We’ve published in June 2012 our first issue of a French language critical review/journal about pop music, curated and supported by Les Siestes Electroniques. Pieces are mid length to long format, and all focus on specific aspects of pop music aesthetics, history and cultural meaning. The authors are French but also Australian (Tim Finney), German (Diedrich Diederichsen) and British (Paul Purgas, Simon Reynolds).
Its editorial line is halfway between an academic review and a hi-fi fanzine. Some pieces tends to be objective analysis of musical ideas and practices (ie, the aesthetics of remastering in house music), but some others express personal ideas and bias towards particular objects (ie, a personal history of the rare rock song, or the uselessness of the album review). The whole idea behing this project is to cover pop music in a non-journalistic way, but also neither in a purely academic manner.
Diedrich Diederichsen - German music mag Spex stopped doing albums reviews, because they supposedly don’t mean anything anymore in today’s musicscape: why I disagree
Simon Reynolds - Since the very late nineties, the concept of futurism, that had previously been crucial in electronic dance music, seemed to vanish in a few years. Along with drugs and social utopia, the future-ness was one of the three key components of early house and techno spirit. What happened in the noughties? Has everything gone retro in dance music? Where has gone all the sci-fi and "avant" lingo?
Tim Finney - Groove and the ineffable: how rhythmic music becomes more compelling the more difficult it is to put into words how it functions
Louis Picard – A selected and commented discography of rare rock songs: were they too avant-garde or weird, or just plain bad or samey when they were first recorded ? Is there something like a - code of understanding the rare rock song ?
Paul Purgas - The aesthetics of remastering: the issue of remastering has never been a particular point of concern in electronic music, untile now ?
Etienne Menu - France has a very strong text-oriented musical tradition, as far as popular music is concerned. As a mostly sound-oriented medium, French rap has always suffered from this tradition. This might explain why some of our greatest MCs have been vastly ignored both by the critics and the potential fans.
Didier Lestrade - The discourse of desire and sexual challenge in Hi-NRG: how lyrics in Hi-NRG songs work as hidden expressions of gay erotic urges
Interview with Patrick Mauriès on camp in pop music: Broadway, disco, 80s soul and sophistipop – Camp is the singular attitude developed by Jewish gay intellectuals in the sixties and then relayed by Warhol’s Factory people and disco divas. It’s a blend of utmost seriousness and tongue-in-cheek irony, that never choses between the two.
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