josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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16 Jan '02 08:47:18 AM

Another one of my favorite CDs of 2001 was the Total 3 experimental tech-house compilation for the Kompakt label.

Like I said earlier, some of my reasons for liking this are similar to my reasons for liking Rooty. This record didn't really present a potential challenge like Rooty did, though. To put it simplistically, Rooty has a lot more pop, and a lot more sex, than I'm used to. So the fact that those things come in the form of dance music maybe made the dance music harder to get used to (although, as I said, it wasn't really hard). On the other hand, Total 3 is like the dance album I've always wanted to buy.

It's got neat sounds all over it. I could listen to just the bassline to Michael Mayer's "Hush Hush Baby" all day, I bet (and in fact for part of the track everything else drops out, and it sounds sublime). The sound just has so much dimension to it that it delights me to hear the figure repeated again and again. And the texture: kind of farty and burbly, but with some clickiness too.

It's trance-inducing without being annoying. The good kind of trance. I suspect this has a lot to do with the entire combinations of rhythms, synth sounds, production, and notes repeated. They all seem kind of distant to me. And gentle at the same time, though that makes no sense. I would even say it's mantric, though most of the music is instrumental. But the vocal tracks are literally mantric, including my favorite, "Tomorrow". "Tomorrow... I will be happy."

It's moody, brooding, atmospheric, spacious, watery, all that jazz. You know I dig that. I'm reminded of a less desolate Consumed, or some other Plastikman junk.

Uh. Yeah. I'm feeling a little inarticulate, so this is where I stop.

16 Jan '02 07:49:15 AM

I think this shall be side B of Murph's tape:

I am deviating even further from what I thought I should shoot for on this side, because the most successful choices on side A were the ones I put there more for me than him. Ha.

Also, I didn't want to use the same band twice but it works.

14 Jan '02 03:14:43 PM
14 Jan '02 09:00:30 AM

Kelly asked me once whether I listen to what I write about while I'm writing. I think I said something like, I tend to write about more conceptual things when not listening, or things that have less to do with 'the music proper', and I need to listen to actually write much about the music.

I've been meaning to write about Kompakt Total 3 next, because I think that it follows nicely after what I said about Rooty, with the important difference that the former seems to suit my otherwise existing tastes much more easily - because of its mood, because of the sparse arrangements. I want to say more about it, though, so I haven't written anything yet because I haven't felt like replacing anything I've been listening to with that CD. And I'm realizing (re-realizing) that I really do need to have the CD on. What I usually do is listen to something, figure out that I have something to say, and then figure out how to say it. The last part involves lots of finding exactly (???) the right thing to say abou what I'm hearing right then. I need to be hearing it then because I can't come up with the words without the music, even if I can sort of remember the spirit of what I want to say.

14 Jan '02 07:26:02 AM

There's a lot less melody to the basslines on Silver Apples of the Moon, compared to Sounds of the Satellites. I'm not sure what difference that makes yet (I mean, I can tell, but I don't know what to say about it yet), except that the first record sounds more like dance music and the second sounds less like dance music.

12 Jan '02 11:38:02 AM

The realization that a place is home is never performative. The realization itself does not mark the beginning of the place's being home. That realization is the awareness that the place has become home over time, gradually. That's why it's a realization. Something like: oh, look at what's around me.

The feeling of home is a feeling of comfort. Perhaps that's why it seems like I only eventually notice that a place has become home for me once I catch myself in feelings I remember having before - comfortable, familiar feelings.

Tonight: hearing "Respect is Due" for the fourth or fifth time as the CD repeats, leaning against the wall on my bed, staring at the other wall, air from the ceiling fan causing a gentle breeze on my face. Just sitting here, listening, getting tired and not minding.

12 Jan '02 10:58:32 AM

Happy birthday to Ian's music blog. Of course, you know what I think about the necessity of music blogs... Keep up the good work.

12 Jan '02 10:24:48 AM

Jimmy wanted a quasi-religious context for the Plan's "What Do You Want Me To Say?". I'm not sure what to do with it, but there's a religious metaphor in the lyrics. How easy was that? Surely he can take it from there.

"And there's no eye to eye just Moses on the mount or I'm down for the count you need your man above or below you"

12 Jan '02 10:03:53 AM

Something I forgot to get at in that last post: the alternative to being so great at this style-clash problem solving is the bad kind of pastiche. Look! It's an indie rock band that does rap! Look! it's an indie rock band take on country-rock! Hey! Indie-funk!

So I guess what I'm saying is, one way to pastiche the bad way is to fail to solve those musical problems. Hopefully putting it that way will at least gesture at what I think is a technical way of thinking about this - nontechnically, the parts just don't fit together.

"But can't music where the parts don't fit together be valuable in its own right?" I don't see why not.