observation #245- mistakes don’t exist in electronic music

I love mistakes
Especially in music
I get to say to myself “they just fucked up there” to myself (and anyone around me) whilst listening to the track
Some examples are-
-The intro to “On With the Show” on the 1st Motley Crue album (Mick Mars doesn’t completely synch up when double tracking the guitar part)
-The beginning of “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones (Charlie Watts is trying to find the beat and hesitates for a sec, covering it up by making his hi-hat washy)
And countless other flubs like stray voices when recording instrument tracks or slight mistakes in technique
I know lots of other music-philes that share the same love and it becomes like an episode of MST 3k
Rock music is full of such mistakes but I find that electronic music is lacking in such a human element
Obviously, the main reason is that you have so much more control over the process when it comes to a direct-to-the-board performance but there is also the psychological element

I can remember growing up with the emerging electronic pop and rock music of the 70’s/80’s
Pop culture of the time painted electronic music as futuristic robot noises
Comedy programs lampooned new wavers as basically robot punks (another highly mis-understood emerging culture)
I was hearing lots of new wave musical parodies on The Dr Demento Show and they all played up the robot thing very heavily
Of course, the other side was disco, which produced another set of predjudices separate from the “new wave” image
Disco was just empty dance music and drum machines were used by lazy producers who made cheap records without hiring producers (obviously, I have changed my attitude)
The whole popular attitude about electronic music was that it was de-humanizing
People like DEVO and Gary Numan were exploiting that image
The eventual result from this popular conception was for electronic musicians to live up to the de-humanizing expectations of the genre and make everything crystal clear, clean and cold
Even when you hear a “mistake” on a NIN album, it is because Reznor put it there and spent 3 hours placing it just in the right spot (not faulting him for his godlike powers btw)

Fast forward to modern times and you have tools/instruments that can perform all of these in-human operations at an affordable price
This means that electronic music is no longer in the hands of very capable producers and musicians
People like me can now make things behave like a machine and encorporate it into the basic character of the material
It is also very easy to make it sound crystal clear, clean and cold with things like quanatizing and pro tools

So, what do the majority of modern musicians do with electronics?
Fall back on the perfect and de-humanizing role that it has been regailed to in the past
Well, not me
I wanna capture that moment and I don’t care if my downstroke was off on the 3rd note or I hit a rim with my stick or I flubbed that bass drum note
In fact, I wanna leave it in so that you can look for it again when it comes around

My basic philosophy regarding my ability to create interesting art is that I want to accept all of the imperfections that come along with creating it
A musician or artist applies minute variations or deviations from a technique to give it “flavor”
Just listen to a kid play “Purple Haze” in a guitar store and then listen to the record
What’s the difference?
The kid is playing the exact same notes (well, mostly) but it sounds dull and pedestrian compared to Hendrix and that is because hendrix is using a subtle deviation from the way you would regularly pluck a note

I believe that the accidental deviations are just as beautiful as the intentional ones
Electronic music doesn’t have enough accidents in it
Mine does


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