A Winged Victory For The Sullen
“Ti Prego Memory Man”
The beautiful thing about ambient music is that it does not really have to go anywhere. The experience of the music is the reward; how it complements the listener’s environment, mood, or mindset is the primary concern. This is probably why explaining the beauty of a Harold Budd track or a Kevin Drumm piece to an uninitiated friend can be tough. One is reduced to making nebulous statements about “floating” and “ethereal grace,” while both parties get frustrated at the things that are obviously not quite being communicated.
The solution to this inability to articulate is simple: play them the damn album. If you can swing it, play it outside, in the appropriate weather (listener discretion, of course), and tell your friend to shut their trap and let their mind sink into the music. Now, there is some finesse to be exercised here; some entry points are better than others when it comes to genres. Brian Eno’s Ambient 4 has no problem enveloping any listener while I Dormienti may cause you to get punched in the temple for “wasting” your friends’ time. Have patience; they are novices on the path to beauty.
Alternately, you could put on Ghostly International’s new SSM: Opiate compilation. With any genre-based compilation, variety can help the neophyte see different facets of the genre. And this one is a hell of a cross-section of some of the best stuff out there now, including Noveller, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, and Jim Haynes. So if you want to turn your friend’s syrupy, putty-like brain into a discerning, intellectual, and musical power-house, this should be your first stop.
For those among you needing proof of these claims, below you will find the track “Ti Prego Memory Man” by A Winged Victory for the Sullen. To create the appropriate listening environment, take your computer outside, find a green-belt somewhere, and lie on your back staring at the clouds while AWVFTS rinses the little gray edges of the day away.
Ghostly International’s SSM: Opiate compilation is out October 28. Visit the comp’s page for tracklist info and more.
• Ghostly International: http://www.ghostly.com
WARNING: this is the purest of bedroom, fuckboii, rap luuv EVER. Effect jacked. Post House Party. Broad hyped. Guttural swelling. “Ehh, you don’t wanna know.” But yeah, ya do. So get a grip. Play some baseball. Hit this young Lega C. Pass it off to Sugar C. ‘Cause this circle ain’t finished. We got SAINT PEPSI, NMESH, TRMW, COINSTARR, 회사AUTO, CONTACT LENS, TV NICKS, TRES MONITORES, VHS LOCOS, VISAプリペイド, MISTER LIES, and REVERB LITE.
But let’s be honest. Lega C is pretty much Sugar C calling out Rick Ross because he was stricken from Reebok for having drugged a girl without her consent. And it doesn’t just come down to the track “REEBOK ROKK,” ‘cause that’d be too easy. Flagrantly easy. Throughout all the songs, the female voice totally topping all of that “Maybach Music” twitch slogan used by any of Ross’ goon producers. Fuckboii vs. doughboy fronting. “HOOD YACHT,” bombed out slur fucking Ross’ repeat lyric-/rhyme-schemes. “EVERYTHING (prod. VISAプリペイド)” = YES!!!! It’s very Lil B of them. Dig Lega C via BandCamp, or just download it straight from there. Slow Kill. Shoot, or maybe Lega C is about the virtual world’s way of partying..
• Sugar C: http://metallicghosts.bandcamp.com
OneBeat: Mixtape 2012
Language: “The 2012 Mixtape distills the entire month of collaboration during OneBeat 2012, highlighting Fellows’ mobile studio sessions, recordings from Honey Jar and Studio G in New York City, workshops with youth at Jefferson Center’s Music Lab and the YMCA in Charleston, street studios in Roanoke, VA, and recordings from the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida.
“During the residency, the fellows formed improvised ensembles that reinvented and arranged traditional tunes, composed original work, and recorded in the state-of-the-art OneBeat mobile studio. Following the residency, while on tour, the Fellows also collaborated with local artists, designed free public music-making events, and led workshops and recording sessions with youth. Featuring innovative young musicians from around the world, the 2012 OneBeat Mixtape reveals a powerful vision of ‘world music’ and illustrates the versatility and musical diversity of the fellows.”
Here are dates for this year’s festival:
09.21.13 - New Smyrna Beach, FL
09.22-25.13 - Charleston, SC
09.26-28.13 - Durham, NC
09.26-29.13 - Floyd, VA
09.30-10.02.13 - Washington, DC
10.02-05.13 - New York, NY
HOPE TO SEE YOU GETTING YOUR CULTURE ON AT ONE OF THESE!
