Tuesday, May 14, 2019

link think

I have fallen out of the habit of linking to things.

I guess we all have.

Which makes the "we" in that sentence even more tenuous.

But I'm thinking about mounting a counter-entropic tendency. Considering getting back into the habit of linking to things I've read and liked, or read and disagreed with. Quoting them - perhaps even commenting on them, if I can muster the energy.

And here's a good place to start. The Impostume - aka Carl Neville - musing about blog nostalgia:

"On some level I am bored of and by Internet 2.0 though I am not quite sure what that means. I don't think I am nostalgic for pre- or early internet days, though some of the reflections in Alex Niven's upcoming New Model Island, on the early days of blogging, has chimed in with a way my thoughts and feelings, possibly my needs and desires have been tending for a while. I think a return to blogging, precisely because it has fallen into desuetude, precisely because no-one now is really listening or reading, appeals. What was always nice about it was partly the a-sociallity, you wrote something and then had no idea who had read it, or what anyone thought and nor did you have to care particularly. It was/is both public and private but somehow it could command an intimacy, an invisible meeting of minds, lives, semi or totally anonymously. what you wrote was out there somehow working away in the world and you never knew how. You had connected but without any of the burdens of sociality, without the need for an exchange.

"It's that particular mode of non-exchange, the lack of reaction, the idea of something going quietly out there, the message in a bottle, a misdirected letter, sender unknown that I like. a certain distance is needed for people to really meet, a certain hiddenness needed before you can really speak."

Hmm, interesting thoughtage, as always, from Carl there - although personally I feel the opposite: I miss the sociality of blogging - the remote collectivity. As exemplified by the decades blogs that Carl set up: joint projects, people taking turns to do a post, but also a lot of stimulating chit-chat in the comments. Another example would be the inter-blog and guest-contributed  commentary on "themes" that I or others would host, on things like guitar riffs, or drummige, or solos, or bass bits. And many other forms of conversation-building and ideas-pooling that took place at shared-blogs or within blog-clusters, including those from opposed camps back in those days when there was ideological friction enough for sides to be taken.

Meanwhile, Carl is taking a break from finishing up his new novel Eminent Domain - the follow-up but not sequel to the splendid Resolution Way - in an unusual way. By starting another novel, The Fullfillment* Centre,  micro-excerpts of which are being previewed at the blog, starting here. I'm already gripped, it's like reading a serial.

In the course of one chapter, Carl, or his character/proxy, drops this nice thought:

"There’s an old quote about buying books: we think we are buying the time to read them, but having been a hoarder myself when I was younger I understand it differently, we were buying the selves we imagined we would become after we had read them, the great works, the great thoughts and each one bought was a new possible self, our own future greatness, claimed, set aside, each one sold on a small grief for that self’s loss, our future diminished. The dizziness in libraries or bookshops, the circling of souls, selves, worlds. It was easy to get trapped there, enchanted, enchained."


Another online thought-bunker  I've come across recently is Modernism Unbound, which looks like a webzine but appears to be a one-man enterprise, the work of Jon Lindblom.  Here's an essay on the drug-tech interface and rave culture of the Nineties. And here's one on the drug-tech interface in more recent years, looking at anti-depression and anti-anxiety meds and late capitalist culture. There doesn't seem to be a musical angle to that essay, though, which I think misses a trick - or at least, the essay I am really waiting and wanting to read is about the sonic interface between trap / mumble rap production and drugs like Percoset, Xanax, etc. What kind of subjectivity is produced by the leisure abuse of prescription drugs like these -  and how has this manifested sonically, and in terms of vocal styling? I have yet to come across a piece that even describes from inside the specific high induced by improper, non-medicinal use of these drugs and their polydrug combination with various other substances, like cough syrup or the traditional illegal buzzes... let alone explore deeply the potentiating synergy with particular sound-textures, Auto-Tune, etc.

(This is my own contribution, but it lacks the er field research element that would really be required, if you get me).


Also on rave and the drug-tech interface (well, kinda) is this essay about the Eurohardcore continuum and gabber, by Jeppe Ugelvig at NERO Editions, which I have annotated and commentated upon already at the other place.


A nice tribute by Richard Williams at The Blue Moment to Peter Hammill, now 70 years old but  not about to stop any time soon. Indeed he has just released  In Amazonia, a collaboration with  Swedish group Isildurs Bane. Writes Williams:

"Listening to it the first time, my first thought was that this was how progressive rock should have turned out. The music is characterised by a sense of inquiry and a delight in exploring resources... while the lyrics strive for the effect of poetry.... It arrives at a place where European rock music seemed to be heading when it veered away from American influences 50 years ago."


Odds and sods:

A piece by Rosie Spinks at Quartzy arguing that the age of the influencer is dead (or should be) and that it's high time for the return of the slacker

Always a pleasure to read Mike Powell on Vampire Weekend - love the description of Rostam as the band's "Swiss Army knife" - but just like with his write-up of their previous album, it really doesn't sound like an album I'd extract pleasure listening to. But I've had that reaction with every Father of the Bride review I've come across.

Finally here's a Resonance FM show about postpunk-era Australian experimental label M-Squared - the program is the work of Superfluid, a monthly radio show and events organisation based in London.