Sonic history in electronic music may be made with technology, but it’s also the output of someone’s brain. As such, it’s natural that liberated creativity can produce all kinds of possibilities. And it should be no surprise that history sometimes comes in cycles.

Or… make that rectangles.

Speaking of Poland, this short animation, crafted in 1971, features spooky sounds that would be at home on any modern dark techno floor. Entitled “Prostokąt dynamiczny” – literally, “dynamic rectangle” – the animation is by experimental filmmaker Józef Robakowski, with music by the incredible Eugeniusz Rudnik. We saw Rudnik yesterday in our piece on Polish electronic music pioneers (and their connection to modern partiers), and featured in the Boiler Room film.

It’s worth considering the visualist here alongside the sonic artist. The Poznań-born Robakowski was an early pioneer in video art and experimental film – on the standards of the international stage, not just as a curiosity from Poland. His work ranged from conceptual pieces (photographing coriander, for instance) to meditations on Poland’s still-recent, dark history (piecing together collage from the Holocaust).

And this film, apart from sounding a heck of a lot like something you could play at Boiler Room Berlin now, is a poetic essay on the relationship between sound and image, form and rhythm. Even when he’s working with image, he can be inspiring to musicians – and if your medium is audiovisual, doubly so.

For more, see this extensive piece and accompanying video documentary (Polish with English subtitles):
JÓZEF ROBAKOWSKI [culture.pl]

Józef Robakowski from Culture.pl on Vimeo.

For more like this, you can follow a Facebook page dedicated to this era in Polish experimental artistic history:

Studio Eksperymentalne Polskiego Radia [Facebook]

It’s in Polish, but you’ll find plenty of pictures … and videos, and sounds, and links to English-language articles. Expect to spend some time wandering the timeline archives.

It wasn’t just Poland that was creating wild new inventions despite Soviet domination. Meanwhile, in Bratislava (former Czechoslovakia, modern Slovakia), this was happening. (If you despise rectangles and techno-like rhythmic grids, I present – circles. Lots of circles. And no clearly perceptible rhythmic grid. Happier? We cater to all sorts here. No discrimination.)

Jozef Malovec (1933-1998): Orthogenesis (1966-1967). Realized in the Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio, Bratislava.

In the composition only electronic sound sources are used. Resulting sounds were modified and filtered before as well as after the detailed decoupage, small sound structures being prepared from a random selection of high frequencies. With an “infinite” tape they were reproduced by an effect tape recorder with four magnetic heads, where the audio signal of every head was modified by a special adjustment of band pass filters or by various types of feedback. This elementary microstructural material underwent a further transformation through various degrees of reverberation, or by a continually changing reverberation. The composition has no definitive score; there exist only sketches of some of its parts, serving as an orientation at the process of montage and mixing. There exists also some schematic figures of the connecting of instruments for the producing of some of the microstructural material. The expanding and compressing of the time process in microstructures is incorporated in the whole. At some places it was produced by the effect tape recorder. By this device the musical form received dynamic pulsation and inner evolution.

While working on Orthogenesis I tried mainly to form a musically continuous process, whereby the means of new sound elements results in a counterpoint of various microstructures as well as various kinds of space. The stereophonic mixing gives the definitive form of the composition in the space of the audition.

By Jozef Malovec (fonte web).

So circular.

Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget about the time Delia Derbyshire accidentally invented techno. (I’m going to introduce all my music from now on with “forget about this – it’s for interest only.” Oh, Delia, if you only knew how interested people would eventually be in this sound.)

Found Tapes Prove Doctor Who Musician May Have Invented Techno [Retro thing]

And the circle is unbroken…

(Thanks to Jacek Plewicki, also of The Record Loft Berlin, for the discussion and tips.)

  • bitbin

    You may also find the work of Oskar Fischinger of interest. His works explored relationships between sound, colour and movement within a 3D context. Although, most of this work is of course subjective, non the less it is interesting to see how this type of work comes around again and again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEXjFzo1omQ&index=4&list=PLCn9TBNUMAgX9u7AkWvt9iTy5vtueGBG6

    • Absolutely…

      Other examples abound, too, from Russia, Germany, the USA, and so on. This was a nice little film, though, I thought to add context from the earlier story on the composer.

