Did anyone ever read the book? It’s about how our entire lives and the world in which we live, especially in the digital age, is comprised of certain social epidemics–or perhaps just fads–that manage to explode out into public acceptance after months, or even years of dormancy. Myspace, and social networking in general, is a key example; In its early years, Myspace was, indeed, a practical networking site with a purpose, and it’s users were mildly entertained by the site, however, its existence was due largely to the constant support it was receiving by means of promotion and advertising. Were it to have discontinued these practices, there’s a solid chance that the site would have quickly fallen out of existence–that is until it reached the so called “tipping point”.
The tipping point is the point of no return. It’s the point at which the number of users has grown just great enough that the growth rate transitions from the standard linear incline to an exponential explosion of new users, all of whom are telling their friends and thus pointing the curve even higher. After the tipping point, there’s no turning back. The number of supporters becomes so large that the phenomenon becomes a part of mainstream culture, and is thusly incorporated into nearly every facet of one’s life as is possible.
The reason I’ve brought this seemingly unrelated topic to the table is that it seems electronic music (and no, not just hip hop and classic top 40 pop) has reached this tipping point. Whereas only five or so years ago, electronic was a delicate, struggling blossom, shunned by the masses and considered soulless, we are now seeing it’s influences infiltrating even the most stubborn of genres, and while there certainly are more than a few unfortunate downsides to this upheaval (Imogen Heap‘s voice does not need to be ruined by some douchebag autotune RnB “singer’s” awful adaptations), a lot of the time it is actually pretty fascinating. It started out with bands like MGMT, who brought their eclectic, electronic sounds to the world of guitar-only rock enthusiasts, and since then, it has been allowed to grow and develop across the musical spectrum until only a few days ago, I came across what may very well be one of the most honest depictions of just how far we’ve come. Take a look.
Of all the genres that could have possibly meshed themselves with the electronic world, there’s one that, for some strange reason, never occurred to me, and the more I’m allowed to think about it, the more amazed I am that it hasn’t happened sooner: Electronic Reggae.
Think about it. It’s really a prime candidate for the computer generation; It’s already been pushed through an entire phase of dub (which for the less reggae-inclined readers, was a genre in which original reggae tracks were altered and effected through the addition of large amounts of reverb and bass enhancement), so what’s to stop it from making the last little leap from effected reggae to full on electronic reggae? Clearly this is a question that Texas based artist, Mnolo, knows the answer to.
Though the guy gets my applause for simply having the courage to brave such unexplored territory, the respect pours in tenfold upon the realization that he’s not only managed to redefine music, but he’s also added an entirely new layer of depth and emotion to a genre that was thought to have been played out. If you thought you could never draw the same sort of feelings from reggae that you can from electronic beat masterminds like RJD2 and DJ Shadow, now’s the time to reconsider.