Last month, I announced on Extratone’s Patreon that I’d reached a certain epiphany: the best course of action is to relaunch Extratone as an Electronic Music Magazine.
While a few flagships of the American underground techno magazine like Trax have managed to remain afloat, they’ve been worn down into complacency by the mellowing of their scene and unavoidably shifting priorities after the years they’ve got on us. It’s been alarmingly apparent since 2012 that music journalism would be totally unequipped to spot the heroes of the genre and DAW busting Twitter gang in the crucial moment.
I've been less quick to begin the necessary changes than would be ideal, but the idea is coming together. In the first of our new monthly freelance album reviews, Adam Bexten did a wonderful job of summing the significance and the technical experience of Robyn's Body Talk.
Robyn arrives just in the knick of time, offering the escapism of grand production, unforgettable lyrics and a perfect world where even our greatest problems can be solved out on the dancefloor... [It's] not going to actually save the world, but it provides listeners a perfect opportunity to escape the heat, dance it out and – at its best – see themselves in a remarkably honest way.
I'm glad our call for reviews found its way to Adam - his work certainly made me a Robyn fan, and we'd be privileged to publish more of his thoughts in the future.
Extranet V. 4.4
Before I/we can figure out how much redesigning will really be necessary for the future, slim, music-centric website (Version 5,) let's take a moment to document a few in-the-meantime changes which may or may not carry over. After a bunch of fiddling in late July, I changed most of the Extranet's legacy typography in favor of modern, mostly open source, mostly well-loved Google fonts. Body text now wears Crimson Text, Headings are now in my personal favorite IBM Plex Sans Condensed, and Navigation is in the infamous Inconsolata.
I also ended up radically changing the color palette around the newsletter's new vintage NSA poster-inspired landing page, expanding upon FEFBEA. "FRESH" has been replaced with "MUSIC" on the main menu, linking to the new vertical, which I intend to make much less plain in the near future. Linked in the category description is the in-progress 'E List' - a new page meant to define who Extratone is for as explicitly and precisely as possible. The previously-destitute Gerogerigegege channel in our Discord has been allocated for links to music and music-related reads. Please do invite anyone you know in the general orbit of electronic music (listener, creator, critic) by spreading extratone.com/talkmusic.
It's nearly a sure thing: I'll be migrating the archive of my Letters from the Editor to this blog. It's as yet undecided whether or not the work of our past 2.5 years will be kept "hidden" on the main CMS (minimally hyperlinked to,) or if it's worth moving the whole thing as it is to a subdomain. As always, if you'd like to share any thoughts/insights you may have on this, do please contact me by Email or Twitter.
Perhaps the new primary banner. What do you think?
Sorry Mom, I'm Still Fucking Blogging
Though its relevant to perhaps 2 other living people, my ultra-connected WordPress experiment at extratone.com/shife is in the process of being moved here as part of separating my own work from Extratone. I'm going to leave most of the trivial design experiments behind and perhaps actually write explicitly within the blogging medium? (I doubt there'll be much consistency or regularity.)
I've really wasted a lot of your time in the process of figuring out what the fuck the World Wide Web really is, but this is it - I actually know how to get out of the way and do what I've been trying to do all along, and it's fucking important. Throughout my recent, extensive journey through a significant breadth of online properties, I’ve as yet been unable to find any publications - establishment or otherwise - who are even the slightest bit equipped to celebrate LGBTQ, genre-busting electronic musicians. I passionately believe this stuff is urgently needed by a bunch of young listeners who’s exploration is being actively and disastrously limited by streaming services and the current music criticism establishment.
I suppose the future elevator pitch would be something like "imagine The Village Voice but with a global eye and a truly diverse, dedicated readership/community which primarily publishes/employs LGBTQ and non-white writers." If that elicits even a fraction of the excitement within you as it does within me, here's how you can help:
- If you've got some cash to spare, subscribe via our Patreon and help us reach $25/month so that I may buy hot pockets instead of spending my own money on monthly freelance album reviews.
- If you've got some thoughts/interesting tunes/compelling reads to spare, we'd be delighted to have you stop by our Discord.
- If you've got some friends, bring us up! If you just hate Extratone.com, itself, then just tell them about the work of the extraordinary creators we endeavor to uplift.
The special print edition is coming, but I'm going to focus my energy on accomplishing/pondering the future as I can for the time being.