  • bitbin

    You may also find the work of Oskar Fischinger of interest. His works explored relationships between sound, colour and movement within a 3D context. Although, most of this work is of course subjective, non the less it is interesting to see how this type of work comes around again and again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEXjFzo1omQ&index=4&list=PLCn9TBNUMAgX9u7AkWvt9iTy5vtueGBG6

    • Absolutely…

      Other examples abound, too, from Russia, Germany, the USA, and so on. This was a nice little film, though, I thought to add context from the earlier story on the composer.

  • Patrick Ijsselstein

    sorry to disappoint you, but the dutch are the real pioneers concerning the first electronic music ever made. Check this out;

    • Ha, nice example! Here, you actually don’t have to paste embeds in Disqus … a straight YouTube link will work:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RjMuB8Qkd8

      I’m really half-jesting above. Repetitive sounds are a natural outgrowth of machines. I always thought maybe the real question was instead why we find them appealing (well, though Delia’s apology above suggests she was unsure about her own experiment there). But then we get into a conversation about natural repetition in the body (which drives our brainwaves in a particularly regular oscillation, for instance), and the impact of repetitive sound.

      Anyway… while that’s a separate discussion, these examples are great, and I think can be inspiring to people working with very different tools today.

      • Patrick Ijsselstein

        It all starts with the heartbeat of the mother, echoing around the unborn i guess. Somewhere between 110 and 180 bpm, what a coincidence.

  • Patrick Ijsselstein

    sorry to disappoint you, but the dutch are the real pioneers concerning the first electronic music ever made. Check this out; [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RjMuB8Qkd8&w=420&h=315%5D

    • Ha, nice example! Here, you actually don’t have to paste embeds in Disqus … a straight YouTube link will work:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RjMuB8Qkd8

      I’m really half-jesting above. Repetitive sounds are a natural outgrowth of machines. I always thought maybe the real question was instead why we find them appealing (well, though Delia’s apology above suggests she was unsure about her own experiment there). But then we get into a conversation about natural repetition in the body (which drives our brainwaves in a particularly regular oscillation, for instance), and the impact of repetitive sound.

      Anyway… while that’s a separate discussion, these examples are great, and I think can be inspiring to people working with very different tools today.

      • Patrick Ijsselstein

        It all starts with the heartbeat of the mother, echoing around the unborn i guess. Somewhere between 110 and 180 bpm, what a coincidence.

  • Adel Vent

    More about polish electronic music pioneers http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2h4g2n

  • Adel Vent

    More about polish electronic music pioneers http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2h4g2n

  • john_d

    Why is there a sudden need to try and take away the origins of techno from it’s true black urban Detroit roots? I see it happening more and more recently, there is some kind of cultural appropriation going on now that it has become lucrative. America dismissed the music for over two decades, in my view because it was of black. Now there is some revisionary history writing going on in the media, generally pointing out obscure predated examples of techno or even blatant skipping over of the roots completely as in the case of the Giorgio Moroder interview from a couple of weeks back in Time magazine. It’s a shame that people still feel the need to have a white origin on something for it to be fully acceptable to them. Usually this is being done by people who are jumping on the scene in recent years.

    http://time.com/3701060/giorgio-moroder-interview-dance-music/

    This is not levelled directly at you Peter, more just an observation of a general trend.

    • john_d

      Btw, at least Daft Punk had the decently to do a proper call track out on the roots in the teachers track on homework https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNjhsPt_8Gw

    • Confused

      A few points,

      1) America didn’t dismiss the music because it was black. Hiphop is very much a black genre at it’s core and that seemed to do pretty well for itself since the late 70’s. I’d go so far as to say America didn’t dismiss electronic music at all. It maintained an underground following for the most part, sure, but that was by choice. That and some people find it dreadfully annoying. Just ask my downstairs neighbor.

      I’m not sure Fox is jumping at the chance to do a piece on Underground Resistance and I’m not sure UR would even want to bother. They are better than that.

