Music as Territorial Marking

I lived next to a sales unit for a while. Not sure if ‘sales unit’ is a salt of the earth term. It refers to a small company of street salesmen, the type of company that has become quite popular in Dutch cities. Employees usually sell subscriptions for feelgood NGOs or newspapers. They do most of their work on busy shopping streets which means that by day the sales unit is quiet. Afterwork times however is a different story. Since oratory is the greatest value of our time there is no shortage of youngsters wanting to practice their charisma by selling stuff to strangers. You might tell them they are selling crap wrapped in bullshit, they will tell you it is part of their personal growth. Besides, it pays well if you have got the skills.

I did not mind these people hanging out next to my house, smoking on the streets. I lived too close to the city centre to expect total silence. Their afterwork music did get to me though. Mostly because of the bass.

Modern music is not very different from classical music. There’s more different sounds nowadays but the bolts and nuts are the same. Music is rhythm and people like rhythm. The bass is different though. Modern music greatly ups the bass. Where classical music supposedly makes you enjoy the achievements of civilisation, modern music is designed to make you forget everything that has to do with civilisation. The bass drowns your ears, which is not a design flaw but rather an expected evolution.

We are territorial creatures and we like to signal ownership of the territory we occupy. Ownership is however increasingly uncool – ‘in the future we will all be leashing’ as a friend recently explained to me. Territorial music fills this gap by giving us a sense of ownership. The DJ serves as a spiritual alpha to share with us his musical territory.

In the Matrix Zion party there is of course a very strong sense of tribal ownership: the people are dancing the night before the war starts and they all might die. It’s quite dramatic. In the real-life versions of these rave parties people experience similar tribal feelings but their feelings are generally meaningless, since real tribes are illegal. Tribal music belongs to outlaws such as these guys:

Anyway, a lot of people hate on modern music but I for one enjoy the *diversity* by which I mean the wide selection of cool music. Here’s some nice bass-heavy territorium markers.

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