p o l i c y :
plan of action, statement of ideals
i d e a l:
existing only in the imagination or as an idea; not realistic and not so likely to be achieved
p o l i t i c a l:
1. of the conflict or competition between two or more parties
2. (of actions) considered to be harmfull to the state or government
s o c i a l:
concerning the organization of and relations between people and communities
Is political music possible? No doubt that vocal music can be political. To be precise: not the music, but the lyrics can be political!
I believe that instrumental music as a means of communication independent of the knowledge and understanding of a particular language is empowered to transmit political and social forces!
One has to distinguish between (politically/)socially motivated and political music. "Political music" is political (see above) in itself, which means, it proposes certain ideals whereas "(politically/)socially motivated music" expresses criticism based upon a particular present (at the moment of the artist's inspiration) situation.
Intelligent/Detroit techno is both.
How can an artform that is based upon repetitive drum patterns be able to deliver such messages?
The method behind this transmission is very similar to the one inherent to paintings.
If one takes a closer look at painting all of this is rather plain. Paintings do not have to contain written words to display the social force within them. Now one could point out that paintings are far more concrete. Let's allocate the same status to abstract painting and instrumental music. Abstract painting can by no means perform the same direct, definite, unmistakable delivery of information (meaning, intention...) that realistic art does.
However, abstract art has an enomous and often underestimated advantage. A significantly deeper impact on the human consciousness. The method of abstraction enables invisible phenomenons to be visualized. Abstarct painting (like music) is able picture motion, time, infinity, in other words, fundamental cosmic rhythms, the basis for philosophy, which acts as a (often unconscious) basis for the attitudes and values which imbue every aspect of our lives.
Realistic art (=vocal music) can easily create opinions, whereas abstract art (=instrumental music) is able to propose ideals, to refine values, to inspire one's method of thinking, to broaden horizons.
Practically, true understanding of the message that lies within the work requires one to gain some background knowledge though. Take the sound that evolved from the seventh city. If we consider the background, in other words the circumstances under which Detroit techno developed, we can easily identify (political/)social motivation.
Moreover, Alvin Toffler's "The 3rd Wave" provided part of the revolutionary social and political ideas that had a strong influence on the music.
Let's once more refer to painting, to the De Stijl movement. They thought that their ideals were not yet practicable within society but nevertheless could already be realised within their paintings. In other words, their work proclaimed these new social and therefore political/cultural ideals. Detroit techno in my opinion seems to follow that principle.
Contact Guy Montag at: firstname.lastname@example.org