Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

youBik- "eLusive Dreaming"

hamsters in a maze subordinate to the clause subjugating them to the play-by-play, parts & labor, all ends and no means, reduce the rubble and wrestle for crumbs, shaving evidence down to speculation. artless godless and fucked, mirror images of the feed we've been made out to be, horsefeed RSS, stream of unconcious control, paracrimes in the toxic ether of astral  colonies, troll the familial conflict and castrate the big other, dreams are wastelands unto which we carve a heroic seizure and remember it for you wholesale. seduction of the inner sense, calamity in queue and priced to move with minimal serious short term side effects, morbidity rate captured in these statistics does not include results of prolonged study, Phase III trial bypassed in the editing room, escalated by abbreviated attention spans. failure is a forcefield, shielding you from the tumor of knowledge. history is penned by the courageous and confident status post dialysis, makers and takers do not yield, their victory is tantamount and an MBA in the hand is worth two dead birds in the bush. surrender obsolete, transcend the historical dialectic and bring rot to bear on the clotted communication arteries, an acid consumed without lysergic lies, without the banal barriers of the solipsistic mouthpiece. what is and what isn't are shells, casings for the gunpowder fealty and plot, the death drive praxis, the unresolvable I is a revolving eye, formatted to a timeline and broadcast across a scrolling transcript, the you-learned self  made practical and custom live by logic and proportion, a well-satisfied head begs no shelter; it is safe in the wilderness with its devices, a tablet and an antibiotic, a forcefeel its comforting tit- at the other end a cavity distended because the mandible is stuck, eating the innards will not result in ego death, self-consumption is reproduction. harassed and lifeless is the waking day.  the arcane is tracable. all mysteries solved. the profane verses revered, the venereal arts venerated.  ghosts used to exist beyond, but now they follow our order, obey our end tags. it's clear now we've run our course and will be faded from the market to make way for new toys.  god's own invisible hands choking himself, sputtering for breath and producing only the ooze of novelty, narcissistic spores of spunk that can't even swim in the same pod, that compete just to be born, that collude just to bear fruit. with the X chromosome there is no why, just coordination to return to the tomb of the womb, to exacerbate the initial conquest of the egg. on dead channels, the network traffic is at its peak and so the towers still rise, the flagpole erection, the crucifix on permanent high desubjectified. the parasite knows our blind spot, curveballs around the missle shield, tapdances through the minefield. empty yourself so there's no blood to leech. you're only free when there's nothing left to take. you're only free when there's nothing you could possibly offer. ego death surrenders the self in sacrifice to the eternal reign of the already-almighty, to the pre-ordained and the just-blessed.  hamsters in a maze subordinate to the contract, surrendering to the fine print, lifeless in the play-by-play, bloodless in the paint. all material things must be burned. all that is solid melts into air. all that boils dances on the axis flirting with the planes.there is only darkness in the brightest dreams. there is only defeat in all but assimilation. in order to resist, you must risk survival, but why risk survival when we can guarantee destruction together on a leather coach with the curvature of cup holders. suffering is our greatest natural resource and its energy flows upstream. to give is to forgive, to go is to forgoe, to fit is to forfeit. the resolution is a clockwise counter-fit, tighten the hands and resume the ticking countdown. entropy is the natural order, which is why every demand and every proposal is met with speculation.  the history books are filled with great men risking the seeds sown by others, sacrificing the plateau for the peacock. homeostasis is unacceptable to vermin.  you've scored the lead in every role, the scenery eerily similar in each narrative. what a performance, though. you gave it your soul. what a way to be, so calm and collected like a figurine in the factory-sealed box, gasping for air beyond the adhesive strips that bind you, trying to pluck holes in the barcode.  malleable in every conceivable way, bendable in innumerable action poses. shitty little tykes with mucus-stained shirts and orange fingernails controlling your fate. their oedipal dissent sneering as the mother pleads for them to put back the toys. every item is for sale, mom, contempt ensnarled in the bitter little shit at mom's audacity to reclaim the womb as hers, theirs is to deny the body for the bottle, the colony for the cradle.  a natal burn, the sperm thinks the egg a spore because causality is conditioned to reward the last one dumb enough to survive

Monday, October 26, 2015

Jurassic Browser History

Memocord, Juan Mendez

"Karl Marx once expressed the belief that the end of the capitalist era and the advent of communism would signal the end of human prehistory and the beginning of history proper. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurists, for their part, wanted to destroy museums and libraries in order to usher in a progress contemptuous of tradition and all forms of previous knowledge. It’s hard to think of a way of thinking more alien to the present juncture: that of a long future so assuredly within our reach as to have little or no need for the past.

