Tuesday, August 22, 2023

thrills versus landfill

Kieran Press-Reynolds on how "the recent explosion of remixing — from sped-up edits and nu-SoundClown mashups to fanmade bootlegs — is rewiring the way we create and consume music in both thrilling and unnerving ways". At No Bells blogzine.


"It’s hard to deny the wild thrill of tempo-twisted remixes, and it’s cool to see them gain wider appreciation. The appeal of shifting the speed up is the way it gives a song a pleasurably tickly feeling, or injects the vocalist with a burst of frantic energy. Lowering it can give music a dirge-like melancholy and a cinematic main-character tint. Add reverb to the slowness and you have a perfect recipe for vaporous psychedelia. At best, these remixes are helping explode the genre conventions that prevail in radio-ready music. Popular indie country is being remade into gloriously deranged flutters of squeaks; Mainstream R&B and pop are combusting into inhuman blazes of twitchy yearning." 


"There’s an empty, formulaic quality to some of these mashups, where they feel like bait engineered for viral traction. I can see a future where labels hire mashup makers to produce in-house SoundClowns... So many mashups are low-effort, and the heap of fast/slow remixes and other online styles... forms something like a giant musical landfill, the cultural equivalent of a black hole, into which we’re pouring all our attention and killed time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Hauntology Parish Newsletter - Harvest Edition - Lo Five; eMMplekz; A Year in the Country; Belbury Poly

 Spied in the window of Book Nook!

Cover Design by Rachel Laine

Alerted by Folk Horror Revival - detective work by John Coulhart at { feuilleton }

Also to be seen on the shelves of the Book Nook  

Yes, a new tome from the prolific Stephen Prince  -  A Year in the Country: Lost Transmissions: Dystopic Visions, Alternate Realities, Paranormal Quests and Exploratory Electronica

It follows swiftly on the heels of last year's A Year in the Country: Cathode Ray and Celluloid Hinterlands: The Rural Dreamscapes, Reimagined Mythical Folklore and Shadowed Undergrowth of Film and Television  - and the three A Year in the Country books that preceded that! With another two tomes not in the series, that makes seven in total.

I don't know how Stephen does it...  I feel like a right slow-poke in comparison.


Talking about prolific fellows, Lo Five has a very nice new record, Persistence of Love, recently released on Castles in Space. Inhabiting that muzzy grayscale sound that is all his own. Makes you feel as if there's a film across your ears - like looking at a landscape with reduced visibility caused by light rain. Suits these unseasonably overcast and damp days here in England. 

Here's Neil's release rationale: 

"This collection of tracks came about during a period of transition for me, from changing the way I wanted to make music to a method that was more intuitive and free-flowing. I spent a lot of time experimenting with sequencing and different bits of hardware I'd acquired. I was also playing around with an old four track cassette recorder, which was loads of fun. I think the end result feels a little broader in sound and composition as all but one of these tracks were the result of recording a live jam down to a stereo mix. I recorded dozens of these until I'd found 'the one'.

"That way of capturing a performance really excites me, it's like a crystallised moment in time when the planets have aligned. When you're really absorbed into the flow of it and there's something extra guiding you.

"Thematically, it all reflects this ongoing interest I have in consciousnesses, spiritual enlightenment, truth realisation, whatever you want to call it. At the time I'd been reading a lot about advaita, which is Sanskrit for 'not two', or what western spiritual teachers call non-duality, where it's seen there is no separation between anything, no individual self, no subject and object, just this infinite eternal consciousness. I read a few of the classic teachings from gurus such as Ramaana Maharishi, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta Maharaj, which reflect modern accounts of contemporary teachers like Richard Rose, Jan, Frazier and Rupert Spira.

"There seems to be this slow reconciliation between ancient eastern spiritual teachings and western psychology and neuroscience. That really fascinates me and seems to filter through to whatever I'm working on."


Unexpected silo seepage from a retiree of this parish! A trio of remixes by Baron Mordant of eMMplekz fan favorite, "Gloomy Leper Techno" - also on Castles in Space

Emission transmission: 

The collaborative eMMplekz project between Baron Mordant and Ekoplekz ran itself ragged from 2012-2016 and yielded some of their most satisfying work for the Mordant Music label - the Baron had finally found his voice in a skip behind Poundland and let his fetid alphabet loose across Ekoplekz’s mouldy electronic battlefield…lyrical Escher abstractions married to Cy Twombly soundscapes at a time when maybe only the Sleaford Mods were harrowing similar ground, albeit more commercially…the project bowed out on a low high with the ‘Rook to TN34’ album and the “Cheers mate, bye” lyric pinging off every surface…in 2022 with that still naggingly in mind the Baron set out on reframing ‘Gloomy Leper Techno’ in some different shades and the resulting ‘MMongrel versions’ were picked up by Castles in Space for this 12” vinyl

release…njoi/endure…IBM, Hastings 2023.


GLT scrawl:

“Cheers mate, bye

I see rooftops in Staines, people as drains (cheers mate, bye)

The bee in the bonnet humming Ashcroft’s ’Sonnet’ (cheers mate, bye)

Rhyming’s like climbing, surmounting a fountain (cheers mate, bye)

Wanking the walk, tanking the talk (cheers mate, bye)

A dismal day in every way (cheers mate bye)

Bandcamp’s digital damp (cheers mate bye)

I want you to follow thru…why is it you let him in?

Cheers mate, bye.”


Finally, there's a new Belbury Poly album out  on Ghost Box in a few days time - The Path

It's unusual - a full-band sound, incorporating a spoken-word element. And the voice speaks in an American accent!