It seems new releases that fall on the more conservative side of things are called derivative of past artists, & more experimental output is called soulless irony lacking musical value. This doesn't really surprise me because that's literally what happens every time music does anything
Yeah Simon Reynolds mentioned that in a new book Retromania (this is like the 46934th time I've plugged it but its super relevant) - true novelty and experimentation isn't being heralded but that's partly because it seems like everything has been done. He also mentioned how he can't find a "zietgiest" for the last few years - i.e. scenes/genres or universally popular (or at least well-known) hit singles that trigger exact and specific memories. Like you can tell a 1964 hit single from a 1967 one, but what about 2004 versus 2007? What will be the stereotypical "00s" sound when referenced decades from now - will broad referencing even exist? Or compare the well-documented social phenomenon like the Acid summer of love or even the early dubstep scene to something as quick and short-lived as new rave or chillwave, etc which were all hyped then declared "dead" or replaced with "post-" subgenres by the same journalists who hyped it.
I totally came off as a dick early in this thread, the truth is I love this kinda stuff: hauntology as a musical concept especially. This whole idea of taking existing art and pop culture, the more forgotten and obscure the better, and creating a new sound and aesthetic around it - or beyond that a seemingly alternative reality.
Also, I thought of this earlier today - there's really opposite ends of a spectrum of artists explicitly referencing the past: those who emulate it exactly with new compositions and those that extensively manipulate existing samples. Com Truise, Ford and Lopatin, or M83 all make pop with vintage equipment and techniques, often to a teeth of how it was done in the 80s. It's more in the vein of artists that make throwback 60s sounding rock, 50s country 70s metal, 90s VGM, etc. It's a lot harder for artists to stand out unless they really shine talent wise, and plenty of good but forgettable producers as well; think of how many synthpop, italo-disco, and dance-punk singles came out in the 00s. On the other end are artists like James Ferraro, Ariel Pink, VHS Head, Black Moth Super Nova, 1991, Matthewdavid, Burial, and genres like witch-house, chillwave, vaporwave, all the Ghostbox artists, etc. I find this music a lot more emotionally charged and interesting when done right, even the more gimmicky copycat stuff can be cool. There's a lot more variation possible: recording on and off sources like cassettes, mixing digital sounds with analog sources, cutting up and pitch-shifting familiar samples, etc. Lot of new sounds from unintended methods and references. Sure it can get a bit too gimmicky for it's own good, but those who really execute well are often the artists I love most.
Edited by joshuatx, 30 November 2012 - 03:47 PM.