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Electronic folk music
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
Both words are almost the same.


I disagree. As I use them "Anthropology" refers to the study of groups and (sub)cultures and behaviour within them. "Ethnic" refers specifically to a group that considers it self to be a group because of a perceived common back-ground, typically a historically and genetically.

So; this whole "West coast of Holland sound" is a culture in that it's a group of people who share some values and traditions. It's not a "ethnic group" because there is no shared history in that sense.

Really, look the words up in your dictionary.

"Irishmen in New York" could be considered a ethnic group.
"Musicians linked to Bunker and related labels" could be considered a culture.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You are right.
However, I would like to add that the term ethnic studies is being used in some countries within academia. In Norway this would be "Etniske studier"

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The same in The Netherlands, mostly because the term anthropology is to much referring to ethnocentrism.

The argument about the lack of historical backgrounds, etc in electronic music is in a way a denial of todays social and psychological structure in the western world, in which the computer plays an important role.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
The same in The Netherlands, mostly because the term anthropology is to much referring to ethnocentrism.


I'm not aware of it being like that in NL but please excuse me for confusing matters by sticking to the actual meaning of words when writing English. I wasn't previously aware that I had to consider the Dutch meaning of English words (???!!!) instead of merely looking them up in the dictionary.


Quote:
The argument about the lack of historical backgrounds, etc in electronic music is in a way a denial of todays social and psychological structure in the western world, in which the computer plays an important role.


There is no such argument. Please read. Really. It helps.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
Interesting, I don't have that connotation at all for "ethnic" this or that.


I have a problem with the common usage of the word 'ethnic.'

In Britain, people generally use it as a polite form of what they would have said in the '70s : 'darkie.' Or, more rarely, 'Oriental.'

I had a rather heated discussion with a fellow student at Uni about this. Went a bit like this:

Her: "I love ethnic food! Mmm."
Me: "Oh, you mean haggis?"
Her: "No.. no, that's not ethnic. You know what I mean!"
Me: "Strudel? Pasta?"
Her: "Now you're just being stupid. I mean, like, you know, Indian, Chinese, African..."

So, basically, she meant anything non-Western / European.

In Britain, when people say "ethnic minority," I can almost guarantee they're not talking about Scots or the Welsh. It'll always be some group with skin coloured similarly to mine. Confused

Of course, I'm not accusing dewdrop or anyone in this thread of bandying around the word imprecisely. Just having a general moan... Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:

I have a problem with the common usage of the word 'ethnic.'


Me too, which is why I responded to Wout like I did. I feel describing Buddhist chants as "ethnic" is downright offensive, we are talking about one of the most common faiths in the world there, practised on all continents by people from many (if not most?) ethnic (dictionary meaning) backgrounds.

"Ethnic" seems somewhat like "alternative" as in "alternative lifestyles" in casual conversation these days. This is partially why I attach some value to using the word with it's proper meaning.

Why, BTW, mainstream instrument designers and sample library compilers are still able to get away with talking about "ethnic percussion" is utterly beyond me.

We can only hope people who are into "ethnic food" will run into a dish like fermented seal, supposedly a delicacy amongst the Inuit :¬).

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
.... and sample library compilers are still able to get away with talking about "ethnic percussion" is utterly beyond me.


Oh yes.. but the the primary markets are still new age heads and aspiring clubby lounge music monsters.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My fave ethnic foods:

Fish and chips
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Scotch eggs

Razz

On the other hand, sometimes I feel I'm being too picky about language. I mean, generally, people are trying to be nice and not cause offence by mis-using words like ethnic. That's surely a step-forward from naked racism?

On the third hand, if the usage is merely a mask to cover atavistic prejudice, maybe it's more of a side-step... Question

Now, don't get me started on what "folk music" actually means... I've had that argument far too many times recently! Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:

On the other hand, sometimes I feel I'm being too picky about language. I mean, generally, people are trying to be nice and not cause offence by mis-using words like ethnic. That's surely a step-forward from naked racism?


I suppose that it's logical that my perspective is different from yours (being a lot paler...) but I don't like this stuff. I don't like the whole "alternative lifestyles", "ethnic food", "ethnic music", etc deal at all. It's still clearly judgemental, basically labelling things as "not normal" from a "normal" perspective yet you're not supposed to say anything about it. as I see it it's just clear enough about being judgemental to communicate that yet little enough to be able to plausibly deny this.

I'd rather see people be honest (which is not to say Wout is either racist or dishonest, I think he just made a wrong linguistic turn!).


And to think I only wanted to debunk the myth (that somehow got hold on this forum) that electronic music is a typically Western, white affair. Sigh....

