Honest Music, Dishonest Business
Social trends are often shaped by strange overlaps in market forces. You have to have a steady stream of “artists” who are compelled to do their thing, driven primarily by an urge to express. We have that in this music, because the barriers to entry are exceedingly low, so any untrained fellow with an ear can start and perhaps adapt to be successful in his or her own mind.
You need a steady stream of consumers, in this case young people needy of the rage, of the hypnosis of shared energy. We are told that it is a “safe” place to do drugs, or alternatively that it is a worthy substitute for drugs. We are told that it is a place to go to be alone, and alternatively to be one with the crowd. Onscreen speakers tell us that the art is special while others tell us that the magic comes from being merely primitive and artless. Clearly, there is a match here between creators and consumers that works; anything that cannot be well characterised and is has power.
Those two elements are well enough represented here. The structure of the film is a mess, but that is well enough given the fact that we don’t want to know what is going on, and none of the people we see are sufficiently articulated to reach us as artists of insight.
But there is a third element that this film misses, though its existence relies on it. There is a commerce; there is money that changes hands. There are guys that are not artists that somehow act as brokers to connect communities. They make all the money. Judge for yourself whether such a thing as a self organizing underground can fit this mold. Regardless, that is the myth that is sold, and the business of this phenomenon is every bit as interesting as the phenomenon itself. And probably would tell us more about what it is.
Posted in 2010
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.