      2) How can hard dates be argued as being a racial matter, especially when these Detroit cats openly speak of the influence from groups like Human League? Please explain to me why Human League’s “Dancevision” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=778GQdnUWxM ) isn’t Techno, when the same exact song from Cybotron would be. Is the geographical location the only defining factor for Techno? If so, that’s a different argument for a different time. Dancevision is from 1977 while Cybotron formed in 1980. Am I racially motivated when I say Dancevision is Techno? Absolutely not. We all know Devo invented Techno with Smart Patrol (Version 2). 😉

      3) I wouldn’t ever expect a low-income black youth from Detroit in the early pre-Internet 80’s to know anything about Polish audio lab experiments from a decade prior. (There’s a hipster joke in there somewhere.)

      4) After reading your link, Time wrote about Moroder not because he’s white or because Techno has anything to do with the article. He has a new album coming out, wrote a lot of iconic works in both the pop and soundtrack genres for several decades and I’m sure his label threw down some cash for the exposure.

      I have a few more thoughts on this matter, but perhaps I’ll save this for another rant.

      • john_d

        Disco sucks put pay to black urban dance music in the united states. It went underground for that reason and thats where house and techno rose from. So now we have this revisionism going on. Techno and House are as black as hip-hop.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night

        Incidentally, I reckon the post by peter may be in reaction to Felix the housekats claims at the weekend that house and techno is being taken over elvis rock and roll style now that there is money in it.

        • Confused

          1) Are you suggesting Peter posted this article because Felix was drunk, had his ego bruised and has yet to realize his ridiculous actions proved that the club made the right decision in turning him away? Elvis-sized egos such as FTH’s are what threatens House or Techno. Better music from a different skin color is not the problem and shame on him for suggesting otherwise. Maybe he should spend less time incoherently ranting on Twitter and spend more time being a 90’s housecat or whatever.

          Unless I misunderstood, you said “This is not levelled directly at you Peter…” and then continue on suggesting otherwise. You cannot have it both ways when you’re creating your own narrative.

          2) “Disco sucks put pay to black urban dance music in the united states.” I don’t know what you mean by this sentence, but I might have an idea of what you are trying to communicate…

          I’m familiar with the Disco Demolition Night. I’m also familiar with the argument that white records weren’t being destroyed so it must be a racially motivated event. The fact is that none of us were there, no one counted/tallied records and it’s all speculation from music writers. I’m not saying there were no closet racists, but that’s an assumption just as anything else related to the event.

          Let me throw this out there: if disco records were the target of destruction because people felt it was crammed down their throats, why would anyone bring their John Cougar or Jimi Hendrix rock records to break? Suggesting it was solely motivated by race is a flawed argument because these racists purchased the records in the first place, no?

          3) “now that there is money in it.”

          I’m pretty sure there’s been plenty of money in Techno for many years.

          • john_d

            I follow peter on twitter and read a tweet he made after my first post, which kind of confirmed an inclination I had.

            “Dynamic Rectangle built techno! http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/02/1971-dancing-rectangle-poland-predicts-modern-techno-av/ … @berghain u are MADE of quadrilaterals ignorance is a disease! #toodimensional”

            Read this, especially Q-Tips comments on cultural smudging and how important it is to speak and acknowledge the roots. Replace the word “hip-hop” with “techno” and you will get my drift.

            http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/dec/24/iggy-azalea-azealia-banks-hip-hop-appropriation-problem

          • Confused

            Right, I wasn’t aware of the tweet. Thank you for clarifying. I still think FTH blew any chance of a legitimate discussion. 😉

            As for the Techno/HipHop appropriation argument, I’m familiar with it. It’s a touchy subject probably not meant for a further tear down in the comment section on CDM.

            FWIW I couldn’t agree more with some of what was said in the Guardian link. I also think some of it was extremely insincere.

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • john_d

            Here’s my take on the FTH situation.

            In sociology, exclusion to property is well studied and there are terms used to describe it. “Bouncers Right” is what happened in this case. In “Bouncers Right”, the worst form of exclusion, you don’t know if the person walking the door will cause trouble or not, but due to the lack of information a judgement call is made about their possible future behaviour based on cultural bias: usually how the person is behaving or how the person looks. That is a fact and a well described one.

