July 10, 2020
Notes on music #1
For a while in the 2010s, music critics were obsessed with “hauntology,” the return of dead and disappeared genres to contemporary music in ghostly form. Hauntology was not just nostalgia, the idea that the past was better and that we’d like to return to it. The most famous practitioner of hauntology in music, Burial, produced loving memorials to British rave music of the early ’90s based not on his own memories—he was too young to go to the raves—but on stories told to him by his older brother. Rave culture promised a future that Burial should have inhabited as an adult, but that future never arrived, and that sense of the past failing to keep its promises to those who came after is what made hauntology such a fruitful project for those born to the wealthiest generation in world history.