Here he is! You’ve found him! Our so-called columnist has moved. He is now officially the sport pages of electronic music. New home, same old lunacy…
Sport sport sport. Pop it in the goal, mate. That was easily a hole in one, ref. He’s got a googly in the bunker. Sport!
As everyone who reads Electronic Sound knows, there’s nothing I like more than a sport. I wake up each Sunday, rip off my Roxy Music pyjamas with gay abandon and toddle into the nearby fields to do a sport. I love the smell of the linesman’s chalk dust in the morning. I also love the smell of dog-widdled rugby posts in the morning, but that’s a personal problem I’d thank you to ignore. I enjoy all the sports – ones on oblong fields, ones on fields of different shapes, ones on water, ones where people throw stuff, ones inside the water, ones where people get attacked by bees. On second thoughts, that’s something I saw on a fun run in school so it doesn’t count.
Electronic music is pretty much the same as sport. The way they stand, Kraftwerk are just one baton away from becoming a relay team. Paul from Orbital looks like a snooker player. If synthesisers were round and made of pig skin, we’d use them as footballs. And if Brian Eno was made of hoops, he’d be a basketball court. If you read those sentences quickly without thinking about the words, all that makes total sense.
Speaking of Kraftwerk, they famously made a sporting track called ‘Tour De France’ which brought alive the image of spandex-clad athletes speeding along the streets of northern Paris and Saint-Tropez. The track arose from the band’s love of this world-famous race, almost naïve in its simple adoration. Of course, we now know the tragic truth: all the runners competing in the Tour De France cheated by propelling themselves on contraptions comprising tubes of metal attached to wheels. Such unsporting behaviour has ruined that song for me, and I have since given an Uber driver one star because he looked a bit like 1983 Ralf Hütter.
Sport is a great metaphor for music, and not just because vinyl has two sides like a cricket match, or because vinyl has a hole like golf, or because vinyl is very flat and round like Derek who runs our local badminton league. New electronic acts pulse with energy, like a ski slalom – listen to them fizz past each flag as onlookers applaud. Late-career electronic acts are like leisurely rounds of golf: the audio equivalent of wheezing pensioners lugging bags of iron sticks over finely manicured fields. Still quite impressive, but boy it takes more effort. Electronic acts in the middle of these two extremes are like middling sports like, er, curling or rounders: no one’s really watching. Actually I quite like curling: can you please Tippex that last bit and write “rowing” instead.
Sorry. I can’t do this. This seemed like a good idea at the time. Oh look, my column’s moved to the back page so let’s write something sporty like what newspapers do. Great idea, Fats. Sheesh. I flipping hate sports – what a colossal waste of time and headbands. It’s complicated exercise for people who quote rule books to distract them from the grinding inevitability of death. If you’ve used one second of your life smugly explaining the offside rule to anyone older than a child, you’re worse than Stalin. Here’s a sports ‘n’ music metaphor you can stick up your hockey pipe, or whatever it is they use in hockey. Sport is like jazz. There, I said it. It’s noodling nonsense enjoyed by pretentious twonks and it never flipping ends: it goes on and on and on and on and—