2012 IN REVIEW… AN ELECTRONIC PERSPECTIVE
It’s a really really uber tough call to cover absolutely EVERYTHING that happened in 2012 in electronic music, so I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet and cover just the high’s and lows of the electronic underground.
PRAISE THE FALLEN…
Thankfully from an a electronic perspective there’s not a huge roll call of the fallen in the electronic scene. Notable artists we did lose were Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Greg Ham of Men at Work. Now, really… to call the Beastie Boys “electronic” really is stretching it a bit… but, this is a band with far reaching influences and there are more than a few electronic remixes out there. Adam’s death was felt throughout the electronic scene and we were both shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. Greg, famous for his multi-instrumental talents was equally too young to go. Details around Greg’s death have been kept quiet but police have confirmed nothing suspicious had occurred.
WE DEMAND BETTER MOVEMENT
In May 2012, in Montreal at the Kinetik Music Festival, a video backdrop by Toronto based Ad-ver-sary, very brazenly and directly called out festival headliner’s Combichrist and Nachtmar for their pervasive and extensive use of misogynistic, violent and racist imagery as part of their creative branding. The video quickly prompted a statement from the festival organizers, a small bombardment of articles, sparking a movement in the scene now known as “We Demand Better”. In keeping with industrial’s long tradition of questioning everything around it, the Demand Better movement has forced a scene to dig deep into it’s collective consciousness and not accept the use of violence against women or subtle racist memes as part of creative expression without context. Below is the video that was shown during Ad.ver.sary’s 2012 Kinetik performance.
THE RISE OF GRAVE WAVE…
In my opinion, one could possibly mark 2012 as the year of “Grave Wave” with the rise of Witch House and ethereal synthpop music art made popular by artists such as Grimes, and ∆AIMON. And while 2012 seems to have seen the sad (*cries*) retirement of industrial veteran C/A/T, we are seeing a migration to this genre reborn with Corvx de Timor (*squeeee!*). I personally have high hopes for Grave Wave but as the underground can be a fickle and frivolous audience, I’m seriously hoping 2013 does not mark the fall of this wonderful emerging genre as a passing fad.
THE RISE OF THE MAINSTREAM…
Nearly every artist or aficionado I talked to this year seemed to agree, the state of electronic has bled over into the mainstream like never before. With the rapid rise of dubstep and artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5, there is a huge acceptance of electronic music by the mainstream industry not seen since the awesome eighties! But with mainstream popularity comes great risk, as an industry that has identified with innovative, creative freedom and cutting edge individualism now sadly faces becoming homogenized by trope-like bass drops and ubiquitous arpeggios. 2012 has really perhaps spelled the death null of the underground secret warehouse rave as you can now purchase fuzzy day glow leg warmers at your local mall… le sigh.