Under the Bridge

The event, like electronica itself of late, produced no big surprises (a planned Tangerine Dream reunion never came off for visa reasons). That it charmed anyway, holding attention or, in McHugh's nice phrase, "playing the wall" for casual night owls, marked the music's divide from rock and hip-hop, which tend to either dominate or wilt. Like contemporary art more than pop, electronica of this ilk has quickly achieved stability within its relative marginality, a self-sufficient, self-regulating creative sphere that most will dip into rather than be seized by. The pleasures and confrontations aren't fully comprehensible to outsiders, but like a trip to the galleries they register when we decide we need them.

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