Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WEEKEND PRINCE and also daft punk

1. New remix by Weekend Prince of "Saltwater" by Beach House, exclusively at Acknowledged Classic.


2. oh lord.
Michel Gondry-directed tour video to support the Alive 2007 concert album out Nov. 20th by this french techno band called Daft Punk. All footage supplied by the audience. I saw them in Berlin the day before my birthday, in this place in the former East called Velodrom, which should have been called the Thunderdrom, as it was a cavernous arena built wholly underground - from the surface one sees only the massive brown coin-shaped roof.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yeasayer - 2080

YEASAYER - '2080'

Regarding the name Yeasayer, this passage from Nietzsche's Zarathustra is illuminating:

"The passing clouds I detest--those stealthy cats of prey: they take from thee and me what is common to us--the vast unbounded Yea- andAmen-saying. These mediators and mixers we detest--the passing clouds: those half-and- half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse from the heart.
Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I sit in the abyss without heaven, than see thee, thou luminous heaven, tainted with passing clouds!

And oft have I longed to pin them fast with the jagged gold-wires of lightning, that I might, like the thunder, beat the drum upon their kettle- bellies:----An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!--thou heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--because they rob thee of MY Yea and Amen.

For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than this discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate most of all the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the doubting, hesitating, passing clouds.

And "he who cannot bless shall LEARN to curse!"--this clear teaching dropt unto me from the clear heaven; this star standeth in my heaven even in dark nights. I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--into all abysses do I then carry my beneficent Yea-saying."

This track has been heavily blogged, and rightfully so. It has striking vocal harmonies and an emotional intensity that marks danger and portent in a grand historical scope ("I can't sleep when I think about the times that we're living in..") and as well gives itself over in its energetic chorus to Zarathustra's almost insurrective, abyssal affirmations.

We see that Nietzsche's yea-sayer is a violent drummer, forceful because he must beat against those who threaten with their 'half-and-half' ways. They threaten in their very unthreatening-ness. Elsewhere Nietzsche writes that 'sometimes one must scream in order to be heard.' Yeasayer's album is also called "All Hour Cymbals", as if again to mark this quality of art to be an interruptive, summoning force in the midst of life.

'2080' has the inflections of a quasi-mystical wake-up call to listeners in the dark - similar to what Hoelderlin called das warnende Lied, the 'warning song', which he sings for 'those with ears to hear.'

The crazy illuminati logo for the track pretty much reinforces and solidifies all this:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Brian Eno & David Byrne - 'Qu'ran'


A track from the original vinyl release of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which remains one of most rhythmically innovative records of the electronic age - Eno and Byrne's artistic intent being to depict ethnic music emanating from a fictional land. 'Qu'ran' was subsequently left off the original CD pressing and its reissue, sadly enough, as it is a killer jam, with heavy-lidded beats, something like drinking robotussin while listening to a thunderstorm.

From Byrne's Pitchfork 2006 interview:
"Way back when the record first came out, in 1981, it might have been '82, we got a request from an Islamic organization in London, and they said, 'We consider this blasphemy that you put grooves to the chanting of the Holy Book.' And we thought, 'Okay, in deference to somebody's religion, we'll take it off.' You could probably argue for and against monkeying with something like that. But I think we were certainly feeling very cautious about this whole thing. We made a big effort to try and clear all the voices, and make sure everybody was okay with everything. Because we thought, 'We're going to get accused of all kinds of things, and so we want to cover our asses as best we can.' So I think in that sense we reacted maybe with more caution than we had to. But that's the way it was."

We'll let you be the judge.

Pylon - "Danger"

Record from Atlanta, GA, 1980. Newly reissued on DFA. This track is sick.


Clip featuring interviews with band members

Dude N Nem - Watch My Feet


Their website labels them a 'psychedelic rap duo.' The key to the track is the chorus, a rude explosion of fast dance beats, a rhythmically intrusive double-time clatter of sampled voices and disco hi-hats.

as one might imagine, a visual demonstration is quite illuminating. A Chicago-based derivation of West Coast krumping. Note also the self-identifying 'shirt'.

"watch em lay real low up in the erf erf"

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Number of Names - Sharevari



"The Scene" is the name of a long-running local dance program in Detroit that ended in the early 80s. An economic upswing there contributed to the rise of a black middle class which in turn generated an audience for tracks like 'Sharevari' by A Number of Names.

One of the founding tracks of Detroit techno, the track is was named after a local club night, which had taken its name from a french clothing label, Charevari, and the spelling was changed to avoid trademark conflict.

- The artist name stems from a paternity problem - when they were supposed to be interviewed on the air by a radio DJ a whole crowd of people showed up who then could not agree on what the name of the group was - "A Number of Names" means there was no name, and thus no father for the song.

see here for more info on the group.

- Interestingly enough, the name 'Charevari' shows up in Madame Bovary: At the opening of the novel when young Charles Bovary is first asked by the teacher what is name is, he blurts out
stupidly Charbovari - the students then taunt him by repeating the name. A scholarly footnote to the passage notes:
"they are enacting a spontaneous collective pun. Originally the charivari was a serenade of rough music made by a crowd of villagers banging on kettles and pans under the windows of the newly-wed couple. It was used especially to deride an incongruous marriage."

So at the birth of American techno, there's already a kind of mockery of marriage and fatherhood - the rise of electronic music and its sample-remix culture taking apart the previous shapes of artistic parentage.