What's in a word? Extracting beauty out of the word ''Techno''
by phil on Thursday Apr 1, 2004 7:56 PM
How to read deeply into the phonetics of a word to discover its meaning:
Just repeat the word to yourself. Listen to it. What does it sound like to you? The word seems to carry two totally opposite images with it. It sounds at once monolithic and impersonal, like the acronym of a multinational conglomerate. But it also sounds toylike, as in brightly coloured plastic Lego blocks.
Rave culture is an echo of these two contradictory images. It is retrofuturist, heading in opposite directions at the same time: forward, to the seductive dystopia of Blade Runner's Los Angeles, 2019, and backward, to the psychedelic utopia of the 'Summer of Love'. At its best, it is like orgasmic relief or Buddhist Nirvana, or the momentary blackout of a fighter pilot pulling G's at supersonic speed. At its worst, it can pummel the brain to mush with its locomotive rhythms and monorail melodies.
Listen to it. On one hand it has a love of silky, lustrous textures. On the other, a fondness for scabrous, crusty timbres. It is an amorphous sexuality and a masculinist algebra of dominance and submission. It is fluidity and rigidity. It is utopia and dystopia.