Yesterday this writer had the privilege of attending the first (and hopefully first of many) Are Friends Electric event, a gathering of industrial-minded folk with a serious interest in the music industry, people and their creativity. It begins with the showcasing of ‘Press Pause Play’, a documentary on the industry; the development so far of the forthcoming digital world, the opportunities surrounding that, and most of all, the ever-burning question: What will this digital epoch lead to? We listened to the experiences of entrepreneurs whose entire lives were changed by it, the thoughts and feelings of the creators of the likes of Napster and Last FM, (we were all ready for endless debating after it was over), and ultimately, left with something to think about. It’s exciting to see such a group of musically passionate souls congregating at such a venue, and while it was a modest gathering this time, it’s only gonna get bigger.
Then we get the real deal, that one thing that will never change no matter how pear-shaped the industry goes in the next year, decade or century. The live performance. Paris XY (pictured) kick off with a moving and atmospheric set list, starting with the slower stuff, gathering momentum track by track. This is an inspiring duo indeed, one half of which expresses poetically through vocals that stretch across a broad and beautiful spectrum, while the other handles both the electronics and guitar simultaneously. The result of this is something quite remarkable. After the latter finishes up with a particularly methodical and powerful track, Chrononautz bring the ever-alternating sound of both 90s and 80s house music, enhanced with sampling and abrupt, erm, sounds. Above all, these up and coming artists are the promise of never-ending experimentation, and of music’s natural ability to thrive with or without the fast-changing industry. See you all next month!