Updated: Apr 6, 2022
In 2020 I think it’s safe to say we live in a time where attention spans are shorter. Maybe you could argue that’s just the trend of an evolving species who is learning to multi-task in an effort to be more omni-present but I think we’ve finally crossed the line with Tik-Tok videos and the cut ups of songs that have become more popular than the originals ( i.e. Dreams). I definitely feel like the old guy in the room saying this but I’m really concerned for society if everyone is all of a sudden Carson Daly playing TRL cuts of songs that are basically just a tease. I think what bothers me about this is that I like to hear the full song because to me it’s the artist who originally created it that should determine how long it lasts and for you to cut it short is cutting the experience short. I may be old fashioned but I like to take in this full experience because that’s what caring about art means, you take the care to take in the full experience. Sure, maybe you could argue that you don’t always watch a whole movie or a whole tv show but even if you’re stuck in a hotel room watching cable, you wait until the scene is over to turn it off because it gives you a feeling of closure, like it was at least consumed to a degree. Whenever someone skips halfway through the song, it leaves me feeling unfulfilled, like stretching out all the limbs on one side of my body but not the other, like something needs to be completed before I can move on.
Maybe it’s just the way society is headed because many EDM producers are constantly mashing up cuts of songs and I think in this case it can be claimed as artistic choice, it’s the way they create a whole set, but I am left wondering if this style of DJing is having an adverse effect on our society, as if everyone is seeking this constant gratification of throwing on a song and everybody hooting and hollering for a verse and a chorus then moving on. I think there is an art to speak of where the technique of fitting together certain beats and the knowledge of past music collide to where producers are creating new music out of samples of other songs but I also don’t see this as being the sole type of music that should be consumed. I also think it’s safe to say that Producer/DJs are creating music in a very Pop Art mentality, literally taking samples of something that has become part of our history (like a Tomato soup can) and making something creative out of an altered version of it, even if it’s stealing some from the old.
The concern here, for music, is that it would turn into some glitchy unrecognizable form but I do think I’m over concerned in that when we still have artists paling new forms of the blues like Gary Clark Jr. and people bringing new forms to jazz like Kamasi Washington but I don’t think my concern is displaced because music has forever become this technologically transcendent thing and so it always will be but I really think there is something in the merit of a guitar or piano solo that just holds true. The way a human is able to put themselves as a part of the instrument is so copacetic that a feel like that cannot be replaced and therefore neither will that type of music and song structure. I think in that way the human part of music can never be replaced so while music transforms time and time again and, I think we will find ourselves always coming back to those classical structures that make a song, even through the use of sampling.