Monday, May 12, 2008

SÓNAR, JODER

Sónar, for fuck's sake, wake up.

Have a read of the blurb for this year's Festival.

For an event that you'd think prided itself on its supposed modernity, isn't that just excruciatingly patronising? Every sentence, every phrase even, is like witnessing some awful amateur comedian dying on stage in front of an embarrassed audience. Or much more to the point it echoes the attitude of a time when Africans were placed in human zoos. It's like the 20th century never fucking happened.

15 comments:

flora_mundi said...

the most embarrassing thing about this, in my mind, is that whatever p.r. flak wrote it seems to think that the combination of traditional music forms with pop/ rock/ dance beats is something brand new... kind of like having someone fresh back from a trip to new york city say "did you know there's a big construction site where the world trade centre used to be?!"

dystonia ek said...

Disturbing, but unsurprising. Most adherents of 'technoculture' tend to overlook or ignore the third world entirely, and when they do grudgingly pay some attention it's always to portray diverse cultures with vast traditions as handicapped children that can only move towards self-realisation through the looking glass of Western 'Progress'.

I wonder how the members of Konono no.1 interpret this?

Thomas Transparent said...

Oh where to even begin....


"In the global world..."

Is that a redundancy or what?!

"frontiers do not exist, even in music."

If 'frontiers' here is meant to be synonymous with 'borders', well, I wish the immigration agents giving me special screening at both the Munich and Chicago airports last week would have known of this exciting development...


"Every year, the Internet-driven communications revolution enables areas of the planet which until recently had no cutting edge musical tradition to follow the road towards modernity without any problems.

'Cutting edge musical tradition' is again a massively meaningless term here; I think what they mean to say is '...until recently had no music which pandered to Western, rationalist, technocratic ideals and the more-eclectic-than-thou consumerism of Simon Reynolds."

And who's to say that, say, African 'high life' music, even though its function may be for light entertainment, isn't 'cutting edge' considering much of it was created under the constant threat of official censorhsip, jailings, beatings, etc.?

Thank you William for making me feel much better about not performing at Sonar in the foreseeable future...

William Bennett said...

love your comments, Thomas :-)

gary said...

"African artists for the first time at Sónar"? Like it's some kind of novelty? Really shows who the audience for this festival is. What innovative sound will they present next year? Baile funk?

Walter Peck said...

The audiance at Sonar are people who like to sit about in the sun, in a beautiful city while getting to see tons of different types of music. Just cause some PR guy is a twat, doesn't mean it's fair game to go spouting crass generalisations about the punters at the festival.

I'd fucking love to go to Sonar this year :)

William Bennett said...

"The audiance at Sonar are people who like to sit about in the sun, in a beautiful city while getting to see tons of different types of music."

I don't know, don't you think that's a bit of a crass generalisation? I tend to think that in fact you do see some degree of reflection from PR and its intended audience

Fat said...

If you think you see some degree of reflection from PR and its intended audience does this explain why the people who go to Whitehouse gigs are also at Sutcliffe Jugend shows?

Walter Peck said...

"I don't know, don't you think that's a bit of a crass generalisation?"

Yes, I was half aware of that myself as I typed it up. Still, I felt the need to stick up for the folks attending Sonar. :)

I *do* agree that it's a bit cynical for them to book African acts now that music from the region is much more fashonable in the western media and promote it in such an arrogant and condescending manner.

"I tend to think that in fact you do see some degree of reflection from PR and its intended audience"

Yeah to a certain extent that may be true, but I have to say I've read plenty of press releases that would make most fans of the artist cringe with embarrassment.

gary said...

I can't stand the audiences at 99% of the shows I go to. I'll crassly generalize as I see fit!

Nick said...

That write up is hilarious. But in all fairness, 99% of festivals are rubbish for the most part.

With that said, I'm still gutted i didn't book tickets to fly to Barcelona's far superior Primavera Sound!

Sacha C said...

Thoroughly embarrassing and racist tosh from people you'd at least hope would know better. Are they trying to win a "most excruciating press release" award for 2008? With their high standard of prose, I was half expecting comments about "watermelon smiles" (copyright Boris Johnson) and the like...

Chandler N. said...

"No cutting edge musical tradition"? "Escapism"? "...towards the future instead of towards the roots"? In my opinion, the need to push 'modernity' onto the global music scene may push 'traditional' musical styles to the brink of extinction...

Richo said...

With you completely on this, William. I can imagine the Sonar festival organisers being the type of people who champion the idea of 'world music', too. A fucking vile, and completely redundant, term that really needs stamping out...

By the way, 'Fat', if you're reading this, not everybody who goes to Whitehouse shows can be found at Sutcliffe Jugend's. SJ and their like operate on a completely different level, and it's one that leaves me completely cold.

Crass generalisations seem to be running amok...

Miss Kerry said...

This reminds me of what seems to be dished out on explaining so much of todays excuse of art.