Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

No more rock and roll

It's a beautiful morning here in Salmonberg... foggy out, with a gentle morning light. All kinds of cool birds are out this morning; haven't seen the rabbits yet - perhaps the coyote scared them off yesterday - but I suspect they'll be back soon enough.

So, it seems like a perfect morning to listen to a lot of incredibly loud, fast, harsh electronic music.

Trying to talk about musical style or personal tastes is damn near impossible, so I'll just say this. I've always loved music that is, well, brutal. The first time I heard Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel's Hole, I was hooked. I still love that album - not only for its dizzying pastiche of musical genres [there's a cut on there called Satan Place which really sounds like an outtake from a Beach Boys album], but also for the sheer leaden thunder of some of the cuts. Even better are the horribly grinding, sleazy, perverted songs like Clothes Hoist and Hot Horse... this was music that not only sounded really good, but it was instantly offensive in a somehow totally innocent way. I mean, when someone's growling something along the lines of "I'm gonna mosey on down to your burning bush", how seriously can you take that, anyhow?

Here we are twenty years later, and of course there's been a lot of good stuff to listen to all along the way. Right now, I've got a Hellfish & Producer compilation going on the stereo... really fucking loud. [Good thing I'm using headphones.] Constant Mutation is one of those late 2oth century collisions between previously technically impossible instrumentation and playing [think drums being played faster than is humanly possible to do so, along with weird glitching noises that seem to be carefully selected intervals of a larger whole - for example, if a cymbal crash "sounds" for three seconds, you just get the middle one, etc.] and, well, hip hop. Sometimes I think it's easy to forget how much the links of NWA have contributed to music. Me, I was shocked when Jeppe started playing Straight Outta Compton in LA a couple of weeks back... but then again, I absolutely love kid606's cut-up of that same track. It still sounds absolutely original, like something that you just don't know where it came from. Even if a lot of the stuff in that music has analogues or antecedents in other music [the drones remind me of early acid tracks like Richard H. Kirk's Testone, although I don't know which actually came first], overall, can you honestly say you ever heard anything that incredibly angry and wonderful before? Certainly coming as it did out of the traditionally screwed-over black community of LA has a lot to do with it, I suppose.

Anyhow, back to really mean electronic music. Lately, I've been thinking about how hard it is to just shut up and stop thinking. For example, I have a hard time responding simply to almost any question more nuanced than "Are you hungry?" - hell, even that question could lead to a lengthy discourse in the subjunctive. So, I've resolved to try harder to just keep it short, keep it honest, say what I mean. And when I'm by myself, I find the best way to turn off the brain is to listen to music that's such an assault that you really can't think much. nfotxn pointed me at an awesome song called Killerteppich last night that had all the elements of a good song to stop thinking too: drones, repetition, all that good stuff. But this morning seems to call for something stronger, hence Hellfish & Producer.

I am so looking forward to Mardi Gras next year; if it's anything like last year, there's gonna be a whole dance floor with music like this... last time, I danced for something like four hours, completely lost in the Now for a while. No wonder we humans spend so much time of our lives involved with something that at first seems totally useless [music]; upon reflection, it's one of the best methods we have to step outside of the flow of time for a bit - or lose ourselves in it.
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