Opinions on music, for me, vary wildly.
I have endured heavy criticism about my electronic music madness,
and taken it right in the face. Comments range from, “lift music”,
“babbling like a little stream”,”allergic to it”, “no tension”,
typical and dated”. I put this stuff out there to be judged.
I am my own harshest critic,and I am very hard on myself, continuously
beating myself up to get better, improve so I can compete with the
best and end up making a living from all this.
But I do know I have something, mainly because
the reaction I’ve got, consistently over time, is a good one, from
people, from record labels.
Since I’ve been acknowledged by my piers, and put my music up for
criticism to Detroit’s techno pioneers, where no favours are given to ANYONE,
I’ve earned the right to occasionally answer my critics.
Here are some of my quotes you may know already, and these people
know what they are talking about, right?:
Lawrence Burden (430 West records owner, Detroit, USA)
‘ You make music that way, and that will make you a genius round here.’
Mad Mike Banks, (Underground Resistance/Submerge owner, Detroit, USA)
‘You’re the best of your style from your country’.
Andy Weatherall (Sabres, Two Lone Swordsmen, Primal Scream Producer, UK)
‘ I know that it’s you after just a few bars’.
Owner of U-Trax Records, Holland ‘it’s the new wave of Vangelis or Joy Division’
Ok, so what’s my point? Some people like to play games
with you, and prey on your insecurities. Luckily I’ve been around
the block, and can see it when it happens.
So this is more an example and a warning to anyone else out there,
that not everyone is going to be constructive. and be destructive for kicks.
It’s designed to impact and give you doubts,
do not doubt, it’s the biggest killer of creativity, people want you to fail.
So this message below, I don’t know why someone would send it,
is a perfect example. I didn’t reply to it, because there would be
more attempts to manipulate and explode doubts, it’s just not
worth the time. I’ll leave the name out of Mr Anonymous, to protect the ignorant…
“I appreciate you contacting me to share your stuff (and yes,
I actually know Robert Henke a.k.a. Monolake.)”
(I look for people by music interest on Myspace, and message
them as well as an ad so as not to piss people off, and I know who
Monolake is, but the name has to be dropped doesn’t it?
So that I know he is better than me instantly.)
“Your stuff’s not bad if a bit typical and dated.
And if you want to go dark, you techno/electro boys really need
to study the legendary Skinny Puppy!”
(why would ANYONE write a message to tell me this?
Ok I have a lot of old stuff on my site that is 12 years old, I guess I
could wipe out my back catalogue just for him! Typical, hmmm,
everyone ALWAYS told me I had my own style, I smell a Scanner
attempt people…, I think I’d rather study Detroit and my piers,
but thanks for schooling me.
I make a point of keeping up to date, I use last fm a lot now,
check my play list if you don’t believe me, as well as RSS feeds of
new releases from Juno.co.uk.)
But overall I liked what you were doing…Best regards…(Anon)
(Ok so after telling me I’m barely passing his schooling, I laughed
at, but overall I like it.
Huh? C minus and detention from teacher then?
Ok so I checked his page, no music, hmm strange. Oh there it is
on iTunes, because I will want to buy it, I’m ready with my cash, lets GO!
I hear piano, on EVERY track, lots of it, in fact I’m drowning in it.
This seems to be saying, listen to me I’m a real musician I can play,
but forgetting that piano requires a tune that people can identify.
In fact every tune is just demonstrating musical ability, and yes,
you can play better than me (who can’t?).
But I challenge that I compose better than you (check out my film stuff),
film always needs it simple, which even the greatest composers follow.
In fact most of Underground Resistance are accomplished musicians,
up to session level, yet they still keep it simple.
So the master doesn’t seemed to have grasped the basics
the rest of us have already?
Think I rest my case there for now, so keep your eyes peeled for
stuff like this. If anyone ever asks me to listen, I don’t soft soap,
I DO tell people ALL my mistakes, which I hope helps others avoid
the same pitfalls. I am ALWAYS constructive and encourage because
the future of electronic music depends on the right people coming through
and supporting it.