Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take me into your skin

There's a point in Take me into your skin where you're sure he's going to drop it but he doesn't. He brings it back, heavy and relentless, and it builds again.

It is a perfect encapsulation of what I believe great innovation to be. You understand the basis for it. You understand the genre, recognise its limitations, expect the track to stay within its constraints. (After all, this is part of what makes genre art enjoyable.)

But Trentemoller confounds expectation, and the innovation is surprising, throwing into relief the ordinariness of genre trance and techno.

It is a wonderful song, fashioned out of bits and pieces of a whole spectrum of dance, but not a ragbag; it is all melted into a stunning, undescribable piece of music.

So he's no Bach. Right. But Bach was then and this is what we have now. Classical music now is an irrelevance. An artist like Steve Reich has salience only because he is experimental like Aphex.

Isn't visual art the same, you ask. No. Visual art is dead. Tracey Emin killed it, but it was severely wounded once we decided that splashing paint randomly said something about who we are. Not that it doesn't. But it belies any idea that we have anything to say about ourselves than to shrug or screech inconsolably.

And Take me into your skin does not have much to say. I wouldn't claim otherwise. It says a small thing. But it says it so well: if music moves you at all, you'll have a shiver of yearning halfway in. You don't get that from Coldplay! (Well okay, you might. But if you do, erm, maybe just loosen the top button a smidgen.)