I’ve been digging up lots of old electronic music fanzines from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Five years ago, I wrote on this blog about Synapse. Here’s a beautiful cover of another zine I’ve been reading recently, from the Basque region of Spain in the mid-1980s.
I’ve been slammed with finishing revisions on entries I wrote for the upcoming edition of The Grove Dictionary of Music, the mammoth and legendary dictionary published by Oxford. I wrote several entries for it–including the definitions of genres like house, electro, and techno. The word “dubstep” is now in the dictionary for the first time, I’m happy to say. I also wrote definitions for a few synthesizers, such as the Roland TB-303 and the TR-808, which will now be in the instruments section for the very first time. The hardest part for me was writing the massive 3,000-word essay on “electronic dance music,” which comprises the past 30+ years of history, and encompasses dozens of genres. (I completely scrapped the entry that was there.) Where do you start and where do you end? What do you include and what do you leave out? Writing definitions isn’t easy, especially when they’re meant to be the definitive ones, and the pay is not great. But it is my hope that by doing this, I can help in some small way to expand the literacy out there about electronic music.