Friday, August 13, 2004

Jori Hulkkonen On The State Of Club Culture

Jori Hulkkonen starts as a new columnist for the Nyt weekend supplement of Helsingin Sanomat, the largest daily newspaper in Finland. Here is his first column.

For non-Finnish readers, it's about the stagnation of club culture: Jori argues that the people who used to be club regulars have reached their middle-ages and would rather stay home with their own families than go clubbing any more, and "for the new generation hiphop, r&b and the so called new coming of rock music are more fascinating that the club circus run by the thirty-somethings".

I think this is quite symptomatic for this age: we have reached an era that could be called "post-techno" or "post-rave"; it seems that there is no more similar culture of rave/techno/clubs that was prevalent about ten or fifteen years ago. There does exist some sort of new generation of ravers/clubbers with their popular genres of "kiksu"/"polkka" (= as trance variants are called in Finland), but for me that culture is just a pale shadow or a sort of bloodless re-tread of what it used to be in the early-to-mid-90s. And it's true that young kids in Finland are probably more interested these days in hiphop, r&b or Jamaica sounds (reggae/dancehall), or even retro styles of funk and soul.

Probably much more interesting things in electronic music are happening elsewhere, in what could be called "post-techno" (IDM-glitch-noise-minimal-experimental-illbient-postlounge-lowercase sound-etc., even "post-rock" variants -- new music becoming influenced by the yesteryear experimentations -- different new mutations of electro & techno and so on. And how about drum'n'bass?) But the 90s type rave/techno culture of "PLUR", "Peace, Love & Pancakes"/Love Parade/Mayday, etc. is dead and gone when we have reached the year of 2004; killed by commerciality, drugs peddlers, thieving magpie media having found new interests like new rock bands recycling old styles, and of course pure boredom; and something else is busy taking their place now.