Jul 28, 2010

Chosen Words: Z is for Zang Tumb Tuum*

Despite my previous grumblings over the commercialisation of techno, there was a period when techno was quite publicly acceptable - and it can be summed up in three words: Zang Tuum Tumb*.

ZTT was a label that brought 808 State to massive acclaim, bringing us tracks like In Yer Face and Pacific State. By the time 808 State had released Don Solaris, we'd had brilliant techno crossovers from the Prodigy (XL Recordings) and Moby (Instinct Records).

And yes, this final post in the Chosen Words series is going to be serious, without any surreal aphorisms or digs at easy Bluntesque targets. That's because I'm worryingly evangelical about techno, IDM and electronica, but we now live in a mainstream music culture where the genre (and this blog) seem to waddle around the edges without getting its porky toes wet.

At the time of writing, there is a saviour in the form of dubstep's Magnetic Man. I Need Air gathered some serious radio play, while Mad would be the best single of 2010 if it hadn't been given away for free all over the internet.

But without the mad creativity of labels like ZTT (now reduced to re-releases of older stuff like Art Of Noise, it seems), there won't be swathes of the public that realise, yes, this music is actually quite good.

I once DJed at a wedding reception at a blizzard-buffeted Belfast castle, during which I played a whole set of Aphex Twin and Venetian Snares and the like. I was the main wedding reception DJ! About a tenth of the besuited attendees went running for the hills, but the number of positive comments I got afterwards from non-techno people (rockers, folkies and golden oldies) was quite incredible.

Embrace the electronicness, my friends. You can either start by browsing the 700+ labels further down the right-side of this blog (although there's plenty of, erm, non-electronica in there!), or you can keep your internet tuned to fatroland.com as I continue to puke my techno brain all over your metaphorical wedding shoes. And f'goodness sake, keep buying the music, won't you?

Top five Chosen Words posts:

- choose (geddit?!?!) for yourself: see the series in its entirety here.

* The two versions of the abbreviation are interchangeable.

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