Collaborative Fame

Collaborations between artists are infamous for their subsequent falling outs. They rise out of respect and experimentation as well as jealousy and social recognition. Age figures prominently in collaborations, the classic example being an aging, established (but creatively-blocked artist) who seeks the coming-of-age talent in the midst of their insatiable creative virility.

In short, a classic theme

I thought of this recently while listening to Hurt, a new track by Seth Troxler and Matthew Dear. I saw the two while in Berlin. Going from party to party, they were inseparable. Both spent the night DJing at Berghaim and now, in the full sun of mid-morning, were heading to Bar 25. Troxler, 23, wore a blue and white striped shirt and had the cool, loose swagger of a drunken sailor. Dear, (mid-30’s), looked the picture of nonchalance in his rinse jeans.

Both wore sunglasses.

The collaboration makes sense in reality as well as in the cannon of collaborations. Neither are from Detroit, but both lived in the city during the formative years of their techno careers. Both became successful, exportable commodities of Detroit sound and eventually settled in Berlin. Both use various aesthetic/lifestyle/musical means to brand themselves as techno heartthrobs (ehm, renaming one’s self “Dear).

But what I thought back to when I heard Hurt was those five hours of exchange I witnessed that morning in Berlin. At that moment, Dear personified Warhol at one of his Factory parties, quietly surveying the scene before him, smiling at the knowledge that he could make or break the whole thing in seconds. Troxler was Basquiat, young and in love with fame.

Little White Earbuds Interview with Troxler

Pitchfork Interview with Dear

Warhol and Basquiat

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