• Flying Lotus’s “Cosmogramma”

I’ve spent some time recently, mostly in the past few days but also in the rest of 2011, thinking about the idea of “originality.” Most of my writing gigs before working at the Reader were music-related, and one thing that most people writing about music bemoan, both recently and in the past, is a lack of originality. This has been an especially resonant issue with critics since the rise of the Internet, when music has been more available and attainable than ever. For serious listeners, this has presented an interesting paradox: Now that we can hear everything, it’s likewise easier for us to hear contemporary music’s influences, and concordantly, to pinpoint just how imitative or derivative the music is of a past artist’s work.