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

And to think I only wanted to debunk the myth (that somehow got hold on this forum) that electronic music is a typically Western, white affair. Sigh....


Well, you'll get no argument from me. Can't get much more electronic than most contemporary hip hop and that's not a predominantly white scene, is it?

Also, all the Bollywood films my folks see now seem to be 90%+ electronic music-based. That's leaving aside the huge integration of electronic instruments and techniques into traditional forms like bhangra.

Me, I've been called a coconut more than once for not making music that is "Asian enough" (whatever the hell that is). And yet, the BNP and their fascist friends still don't think I'm white enough!

You can't bloody win! Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:
My fave ethnic foods:

Fish and chips
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Scotch eggs
Yes, this is ethnic food in Brittain Smile

It's in a way the as the famour Dutch writer, Multatuli, once wrote in one of his books: "Yes, madam, you are a mammal too!"

Ethnic doesn't mean non-western...

Wout
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:

It's in a way the as the famour Dutch writer, Multatuli, once wrote in one of his books: "Yes, madam, you are a mammal too!"


In the same heated discussion I had about food, I also got criticised because I said, "Humans have wombs."

Nope - I was told that I should say "Women have wombs."

So, apparently, women aren't humans! Shocked

(I should point out that this was during the course of a philosophy degree I dropped out of, so all this linguistic wrangling was on topic.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:

Ethnic doesn't mean non-western...


Indeed not, but you wouldn't have called the Matheus Passion "ethnic music" a week ago, at least not casually.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:

Well, you'll get no argument from me. Can't get much more electronic than most contemporary hip hop and that's not a predominantly white scene, is it?


Nope. But still some people here were surprised to learn some of the leading artists in the "elektro" genre were non-white (which is not to say *all* are because some of my best friends are established elektro producers and downright pale).

I'd also add that while not many style are more electronic there aren't that many mainstream ones that are *less* electronic any more either.

Quote:
Also, all the Bollywood films my folks see now seem to be 90%+ electronic music-based. That's leaving aside the huge integration of electronic instruments and techniques into traditional forms like bhangra.


I know. A lot of The Hague cab-drivers have that stuff on the radio in their cars. I asked once about what this strange style of electronic pop was... turned out to be Bollywood. :¬)

Quote:
Me, I've been called a coconut more than once for not making music that is "Asian enough" (whatever the hell that is). And yet, the BNP and their fascist friends still don't think I'm white enough!

You can't bloody win! Laughing


I have one comb. The first one I've ever had that lasted over a year without breaking (it's seen four years of service or so now). I got it after I realised these "African cosmetics" shops might have suitable combs for me. So one day I strolled in and the nice (african) girl showed me to some plastic combs and I told her those would break in weeks. I ended up with this great afro-comb with metal pins which is exactly what I need.

The shop-keeping girl's giggly-ness at selling this to me (you should realise my hair is about as African as it can possibly get for extremely pale hacker-musicians) really should qualify as racism. You can't bloody win but at least it's funny at times. :¬)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Nope. But still some people here were surprised to learn some of the leading artists in the "elektro" genre were non-white (which is not to say *all* are because some of my best friends are established elektro producers and downright pale).


Well, this is a kind of cultural equivalent to the honorary white passport that visiting non-whites needed in old, apartheid South Africa. Any musician who gets famous enough becomes normalised to the dominant culture, even if they don't actually originate within it. I've met peeps who didn't realise Scott Joplin was black.

And, to show I'm not accusing just Western/white people of this, I can remember my Dad being very surprised when I told him his favourite Najma Akhtar album wasn't produced by Indians! I guess those guys had become honorary Indians in his eyes. Very Happy

Quote:
I know. A lot of The Hague cab-drivers have that stuff on the radio in their cars. I asked once about what this strange style of electronic pop was... turned out to be Bollywood. :¬)


Hindipop is great because it's so uncaring: it'll nick anything from anywhere. As long as it's catchy, it'll get nicked. Which is why my old Mum & Dad now moan that modern films sound "too Western." Laughing

Quote:
The shop-keeping girl's giggly-ness at selling this to me (you should realise my hair is about as African as it can possibly get for extremely pale hacker-musicians) really should qualify as racism. You can't bloody win but at least it's funny at times. :¬)


Yep, yep. I think the thing is to realise those weirdnesses are there, not get tripped-up (or held back) by them and then move on.

In then end, Star Trek is always right. We fight and we fuss amongst ourselves about what goes into where or who's got built-in sunblock but all we are is ugly bags of mostly water... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:
ugly bags of mostly water


Shocked Some of those bags are not ugly at all Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Wout Blommers wrote:

Ethnic doesn't mean non-western...


