What is it that separates the good from the merely competent?
This is a question that has been asked forever; indeed it’s probably the only question this blog has asked – albeit obliquely – since it began six years ago.
Six years. Ouch.
Anyway – one of the reasons I don’t post quite as much as I used to (or should, if you trust a blog titles’ accuracy) is simply because there is so much average music at the blunt end of the new-music pyramid where I inevitably end up scratching around.
The percentage of good-compared-to-average-compared-to-bad is about the same as it always has been in any art form (a 10/60/30 percentage split by my reckoning) but now the sheer number of people throwing their musical hat in the ring makes sifting often a chore.
For example. I listened to a ton of similar-sounding new electronic artists today before I found CΛNS. CΛNS makes great music, like Karren. The others that I rejected were average.
But the others had so much in common with CΛNS – the BPM, the rhythms, the clicky sonic pallette, the influences (Burial, Four Tet, BoC, etc), the artwork, the snippet-loop samples… what made CΛNS stand out?
Why was Karren so much better than the rest? How did CΛNS billow the net where others hit the bar?
I really, really dunno. I have a vague theory that CΛNS is an established artist masquerading as an unknown, but whatever.
I suppose the point of any art is to ask this question, and never get any closer to the answer, and to be intoxicated by the good things you find en route.