Tuesday, January 25, 2022

chasing the virus / chasing the divine

Over at No Bells blog, here's a piece in which genre epidemiologist Kieran Press-Reynolds tracks and traces the mutation and proliferation of new audio variants - nanogenres with names like sigilkore, slung, dariacore, murder metal, maplekore, hyperplugg. Even someone like myself - triple vaxxed with scepticism, ears shielded with N95-like taste-filters - finds his diagnosis compelling. 

In the '90s, folks liked to talk about the dub virus. Which never made sense to me - why compare something sacred and healing to little bitty entities that wreck your computer or make you feel like shit? Dub and roots makes you breathe better, it rebalances your system. Here's a luminous-numinous piece by Matthew Ingram about his lifelong love of dub and the music's connections to his latterday concerns with health and spirituality. There is also a Woebot in Dub mix, #3 of a series (here's 1 and 2).

One my favorites (a Woebot turn-on, in fact) and as a good a reason to believe in God as any I can think of. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

How's things?

Matt Colqhoun a.k.a Xenogothic reminds us that it is five years since Mark Fisher left us.  

I don't have much to say apart from the fairly selfish thought that I'd love to know what Mark would have had to say about things. 

Things in the specific sense - cultural products. Like the Dry Cleaning album, or SOPHIE's music. Feted television series or films - which ones would have excited him or seemed indicative of a condensation of popular desire, a shift in consciousness,  an ideological glitch, worth taking the measure of? What things would have stirred his delicious scorn? And how would he have reacted to The Caretaker becoming a TikTok meme?

But I'd also love to know what Mark would have had to say about "things" in a general sense - where we are. This sense of paralysis and helpless sliding towards catastrophe on multiple levels. It would be  a chilling thrill to read Mark on the subject of the awful people who govern us, or, in America, the awful people trying to make government impossible. How would he have processed the pandemic and lockdown? 

It would have been exciting to see where Mark went next with his ideas, that ambitious system he was always renovating and adding extensions to.... to watch his outlook adapt under the pressure of the changes in his own self with the passage of time and the pressure of changing challenges out there.  Could he have come up with a whole new intellectual adventure for himself? 

The thought of Mark missing out on these five years of living - the good things and bad things that we've all gone through, the purely personal experiences he would have had with those closest to him -  is supremely sad. 

But I mourn also the thoughts Mark would have shared, and the thoughts he would have sparked in us. 

RIP Burke Shelley


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Saturday, January 01, 2022

two young men looking for adventure

Here's two young men whose names begin with K and whose lust for new music (new music that is actually new as opposed to recently released) has resulted in these ample tallies of 2021's not-slender harvest (according to their hungry ears)

Kieran Press-Reynolds on his Top 20 Songs of 2021 plus Honorable Mentions 

(And here's the one solitary release where we converged / concurred).

Kit Mackintosh at Neon Screams with his own completely different round-up - overlapping not a jot with either mine or Kieran's - and which bears the title Future Shock Watch. 

It's a compliment to their flair - and the sheer will to make an adventure of their time -  that I enjoyed reading the writing about the music rather more than the listening to the music.   

If you fancy seeing how the tuneage strikes your ears, here's Kieran's Spotify playlist, while the Kit-list is crammed with videos.