Indeed not, but you wouldn't have called the Matheus Passion "ethnic music" a week ago, at least not casually.
To make a short return in the discussion, I thought we were talking about 'folk-music' and 'ethnic-music, weren't we? In my thinking folk-music is ethnic-music, but ethnic-music is certainly not folk-music.

It's like that old discussion on that Dutch music forum: one isn't allowed to say the music of the Afro-North-American is just western music instead of African music. In my opinion there is no strong relation in style. The Afro-American music is more western music then people wants to believe. That's an ethnic view. How about music from Israel?

Anyway, Bach is as ethnic as can be. Where else did it came from? Mysterical aliens? Wink Beware, Bach could only exist in Germany, at that particular time... Bach is certainly not universal.

Wout

Last edited by Wout Blommers on Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just another point.
The difference between Cologne and its Electronic Music and Paris and its Musique Concrete is the difference between Serialism and Surrealism. Those two ways of working could only becoming to be in these two different situations, particular the ways of thinking about art. That is an ethnic view point and certainly not food related Smile

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout;

This isn't the synthforum.

Please read what was actually written. Please look at the posted link. Please use words by their proper meaning.

This is going nowhere.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Wout;

This isn't the synthforum.

Please read what was actually written. Please look at the posted link. Please use words by their proper meaning.

This is going nowhere.
Well, about proper meanings, I still think 'folk-music' used in the context as 'popular-music' is not right. Folk-music in an ethnic context is a little bit more abstract then terms as 'African hip-hop' or 'dance'. Using words like 'folk-music' and 'folk-songs' implies an ethnic view on the matter and personal sentiments about the word 'ethnic' are not to be concerned. Rap has its origin in the 'black ghetto' and not in Beverly Hills (where I think most rappers will live, now-a-days Smile, that's an ethnic observation. Of course electronics will enter the folk/ethnic music practise, because living music is very dynamic. A computer is much easier to use then the nickelharpa http://www.pbase.com/harpeggio/image/85716024
Most fans of folk/ethnic music are conservationists and are the defenders of the idea: It has to stay as it always was... Seegers axe)

Just a question about an earlier issue... Ethnic music has also the function of an identity expression of a (ethnical) group. Isn't this also the matter at the electronic music community described in an earlier post?

Wout
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jyoti wrote:
Of course, I'm not accusing dewdrop or anyone in this thread of bandying around the word imprecisely. Just having a general moan... Cool


Actually I was explicitly (and cheekily) applying the term "ethnic" to a discussion of a very, very white-centric, academic-centric subculture.

It's true that the book is really an anthropological study - I'm well aware of that - but I used "ethnic" on purpose to highlight the implicit racism in the idea that Brazilian street music is "ethnic" but IRCAM has no ethnicity.

The ploy seems to have worked Smile

James

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
...nickelharpa http://www.pbase.com/harpeggio/image/85716024


This reminds me of a quote by Esa-Pekka Salonen (finish conductor much revered in Sweden), while talking about swedish folk music: "It's terrible! In Finland we have folk music much like what you have in Sweden, only even worse!".

One fuzzy criteria i have about folk music is that it can be bloody irritating, at least if it comes from my own country. Wink

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
but I used "ethnic" on purpose to highlight the implicit racism in the idea that Brazilian street music is "ethnic" but IRCAM has no ethnicity.


Very Happy

There's a series currently on Brit telly called Tribal Wives:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6134750.stm

Leaving aside the typical holiday-into-otherness concept (Edward Said must be spinning in his grave), the title irritates me immensely.

'Tribal,' like 'ethnic' has almost been rendered meaningless through misuse. Would the Protestant-Catholic clashes in Northern Ireland be described as 'tribal?' No. Basque versus Spanish? Nope. For it to be 'tribal,' it has to involve people who haven't got white skins.

Why weren't these women sent to live with the Geordie tribe? Or the Brummie tribe? *sigh*

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:

One fuzzy criteria i have about folk music is that it can be bloody irritating, at least if it comes from my own country. Wink


maybe because you understand the "bloody" lyrics Question

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm an electric guitar player originally, but started playing Bluegrass music some years ago, most notably 5-string banjo and mandolin.
I'm playing in an electronic 'house-trance-disco-dub-funk' band called Cosmic Spring. I'm using the mandolin in a chill-out song called Jellyfish Heaven, playing around with some Bluegrass inspired ideas.
We're working on a song with the banjo and a sitar. Electronic and acoustic string instruments blend very well in my opinion.
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