Keeping many affects active, or: Using and exploiting dance deficits

February 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Body talk.

It might not be very coherent or sensible, I’m just throwing out stuff. If you want (and don’t want to read), just download the playlist at the bottom. But then again, it’s not really the downloads that make sense on this blog, if anything does, half of them being dead links. Also, I see that there are too many visitors here compared to the stupid lack of content and updates. Sorry. ANYWAY! Let’s talk about bodies, affects, deficits/shortfalls in dance friendly music (or whatever the bodies desire) and exploiting deficits to build more fun and less rigid gratification.

The context that sparked thought: Had my first experience yesterday evening DJ’ing. It was at a birthday party (celebrating a space) followed by experimental electronic concerts.

The evening’s programme made me think about issues of curating collective coming-togethers like this party / concert. It started out early evening with birthday cake and piano-based jazz-folk music (Jan Johansson on repeat), making everyone sink into fluffy chairs and couches, by way of music that makes you want to ignore all the chattering and just ponder or the heaviness of the cake. Then abruptly came the first concert: NOISE. A table of pedals and effects and a hanging gong-gong and a tribal mask plugged with -reverb-induced microphone over cambodjan/french electronic experimentalist act named “Lafikdi”. Half of the bodies before occupying chairs and couches left and went out to smoke. For a long time, ie. until the concert was over. The rest, who could somehow digest the contrast between before and now, sat back and followed the development.

Then came a DJ playing hiphop. Bodies occupying the room again, now moving back and forth a bit.

Then came another performer, performing similar experimental stuff but more beat-based electronics (slash xylophonics). I liked how this opened up for more dance at some points of the concert, but still keeping the crowd too frustrated and taken by surprise by the sudden breaks in normal rhythm too not make them needy. They were craving more dancing friendly music, but in a way that still open to being affected by different sounds. When dancing bodies become needy they demand and sometimes even ask of the persons being responsible for the music to play specific stuff, in order to be affected in specific ways. In other words, turning their bodies into a rigid apparatus, only capable of registering and being touched by a narrow spectre of the possible sounds.

The one being responsible for the music can in some ways keep the openness of the bodies if their desires are in some ways always kept frustrated. If the craving (e.g. for wild hands-throwing dance, or some certain style of dancing like tecktonik or twist, ambiences like cool or crazy) is constantly gratified, the bodies lose their openness to movement they did not know they (could) desire. Rupture, and the possibility to learn new ways of being moved, gets lost.

I mention this because my biggest fear would be the kind of needy crowd that would demand specific music (that I would not be able to play). Thankfully, there was a dance deficit, that I could keep on exploiting. Still being not completely gratified and turned into dance-craving-needy bodies, I thought it would be nice to continuing the deficit, building into the closing DJ-team Krisen Varer Evigt (“The Crisis Will Last Forever”) that would play non-stop fast electro, which people respond to with being either overwhelmed (like putting noise after piano folk) or bursting into hands-throwing wild dancing.

The things is to keep enough affects active, on a low-instensity, so that one specific affect does not take over and dominate from the start. Keeping the body just a bit confused in a way, or more positively open to many influences. And then, at the right moment, bombarding the body with a specific influence, accelerating one of the affects (and just maybe the one the body anticipated?) and blowing out the others.

Maybe this things about keeping a deficit is similar to underwatering a plant for a while, and then when you flush it with water, it sucks all everything out of it eagerly. Or the obvious sexual association that continuing low intensity petting (or whatever it’s called, some say “foreplay”, which weirdly places it outside sex, like everything that went before hands-throwing wild dancing is not music). Whatever, you would get the point. Hands being too cold cannot be elastic enough to work on high intensity, you need to blow in warmth.

Here’s the playlist to download, if you want. I’m not sure it adds much to the above, I’m just speculating and making things up here. Again, it’s frustratingly near dance friendly, but not completely opening up to dance (like you really wanted to). I’m a complete moron with DJ equipment and I’m not sure anything I’m saying actually worked, making a few bad pitches and not knowing how to stand a appear like a proper authoritative DJ (thereby adding to people’s trust in subjecting to the music), but at least something did work afterwards (when Crisis-DJs played and every one danced), so it made me think about these things at least.