            If FTH walked to that door and was reasonably behaved ( remember inside Berghain there is drug dealing, people not able to move because they are so high, alcohol is sold and consumed…) and wasn’t allowed in, then a judgement was made based on how he looked. Was it his glasses? Was it his big rings or was it his skin colour or was it a combination of all these things? Something led that bouncer to not let him in. In FTH eyes he was well behaved, so he jumped to point number: it was how he looked. He was really highly offended and while I don’t condone his response, it is understandable . The way he was dismissed and jeered afterwards by the mainly white section of the dance music community was foul.

          • john_d
          • Shannon
          • I missed this comment thread, on to other things…

            I’m the last person to try to rob Detroit or the African-American pioneers on whose foundations all of us stand in modern electronic music of their roots.

            Also, I’m aware that I’m a white person, and that I have – I believe – and extra obligation because of the ways in which people with my skin color are at cultural advantages in America (and elsewhere), the history that has in my country, and the specifically musical history and the wrongs it includes.

            However, I have enough respect for that history and that Felix da Housecat’s rants were absurd and embarrassing. So, that’s what I was mocking with my Tweet – I hope it wasn’t ill-considered. There’s lots of history around the world in music. I thought it did a disservice to his own history. I don’t know that the bouncers *did* recognize him, I don’t know what state he was in, I don’t know what happened. I think if it is the case that bouncers are knowingly turning away people because of the color of their skin, then that merits real discussion. If it’s what happened to Felix, then I am truly sorry. Even then, though, a long and cyclical Twitter tirade is an unfortunate reaction for a professional musician (one who was booked the same night at another Berlin club, I might add).

            Anyway, yes – the more you know about history, the more you can give credit to pioneers in Detroit *or* Warsaw.

            As I said in this article, almost no one outside Poland had any contact with this work. Like the Delia Derbyshire example, some of these things are just natural outgrowths of what you do with machines.

            Techno and House, meanwhile, take some of those basic techniques and turn them into a whole style, there’s a culture and a history around them. And no, no one who denies that culture or history should be taken seriously.

            At the same time, these are global movements. So I think you also have to take seriously the contributions of other cultures – including, for instance, in Europe. Their take comes from different life experiences and musical exposure, different parties, etc. That makes their affinity for music that came out of, say, Detroit and Chicago, all the more interesting.

          • john_d

            Thats a fair retraction and I don’t doubt for single moment Peter that your heart is not is the right place. But you need to be aware of what you are saying and don’t just jump on a bandwagon.

            Personally, I read that Time magazine article and I was deeply disappointed. Disappointed in the country called America. The dance music scene is better than that.

            I urge anyone who can read this to purchase a copy of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism”.

            http://www.economist.com/news/books/21615864-how-slaves-built-american-capitalism-blood-cotton

    • Random Chance

      I don’t see this as something sudden. People and the media have been interested in “pioneers” of electronic music for quite a while now. That’s quite healthey actually and not once did I have the feeling that it is being done for reasons to do with the ethnic background of certain individuals. If anything this tends to be about old-fashioned nationalism at a superficial level. What’s bothering me at times is that more often than not writers tend to connect things that are certainly not Techno and are at most remotely connected to the “mindset” or cultural background of the originators of the kind of music that came to be known as Techno with Techno music. They at least imply something of a straight line from, say, Raymond Scott or Delia Derbyshire or Herbert Eimert or Ursula Bogner etc. to Techno and EDM. There are similarities in some cases, but I don’t see the direct connection that would warrant labeling something as Techno. Techno here just seems to serve as a cultural reference that is widely known. It’s a way to tell a story in an article rather than just to report on some facts. This is not in and of itself a bad thing though It can be annoying at times.

    • aaron

      I mean.. I get where you are coming from, but I’m just going to go with a very basic example of why you are also simplying things.

      Kraftwerk->New York/L.A->Break Dance->Egyptian Lover, Bambaataa, et. all

      There was plenty of electronic dance music occurring before Detriot techno happend.

