Basic Channel and Timelessness: Negotiating Canonisation, Resemblance and Repetition in House and Techno

Assiter, Ben. 2015. Basic Channel and Timelessness: Negotiating Canonisation, Resemblance and Repetition in House and Techno. International Association for the Study of Popular Music, [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In the related musical worlds of house and techno, there is rarely a shortage of new
sounds to complement and complicate what is already a saturated archive. Across a
wide spectrum of scenes, from the adamantly underground to the unabashedly
mainstream, tracks seem to appear almost as reliably and consistently as the kick
drums that characterise the sound. Of course, much of this material has only fleeting
significance. Functional, generic ‘DJ tools’ circulate for a short period, before being
replaced by similarly ephemeral tracks. Attali’s notion of ‘repeating’ comes to mind, in
which ‘the minor modification of a precedent’ becomes the thinly disguised
replacement of innovation (1977: 109). Yet, within this ever-expanding cultural cache,
certain tracks have managed to attain a greater longevity, forming what may
tentatively be thought of as a canonic repertoire. Here I employ the concept of canon
in Katharine Bergeron’s prescriptive sense, to denote a ‘locus of discipline’ that
constructs standardised values and behaviours, within prescribed and internalised
networks of power (1992: 2-4). This formulation emphasises the nature of canons as
on-going, cultural processes of construction, and thus as necessary sites for reflexive

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Winning essay of 2015 Andrew Goodwin Memorial Prize

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May 2015["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

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Date Deposited:

19 May 2015 09:22

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:10


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