The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market

Brian Eno writes:

…go into a record shop and look at the dividers used to separate music into different categories. There used to be about a dozen: rock, jazz, ethnic, and so on. Now there are almost as many dividers as there are records, and they keep proliferating. The category I had a hand in starting–ambient music–has split into a host of subcategories called things like “black ambient,” “ambient dub,” “ambient industrial,” “organic ambient” and 20 others last time I looked. A similar bifurcation has been happening in every other living musical genre (except for “classical” which remains, so far, simply “classical”), and it’s going on in painting, sculpture, cinema and dance.

Recently an MR reader sent along a link to this new genre:

Shava are probably the only representatives so far of the genre of Suomibhangra, a Finnish take on the South Asian diaspora dance genre, bhangra. One one level there's a lot to be critical of here, perhaps – the wilful exoticism, the fake Indian dancers, the almost-brownface of someone like the "Finnjabi bad boy" in the video.

Nonetheless most South Asians seem to approve of their Finnish mimics.  Elsewhere, here is yet another essay on the fragmentation of music

Going back to Eno, I liked this point:

The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness.


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