12 November 2003

Popped in to see Andy at Emis Music yesterday. For years he's been making a living selling electronic instruments and studio gear. Everything from home organs, vintage analogue synths, mixing desks and signal processors. It used to be an Alladin's Cave for techno-fetishists like myself. That's where I bought my Minimoog. Yet it seems the rumours are true. No, he's not going out of business. For the first time he's started stocking guitars, drums and all the other parphenalia of the rock musician.

Andy explained that the main reason for the change of emphasis was due to the rise in 'soft synths' and other software-based audio tools. Anyone looking to make hi-tec music these days invests in virtual studios, he reckons. The market for hardware samplers and synths is dying out pretty rapidly. Perhaps more pertinently, we also discussed the general change in tastes of 'the kids' today. Nobody wants to be a DJ anymore, says Andy. They want to be lead guitarists again. This is a trend I'd been picking-up on for some time. Could it be that the Dance Revolution (approx 15 years old now) is finally starting to dwindle? Will the next generation look to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and The Darkness for inspiration? Will they know or care who Derrick May, Marshall Jefferson or Richard James are? Will techno, jungle and all the other micro-genres become just some outdated genre that only 'old people' (ie over 30) listen to?

I left Emis slightly depressed and feeling very old all of a sudden. And then in Anthony Thornton's review of Underworld's new Best Of CD for this week's NME, I see the first use of the term "dance dinosours". Shit, this really is the beginning of the end. Now I know how prog fans felt in 1977.