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Of Germanic eddies in the Black Atlantic: Electronica and (post-)national identity in the music of Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (FSK) and in Thomas Meinecke's novel Hellblau (2001)

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Attention has been drawn to German music's inspirational role in the 'birth' of techno and house in the United States, as well as to Germany's pre-eminent place in the recent development of electronic dance music. Some even suggest that techno might be inherently German. Yet whilst electronica seems to offer materials with which to imagine Germanness, an alternative reading is available. This article specifically examines how discourses about electronica and (post-)national identity intersect in Thomas Meinecke's recent musical oeuvre with Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (FSK), which has for some years been involved in its own adaptations of electronica, and in his later novels, especially Hellblau. Both advance a celebratory reading of the international spread of electronica – and of the productive 'transatlantic feedback' between Germany and the United States – which is consistent not only with a long-standing German trope associated with African American forms of music (especially jazz), but also with more recent, postmodern approaches to identity.
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Keywords: German national identity; German popular music; electronic dance music; music and literature; pop literature; postnationalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Technology

Publication date: February 29, 2012

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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