Co La No No

[Software/1080p; 2015]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: sampled sound, collage, reggae
Others: D/P/I, Akufen, John Oswald

“As with rocks at low tide, a mixed surface is revealed, / More detritus.”
– John Ashbery, A Wave, 1983

Samplers are shredding machines. They shred sounds, replacing them with an impenetrability unequaled in vividness and circumstantiality. Or they Photoshop them. Type in a password and hear the sound of that password tapped out on your fingers: smooth, precise, frolicsome, full of genius. No No. Not yet. Cola, a.k.a. soda. Two syllables splintered off into morphemes — a soda can be cut in half by a lightsaber.

Does sound have as much physical existence as a pack of cigarettes or an apartment building full of Puerto Rican families? It does. And more. No No is dense. It’s all schematic drawings of plant cells and doughnut holes. It’s also Baltimore: sounds flooding the room, breaking the windows; 10-foot angels suddenly arrive at a shooting on the street and carry the body away, upward, above. Baltimore: rest in paradise, Freddie Gray. Baltimore: Co La, B-more, or as you say, you tell me what it means, all this music, tell me about it, because I want to know the history of the city.

The urge to search through obscurity is essential to academic scholarship. As a club musician, you do that with samples. You search, you go through obscurity. Co La’s samples bobble in time, like a swollen breast or an elephant’s testicle. They appear and disappear, called upon like the lightbulb in the refrigerator that seems to be always on, but never is, until the door opens and suddenly it performs. It creates an utterance, a code, a gesture. Like a mime who only mimes when she sees a bunch of tourists approaching her post. Gestural. But no, not yet. Extinguish that. Tear the club apart. Bring the club into the bedroom, the bedroom into the bathroom, the kitchen into the spaceship. Take the symbols and twirl them like a cyclone in Kansas. Like New England in New Mexico. Like Buddha, but only the belly.

Blessings descend, but no one knows how to hear them; they lack structure, they lack a beat, they lack tenderness, an airspace, owned by Disney, by an angel inside of him, poured into the shape of a pitcher, pouring. A sound poured out of its content, disembodied, exploding. Almost Chinese, almost online. Scenic scenery. So anyway, get around the corner and hop on the bus and blast No No and eat an orange and think about the video game-like level-after-level sense of completion: this after that, then that, then oh yeah, what was I meant to do?

A rationed chaos soundlessly on the horizon and in a moment upon you like a stranger on a skidoo, but which nothing can be known or written about, only that they passed this way, to this, a border where freedom and metamorphosis exist, crammed with eroticism, like the moon in a Lorca poem. And through this the mesmerizing plan of the album becomes, at last, apparent. The issue of making sense becomes a far-off one. An objective geographic reality or a mental construct in constant flux become philosophical fodder for journalists and twitter fingers. Cuz we’re in the club: fuck the haters. This is that real real. The decibels are so high, so near to the surface of the sound you can touch them through it. A consistent eventfulness. That feeling of inter-dimensional ambiguity. A beer in the hand, switching your stress from your left foot to your right, then back again, then a bit of the beer and a look around to who just entered or who that person is.

Jamaican man, here. On the sidewalk in the city of the world, earthly. In an atmosphere heavy with ink mist and paper dust: a library, a sampler on a bookshelf. Upper East Side woman, then a teenager at the piano. Sweeping expanses of carpeting. On a Mac on a table in a brownstone. Baltimore. Suddenly in the landscape: hooded, walking bodies, just exiting the subway. Just exiting the stadium: the Orioles won, dude. Nightfall drops in — a red guest — and a rich harvest of words causes a verbal overspill in your mind. No No, it’s huge vacuuming-out of a large presence, of a history. Put that shit on the clothesline or else throw it out. No No: not too linear nor yet too waxy and removed. A face is what one goes by, usually. A sound, this:

The material reality of sampled sound is primarily concerned with creating an opening where the musical subject endlessly disappears. Space thickens. Audible boundaries collapse. A blurred species of spaces hatch in 3D time. No No exposes itself to the influence of the unknowns of objects. Collapsible anti-walls, extinguished firewalls. Objects lead to words; objects are verbal. (The dream, briefed from fletcher to fletcher, needed arrows on fire, needed fire-arrows.)

Musical ecosystems. Sound objects. Entanglement. Destabilized capitalist structures, gender structures, musical structures, social structures. Do this work by questioning subjectivity. Destroy the habits of the self. Look into the eyes of someone at the club and look, really look, look so much you fall into them, into their soul, a dark well of mixed emotions, half-asleep thoughts and music.

Wherever you go, there you are. The fuzziness of being, brainlike. A stream of particles, for example, without end except here.

Links: Co La - Software/1080p

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