Sunday, October 08, 2006

reading matters #2

impostume on the money about metal’s new hipster status whereas "the real thing" has always been there and always will be there and has lots of things going for it (so long as er you don't have to listen to it heh hehe ... well obviously there are a number of exceptions... and VH1's Metal Month was the year's most enjoyable retro-fest... but all that Terrorizer-bizniz, well let's say i prefer to admire from a distance.... )
plus righteously upbraiding yet another rehash of his-and-mine bloggery (uncut did one too the cheeky buggers)

what is the world coming too, foxxy-and-roxy Kpunk referring to "the blues" favorably, without expectorating in disgust! well of course it's "hauntological blues" so that' s okay then, and he does of course make a compelling case for Little Axe, whose first record i vaguely recall hearing in the 90s and finding a bit backgroundy and daniel lanois-y but as mark says our metabolisms were all junglizm-accelerated at that point. I recently read blues people by leroi jones/amiri baraka and there's probably a lot of stuff in there that could be indexed to the new Little Axe record judging by what Mark writes ... and interesting that he invokes maxinquaye because well it's obvious in a way, tricky’s a blues singer, indeed isn’t “Aftermath” subtitled “hip hop blues” on the original single? There’s a sampled-and-slowed-down male soul singer vocal on “hell is round the corner”-- almost screwed , tempo-dragged into a molasses-mire of melancholy, this piteous smeared groan of anguish--and i described it at the time as “impossibly black-and-blue”. And blimey Massive Attack, it’s not called Blue Lines for nothing, although i daresay kind of blue and birth of the cool jazz were the reference point as much as "woke up this morning, hellhound in my bed" but they are miserabilist gits Massive aren't they …

[crunk i think is the modern manifestation of the other side of the blues: which was origially a dance music primarily, associated with drinking dens and juke joints , places where loose women and shady characters hung out .... low-down music for low-life... jones/baraka points out how the black church always loathed blues, thought it was disgracing the race, profane and reprobate stuff as opposed to the refinement and respectability etc that would advance black people. c.f. the way their equivalents today decry hip hop for its negative stereotype-- jones/baraka in a sort of Afro-Bangsian move celebrating the blues continuum for precisely that reason)

[further digression: reminds me that I non-concurred with IP's Scarface-invented-gangsta-rap/bling thesis... surely that flashily dressed staggerlee persona has been a current within black popular culturec for a long long time... look at the superfly/big-pimpin blacksploitation boom era, or zoot suited rude boys in the 40s --it's not like they need to learn anything from Brian De Palma!!!]

[further further digression: i think they're both, KP and IP, a little unfair to mr marcus, surely the very idea of "the old weird america" and its reverberating traces in popular music is something reasonably proximate to the hauntological concept... it's no coincidence that one of the key archival labels for the sort of harry smith-y stuff Marcus bangs on about ... american folk/blues/gospel... is called Revenant.... founded by the late john fahey... and come to think of it, even something like Dead Elvis is in this territory, the uncanny omnipresence and proliferating after-lives of this deceased icon ... or the concept of "secret history", now such a worn-out phrase, but circa Lipstick Traces a fresh and intoxicating idea, all these strange connections and occult passageways worming their way through history, transgressing the conventional causalities and official narratives ... this regardless of what you think of marcus's specific constellation of reference points, or indeed the execution (i'm finding the shape of things to come a bit strained myself) ...]

back on topic , the blues/trip hop thing cross-references to impostume on the parallels between dub and metal; how so many of the isolationist dudes were metal guys doing side-projects...
scorn’s evanescence: proto-hauntological in some respects, made by ex-napalm death guy, one foot in midlands-sabbath-heavy-metal-as-bastardised blues, the other in reggae sound systems (and check the song title "exodus") ... I remember Frank Owen telling me his theory that for thrash/black metal kids, “death” is their equivalent of Zion…

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