"Five or six generations after Marx’s declaration, we measure the future in decades, running down an array of doomsday clocks. We speculate that the planet might become largely uninhabitable within the present century. We set symbolic deadlines for action. But the ninety-nine months that Prince Charles said were left in 2010 to take decisive action on climate change are down to a mere thirty; in the meantime we’ve done nothing but burn ever greater quantities of carbon.

"This isn’t paranoia or an existential malaise: we have solid reasons for fearing that humanity may be headed towards catastrophe. Yet it’s a strange, incongruous spectacle, resembling a crude allegorical fable. We have never lived longer or enjoyed a greater capacity for technical progress. In fact, our single greatest achievement may just be that we can measure the exact speed at which the end is approaching, and with it the shortening of our collective future.

"If Marx was right, and if the catastrophe does come to pass, humanity will have ceased to exist before history has even begun. Yet there is arguably no task that we approach with as much urgency as documenting, cataloguing and storing that soon-to-be-meaningless past and the unfolding present"

-Giovanni Tiso, On Measuring Our Future, Bat Bean Beam

Razorblades and Ecstasy in your Halloween Bag

One of my favorite things to do every year is to assemble a juicy, deranged Halloween mix. This year, I decided to focus exclusively on things released in the past year (there may be a few from the tail end of 2014, but this is heavy on 2015). Focus was mainly on the darker sound emanating from experimental clubland.

1.satan by blkhts
2.sleeper carriage by slackk
3.I'm Your Doll by FKA Twigs angels rig hook by amnesia scanner
5.laugh track by buku
6.stalker ha (DJ Heat mix) by Kingdom
7.vamp by  EPROM
8.Airlock by Rizzla
9.Auto Shade by Angel Ho
10.looking edge by kaoss edge
11.ghosts of rotwood by april larson and daniel bowden
12.explora (slave) by florian kupfer
13.hex by rabit
14.dead body by little simz
15.Heterocetera by Lotic
16.Guantanamo by Jlin
17.death grips 2.0 by Death Grips
18.$10000 ca$h in hand by C H L O R I N E
19.temps perdu (edition de tenebres) by Haunter
20.endgame by ital
21.maggots by russell e butler
22.clawdd du by Truss
23.bleak drift by Dialect
24.dystopicity by gremino
25.choke by Kamikaze space programme ft emika
26.Kingpin (salva mix) by RL Grime ft Big Sean
27.Sad Sniper by Deadboy
28.haunted by angels dust
29.ecco (vektroid mix) by magic fades

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Slight Return

After a long hiatus, I've done another review for PopMatters.  This time of Rizzla's very excellent Iron Cages

In part, I just wanted to talk about:

A new genre had been born, Foley Grime, a term I’ve dubbed after the sounds of postproduction which make up the often-exaggerated diegetic noises of cinematic spectacle, combined with the electronic movement from which most of these tracks and artists stem. Using sound effects to pepper riddim tracks is not a new device in music, nor even in the 15-year-old grime genre itself. More than a decade ago, Dizzee Rascal, Lady Sovereign, and M.I.A. were peppering their snares and hi-hats with the noises of cash registers, gunshots, video game one-ups, and the like. What distinguishes the current lot, which includes Lotic, Bloom, Rabit , M.E.S.H, and Miss Modular (whose label is named after the aforementioned Jam City song), is that the icy, atonal FX form the basic engine of their sound, not just supplemental flair.

