A coworker of mine has pretty much the exact opposite taste in music as I do. This is not to say that I dislike his music; rather, that whatever it is in music that makes it such an overwhelmingly personal and spiritual experience for me is exactly what’s lacking in his anthem rock-laden, E-Street Band, guitar-by-numbers catalog of hits. And don’t get me wrong, dude knows his stuff in that very specific area of the world, and I would not question him on his expertise. I appreciate the love he has for his shit; however, the same does not apply for him.
He recently railed on “electronic techno music” which, in addition to making him sound like a grandfather, also revealed a gaping chasm of misunderstanding, over-generalization and ignorance in the realm of something I dearly adore. Attempts at re-education were met with outward hostility and constant citing of “beep boop music” which, to be honest, if’n you’re going to make “computer noises,” you should always add in the “L” – BLEEP BLOOP BLEEP!
At any rate, I’m pretty sure he now believes I sit in my office listening to Technotronic and La Bouche all day. Which is silly, because I only listen to that shit between 2:00 and 4:00.
I thought of it this morning because I popped on Matthew Dear as I worked on a memo, and “Pom Pom” came up. Sadly, the only video versions of this song online are a remix and a few terrible fan videos, so I won’t share it (however, I highly recommend you do go ahead and listen to it while watching something else on a tabbed browser). At any rate, as Pom Pom played, I realized that this song is pretty quintessential to what I like in a lot of electronic music – circular lyrical base, repeating melody, playful and bouncy and upbeat, a conflicting simultaneous significant weight and vapid superficiality to its message, amazing arpeggios when listened to on headphones, and an inherent ability to really make me question the art of music and the infinite possibilities for expression based out of emerging technology. On some level, music is a constant existential crisis for me, as exemplified in something so simple and yet so deeply confounding as “Pom Pom.”
I stepped out of my office for a moment, song still playing. And when I returned, I realized something else of equal importance.
There sure are a lot of BLEEPS and BLOOPS in that song …