      You’re being very specific about the word Techno, and I’m not sure anyone else was originally. Detroit Techno is a pretty specific sound and scene just like Chicago House music / Acid or the Miami Bass/808 scene.

      In your specific sense of the word Techno, I’d conceed.. but it is used in a very general sense of the word in this article. Too quick to defend I’d say.

      • john_d

        Sure there was electronic music happening before Detroit techno and Chicago house. But, and it a massive but, dance music, the music that Native Instruments was built on, the music that Ableton was built on, is an american black creation the same as jazz and hip-hop. What is so wrong with giving due credit where due credit is deserved. The only reason we can see so far is that we stand on the shoulders of the pioneers from Chicago and Detroit. They were the ones who took the thrown away 303s and 909s and made those first tracks that were played by Ron Hardie back in the warehouse. Without them there would be nothing.

        What is so hard for everyone to just admit that the current hype around electronic music was derived from music of black american origin? Without black america there would be no electronic dance music or EDM. That Time magazine is such racist shit that it should be called out by everyone in the scene.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYLNm1Ifbfo

        • john_d

          And lets all be honest, those 303s and 909s were literally in bins. No body wanted them, only black american youths, who picked them up and create the movement on which we all now stand. Without those guys, CreateDigtialMusic would not exist. I’m 100% convinced of that fact. So before we all rewrite history, let us give credit where credit is due and stop the bullshit.

          • aaron

            yeah.. pretty sure you are going way too far with those claims. there’s a strong validity to it all, but its not as all consuming as you want to believe it is. any of the people you’ve cited would tell you that.

            Also.. re: ableton live (and the countless other worthy hosts) – they are equal to yesterday’s cheap x0x boxes. some are free, some are cheap, some are bundled, and loads are pirated. cheap and affordable access to electronic music production for the masses. Hardware is back in that realm too in recent years.

          • john_d

            Of course there is a strong validity to it. I this inclination that for white Americans to identify fully
            with the music, they must erase or smudge it’s black roots. Whats so hard for people to just say “Techno and House is black American music” . If you find it hard to utter those words then sorry, you are racist. Doesn’t matter if your pointing to irrelevant Polish Youtube links or writing totally revisionist articles in Time magazine. I suppose one positive is that this same bullshit caused the rise of the music in the first place. Make your transition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kd4AKKSn4w

          • john_d

            One last point.

            Peter, if you want to stand on some self elevated soap box, make sure you understand the soap box your feet are on. We’re down with the native instruments and ableton product review, but once you start to thread on cultural heritage, then you need to thread carefully.

          • aaron

            Says the guy making sweeping generalisms trying to assign racial identification to something that exceeds well beyond it. It’s clear you don’t know your history or read or listened to interviews, etc. with the Detroit techno originators (if you did you’re horrible at paying attention). You know why _they_ can’t pin-point a single track as the first techno song? Because there was already so much out there. Again, Detroit itself was a very specific thing.. and guess who made up those warehouse and party crowds? All black people? Not even close.

            You’re trying to identify a single scene with all of techno for your own silly misunderstood agenda. Took me awhile to understand this, but now that I see how intolerant and crazy you are I’ll bow out of this conversation as there’s nothing interesting going on here beside some guy’s irrational rant.

  • john_d

    Why is there a sudden need to try and take away the origins of techno from it’s true black urban Detroit roots? I see it happening more and more recently, there is some kind of cultural appropriation going on now that it has become lucrative. America dismissed the music for over two decades, in my view because it was of black. Now there is some revisionary history writing going on in the media, generally pointing out obscure predated examples of techno or even blatant skipping over of the roots completely as in the case of the Giorgio Moroder interview from a couple of weeks back in Time magazine. It’s a shame that people still feel the need to have a white origin on something for it to be fully acceptable to them. Usually this is being done by people who are jumping on the scene in recent years.

    http://time.com/3701060/giorgio-moroder-interview-dance-music/

    This is not levelled directly at you Peter, more just an observation of a general trend.

