4.10 – 5pm: MediaCityUK (University of Salford campus), Room 3.02
With reference to ideas in sonic, film and cultural studies (such as LaBelle, Brophy, Donald and de Certeau) this paper argues that the sound of EDM enacts a sense of urban alienation, austerity and acceleration. For example, A Guy Called Gerald's Voodoo Ray (1988) seems to echo Manchester's 1980s post-industrial landscape, while the dubstep work of Burial, like Distant Lights (2006) crackles with digital malfunction, wrapped in deep growling sub-bass and placed in a hollow acoustic space that seems to resemble a deserted South London council estate at 3am. The paper hereby suggest that we must listen to recorded popular music as an “architecsonic” object that is part of a sonic ecology and analyse the full soundscape of a recording, rather than merely focus on a memorable melody line or on a set of significant lyrics. In this context, EDM seems to act as a subconscious “cinematic” underscore that articulates issues of affect in urban experience.
Dr Hillegonda Rietveld is Reader at London South Bank University, where she established BA Music and Sonic Media, and she is Editor of IASPM@Journal. Her publications address the development and experience of electronic dance music cultures and she is the author of This Is Our House: House Music, Cultural Spaces and Technologies. She has been involved professionally in club and DJ culture since 1982, when she released her first electronic recording for Factory Records, as part of Quando Quango.