Began as an art concept that cannibalised the chips of electronic devices like Gameboys to make music, Huoratron is the brainchild of producer and artist Aku Raski. Now producing a wider array of crafted electronic music and remixing the likes of M.I.A., he's surveyed the current state of dance music, namely the dominance of EDM, and in a guest column for Q he explains why he doesn't like what he hears...
Yes, it seems we are up shit music creek, without a paddle. The creek is all neon and blinking lights. And everyone’s wasted, arms in the air, ankle-deep in the septic water, doing heart shapes with their hands. Stay calm and do not despair. The situation may look hopeless, but we’ve been here before. Countless times. Really. Mainstream EDM is a hedonist affair with a lot of bells, whistles and chemicals, deliberately greased to be capable of moving large crowds. It’s electronic music, weaponised, monetized and pointed like a laser at the pleasure centre of man, a simple herd animal. In its heart there’s an emptiness that age-old festival rituals, as well as drugs, serve to partially obscure.
The thing is, like so much music before it, it’s meant for a very specific stage in the development of the brain – namely the “under construction” phase. According to research, there are surprisingly late major changes in the volume of gray matter, which forms the thin, folding outer layer or cortex of the brain. This is where the processes of thought and memory are based.
Additionally, the connections between the frontal lobe and other parts of the brain are more sluggish than at any point before or after in the development of the brain. This is the part of the brain that enables people to consider the consequences of their actions or how they impact other people. All this serves to create a condition in which even the smallest and most mundane event can take on the illusion of profundity – life is a series of seemingly epic nights out of huge importance, when really you’re just drunk. Music seems to speak deep truths about the human condition, when really it’s just a series drops and bleeps topped with a cravenly manipulative chorus. Generally, the parts of the brain that control impulses and help us act like adults mature last. And that doesn’t happen until the 20s.
So, here we are, cashing in on music made for a partially completed brain - specifically for the partially completed brains of the young alive the early-2000s. To the children of people in the their teens and early-20s now, this music will seem ridiculous.
Hope lives on in the children of these people who’ve grown up listening to Guetta in the car on the way to grandma’s. The same poor youngsters who watched their parents get ludicrously dressed up to lose themselves on a nostalgic weekender at the 2030s version of the Electric Daisy Carnival at a holiday resort in some part of southern Spain that hasn’t been submerged by the rising oceans. Headliners will be Deadmau5 (the mask makes for a perfect eternal franchise operation) and the prodigiously hair-gelled, tanned and skin-stretched middle-aged members of the Swedish House Mafia, possibly performing with a string section to add to their nonexistent prestige.
These children will be so endlessly sick of the torturous, morally and aesthetically bankrupt shit they’ve had to put up with, they will surely create something absolutely glorious and remind us of all of why music lives at the very centre of all that is good about humanity. I can’t fucking wait to hear the music they’ll make. Aku Raski @HUORATRON
For more head to Huoratron.com.