Electronic music and the Grammys

Once again we raise a quizzical eyebrow at the Grammy awards, who announced their latest round of nominations and as always we turn our attention to the category, “Best Electronic/Dance album”. Now putting aside for now the notion that all electronic music is compatible with “Dance” (which would be a surprise for everyone from Cold Cave to Coil to M83) the Grammy committee continues to make odd choices when it comes to the category. The nominees:

  • Divided By Night
    The Crystal Method

  • One Love
    David Guetta

  • The Fame
    Lady Gaga

  • Party Rock

  • Yes
    Pet Shop Boys

Okay, Lady GaGa, sure, of course she had to be in this category and good on her. Crystal Method? Okay. Pet Shop Boys – really? When we consider some of the awesome work PSBs did throughout the years for which they weren’t nominated and now they are nominated for their most underwhelming album to date? As one of the best electronic albums of the year? Really?

And LMFAO and Davis Guetta. Sweet Jesus. Seriously, sweet. Jesus. Who is making these choices? Overall even worse than last year which is saying a lot (we’ve ranted plenty about last year, on this blog, no reason to revisit it again). The greatest crime here is it’s a lazy list. Thoughtless to its core and it’s beyond aggravating for actual fans of the genre.

But Grammy, you funny, fickle bastard, you squeezed out some surprising and interesting noms, sprinkled here and there including MGMT and the Ting Tings for Best New Artist, MGMT (again) for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, Imogen Heap nominated for best instrumental, and Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Depeche Mode (! – which is at the same time bizarre considering the brilliant overlooked work for decades only to be honoured for so ordinary an album as Sounds of the Universe) all for Alternative Album. Imogen Heap was also acknowledged in the engineering category and Greg Kurstin for producing Lily Allen’s excellent 2009 electronic offering, while a remix nom came down for a Royksopp track.

So while these folks seem congenitally unable to get the so-called “electronic” category right, year after year, they do occasionally drop in a little something interesting. It’s too little, too half assed and too much an afterthought but it’s something…


2 Responses to “Electronic music and the Grammys”

  1. There’s loads of bands that should be nominated for best new artist but are too far off the radar still… Music is taking longer to reach the masses which in one way is a good thing as it keeps new bands full of fresh thinking. However The Ting Tings do justify their place for best new artist as they had their hit album out in ’08 and let’s face it they have torn up the underground scene and played it out feverishly since their beginnings. MGMT unfortunately had their album out in ’07 with ‘Time To Pretend’ as the first single so they shouldn’t qualify but they should have been their last year. Again Silversun Pickups had a hit in ’07 too i believe!

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