Friday, February 04, 2022

Social Discipline / Exmachina

I had a really fun time chatting with Miguel Prado and Mattin for their podcast Social Discipline, in a wide-ranging conversation that took in depressive hedonism, the surprising longing of 25% of the American population for a king, analogue-era electronic music, streaming versus vinyl, CCRU, Dry Cleaning, Bowie, Rae Sremmurd, The Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, and... musique concrete composer / sandal-maker Roberta Settels.

Check out M+M's earlier Social Discipline conversations with the likes of  Mark Leckey, Claire Rousay, Mat Dryhurst, Alex Williams...

I really enjoyed reading Exmachina. Storia musicale della nostra estinzione 1992 → ∞, the new book by Valerio Mattioli, and then writing the foreword. The author previously of Superonda, a book about Italy's 1970s edge-of-rock vanguard (Battiato et al), Mattioli here considers the 1990s and U.K. electronica, using  the works of Richard D. James, Autechre, and Boards of Canada as a prism for writing about the future-now we currently inhabit.  Cocooned in a lockdown bubble, Mattioli plunged into a state of "ecstastic paranoia", a mode of hyper-interpretation and audio-intoxication (some other kinds of intoxication played a role too) that encouraged his mind to trace and chase the ideas and implications spiraling out of the sounds and follow them wherever they seemed to want to go. Exmachina works as both a flashback to the '90s mindset (ccru and other technosophers of that euphoric-dysphoric moment appear) and an anatomy of now, with Aphex, Autechre and BoC figuring as prophets of our present. 

The book is out now in Italy on Minimum Fax and I expect will come out in translation in English and other languages soon enough. It certainly deserves to propagate widely. 

You can read my foreword at Il Tascabile.