I hate to say it, but I think real, truly epic euro-style house music is… gone. Replaced by the likes of Basshunter.
That’s not a bad thing, per se, but man do I miss the full-on epic anthems of yesteryear. Or maybe it’s just been redefined and I, like my parents and the generation before them, have been left behind to wallow around in ‘classic rock’.
But I don’t think that’s true – the fact is that I still recognize their ‘anthems’ as anthems. And I think the era of anthemic rock-n-roll music, the epic power ballad, the timeless rock tune, is pretty much over. Once and a while you get one that comes up but what happened to The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? Led Zeppelin? Black Sabbath? Who stepped up and replaced them? To some extent, I suppose, Metallica (although when I was growing up I would never have imagined that happening), and I just can’t think of any band of epic enough proportions to match the “classics”. Nirvana? Maybe they could’ve achieved that status – who knows?
But the epic techno-anthem used to be so prevalent. I mean, who doesn’t remember “Firestarter”, or “Get Busy Child”, or pretty much *any* Chemical Brothers song? And that goes way, way, way back. How about Orbital? Actually, I think nobody would recognize the name, but if you heard the song you’d nod your head and smile. Fatboy Slim was responsible for a whole slew of timeless songs – tunes that I can literally listen to at any given time, any given place, and always love.
Fast forward a bit, there’s a few that were produced in the last decade (the Chemical Brothers came out almost 15 freakin’ years ago!) Eiffel 65, Ayla, Armin Van Buuren and “The Sound of Goodbye”, Paul Oakenfold’s entire freakin’ album (remember “Southern Sun”? Of course you do. Everyone does), pretty much any song that BT touched was epic by default, Ferry Corsten ushered in the new sound of Progressive House, Sasha & Digweed were incapable of preventing epic-ness in their music, JunkieXL just spewed epic all over crowds… I mean, once techno became more mainstream, it was nearly impossible to avoid getting swept up by the sheer waves of legendary anthems. Goddamn that DJ made my day. Yeah, I know you remember that one too.
Now what do we have? Justice, Basshunter, and a handful of other flashes in the pan. Here and there, a catchy song – and we’re so starved for the epic thunder of yesterday’s basslines that we consider these songs “modern anthems”. They’re not bad songs – I’m a fan of Justice, for example – but you can’t possibly hope to put them side-by-side with Carl Cox, with Superstar DJ Keoki (okay, maybe not that guy – he was a big douche), with Roni Size. Kids these days just don’t know what they missed.
So yeah, back 10 or 15 years ago, that was a golden age. It was a time of innovation and experimentation with music. Sometimes I miss it, and sometimes I’m glad we’ve all moved on. Most of us, anyway. And then I have to wonder if previous generations weren’t thinking these exact thoughts while bitching about “these kids and their crazy rock-n-roll dance music…”