See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Paper snapshots

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Everyone is a critic, but not everyone does the research. The All Music Guide to Electronica is easily the strongest example of people who have done their homework. Brought to you by the handy folks in Ann Arbor who run the online All Music Guide (www.allmusicguide.com), it is easily the best guide yet on these overflowing and omnipresent musics.

Built up by young, interested and willing writers, many from the Detroit area, the 1.5-inch thick guide is being touted as the “largest published guide to electronic music,” with entries that scour genres and countries for the premier mainstream and underground electronic acts. Alongside artists such as Detroit’s Big Three (Saunderson, May, Atkins), Finnish minimalist genius Vladislav Delay and house legend Masters At Work, there also are selections based on influence (Devo, Miles Davis, the Electrifying Mojo) and current avant-garde rock appeal (Godspeed You Black Emperor and Piano Magic).

The only misstep here is having the book at all. The online version is both a more flowing and more pleasing experience than the book, mainly because, like the music it explores, it is electronic and not subject to tomelike qualities. But more to the point, one gets the feeling flipping through this book, like any of the rock books that have come before it, from Lillian Roxon to Trouser Press, that the solidification of music in print is about as unrockin’ a move as can be made. But even if none of these lists, style essays or genre maps are truly exhaustive (how could they be?), controlling the discourse and making sure it’s accurate is completely legitimate cultural politics. And as long as members of the 734/313/248 continue to take the snapshots, I ain’t complaining.

Carleton S. Gholz writes about music for the Metro Times. E-Mail letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit