November 29, 2009 § 1 Comment
Please tell me this doesn’t scare the freaking shit out of you. David Lynch just got thrown into a psychotic BDSM universe where people laugh like maniacs and devour your body parts while playing yoga synthesizers. Fuck.
Will you be ready little boy?
Get ready for exposure, because this post will be massive. French Die Form formed in the late 70’s as a duo, playing cold, dark and dekadent electro-industrial music, sometimes called “darkwave”. Simply mesmerizing. The name of the project plays on the german “die Form” (the form), the english deform, and the french “difforme” (without form). Especially their early stuff sounds so insane and good, so I will keep it at that. Two more tracks from 1987 album Poupée Mécanique (of which the theme seems to be murder):
So how does Die Form usually sound like? The music constantly surprises. They throw all kinds of sounds into the jam: the usual industrial fascination with metal and tools, or even a groovy slap-bass (dwarfing contemporary french electro acts like Justice), or the weird intermezzo of a girl laughing with insanity, or instrumental re-runs of previous tracks (like the main leitmotif of a musical coming back to haunt you). Ever wondered how the soundtrack to a BDSM sex scene would sound like? I guess something like this:
How about Kraftwerk with a hip hop beat:
The project seems like a labyrinth of strangeness and obscurity when first entering, and you listen through their huge discography with a feeling that every song or album contain so many hidden things, that you cannot (better not?) understand it all. For example, a reviewer said this about their album ExHuman: “Die Form send back out hybrid corpse mechanism era respiration-byte with the abolition world code-maniacs brain universe of a drug fetus”. What the fuck does he mean??? Even their fans seems to have some secret society where everybody speaks in impenetrable code.
Adding to the complexity of this project, they decided to record a whole album of …Bach. Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach, the 18th century German baroque composer. And of course in a cold, industrialized and synthetic interpretation of Bach’s classic works. Like this one.
Die Form practice “multimedia intervention” by the way, combining sounds with performances, clubbing atmosphere, photography, visual art and cinema/video. I guess you by now realize the erotic theme going through the music. So here’s Die Form when they perform.
November 19, 2009 § Leave a comment
Holy Ghost! play electronic disco with warm fussy analogue synths. It’s in the vein of their label DFA, which hosts LCD Soundsystem and Hercules and Love Affair, so that could give you a clue.
I can listen to these two tracks in infinity. No matter how dull I feel before going out on the weekend, they will force me to smile and anticipate good times (and then good times will come – I love self fulfilling prophecies!). I guess it’s the Pavlovian reflex – dog learning – that works its magic again.
Ever wondered how these things come about? VBS.tv. made an interesting video from the studio of Holy Ghost! Here you can see that their music is all channelled through analogue synths and gadgets, with wires and bleeping lights everywhere. Interesting thoughts on making music too.
Much of this post is aggregated from the writings of Melbourne based Waves at Night, that find amazing stuff in general, usually with disco influences. They have a comforting metabolism for a music blog, and write posts that compliment the sounds very well (ie. recommended blog!). They just ripped a new track of Holy Ghost! through the radio (no title, but you can guess from the hook maybe?). I’m not as fancy about this track as their other stuff, but this gave me an excuse to mention Waves at Night (again, go there!)
Rumours say: they will release a new album next year
November 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
A swedish-assyrian family gave me a hitch from Stockholm to Jönköping this weekend, and we talked so much in the car that my cheeks were aching when I got out after the 300 km ride. Deniz on the front seat really liked funk. I admitted that I had listened intensely to cheesy funk jazz like Tower of Power through my teenage years, but have gotten very tired of polished funk jazz. He had a long lasting fanship of Red Hot Chili Peppers, so I told him about this rather unknown band Action Figure Party, where Flea from RHCP played bass in too, and which coincidently plays a funky variant of jazz fusion. Multi instrumentalist Greg Kurstin gathered the group, and they only released this one album, but it is a gem in it’s genre. A corrupted genre, since everything from television shows and second hand fashion stores have colonized jazz fusion to the point of annoyance (the same ol’ Pavlovian conditioning at work again), but this record resists colonization! Maybe that is actually the lakmus test of any piece of music, that nothing, no matter how horrible, will corrupt it by association?
There’s a japanese godzilla size turtle called Gamera, but I don’t know if they had that in mind when they made this track. Anyway, yummy:
Besides the cheesy lyrics (for some reason, funk music always contain cheesy lyrics, and I’m not sure what this should tell us??), this is sooo mmmmmmmmm:
I love the screaming guitar riff in this track
Another stellar and more well known act in jazz fusion is virtuoso guitarist John Scofield. He sometimes gets labelled as acid jazz because the great amount of looping psychedelic sounds and strange guitar effects. His characteristic guitar sound is the chorus effect, that gives a dissonance by adding dissonant tones to every note, making Scofield sound like a drunk person. This track is from the eclectic record Überjam, which features a four-armed Sco in lotus position on the front cover.
November 12, 2009 § Leave a comment
People always remix the sounds of music. So now, allow me a discursive remix:
Television. Is it dead. I think not. Television matters: as the triumphant suffering of self-therapeutic Oprah talk shows, individualizing all the ills of society saying “you can change yourself! And we know you can!”. As the big Other of news distortion. As a master, a god, telling you what you will know. As the mediated experiences of life lived through unreality shows. Television still rules the nation my daft brothers. Television is opium for the cold mass individuals my marxist comrades. Television, whatever its medium, will be destroyed though, and there will be no new mutations of its technology afterwards. There will be no digital television, or live-streamed internet television. The revolution will not be televised or quasi-televised. Nothing will be televised, because nobody will want to watch it. They will live it.
Some smart fellow made a fitting video of clips to go with it (the sound track seems to be a more stripped down live-version of the song):
November 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
Presenting the sounds of Solid Space, a mysterious band that only released a single casette and then went away. It could be called minimal synth: these tracks characteristically just have one beat all the way through, one or two synth themes, and cold distant melodies telling sci-fi tales.
See they’re getting desperate / See their logic fade / See them panic and whisper / See their edges fray / Another planet burns out / Into thin air / We knew we would kill them, anyway / We didn’t really care /
Next, meet The Guests. I wonder how such a short and simple instrumental track can evoke so many strange pictures of early black and white horror films of harmless papier maché aliens trying to get you, crawling and walking in unintentional “jump cuts” because of the bad film quality? If you have completely different mental pictures, then let me know (and, sorry for imposing my own on you first!)
Finishing off, I think you should get drunk or doped, then run out into the street with your friends and yell this chorus to everybody like you just created a space cult, determined to uuuuuuuuh, going to the mooooon, leaving so soooooon. Smash pop hit!
Unfortunately, this stuff seems to be impossible to actually buy (the original recording is a casette, not to be found in every record store me think), but the whole album can be downloaded on this great blog, dedicated to coldwave and minimal synth.
November 1, 2009 § 3 Comments
If only Kurt Vile would come and seduce me with his long and bobbing grunge hair while playing his stoney freak-psychedelia-americana at my street corner. I would be so happy and calm. I would stand there all day and stare with lazy amazement. I would reconsider drugs.
EDIT: It’s already out. DOH!