Almost everything in the list is bass-driven and has threads into disco. Then much house and some ambient, frequently taking the top of the intensity off so that it would not become too dancable. The order is what I could remember of the order in which they were played, the last two build more explicitly into the DJs that followed. Also, when I stopped, I liked that we needed to take one minute break to switch computers and gears, so the music stopped, which added to frustration on the dancefloor, which added to the gratification when they eventually started playing their much more dance friendly electro stuff.

Live the lovely frustration, the dance deficit of disco, and eventually passing on responsibility to other’s that take shortfalls into surplus.

DOWNLOAD [Rapidshare link]

Lady Daydream – 3:22 – Twin Sister Color Your Life    Dream Pop Shoegaze

Empire Ants Ft. Little Dragon (Miami Horror Remix) – 7:18 – Gorillaz Plastic Beach    Ambient Electro Bass

Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon) – 4:44 – Gorillaz Plastic Beach    Ambient Bass Electro

Strawberry Skies– 3:14 – Games That We Can Play    New Wave Disco Europop

Little Fluffy Clouds (Cumulo Nimbus Mix By Pal Joey) – 6:40 – The Orb Chillwave Balearic Dub

Stay Out Tonight – 3:43 – Lay Bac Chillwave Balearic Dub

Shadows In Bloom – 2:33 –Games New Wave Disco Europop

I Look To You (Wildlife Remix) – 5:54    Miami Horror Disco

I Will Come Back (Classixx Acapulco Nights Version) – 6:30 – Holy Ghost! (Disco House Pop

Millionaire [12 inch mix]– 6:17 – Sidwho? Drama Disco House

My House – 4:52 – Hercules & Love Affair Blue Songs    Disco House Pop

Mrs. Moon (Vocal Version) – 6:32 – Kermesse Heavy Italo-Disco

Faithful – 6:19 – World’s End Press Disco Pop

Say What You Want (3am Version) – 5:54 – Cosmonaut Electro

Black sun – 5:25 – Kode9 Black sun / 2 far gone    Hyperdub

Total time – 1:19:10

Screwed

October 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let me introduce DJ Screw. He made approx. 230 mixtapes with local southern states hiphop and just made a very simple remix of every track: He slowed down the tempo drastically (sometimes half beat) making the beats extremely laid back and the flow of the rap into a dazed kind of story-telling.

The story goes, that “screw music”, or hiphop that got “chopped and screwed” as they called it, became more wide spread in the early 90’s as the increase in use of “purple drank”, a mix of cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine).

Some have called DJ Screw and his Screwed Up Click (a scene of other remixers that chopped and screwed hip hop) a “lazy avantgarde”, because they made this completely genious music without really much effort: they just slowed the tracks down, so the beat would fit the hot texas atmosphere, the opiate drugs they were taking and the mood of sitting in a lazy car queue in mass-motored Houston.

That’s a pretty good example of how drugs, a hot humid climate, mass-motoring and laziness can come to matter together.

Granted, not so good for a cold scandinavian fall, but pretty good for a sunday with hangovers.

I went through some 3 hours or so of mixtapes yesterday, and here’s a pick of DJ Screw. I was to lazy to find and compile stuff in a zip, so here it is on grooveshark:
Screwed playlist

Miamo Horror – I Look To You (video)

September 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

Recipe for disco

May 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Take ear to Fexxe’s Recipe to disco! (click for download page) Swedes can even read his great review of the different artists, the historical movements and how Bobby O was responsible for turning up pop music 10 bpm.

To refer, the ingredients look like:
25% Bobby Orlando
17% Classic 70’s Disco
14% Italo Disco
14% 10’s House (some tunes i this category even from 09)
14% Hipster music
8% Chicago House
8% Contemporary Disco

Fantastic mix! Here’s a taste of it, one of my favourites:

The Flirts – You and Me

Guilty Pleasures (Part II: Organs)

February 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

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Part II: Organs. Meh, I promised I wouldn’t feel guiltary about my guilty pleasures. So here you have some exclamation marks following hyperbolic word porn: Organanza! Organismic Orgy! Orgasn! Organotherapeutic organons!

