There’s nothing more megalomaniacal than cutting 20 minutes of music on your computer and calling it an “album.” You think, maybe, you’re catering to the short attention span of the world today, and your album is “cute,” and you can transport 25 of them around to shows, instead of 12. Actually, if your music is digital, you can bring 500 CD’s around with you and it will sound the exact same as a record.
Now, don’t get me wrong: techno music can be fairly laborious to construct. It’s not just like “jamming,” like with rock or any analog genre: there’s a scientific aspect to the amassing of the music itself. The rhythms align themselves spatially and mathematically on the computer screen and with this comes the extra step of the “documentation” third party. I mean, when you’re cutting a rock album, you don’t ever have to officially document what the time signature is. You just record, lock and load.
But mixing and even production in general are way easier than in rock, with techno. The mixing is pretty much done right at the programming step, by adjusting a little knob. There essentially is no “production” with this genre, hence knocking out at least a two-week process or so that would typically be involved with rendering four analog instruments like guitar and drums onto the same master.
There was this one artist called Ben Pest who seemed to put out nothing but EP’s. I took in his Scourge collection in 2019 and thought it actually banged — it was tight, mellow but robust dance music for getting down to or just chilling. But the guy has just put out nothing put EP’s since then and I’m sorry but this is just asinine — I mean it’s a digital genre of music, for Christ’s sake. And another reason why techno albums should be long is so the people controlling the music at the party don’t have to change in every da** 20 minutes. I mean, that’s not very conducive to, uh, expanding your mind, if you know what I mean. When I got to perusing Ben Pest’s 2020 release, Vim & Vigour, first of all, it sounded about the same as Scourge — with the structural sameness seemed to come a certain artistic stasis, the inability to evolve in those 20-minute temporal constraints. And along with this came this feeling of ennui where I felt like I were observing something that was cloned. I mean it wasn’t markedly worse than Scourge (2019), but where’s the progress? And a being that isn’t progressing is clinically dead, or so says my hare-brained set of electronica moral martial law, as we near this fine holiday.