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Just finished reading this. Very interesting. Any thoughts?
but one criticism I would have is more about what he omits. His whole thesis is about the idea that nothing really new/fresh has happened in music in the last ten years, and we are paralysed by nostalgia. Partially true, but he is overlooking certain genuinely exciting developments in electronic music for instance, where in the last ten years there have been huge developments in what you can do with a home computer. Previously, a lot of these techniques such as granular synthesis, live generative music and FFT were only available to a small minority of musicians in elite academic institutions, whereas now you have people (like Tim Hecker or Fennesz for example) doing music that couldn't have come from any other era.
like it should have been an extended article rather than a book; it seemed to end very abruptly without any real sense of building to a conclusion (i read it on Kindle which rather disrupts your sense of progress through a book, but was really surprised to find it stop at the point when it did). I quite enjoyed the flitting between critical theory and close study/interviews of specific musicians and artists, but it sometimes felt like a relatively insubstantial premise on which to hang a series of paeans to the culture that Reynolds has been interested in for the past few years. ALthough perhaps there not being much of a point is, like, the point...