Ken Griffin – Wunderbar

Lester Lanin – Organ Twist

Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullet Band – Wicky

Attention economies and drone music

February 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

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Conditions to making this music matter: Do not push play before reading. Otherwise, there are several ways of going through this blog post. It matters in which order you read on (and yes, you are excused of scrolling quickly down to see how long the post is, because you already did it, and nothing will stop you from doing it, because it became one of the most heavy reflexes of your internet behavior). Here’s two options:

  • (1) Watch the visual first – then read the blog post. Recommended option, to expose yourself before reading my own reactions; the option for people that have no resistance against experimenting with music coming into matter right, ie. which means not always the matter in which you usually make it.
  • (2) Read the blog post first – then watch the video afterwards. Low attention span option, for people that need justification first; for people that have no idea why it matters to experience music in certain ways (… and probably already feel so annoyed by the lenght of this intro that you are probably not one of them if you are reading this).

You could of course just push play now, and start reading simultaneously (or maybe you already did, and you’re reading this to the sound of the video!). If you do that (or did that) you have unfortunately failed completely, and have no chance of doing it differently this time, since the experience already mattered. Sorry for you.

Okay, now on to the phenomenon all these conditions revolve around. (Did you decide?? Either (1) watch the audio-visual, or (2) read the blog post at the bottom first).

Presenting The Struggle by The Dead Texan. Quite possibly one of the most poetic visualizations of sound I have seen in a very long time. Watch this video in best quality (480p).

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

Low attention-span-reflex buffer ————— Really sure you want to read on?

This audio-visual have now mattered to me about 20-30 times or so. Who would have thought that meditative struggles between carnivourus plants and insects could keep you occupied so intensely? We should note how extraordinary this amount of dedication actually is, seeing how we ourselves struggle just by watching a 5-minute long video. Why is this so? Attention of course. And we live in a time of the attention economy: struggling to navigate in the overabundance of the internets; struggling to pick and choose; struggling to not bother; struggling to not engage; struggling to choose efficiently which cultural information we want to be consumed by. All the time.

And just maybe, this conflict is exactly why I fell in love with this audio-visual in particular. It sounds like a paradox, since it is not exactly an attention-seeker. The music is slow, the visuals similarly presents the pictures in an observing and calm manner, with the sounds progressively building, with long drones of bass. The only sentence of the piece takes around 30 seconds to mouth:

“Everytime, we are slow, where are we, going so fast. We could bear to stay awake, because the sun cannot last” (4:15 – 4:44)

All of this indicates that your attention-economizing brain have to face an either-or (quickly switch on to the next youtube-clip, blog-post or whatever, or listen to the complete thing, and this really means the complete thing).

Maybe this is our only antidote in these days of low attention spans? Lengthy exposures. In order to resist becoming yet another quick fix, music might become the complete opposite. If this has any resonance, maybe we will see a new wave of extremely lengthy music forms, revolting and liberating itself from ADHD of the internets. One could speculate if this is already the case with the renaissance of the casette tape? (which, incidentally, previously mentioned Luke Perry records on too). In that case, we could say that The Struggle is definately not going far enough. No, definately not going to far: every time this piece stops at 5:28 I have this frustrating feeling of being heartbroken. Noooooo, don’t go away! More! Arghagrgh, not silence, agrhrghrgh!

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The Dead Texan @ myspace

Snatched the audio-visual from swedish speaking Copyriot, where a discussion on the swedish word for drone came to matter

My day with Luke Perry

January 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

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I wondered which person in Beverly Hills I wanted to be today, and I decided Luke Perry. And as we were speaking of Luke Perry (Ozan was here too, speaking), I remembered this obscure electronic act by the name Luke Perry. He describes his album Terminator Ecstacy () by way of a sexy catch-line: “Feel the ecstasy of terminating your identity. Treat yourself to burger king dinner on a stolen credit card.” No point saying how much I love this stuff, so let’s just get to it:

Luke Perry – skynet infiltration unit simulator

Luke Perry – identity scan

If “irresistible suburbanoid emergencies in cul de sac terraform” sounds like a delicious dish, you might want to go download his digitalized casette called Midnight Perry too.

Things doesn’t stop for Perry’s word lingo. On a blog called “There is no agency”, he provides us with an anti-capitalist analysis of tourism, spouting beautiful and concise sentences like this one: “Tourism supplies the traveller with a sacred image of the world. The figure of the traveller is defined by the mere accumulation of these images.” Reminds me of CrimethInc’s (anti-)traveller book Off the Map.

… and we’re not done! I thought you should have this one too:)

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Luke Perry myspace

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