    • john_d

      Btw, at least Daft Punk had the decently to do a proper call track out on the roots in the teachers track on homework https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNjhsPt_8Gw

    • Confused

      A few points,

      1) America didn’t dismiss the music because it was black. Hiphop is very much a black genre at it’s core and that seemed to do pretty well for itself since the late 70’s. I’d go so far as to say America didn’t dismiss electronic music at all. It maintained an underground following for the most part, sure, but that was by choice. That and some people find it dreadfully annoying. Just ask my downstairs neighbor.

      I’m not sure Fox is jumping at the chance to do a piece on Underground Resistance and I’m not sure UR would even want to bother. They are better than that.

      2) How can hard dates be argued as being a racial matter, especially when these Detroit cats openly speak of the influence from groups like Human League? Please explain to me why Human League’s “Dancevision” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=778GQdnUWxM ) isn’t Techno, when the same exact song from Cybotron would be. Is the geographical location the only defining factor for Techno? If so, that’s a different argument for a different time. Dancevision is from 1977 while Cybotron formed in 1980. Am I racially motivated when I say Dancevision is Techno? Absolutely not. We all know Devo invented Techno with Smart Patrol (Version 2). 😉

      3) I wouldn’t ever expect a low-income black youth from Detroit in the early pre-Internet 80’s to know anything about Polish audio lab experiments from a decade prior. (There’s a hipster joke in there somewhere.)

      4) After reading your link, Time wrote about Moroder not because he’s white or because Techno has anything to do with the article. He has a new album coming out, wrote a lot of iconic works in both the pop and soundtrack genres for several decades and I’m sure his label threw down some cash for the exposure.

      I have a few more thoughts on this matter, but perhaps I’ll save this for another rant.

      • john_d

        Disco sucks put pay to black urban dance music in the united states. It went underground for that reason and thats where house and techno rose from. So now we have this revisionism going on. Techno and House are as black as hip-hop.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night

        Incidentally, I reckon the post by peter may be in reaction to Felix the housekats claims at the weekend that house and techno is being taken over elvis rock and roll style now that there is money in it.

        • Confused

          1) Are you suggesting Peter posted this article because Felix was drunk, had his ego bruised and has yet to realize his ridiculous actions proved that the club made the right decision in turning him away? Elvis-sized egos such as FTH’s are what threatens House or Techno. Better music from a different skin color is not the problem and shame on him for suggesting otherwise. Maybe he should spend less time incoherently ranting on Twitter and spend more time being a 90’s housecat or whatever.

          Unless I misunderstood, you said “This is not levelled directly at you Peter…” and then continue on suggesting otherwise. You cannot have it both ways when you’re creating your own narrative.

          2) “Disco sucks put pay to black urban dance music in the united states.” I don’t know what you mean by this sentence, but I might have an idea of what you are trying to communicate…

          I’m familiar with the Disco Demolition Night. I’m also familiar with the argument that white records weren’t being destroyed so it must be a racially motivated event. The fact is that none of us were there, no one counted/tallied records and it’s all speculation from music writers. I’m not saying there were no closet racists, but that’s an assumption just as anything else related to the event.

          Let me throw this out there: if disco records were the target of destruction because people felt it was crammed down their throats, why would anyone bring their John Cougar or Jimi Hendrix rock records to break? Suggesting it was solely motivated by race is a flawed argument because these racists purchased the records in the first place, no?

          3) “now that there is money in it.”

          I’m pretty sure there’s been plenty of money in Techno for many years.

          • john_d

            I follow peter on twitter and read a tweet he made after my first post, which kind of confirmed an inclination I had.

            “Dynamic Rectangle built techno! http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/02/1971-dancing-rectangle-poland-predicts-modern-techno-av/ … @berghain u are MADE of quadrilaterals ignorance is a disease! #toodimensional”

            Read this, especially Q-Tips comments on cultural smudging and how important it is to speak and acknowledge the roots. Replace the word “hip-hop” with “techno” and you will get my drift.

            http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/dec/24/iggy-azalea-azealia-banks-hip-hop-appropriation-problem

          • Confused

            Right, I wasn’t aware of the tweet. Thank you for clarifying. I still think FTH blew any chance of a legitimate discussion. 😉

            As for the Techno/HipHop appropriation argument, I’m familiar with it. It’s a touchy subject probably not meant for a further tear down in the comment section on CDM.

