Ever noticed how the majority of electronic music reviews say things like ‘its ethereal beauty shimmers and glistens like the morning dew as its other worldly melodies bubble towards its elated climax’? Or if its a techno track something along the lines of ‘industrial mechaniod rhythms surgically slice the enveloping gloom, as heavy synth washes malevolently throb and contort beneath a thunderously pulsing beat’…What the heck does any of that even mean? Are you any closer to knowing what the music sounds like, perhaps, but in reality the proof is the pudding, your going to taste before you buy regardless of how articulate the writers words are. Admittedly we can’t exactly climb the preverbal high ground on this one, lambasting those beneath us with pious platitudes on how to write. But having read a number of electronic music reviews in the last few weeks it has become abundantly clear that across the board there is a lack of individuality when it comes to describing electronic music, with the same tropes being dished out more readily than M&M’s at a Zedd concert.
So where does this leave our fellow junior freelance music journalists and us?? How do we escape the repeating loop of journalistic blandness? Well short of taking a 3 year undergraduate journalism degree or studying English literature, neither of which are bad ideas, we need to be considerate to the fact that for many music journalists its an unpaid hobby of passion. Having said that if discovering and writing about new music is genuinely a true passion, then it stands to reason that we would want to effectively communicate that passion, resulting in what should be an equal desire to hone our creative writing skills.
We have no hard and fast rules on how music should be reviewed and we’re certainly not suggesting that BBB’s literal discourse is rivaling the classic works of Charles Dickens, but there is one simple tip we can suggest that has helped our writing. Read regularly, and we dont mean Nuts magazine. Read the work of well respected publications, journalists and authors. We have found that the regularly reading of well written material has subconsciously improved our vocabulary, our use of literary tools such as metaphors and has also given us a greater appetite to write.
With all that in mind, and a healthy fear of tripping over our own words, we will introduce todays new music recommendation with minimal fuss and let the music speak for itself on this occasion.