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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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

The Radio Dept.

January 10, 2010 § 1 Comment

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The Radio Dept. – A Window

My external hard drive is dead. I lost the adaptor. All my music is on the external hard drive. Argh! Technical collapse. Involuntary musical ascesis. Since I have been to lazy to find new stuff, I have just listened to the same single band the last couple of weeks.  Fortunately, my limitations were good company. Sometimes it can be healthy to be limited! The band I was lucky to still have on my internal hard drive is called The Radio Dept. and come from Malmö, southern Sweden. They play soft shoegaze, and by some reason they remind me entirely of other scandinavian bands (even though the sound is not particularly scandinavian, or what do you think?). I would say something between norwegian singer-songwriters Kings of Convenience and danish shoegaze-poppers Epo-555 (recommended listening too). I went to a concert with The Radio Dept. in Stockholm some weeks ago, which dissapointed me a lot. My friend was there with me, and she is such an extraordinary fan that she didn’t even notice that the PA-system sucked and sounded like somebody pucking on overdrive. Testifies to the power of Radio Dept. fandom.

The Radio Dept. – Always A Relief

The Radio Dept. – Closing Scene

Music for peak winter time – without the jingle bells

December 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Music to walk alone in the snow to. Music to stay home and feel winter sentimental with. The time is not for jingle bells, and already worn out carols that you forgot what meant, or sexist crooner tunes from the 50s for that matter. Whatever, if you want to hear that, just have a stroll down shopping street and get bombarded. Here’s what I would rather listen to when white snow covers the city, candles are lit in the windows, you walk in silent winter evenings or sit at home cuddling up with all your winter sentimentality (which is perfectly nice and good).

Bibio not only made one of my favourite albums this year, he has a back catalogue of delicious guitar meditations, well worth diving into and exploring. Contrary to his most recent album, which is far more complex and genre eclectic, the old stuff revolves around the same focus on electro-acoustic guitar patterns and simple drum loops. Some call it laptop folk. Whatever it is I love it.

Bibio – Looking Through the Facets of a Plastic Jewel

In the 60s, Jan Johanson made a stunning interpretation of old swedish folk tunes by adding jazz. They are intrinsically tied to my feelings and perception of Sweden, and always make me long for natural landscapes and hiking trips, or simply say “fuck it all, I’m becoming a primitivist and I’ll move out into the wild and eat lingon berries and chant sad polka tunes by the mountain rivers”

Jan Johanson – Polska från Medelpad

Jan Johanson – Vallåt från Jämtland

I have already mentioned Pat Metheny once before in relation to the turning of music into muzak through use in commercial advertisements. Luckily, this part of Metheny has not been distorted by that, so we can go straight to it. Album is One Quiet Night. Playing on a baritone guitar gives Metheny the sound of expansive, grand thickness, like he’s painting yet vaster winter landscapes with every guitar stroke, I mean strum.

Pat Metheny – One Quiet Night

Pat Metheny – Song For The Boys

Body Party

November 16, 2009 § Leave a comment

bodyparty

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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:

Action Figure Party – Gamera

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:

Action Figure Party – Clock Radio

I love the screaming guitar riff in this track

Action Figure Party – Pong Baby

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.

John Scofield Band – Snap Crackle Pop

Dark and cold sci-fi tunes from space, 1982

November 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

moon

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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 /

Solid Space – Tenth Planet

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!)

Solid Space – The Guests

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!

Solid Space – Destination Moon

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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.

Kurt Vile

November 1, 2009 § 3 Comments

vile

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Kurt Vile – Freak Train

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.

“Freak Train” is from Kurt Vile’s upcoming album Childish Prodigy. Check out his myspace if you can’t wait to hear it all. Oh, he plays and sings in the very awesome band The War on Drugs too.

EDIT: It’s already out. DOH!

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