Guy from Elite Gymnastics (I think? Hari said so on Twitter) having some very interesting conversations re computer-based electronic music and live performance.
like, personally, the fact that live music is not really being performed onstage does not bother me. i sort of hate when one-person studio projects or bedroom projects where the creative process or the recording of music does not involve a bunch of dudes playing rock instruments try to present themselves live as a bunch of dudes playing rock instruments. like, if i wanted to hear that, i would go listen to one of the 100000 bands there are that are straightforwardly a bunch of dudes playing rock instruments. chances are very good that i started listening to your one-man studio project or bedroom thing because i was not trying to listen to a bunch of dudes playing rock instruments. i would much rather hear something that actually sounds like the record that i like
on the other hand, if someone’s creative process is sitting in front of a computer, i agree that that is not very interesting to watch. solving that problem is something that every electronic act that wants to play live has to try to figure out a way to do
sometimes people attempt to solve it by earnestly trying to reduce their reliance on backing tracks as much as possible, by putting together a rock band to play live instruments, or by triggering samples live with drum controllers or an MPC or whatever. i hate it when people do this. i think it’s so dumb when i see a laptop act onstage hitting play on an sp404 or an MPC instead of a computer. like, you just spent like 1k so you could hit play on something that says “roland” or “akai” on it instead of something that says “apple”. and do you know why you did that? because people in the audience probably own things that say “apple”, so things that say “roland” or “akai” will seem less familiar and more mysterious and impressive and will thus stand a better chance of fooling people into believing that you are not just hitting play on them. that’s fucking stupid.
sometimes people solve it by faking a live show. this is very common. if someone’s record is doing well, people want to hear the music on it over a big system and they want to see people doing stuff onstage. so sometimes people just play the record over the PA and have people onstage pretending to be the ones making those sounds. it gives almost everybody what they actually want - if a band using this approach had built their career on their technical prowess, it would be scandalous, but that’s almost never true of one-man studio bands or bedroom projects, so who cares, you know?