What's the Difference Between "Old School" and "The Old Days?"

After hearing many people who clearly were too young to have been alive during the founding of the genre they're discussing, I decided to provide a definition to clear things up. Important note; this isn't intended to be a form of cultural stratification. This is only a way of identifying the difference between a genre's origin versus a person discovering a genre that has generations of evolution behind it.

- If you find a genre and its key bands/projects are currently releasing their 3rd or 4th albums, then they are your "old days" but not "old school" in connection to the genre. 

- If you remember when a genre didn't exist, [meaning...it actually didn't, not you didn't know about it] and the genre hadn't yet developed a sort of top-ten list of focus bands/projects, then the term "old school" is applicable for you and the genre.

The term old school, for those who are, is a kind of badge of honor for being part of the development of a genre. Being a child of the early 1960's, it gave me a perfect vantage point to see [and be part of] the evolution of the primary musical food groups punk rock, hip hop, metal, industrial, techno, and noise. Since this is my first posting here, please check out my webpage/website to get an understanding of my artistic and philosophical background.

It's an honor to be a comrade of the SWU. I've known Denard since the mid 1980's. His focus on cross-genre quality has always been his trademark.

Peaceness and Sledgehammers,

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Anonymous said...

Hello Darryl, welcome to the blog :-)

I also noticed this confusion about the term "old school" in musical discussions and think your proposed definition is reasonable and could help to avoid misunderstandings.

However, another issue that follows hard on this is the discourse about the genesis of musical genres and if, or under which circumstances, we can actually speak of a new genre. Especially in electronic music, the whole (sub-)genre thing got a bit out of hand, in my opinion.

Anyway, I hope to see you around here more often in the future. Feel free to share your knowledge with us!

DJ Hell said...

Thanx. I completely agree with you. Just because someone changes a small element within a genre doesn't make it a new genre. But I think sometimes it's the promotional demands of the industry that forces new genre rhetoric upon their increasingly targeted markets. As the entertainment industry became an adult in the mid 1980's and niche regions became connected with others, the fertile ground for the micro-subgenre was born.

I really saw that in the techno genre. Though I believe having the house, breakbeat, ect subgenres for thematic specificity, once jungle showed up, it exploded with nonsensically specific subgenres. Denard and I have talked about this issue since we met in the 80's. It also happened in punk rock as it did in many other genres.

By focusing on the connectivity of the fluent evolution of musical genres, that will always help artist stay ahead of the hurricane-like motion of trends. History proves almost all "agenda setters" follow this philosophical framework, whether in the arts, sciences, or whatever.

Thanx for the warm welcome and conversation.

Peaceness and Sledgehammers,

Neurobasher said...

DJ Hell: "If you remember when a genre didn't exist, [meaning...it actually didn't, not you didn't know about it] and the genre hadn't yet developed a sort of top-ten list of focus bands/projects, then the term "old school" is applicable for you and the genre."

Well, following this thesis the album "Ginger" of Speedy J actually developed trance music and was influence for many top10 hits and therefore can be considered as "old school", right?

And as for instance Marco F├╝rstenberg and Sven Schienhammer produce dub house tracks with the typical Maurizio/Basic Channel roots in the sound, this is considered "Old days" music.

DJ Hell said...

I think you may be confusing me with the German DJ Hell, which I'm not. I play hardcore beats and noise that I consider completely "hell-ish! LOL

check my bio:

To clarify, I wasn't discussing ways of determining the creation of a genre. That is quite a different nut to crack. My focus was based on a person can point to an exact year or day when they found/discovered or was turned on to a musical or artistic culture. They also know what bands were around when they found the genre.

But genres merge and shift and are influenced by a multiplicity of sources, which is more of an evolution, so pointing to an exact day/year a genre was created is rather difficult. Though the people whom are usually at the forefront of the genre transition often are forgotten when the third wave of a genre takes over. I've found this is due to the creation of genre icons via industry marketing tactics.

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