• OneBeat: http://foundsoundnation.org
Listening to 30XX, particularly their July 3 cassette/digital release Desolate Future, is like hanging out with someone who has A.D.H.D. and is really into cyberpunk anime and goregrind, but can’t decide whether to watch DVDs (AD Police, Wicked City, Akira, and Perfect Blue) or listen to music, so s/he does both simultaneously. And maybe it’s an odd side-effect of the stolen immediate-release Dextroamphetamine sprinting through your system, or maybe your companion is just extraordinarily well-practiced at cranking and depressing the volumes of each medium at exact intervals, but either way, it sounds fucking perfect.
30XX has (gore)grinded out two splits since Desolate Future, both of which are great in their own right, but this remains my personal favorite… probably because, as one big-eyed LastFM.com commentor posted, “It’s less goregrind with bits of anime samples than anime samples with bits of goregrind.” If I were Goreman X, I wouldn’t take that as an affront to my music’s integrity, but rather as an affirmation of its very state of being, the self-described “cybernetic aural mutation.” Hell, I’d include it in my EPK, but that’s just me.
According to their Facebook page, 30XX will upload a new album called DECAYING FUTURE “sometime this week,” so look out for that as well.
“Cast and Work” [excerpt]
Man, percussion/drums get pretty pigeonholed sometimes, you guys. Everyone knows they’re great at creating grooves and serving as the rhythmic backbone for bands, sure. But don’t you think that sometimes drums get tired of that role and want to branch out and do some other work? They’ve so much potential!
Luckily, dudes like Nick Hennies realize the infinite potential of percussion/drums as a sound source. Hennies’ Psalms from 2010 was a brilliant theme, and variations on Alvin Lucier’s “Silver Street Car for Orchestra,” where various percussion instruments’ timbral quality/resonance were altered through minute changes in dampening, striking location, and attack. Hennies illustrated in those works that even slight changes in technique could generate vast sound differences with his instruments of choice. Hennies’ latest release Duets for Solo Snare Drum continues the performer/composer’s exploration of percussion’s sonic potential, but this time with the focus on the microcosmic realm of the snare drum.
The three duets on the record (respectively written by John Cage, Peter Ablinger, and Hennies) all feature a “solo snare drum performer in duets with three non-performative musical elements.” All three of the elements presented here (silence, noise, and tone) in some way reflect a sonic component of the snare drum’s sound, and tonal differences between each track is striking. On Hennies’ own “Cast and Work,” the composer explores the tonal variations that can occur when the snare on his instrument is turned off and then mixed with other pitched elements. Like Cage’s and Albinger’s compositions, “Cast and Work” is mostly a subtle piece until a barrage of pitched noise from Vanessa Rossetto, Brent Fariss, and Henna Chou comes in near the end. When taken together, these compositions alter the listener’s perception of what a snare drum can do sonically and succeed in taking the instrument out of its often typecast role in music.
Duets for Solo Snare Drum is out on CD and available for download September 1 as Weighter Records’ first release as a label. You can listen to an excerpt of “Cast and Work” below:
By the late 1950s, the trumpet and the saxophone took over as lead jazz instruments. Jazz flutists and clarinetists didn’t have a chance against the cheek-busting likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. So many of them left US jazz clubs and flew to Asia. Flutist Paul Horn, for example, spent many years in India studying native spiritual and musical traditions, gaining access to pretty much anywhere he wanted to play his flute (like the Taj Majal, The Great Pyramids, The Magic of Findhorn, etc.). Similarly, clarinetist Tony Scott moved around Southeast Asia studying local folk music and performing with native musicians throughout the early 60s.
These two musicians (among others who adopted Eastern practices to create quiet meditative music with typically jazz instrumentation) are the founders of New Age. Scott’s work with Japanese musicians Shinichi Yuize and Hozan Yamamoto to create 1964’s Music for Zen Meditation and Other Joys and Horn’s original 1968 release Inside are prototypical examples of New Age.
So what does this have to do with ESPRIT 空想’s new album ｒｅｌａｘ™? Absolutely nothing. Besides the fact that vaporwave is like the grandbaby of New Age, and also because ｒｅｌａｘ™ is all about meditation, which I’m sure Mr. Scott and Mr. Horn would love.