Letter: No need to name that tune

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The Independent Online
JACK Hughes ('Cries and Whispers', 18 September) is right that DJs ought to play a wider range of music, but it cannot be true that the categorisation of popular music needs to be more specific.

I'm not sure what these categories are for, beyond keeping journalists busy and enabling clubs to render themselves dull and predictable.

If the Mercury Music Prize is good for nothing else, it has shown twice out of the last three years that the best music (Primal Scream in 1992, and M People) strenuously resists narrow categorisation. Now, as ever, the most interesting sounds come from those least willing to be limited by categories; the current UK Apache/Shy FX single stands out from your true-to-type jungle track by adding melody, while even 'dance music' is far too restrictive a category for the sublime Portishead.

The burgeoning success of mix-n-match clubs like Megatripolis and Club Dog tells the same story; listen to the music, don't label it.

John Bell

London NW11