            FWIW I couldn’t agree more with some of what was said in the Guardian link. I also think some of it was extremely insincere.

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • john_d

            Here’s my take on the FTH situation.

            In sociology, exclusion to property is well studied and there are terms used to describe it. “Bouncers Right” is what happened in this case. In “Bouncers Right”, the worst form of exclusion, you don’t know if the person walking the door will cause trouble or not, but due to the lack of information a judgement call is made about their possible future behaviour based on cultural bias: usually how the person is behaving or how the person looks. That is a fact and a well described one.

            If FTH walked to that door and was reasonably behaved ( remember inside Berghain there is drug dealing, people not able to move because they are so high, alcohol is sold and consumed…) and wasn’t allowed in, then a judgement was made based on how he looked. Was it his glasses? Was it his big rings or was it his skin colour or was it a combination of all these things? Something led that bouncer to not let him in. In FTH eyes he was well behaved, so he jumped to point number: it was how he looked. He was really highly offended and while I don’t condone his response, it is understandable . The way he was dismissed and jeered afterwards by the mainly white section of the dance music community was foul.

          • john_d
          • Shannon
          • I missed this comment thread, on to other things…

            I’m the last person to try to rob Detroit or the African-American pioneers on whose foundations all of us stand in modern electronic music of their roots.

            Also, I’m aware that I’m a white person, and that I have – I believe – and extra obligation because of the ways in which people with my skin color are at cultural advantages in America (and elsewhere), the history that has in my country, and the specifically musical history and the wrongs it includes.

            However, I have enough respect for that history and that Felix da Housecat’s rants were absurd and embarrassing. So, that’s what I was mocking with my Tweet – I hope it wasn’t ill-considered. There’s lots of history around the world in music. I thought it did a disservice to his own history. I don’t know that the bouncers *did* recognize him, I don’t know what state he was in, I don’t know what happened. I think if it is the case that bouncers are knowingly turning away people because of the color of their skin, then that merits real discussion. If it’s what happened to Felix, then I am truly sorry. Even then, though, a long and cyclical Twitter tirade is an unfortunate reaction for a professional musician (one who was booked the same night at another Berlin club, I might add).

            Anyway, yes – the more you know about history, the more you can give credit to pioneers in Detroit *or* Warsaw.

            As I said in this article, almost no one outside Poland had any contact with this work. Like the Delia Derbyshire example, some of these things are just natural outgrowths of what you do with machines.

            Techno and House, meanwhile, take some of those basic techniques and turn them into a whole style, there’s a culture and a history around them. And no, no one who denies that culture or history should be taken seriously.

            At the same time, these are global movements. So I think you also have to take seriously the contributions of other cultures – including, for instance, in Europe. Their take comes from different life experiences and musical exposure, different parties, etc. That makes their affinity for music that came out of, say, Detroit and Chicago, all the more interesting.

          • john_d

            Thats a fair retraction and I don’t doubt for single moment Peter that your heart is not is the right place. But you need to be aware of what you are saying and don’t just jump on a bandwagon.

            Personally, I read that Time magazine article and I was deeply disappointed. Disappointed in the country called America. The dance music scene is better than that.

            I urge anyone who can read this to purchase a copy of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism”.

            http://www.economist.com/news/books/21615864-how-slaves-built-american-capitalism-blood-cotton

    • Random Chance

      I don’t see this as something sudden. People and the media have been interested in “pioneers” of electronic music for quite a while now. That’s quite healthey actually and not once did I have the feeling that it is being done for reasons to do with the ethnic background of certain individuals. If anything this tends to be about old-fashioned nationalism at a superficial level. What’s bothering me at times is that more often than not writers tend to connect things that are certainly not Techno and are at most remotely connected to the “mindset” or cultural background of the originators of the kind of music that came to be known as Techno with Techno music. They at least imply something of a straight line from, say, Raymond Scott or Delia Derbyshire or Herbert Eimert or Ursula Bogner etc. to Techno and EDM. There are similarities in some cases, but I don’t see the direct connection that would warrant labeling something as Techno. Techno here just seems to serve as a cultural reference that is widely known. It’s a way to tell a story in an article rather than just to report on some facts. This is not in and of itself a bad thing though It can be annoying at times.

