Approach to non-eurocentric music #3: The Fan/The Mod/The MP3 Blogger
How it analyses the power imbalance in music: An up-to-date version of the vinyl scrambler, and probably the closest thing to a raison d’etre this tumblog has had so far in the two months of its existence. The power imbalance is an imbalance of access to a eurocentric public: worthy viable music from the third world is consistently maginalized on dancefloors and radio stations.
How it attempts to empower third world musicians: By worshipfully bringing the attention of one’s friends to whatever flavour of current music is trendy this week, thus possibly increasing the hype. Or by trying to start hypes that ought to fit in the current mould. Basically a slightly more conscious version of what teenagers do.
What it gets right: The very fact that it approaches contemporary hit music from the third world with respect, admiration and open ears makes it a lot better than its archaizing peers. Often open to music that is shunned by various elites.
Where it fails: To a large extent it’s the same decontextualised digging as in the scramble. Also there are significant selection problems (generally though not always in favour of masculine-coded, “hard” styles), and a definite risk of seeing yourself as an “all-seeing”, “objective” observer. The us-and-them distinction is maintained.