By Lee Underwood
If you’re just noticing how EDM culture feeds upon social media like a Demigorgon feasting Bob the Brain than welcome to the party. For better or worse, we’ve welcomed the superhuman power to create online personas and now we’re addicted. We feed and are fed information faster than people can process it properly. These personas, our avatars online, are bombarded constantly with increasingly simplistic messaging—“look at my cat”, “choke me Daddy”, “Fuck Trump”, “Fuck Delta”, “Fuck haters, I do what I want”—and we take it in, half-digested, and believe what we read and are affected deeply by what is said about us. We allow fake news to infect the unthinking among us, which in turn influences our perceptions of the world. One scroll through EDM twitter and it’s obvious we’re allowing our online lives to become our real lives, and it sucks.
I can’t think of any two DJ’s more concerned with this problem than London Nebel, the Berlin based Bass Music duo. It’s a problem they explore in their recent Firepower Records release Propaganda. With this project they remind us that the highly conceptualized form of art that is EP construction is not dead. Propaganda pursues the paradox of reality and the failure of online technology to mend our fractured selves or to make us freer, better people. Firepower hasn’t released an EP this deep, dark, and stylized since Truth’s Hollow World EP. With Propaganda, London Nebel uses their talent to do what art should do—put a mirror up to reality and do the tough work of telling us who we are in this present historical moment.
I put some questions to them about the concept behind their work.
FP: It’s clear Your EP attempts to present a message to your listeners beyond the music itself. What is that message and why is it important?
LN: We wanted to give an impetus to this whole fake news propaganda theme and show that it is important to be critical, question things, and not just believe everything right away. We have always been partially alienated, but nowadays it is becoming increasingly difficult to form one’s own opinion.
FP: Has the proliferation of social media achieved its promise of liberating us? Or has it done the opposite?
LN: The Internet offers endless possibilities. The question is: how do we humans handle it? Social media creates a fast and direct communication, which is quite positive, and yet there are enough miseries and wars in this world. Information hasn’t led to consequences. So there can be no liberation.
FP: What do people need to do to offset the negative effects of fake news?
LN: As already mentioned, it is important to question critically. But that is also something we believe the fewest do. Through this immense amount of information, we only nibble on certain topics, and it is almost impossible to get a complete picture. Each one of us is responsible either to investigate and be aware of which media we consume and the information they relate.
FP: Do you think music producers have a responsibility to advocate important social issues like this? Should music be used as a tool for awareness?
LN: Artists can do whatever they want. Of course, they have a certain status and can reach people and make them think. But everyone should know what he or she wants to achieve with his or her art. It should be left to the artist whether they create for mere entertainment or whether they want to position themselves politically.
Listen to ‘Propaganda EP’ here: https://FirepowerRecords.lnk.to/propaganda