If the music of MA (or M.A., or M., or Ma, or Michael) Turner didn’t exist, it would be up to you to create it. In this world, there is no god but you. You’d set up the four-track, plug in the guitar and synths, check the mic, and start your mission. You’d lay down the two-chord progression, making sure to keep that half beat of latency between the melodic voices. You’d sing something. You’d let “verse” and “chorus” and “that one part” blur into an ur song structure that twists back into itself between brief vocal interludes. “Living, living.” You’d rewind and play back your creation.
But MA Turner it would and could not be. The journeyman multi-instrumentalist’s outsider synth/folk/pop experimentation, composed through near randomized processes of improvisation, automatic writing, and blind editing/mixing, possesses that fearless “who knows, man?” lackadaisicality only earned through years (decades) of doing exactly what one wants, all the time — hatching bonkers conceits and executing them without hesitation. Call this one “sloppy” and I don’t think the man would disagree with you. He took your conventional standards of quality and threw them over the fence behind the shed past the treeline. Call it “unfettered DIY expression” and an eyebrow or four might raise, but I reckon you wouldn’t be wrong. Call it whatever you please, and Turner will continue living.
Three Legged Racer / Hair Policeman / album art and general A/V deity Robert Beatty put together the visuals for Turner’s “Living,” in association with Lexington, KY gallery Institute 193. Beatty’s grainy analog aesthetic carries the spiritual torch of his frequent collaborator, the datamosh pioneer Takeshi Murata — but while Murata achieves surreal states of transcendence by way of abstraction and disfiguration, Beatty grounds his relatively undistorted imagery right up in our grills for all to contend with: two separate halves of Turner’s face, sourced from discrete takes, ducking and weaving apart and together, swelling around a frame occupied by what seems to be a video of an unrelated guitar performance. “Unrelated” in the sense that the chords fretted and the notes played are not quite what we hear, but still, quite “related” by way of that mysterious DGAF energy in Turner’s work that binds and hypnotizes us before we realize what’s happened.
Turner’s new LP, entitled ZOZ, was compiled from a sprawling, ornately packaged twelve cassette collection of his music originally on display at Institute 193. You can order the LP from Sophomore Lounge now.
Turner is on tour this July with John Phillip Farmer Duo and Nathaniel Bowles.
In the summer, my Japanese doppelgänger, sporting a slightly different haircut and similar outfit to myself, is sitting in a forest drinking a glass bottle of pop and running his free hand through the grass in a steady rhythm. In the city, the rhythm is created for you and affects your heart rate. It affects the rate of your speech. You find yourself speeding up for no reason, he thinks. Out in the forest, you must create the rhythm yourself. Nature is infinitely random, but only up to a point where it is calculable, and then it is infinitely systematic. Before you find this point, he thinks, you must make sense of the randomness through rhythm. There are fireflies out – some seem very close, and he considers catching one in the now empty pop bottle, which the grass has furled around to clutch like a nest. Fireflies often appear close, but they are always far away. This is the way of all natural things: you can predict their position, and you can predict their momentum, but never both at the same time.
All things can be examined this way.
I have never been to Japan. I would accept an invitation to go without reticence. Japan seems like a country among few where intense, mindless consumption of the “hyperassimilation” way can co-exist with equally intense mindfulness.
Michiru Aoyama is a mindful experimental artist, and he takes into account the uncertainty – the unknowable-ness – of nature when composing. His graphical explanation of ambient music illustrates this perfectly. Some of his music seems frenetic, as simply a imperfect human reaction to the perfect stillness of nature. “ほたる” (“firefly”) is meditative, mindful ambient at its most calculated, with similar intentions of artists like Nicholas Szczepanick and Adam Worthan. Inspired by the patterned language of insects, the song transpires in quiet, slight movements, like the slow wave of a conductor’s hand.
• Michiru Aoyama: http://t.co/zpurmM5RRu
A deliciously trippy new video from Minnesota’s Leisure Birds, whose latest LP, Tetrahedron, is out this week via Moon Glyph and Totally Gross National Product. The synth, guitar, and tom-driven groove is visually augmented by kaleidoscopic bursts of color that encapsulate the song’s futuristic sci-fi vibe. After being hypnotized by this wicked rad clip be sure and head here for a full album stream of Tetrahedron.
“SPEEK YOU LITTLE RE-ƒacéé (Radio Edit)”
Dear Anklepants (a.k.a. Reecard Farché, a.k.a. animatronics guru Josh Head),
I want you to know that you light up my lifé.
Your facé is perfect.
Eyes, nose, mouth, ears. Perfect.
This world would be a boré without you.
I pull up a lawn chair and lean back, observing your haters milling and gnashing. “What the actual fuck?” some ask, as they stare down the barrel of your robotic dick nosé. You stand on top of the banister, with your cosmic rainbow gown billowing around your calves, and you facé them with your facé. You reach out for the inflatablé membranes amassing in your basement chamber, bearing labels like “tasté,” “spectaclé,” “performancé art,” and you pop them summarily with your quivering facial phallus as the piercing agent. Your mission is clear: destroy all rational facé. No sensé but nonsensé. No reverencé. Rudé mové by rudé mové you slidé deeper into our hearts.
As Kouhei Matsunaga looked on through 3D glasses, you toré up the Boiler Room in Berlin. Every second of my viewing, my facé woré a smilé.
With dick nosé hoisted upright into a middlé finger proxy, you issued ten copies of a 10” called Amilia-facé-é-on. The A sidé showcases ten minutes of squelching post-acid techno gilded with gentlé synth melodies and bit-crushed percussion. The B sidé batters us with panning snare rushes and mutated bass hits, lacing its tentacles into Aphex-circa-RDJ Album territory.
You dropped a “Radio Edit” of “Speak You Little Facehead” via Stoney Roads — as if the original video was ever ablé to escapé our nightmaré subconsciousness — as if somé “radio” out theré is ready for your spastic glitch productions, thumping club kicks, jagged synth bursts, and pitch-shifted vocal derangements. I await the moment when you finally put mé in a stroller.
For your continuing contributions to facékind, I thank you.
• Anklepants: http://reecardfarche.com
v e s a
濡らす[ wet ] d r e a m s * [teaser video]
I don’t know if 濡らす[ wet ] d r e a m s * is just the title of the above video, or if it’s the desired outcum, but all of that becomes irrelevant once you hit play. Poking and prodding media with a french tickler, v e s a proves he’s got his fingers on the flat-lined pulse of post-consumer lyfe. He’s on some breezed out, gross product shit — like, “Ewww gross,” you know? After collaborating with BessedOf a.k.a. LORD SMS on last year’s FLVRSSS, looks like v e s a will be dropping a solo album on SMS’ Bootleg imprint soon. Them dudes haven’t disappointed yet, so I think it’s safe to say that the tape will rule. Who knows, though? Could just govern.