Loved this one a few years back.  Can't remember if it made the top ten or not, but it was at least close.  I imagined Rizzla as a way different artist then though

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Red Sails in the Sunset

"These recordings all have differing relationships to left-wing terrorism. Some were created in a parallel social milieu (Amon Düül, Les Rallizes Denudes) or shared political environment (Ivan Delle Mea, Eugenio Finardi), some condone the violence (Marianne Faithful), some dare to rationalise it (Crisis, Luke Haines) some revel in its eldritch moral ambivalence (SPK, Cabaret Voltaire), at the outer limits some merely tip their hat (Brian Eno, Kosmonautetraum) or, like with the reception of Alan Sorrenti's Figli Delle Stelle its presence is explicit in a refusal of acknowledgment.

It is clear though that music is woven into the fabric. Where any of this is good music depends in some part in the way in which a wholly negative impulse, to kill and maim people in the name of a flawed idea, transforms when that energy is spent in the name of creativity. So for instance the most sympathetic recordings by Crisis and Luke Haines, by merit of their being acts of creativity, rather than violence, turns them into redeemably positive ones."
- Woebot, The Red Armies and Pop 

Fascinating rundown of the relationship of music to commie terror groups of the 60s and 70s.

Conceal the Bern

I heard someone say politics is more interesting than music right now. Probably true.

We all know polls says relatively nothing, just as we know debate "winners" are in the eye of the beholder and are definitively skewed when they are announced to us.  I think what this link speaks to more than anything is a continued undermining of our intelligence by the punditry, who believe it is ultimately their authority to tell us what we believe, what we stand for, and who we should vote for (because everyone else is "unelectable").  They believe they define the parameters of the future. And it's shocking and saddening to see how many of my smart friends fall prey to this iron cage reasoning.

I've seen time and time again tons of friends reflect on the tainted fatalism of how they support Bernie but "he won't win", perhaps because the mouth-drooling plebes will never possess the masterful will of theirr superior intellect and know who the correct candidate to vote for is.  But the only reason he couldn't win, or any candidate couldn't win really, is from exactly this kind of pathological insistence on the everlasting durability of the power structure, which is actually so fragile that its funny money scheme to generate pretend-growth nearly collapsed the entire world economy by itself Jenga-style in 2008. It's always been a key strength Capital and control to make its enemies do their jobs better than they could have. 

That said, here's my take on the debate.  Hilary performed very well, and the key word is performance.  She's been practicing for this role for about 20 years and she seemed as plasticine and rehearsed as ever, which fell to her advantage. She did little to evade her reputation as an establishment politician, but she came off as likable as she's ever been and did a fairly decent job bullshitting some good bullshit on why establishment candidates make the best leaders.  Her attempts to answer for her complicity in the dominance of disaster capitalism, the Iraq War, the mass incarceration state, targeted killings, silencing of whisteblowers, and other issues were distractifying, if not edifying. 

I think the left and right come down a bit hard on moderators, whose job should be to ask hard questions.  Case in point is Anderson Cooper's attacks on Sanders's relatively weak stance on gun control, which is a huge concern, particularly since it's an issue something like 90% of the country is in agreement on.  This is fair game and Sanders needs to own the fact that his votes against various gun control measures has cost countless Americans their lives.  It’s something we, as people who could vote him into office, could hold him to account for.  This is something Black Lives Matter activists knew when they crashed his speech a few months back.

But it was clear before anyone even walked on stage that CNN's role that night was to essentially hand the primary to Clinton and discredit anyone who got in her way.  With Chaffee and Webb, all that meant was handing them shovels and asking them to dig. But there were a number of moments designed by Cooper to be gotcha moments for Sanders that spectacularly failed- pressing him to denounce socialism and praise capitalism, asking whether he'd ever use force or just sing kumbaya and try to levitate the pentagon, denouncing the democratically elected Sandinista government our government overthrew, and equating Bush's disastrous and dehumanizing immigration plan with Obama's.  Each time, Sanders swung right back and didn't try to backpeddle into some flimsy middle ground that the half-wit fence sitters who can't tell the difference between a democrat and a republican until election day might find slightly more satiating. 

