Disruptive Creative Flips Throughout History

Looking back in history in order to look forward. Examples throughout history of extreme creativity that have pushed the envelope of their age. Creative leaps of faith that disrupted their respective genre beyond recognition and whose influence still reverberate.

Blue Lines: The debut album from Massive Attack, in 1991. The birth of trip-hop, and an album that sounds impossibly fresh 22 years later. Pitchfork said the same thing in 2012. Like all creative masterpieces, they established a soundscape that sent out references in every direction, like a radio transmitter gone wild, but that was unmistakably their own. Their sounds can still be heard in both commercial and non-commercial music in 2013. A fun side note is that this was the era of the Gulf War, and when the album came out, they briefly had to drop the “Attack” part of their name to not offend the public. These days, a war-weary and violence-insensitivized public doesn’t bat an eyelid even with bands called the Killers or Bullet for my Valentine release songs at the same time as ever-increasing school massacres keep occurring.

Oblique strategies: A project by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in the 1970’s that offered artists ways to mind-hack and come up with new ideas. Like a modern day I-Ching, it is a tool to be consulted when you’re stuck creatively and you need a jolt to shift perspective. For something that came out more than 30 years ago, it pops up surprisingly often in modern-day media. Cory Doctorow mentioned it in this interview. This BBC podcast tried to use it in a meta way, to come up with a better podcast.

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