Saturday, May 23, 2009

Musi(c.)PSX: Diva (1998)

Sony's Playstation console was first released in Japan in December of 1994.
A year later, it spread across the globe, leading to it's eventual assimilation into modern living. The console was officially discontinued by Sony in 2006, but began a process of phasing out with the 2000 release of the Playstation2. Known in it's early years colloquially as the PSX, the console was characterised by a slick attitude that met modern gamers on varying levels, boasting releases like Wipeout, which fused electronic music culture with the gaming experience. This post is a celebration of that time. Music circa (c.) the PSX

Dana International - Diva (1998)

Nevermind that the 1998 Eurovision winning song, Diva, was performed in Hebrew, or that the artist, Dana International, was the first transgenderist to win the competition. Smack bang in the centre of the PlayStation's life cycle, one posits that the genre of music is far more significant [to us] than the social politics the song might otherwise represent.

It's now the week after the subject of the song contest was topical, but in the interest of maintaining some fleeting shred of musical credibility, I'm following up on the previous entry in this series to elaborate on the same simplistic point it contained.

Nocturne, (as I'm sure you already knew), won the competition for Norway, in 1995.
Anyone inquisitive enough to actually play the YouTube vid will have come across a reasonably conventional track quite unlike any of the songs featured in any of the previous articles. In it's own curious way, it is meant to represent the conventional pop of the time.

Music is significant to all walks of life. It represents the beat of the drum of life.
It provides background noise to a generation and era, or in those special instances, congeals to be the athem of a very specific moment. In an increasingly manufactured process, pop music provides sound direction and influence on culture around it, undermining the timeline of songs. That said, even the most atrociously uncreative source is the bastard of some other catalytic concept.

Four years into the PSX timeline, Diva marked the departure from Eurovision winning generic pop, boldly reflecting the swelling significance of electronic music. Dana International was hardly a pioneer of the genre, nor was the dance track a turning point for European music.

I suggest, ladies and gentlemen, that the 1998 song is simply a cultural touchstone for the growing awareness and appreciation for electronic statements. By that year, the PSX console was a well established phenomenon in homes across the globe. As we marched enthusiastically and inspired toward a new millennium, even the common man was coming face-to-face with the looping rhythm of an electronic age.
This pre-millennial movement in music and art might have come from eager anticipation for the future. It might have been bred in the pens of Cakewalk and other sampling programs of the time, fed by cultural inbreeding and imitation. It might have resulted from many sources, but it was undoubtedly sponsored by the Sony Playstation. It was a rare moment in time. I miss it.

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