My favorite response came when Cooper made the rounds asking each non-dynasty candidate why they were even wasting our time since his sponsors had already announced the winner to him before the taping.  Sanders shat all over the electability question by rightly pointing out that elections should always- every single time- not be about the people who've made up their minds or those who've decided to flip a coin, but about the half of the voting public who each time an election rolls around sees no one on the ballot worth voting for, sees nothing ever changing, and sees only their culpability in the whole mess by voting for it.  Studies have repeatedly shown that the vast majority of those who do not vote are of the largest growing portion of the population- the poor and working class- exactly the people Sanders has been advocating for his entire 40 years in politics.  It’s easy to see these people as apathetic, lazy, uninvolved, what have you.  It’s far harder to accept that choosing not to vote is a form of protest.  It may not be one that you agree with, but choosing not to vote is a deliberate choice.

Cooper’s only gotcha moment that actually landed was when Cooper weirdly asked Sanders to reply to a comment by Lincoln Chaffee in which he wasn't mentioned, which caught Sanders, who clearly wasn't paying attention, off-guard.  And maybe this is a telling moment.  Maybe it's not.  It would never happen to image hyper-conscious/image-mediated Hilary, who was both on the ball and in her element.  Sanders has remarked before that he dislikes campaigning, whereas Clinton clearly thrives on it (lord knows why- she of all people she be puking at every aspect of the sick charade by now). What Sanders has hinted at though, and what all of us secretly know, is that the presidency is largely a symbolic position. In many ways, as we've seen with Obama, it’s often one of the more powerless offices you can hold.

That's why Sanders has been adamant that he alone is not going to change things in Washington.  Towards the end of the debate, Sanders called for a "political revolution", as he has done in many stump speeches.  The line got a huge applause at the podium and immediately after the mic was then handed to Jim Webb, who promptly and definitively, like a dad cancelling the trip to the rock concert, said "I don't think there's going to be a revolution".  Nah, son.   Here Webb echoes what we've all been saying ad nauseum as we repeat the line CNN and their corporate oligarch buddies have been feeding us; "It's cool to believe in things, but Bernie's not going to win. Let the grownups talk.  We’ll let you know when we’re ready for you to get married, or to get paid a fair wage, or to not be killed by assault rifles, or…"

It's hard to buy in to this fatalism given that Sanders is already changing things.  He set the terms of the debate.  He refuses to go negative on Hilary, but instead would like to cordially and respectfully debate and let the people decide who the better candidate is. All night, each of the candidates clamored to bark about which one of them would fight the hardest for income inequality, which was the most progressive, which was going to be the most pro-government/anti-business.  Anderson Cooper wasn't the only struggling on stage to prove Bernie's candidacy irrelevant.   

Maybe he won't win, but if we can't at least entertain the notion that something new is possible perhaps we should just give up and join that giant block of non-voters.  In that case, I'll see you at the next mass shooting.  See you at the next police lynching.  See you at the next recession.  See you at the next war.  See you at the next overdue insurance payment.  See you at the next unemployment line.  See you down in Arizona bay. See you at the bottom of the trick-down shit shower of the next rich president's toilet.  And see you next Tuesday, motherfuckers, because our planets about one pipeline or oil subsidy away from turning into a sweltering hellhole of biblical proportions.  We can't wait one more day for the media to give us permission to dream something new.

Small the All Things

More PopMatters singles club reviews I've dedicated verbiage to, including:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Clicks and Popps

"A laser moving across a disc has a few things that set it apart from its analogs on vinyl LPs and tape. Foremost among these is its relationship to time. When you take a record and spin it forward, you still get all the music contained in those grooves, but it all happens in a much smaller temporal window, which raises its pitch. The same goes for tape. But conventional CD players never worked this way. They moved the laser across the surface of the disc at fixed points, more like a record needle would if it jumped ahead a few grooves at a time while the speed remained constant. This jumping is what gives the CD skip its fragmented quality and also its peculiar rhythm. So while Oval may not have been the first sound artists to zero in on this tiny unit of sound, they were the first to make it the whole point. For Oval, the CD skip marks time. Popp almost always used the device as a rhythm element, a combination high-pitch timbale and cymbal tap. It’s not quite the heartbeat of the machine, more like the softer throb of the circulatory system...
In 1995, only 14% of U.S. adults used the Internet, and, for the first time, I became one of them. But it didn’t change my life appreciably. It was something that happened on a desktop computer in a single room. Yes, there was a certain amount of information at your fingertips, along with online chat and email, but the immobility of it all seriously limited the way the Internet affected one’s day-to-day existence. Every time you stepped away from the computer, you stepped back in time. It was an era of vast potential but very little realization, and everyone knew it. Large and ominous shifts were ahead, but we weren’t quite sure when or how they would occur; culture was oriented to the future, whereas in 2015 we’re always trying to catch up to the present...

