Samples 14 (2016)

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    Satan fordert die totale Zerstörung des Betriebes! : Die Heavy Metal-Subkultur in der DDR
    (2016) Okunew, Nikolai
    East German heavy metal fans constituted one of the GDR s largest subcultures in the mid and late 1980s. Using sources from the Stasi record agency BStU, as well as documents from the German radio archive Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv, and studies from GDR´s central institute for youth research Zentralinstitut für Jugendforschung, this paper describes the emergence of the subculture and the blue collar background of its members. Furthermore, it explores how the regime tried to handle these deviant adolescents. Since the subcultural practices helped heavy metal fans to cope with the situation behind the iron curtain , these practices were closely linked to the party-state. After the state had collapsed, they became useless in this respect and so the subcultures vanished around 1989/1990.
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    Jitterbugs with attitudes : an essay on the problematic relationship of popular music and politics
    (2016) Helms, Dietrich
    This essay discusses the communication system of popular music, i.e. communication between musicians and listeners, to find out why music is such an imperfect means to convey unambiguous political messages. Music as a communication system is described as a noncommittal, temporal reality comparable to a game with rules of communication that differ from those of reality of everyday life. Things said or done in music are therefore less obligatory than spoken statements in everyday reality. Music as a medium is rather used to produce unity, not to convey meaning. The communication system allows musicians to control attention or togetherness but not to control whether their audience understands the meaning of a song correctly. Therefore, music has developed no stable semantics. As a medium that produces a feeling of unity music has a strong group building function. These groups, however, are only temporal. Adorno´s argument in »On Popular Music« is criticised: the time someone spends inside the fictitious world of popular music is not a waste of time that should rather be filled with conscious studies of music but a virtual realm for experimenting with attitudes, behaviour, and forms of communication.
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    Von Menschen, Maschinen und dem Minimalen : musikanalytische Überlegungen zum Techno-Projekt The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble
    (2016) Schaubruch, Josef
    Although Electronic Dance Music (EDM) ranks among one of the most popular styles in the 21st century, the academic debate about the distinct musical qualities of EDM is sparse. The article transfers the theoretical framework developed by Mark Butler (2006) to the music of the Berlin based techno collective The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble who create music with an EDM aesthetic by using instruments played live out of a score. The focus of the analysis is on rhythm, meter, and form. Finally, the article illuminates not only an unexplored field of producing techno in an uncommon way, it also provides an enlightening insight into the specific applicability of Butler´s analytical tools.
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    Genese, Folgen und Gefahren digitaler Musikplanungssysteme im Rundfunk : zur "Philosophie" des Formatradios
    (2016) Rumpf, Wolfgang
    Formatted radio programs targeted at a defined audience were established in Germany in 1985. For these, computers generate playlists which then can be controlled and modified by editors. On the one hand, programs such as AC (adult contemporary), oldie-based AC, AOR (arena, oldies, rock), DOM (deutsch, oldie, moderate), MOR (middle of the road) etc. are very successful; on the other hand they are constantly criticized for sounding all the same. In this paper I describe how the development of digital computer technology in the Silicon Valley since 1975 has influenced media politics and changed broadcasting. In Germany, it was the CDU who wanted to establish private radio and TV stations beside the federal-public system of the ARD (»dual system«) for political reasons in 1984. While the market grew from 50 radio and TV stations to more than 250, editorial journalists complain that their jobs have become meaningless.
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    Backwoods: rural distance and authenticity in twentieth-Century American independent folk and rock discourse
    (2016) Harper, Adam
    The value placed on rural musicians is a consistent characteristic of independent popular music culture, particularly with respect to »lo-fi« aesthetics. Antipathetic to what they saw as excessively industrialised and commercialised popular music, urban folk and rock fans have recurrently sought satisfaction in musics of peripheral areas that were considered archaic or »primitive,« conflating musical and geographical distance. Beginning by tracing the roots of this process in Romanticism and folk revivals, I examine the cases and receptions of artists such as Roscoe Halcomb, Hasil Adkins, Beat Happening and Guided By Voices.
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    Samples 14 (2016)