The Lost Generation

The ’90s were a pretty exciting time for music — if you were willing to scratch just below the surface.
Bark Psychosis' Hex

I don’t read too many of Pitchfork’s weekly features, but their latest caught my eye. Titled “The Lost Generation,” the article is a fairly in-depth overview of post-rock’s early days, on both sides of the pond. At times, it gets a little effusive and wordy, but then again, what Pitchfork article doesn’t? Even so, it’s awesome to see a number of excellent bands, both new and old, get some fresh press.

Being a sucker for all things dreamy and atmospheric, I was pleased as punch to see both Insides and South, both criminally unknown bands, get some high recommendations. And anytime that the praises of Bark Psychosis’ Hex (“Songs stretch out to eight-minute lengths, casually conjuring up space and weaving together rich, human sounds: Splashes of live drums, fluid dub bass, barbiturate vocals, wisps of guitar and piano and strings”) and Slowdive’s Pygmalion (“ Blue Skied an’ Clear,’ its standout track, is equal parts Cocteau Twins and Disco Inferno, a studio daydream firmly rooted in pop”) get sung, well, I just chalk it up as one more triumph for the forces of good.

If nothing else, the article does remind me that yes, indeed, the ’90s were a pretty exciting time for music — if you were willing to scratch just below the surface. I was in college during the mid-to-late ’90s, so I was just a few years too late to discover many of the bands mentioned in the article at their zenith. And while yes, the airwaves and MTV were full of the likes of Veruca Salt et al, that time period was a massive time of musical education for me. It was then that I discovered shoegazer and dream-pop, when I first heard Hex, when I first started delving into techno and industrial, and realms of music even further beyond.

Reading the article reminds me of that, and considering the decent list of recommendations that follow it, I’m reminded that there’s still so much more out there for me to hear.

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