Heat Wave
I’m Fuckin You Tonight Deep Tapes/Heat Rave http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/heat_wave-im_fucking_you_tonight.jpg

[Deep Tapes/Heat Rave; 2011]

Rating: 4/5 4 / 5 (0)

Styles: bathdub, "cyberfuck"
Others: Dreamcolour, Chuck Person's Eccojams, Rangers, Matrix Metals


http://media.tinymixtapes.com/audio/heat_wave-many_waking_eyes.mp3

If we can accept that what’s ‘old’ to one person may be ‘new’ to someone else, then we can also accept that newness and oldness are relative concepts. But not everyone accepts this. In fact, some people — particularly those with the time to monitor cultural shifts big and small — are so confident in their iTunes libraries that they can assert with almost 100% certainty whether or not something sounds ‘old’ and, therefore, passé. Anything that seems ‘retro’ — that is, sourcing from the past in some aesthetic manner — is deemed unoriginal, while those who are not privy to the ‘oldness’ of the sounds are simply left out of their propped-up narrative. It’s the myth of originality, a modernist trap that has found itself increasingly threatened over the years by everything from mashups and trash aesthetics to reissues and reunions, to the point that Simon Reynolds, in his latest book, Retromania, gets all dramatic about it: “Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?”

But if “never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past,” as the book’s back cover states, then isn’t this very quality a “distinctiveness of our own”? Aside from the fact that one could easily justify the so-called originality in plenty of newly released musics (even on the absolutist terms outlined by Reynolds and others), there is a whole onslaught of noise makers whose appropriations/manipulations of the past are not only key to their aesthetic, but the very element that makes them more relevant than those artists aiming for originality. Heat Wave, a project started in late 2010 by L.A.-based Alex Gray (Deep Magic, Sun Araw, Olympus Mons, Earthsurfers), pilfers from the “20th century garbage dump,” sure, but his mixes do not aspire toward newness or originality as much as they complicate the divide that keeps apart the old and new in the first place. It’s a conflation of modes, not periods.

Heat Wave’s latest mix, already the fourth this year, is called I’m Fuckin You Tonight. Primarily pitting R&B/soul samples, pitch-shifted and treated, against synth noises from dimensions heretofore unimaginable, the music reveals itself to be at once forward- and backward-sounding — progressions smeared into regressions (and back again); linear time compressed into pointed yet fleeting moments; chronology shattered, smashed, steamrolled; opposing forces producing a state of equilibrium. And as soon as there’s any hint of teloi, the music is either abruptly cut off or looped. It’s no wonder his first mix was called Stasis 1: Heat Wave steps into the past/present/future, eternally. While the samples — which include 70s R&B group Sly, Slick & Wicked’s “Confessing a Feeling” (“Forever More”), a cover of Bread’s “Make It With You” (“Many Waking Eyes”), and R. Kelly’s “Sex in the Kitchen” (“Some of That Chicken”) — are mostly chopped up and served in a bubble bath of EQs and distortion, there seems to be a level of respect for the source material. His treatments never sound violent.

But for all the disjointedness — beats tripping over themselves, loops short-circuiting early, samples dragging by the feet — there is fluidity in the surrounding noise that tempers it, and gently so. It’s about incoherence, not precision, with digital manipulations mimicking the technological peculiarities of analog in erotic suffocation. But it also makes sense; music has long since entered the realm of texture, and the aesthetics of Gray’s other projects — the dream folk of Olympus Mons, the punk/hardcore clatter of Earthsurfers, the spiritual meditations of Deep Magic — have enabled him to focus/sublimate his textural/sexual desires with Heat Wave. While the overall vibe of his mixes depends heavily on his sample selection — this one’s sexual, others not so much — it’s ultimately his treatments that provide him both the ‘authorship’ that he seems just as willing to forgo and the anonymity that blurs him alongside like-minded technological manipulators of the far side virtual/flamingo breeze/angel island variety.

Yes, the reverberations of détournement might be present here, but Heat Wave underscores the continuity in approach rather than the politics that once informed the process. He also exposes, with frightening ease, the trans-temporal capacity of music — what do you know, the old sounds still have signifying power! But if the aim of this project is to “[recontextualize] the past into fragments of an alternate plane,” as stated on his website, it makes you wonder if all this time-fucking inhibits our ability to see the bigger picture — or perhaps it makes us see the picture much too quickly to comprehend. And if this is the sound of junk resituated, reseated, revitalized, reprocessed, and recycled, if this is the world MPC’d, then what will happen when the ‘new’ becomes ‘old’ for everyone simultaneously? And how will one traverse the proverbial junkyard when mass production and mass consumption interact so quickly that they become virtually the same thing? Will our hangups about originality finally stop holding so much currency? One can only hope.

01. Intro
02. Echo
03. Doin’ It
04. ’Ludes
05. Many Waking Eyes
06. I’m Fuckin You Tonight
07. Some of That Chicken
08. Forever More

Links: Heat Wave - Deep Tapes/Heat Rave

  

Some musical ruptures are so penetrating, so incisive that we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and test the boundaries of what exactly discerns ‘music’ from ‘noise,’ others complement or continue anachronistic traditions that have provided new forms and ways of listening. We consider the section a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux. Check out the section here.