Part of the fun of Popp’s interviews was his struggle with terminology. Oval understood that they were being marketed and received in the same way as any other music, but Popp in particular did not want to see his work in that paradigm. That was partly because one of the goals of the project, ironically, was de-mystification. As computers were becoming more powerful, those who mastered them were beginning to be seen as wizards. To take two prominent examples from the time, Richard D. James’ work as the Aphex Twin and Sean Booth and Rob Brown’s work as Autechre were both presented as surpassingly difficult. The listener was never supposed to be able to make sense of was happening behind the curtain, or to be able to apprehend what sort of algorithms were bringing these bizarre sounds into being.
"Popp’s approach, even if he wasn’t necessarily great at explaining it, was different. He once said that what Oval did was not “art” or “capital-M music” but rather could best described as “file management”—a term so functional that it can’t help but shatter the persistent myth of creativity. What we are doing, Popp seemed to say, is sitting in front of computers, opening folders, creating files, and arranging them. The work was, at base level, no different from an administrative functionary in a large office tracking inventory with Microsoft Access: You figure out what needs to be done and engage the software and hardware tools at hand in completion of the task. “It’s just a matter of honesty to say I’m not a composer,” he told Sound on Sound in 2002. “I’m just beta-testing software like everybody else is.” 
-Mark Richardson, A Glitch in Time, How Oval's 1995 Ambient Masterpiece Predicted Our Digital Present, Pitchfork

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015


"alas, we’re in karaoke music culture, which when matched with remix/remake/relaunch film culture produces just enough of a narco-haze to glide us off pleasantly into sleep. To quote a far superior ‘60s franchise that foresaw this very complacency, “Be seeing you” at the next one."

Death Grips- "Death Grips 2.0"

After a relisten, there's just too much goddamned yelling on jenny death, the latest album by Death Grips, and I say that as someone who knows and understands what Death Grips is.  If you stick it out until the end though, this closing, instrumental track is phenomenal.

Le1f- "Rage"

Produced by Balam Acab

The instrumental is very similar to given away as a free DL by Balam Acab a few years back, which I remember being one of my favorites.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dark Sounds for October

Weird new direction for Ancient Methods

Virtual Girls

Not entirely sure who Virtual Girls are or even how I wound up subscribed to their Soundcloud account, but I'm a fan.

I've Grown Accustomed to Disgrace

"But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough.  It’s not enough.  It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel.  And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America -- next week, or a couple of months from now.

"We don't yet know why this individual did what he did.  And it's fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be.  But we are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people.  We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months. 

"Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, “The United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws -- even in the face of repeated mass killings.”  And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.  That day!  Somehow this has become routine.  The reporting is routine.  My response here at this podium ends up being routine.  The conversation in the aftermath of it.  We've become numb to this.

"We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston.  It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.

"And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.  I would ask news organizations -- because I won't put these facts forward -- have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.  This won't be information coming from me; it will be coming from you.  We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so.  And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths.  How can that be?

"This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.  We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.  When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer.  When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer.  When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities.  We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives.  So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.

"And each time this happens I'm going to bring this up.  Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we're going to have to change our laws.  And this is not something I can do by myself.  I've got to have a Congress and I've got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this. 

"I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as President to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances.  But based on my experience as President, I can't guarantee that.  And that's terrible to say. "

- President Barack Obama, October 1st, 2015, and on and on and on and on....