-world : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4606077.stm

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