Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HYPNAGOGIC POP? An Open Letter to The Wire

The inclusion of S. Robin's letter in The Wire 318 prompted me to refer back to David Keenan's long-winded treatise on Hypnagogic Pop in an earlier issue. It's good to know that I wasn't the only reader offended by that ridiculous appraisal of "Hypnagogic" musicians who seemingly tap into a muddy stream of Eighties mediocrity ("Ghostbusters", no less!) and mono-culture for their inspiration.  Indeed,  ideas such as ambiguity, the ineffable,  and half-remembered experiences do shape and transform an artist on both conscious and unconscious levels,  but why limit Mr. Keenan's term only to artists/musicians effected by Eighties cultural detritus?  Who said that "to name something is to destroy it"?  Well certainly not Mr. Keenan, as he's been rather busy creating silly catchphrases that add little or nothing to our understanding of what may be music of substantial value.  And did I see a "Proto-Hypnagogic" playlist? What a mess! I certainly hope I was dreaming.
                                                                     Arthur P.

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