Linkage summary of recent coverage and criticism of Simon Reynold’s ‘ardkore continuum theory.
There’s something a little bit precious about the defenders of the ‘nuum. Aren’t we all supposed to be raging at each other and poking holes in ideas rather than defending them to the hilt?
I’ve been more keen on the critics of the theory than its upholders of late. It is more entertaining for starters. But also it seems to me that new theories, or new areas which are blissfully devoid of theory, will only emerge from critique.
I’ve never been a ‘nuum fundamentalist, seeing the theory simply as a useful way of referring to a particular chapter of UK soundsystem culture. So it quite clearly isn’t the case that I was part of any “collective pant-wetting about bassline house”.
I have a great deal of sympathy with people who are questioning whether the theory still applies in 2009 (or rather, is it still useful?). But my main objection is still to the use of the ‘nuum as a tool in an ongoing “oh grime? that’s soooooo last year dahling” campaign.
Of course, the ‘ardkore continuum is certainly an engaging way of looking at acid house -> ardkore -> jungle and onwards. I devoured Energy Flash when it came out and loved Reynolds’ pieces in The Wire.
As I said in my talk on blogging and fanzines at Audio Poverty recently, I would count Reynolds’ Blissblog as being a crucial influence on a particular corner of the internet which I am happy to inhabit to this day.
But, you know, all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned…