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


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