    • aaron

      I mean.. I get where you are coming from, but I’m just going to go with a very basic example of why you are also simplying things.

      Kraftwerk->New York/L.A->Break Dance->Egyptian Lover, Bambaataa, et. all

      I mean hell, Juan Atkins has even commonly cited a early Depeche Mode song as being one of the first techno tracks ever.. I think it was shake the disease? Can’t get much whiter than some guys from Essex.

      There was plenty of electronic dance music occurring before Detriot techno happend.

      You’re being very specific about the word Techno, and I’m not sure anyone else was originally. Detroit Techno is a pretty specific sound and scene just like Chicago House music / Acid or the Miami Bass/808 scene.

      In your specific sense of the word Techno, I’d conceed.. but it is used in a very general sense of the word in this article. Too quick to defend I’d say.

      • john_d

        Sure there was electronic music happening before Detroit techno and Chicago house. But, and it a massive but, dance music, the music that Native Instruments was built on, the music that Ableton was built on, is an american black creation the same as jazz and hip-hop. What is so wrong with giving due credit where due credit is deserved. The only reason we can see so far is that we stand on the shoulders of the pioneers from Chicago and Detroit. They were the ones who took the thrown away 303s and 909s and made those first tracks that were played by Ron Hardie back in the warehouse. Without them there would be nothing.

        What is so hard for everyone to just admit that the current hype around electronic music was derived from music of black american origin? Without black america there would be no electronic dance music or EDM. That Time magazine is such racist shit that it should be called out by everyone in the scene.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYLNm1Ifbfo

        • john_d

          And lets all be honest, those 303s and 909s were literally in bins. No body wanted them, only black american youths, who picked them up and create the movement on which we all now stand. Without those guys, CreateDigtialMusic would not exist. I’m 100% convinced of that fact. So before we all rewrite history, let us give credit where credit is due and stop the bullshit.

          • aaron

            yeah.. pretty sure you are going way too far with those claims. there’s a strong validity to it all, but its not as all consuming as you want to believe it is. any of the people you’ve cited would tell you that.

            Also.. re: ableton live (and the countless other worthy hosts) – they are equal to yesterday’s cheap x0x boxes. some are free, some are cheap, some are bundled, and loads are pirated. cheap and affordable access to electronic music production for the masses. Hardware is back in that realm too in recent years.

          • john_d

            Of course there is a strong validity to it. I this inclination that for white Americans to identify fully
            with the music, they must erase or smudge it’s black roots. Whats so hard for people to just say “Techno and House is black American music” . If you find it hard to utter those words then sorry, you are racist. Doesn’t matter if your pointing to irrelevant Polish Youtube links or writing totally revisionist articles in Time magazine. I suppose one positive is that this same bullshit caused the rise of the music in the first place. Make your transition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kd4AKKSn4w

          • john_d

            One last point.

            Peter, if you want to stand on some self elevated soap box, make sure you understand the soap box your feet are on. We’re down with the native instruments and ableton product review, but once you start to thread on cultural heritage, then you need to thread carefully.

          • aaron

            Says the guy making sweeping generalisms trying to assign racial identification to something that exceeds well beyond it. It’s clear you don’t know your history or read or listened to interviews, etc. with the Detroit techno originators (if you did you’re horrible at paying attention). You know why _they_ can’t pin-point a single track as the first techno song? Because there was already so much out there. Again, Detroit itself was a very specific thing.. and guess who made up those warehouse and party crowds? All black people? Not even close.

            You’re trying to identify a single scene with all of techno for your own silly misunderstood agenda. Took me awhile to understand this, but now that I see how intolerant and crazy you are I’ll bow out of this conversation as there’s nothing interesting going on here beside some guy’s irrational rant.