As a compilation and mix concept, Fuck Dance, Let's Art sounds hazy before you even begin discussing the music. Theories crumble, according to the compilation's own description, when trying explain the current wave of lo-fi, synth-heavy nostalgic bedroom production. And attempting a timely, authoritative statement about a decentralized, Internet-driven scene seems bound to be frustrating. It doesn't help when some acts are less-than SEO friendly and self-applied genre tags like shitgaze mock the whole genre concept in itself.
Fuck Dance, Let's Art: Sounds From a New American Underground
FUCK DANCE LETS ART on Spotify
I recently checked out a performance by oOoOO, an avatar of the much-debated witch house sound, at a Haight St. Not coming on until after midnight, oOoOO performed a minute set on his laptop, witnessed by two dozen mostly unmoved goths, before silently ceding the stage back to the workaday darkwave DJ set that had preceded his. This music was not watered-down industrial music, as detractors have claimed. It was both familiar and unidentifiable — the outrageously slowed-down samples and clattering dub percussion, the mostly beatless stretches of sampled voices, the swaggering Southern hip-hop snare rolls — still developing, bratty, and ahistorical, but enthralling nonetheless. Slow-motion videos, which combine everything from Twin Peaks clips, to images of faded 80s fashion models and tacky luxury goods, to sinisterly altered contemporary handbag advertisements, are filtered through scrims of dated video-editing software effects into drugged, dissociated loops. Any textual meaning is concealed in a thicket of dingbats, and the names that do emerge are un-Googleable, even untypable; they can only be linked to. The strongest tracks on this compilation are surreal, then, but not in any one particular way.
K7 have given voice to a whole branch of experimental electronica which may never have otherwise made it out of a few attics in Williamsburg. The attempt to define and document this burgeoning scene is a task which the creators themselves admit is flawed, seeing as the compilation features almost exclusively East Coast artists, and includes Canadians Crystal Castles in this supposed American underground. Or, to cut the bullshit and stop attempting to quantify the unquantifiable,!