Thunderously heavy with a hint of shoegazey melodies drowning amid a sea of angry electro, Not Breathing‘s Christy Cores sits firmly in the Other category of the giant umbrella that is “electronic music”. It’s neither brutally experimental, nor particularly precise; it lacks the easy edge of a dance cut and doesn’t have much of a scene umbrella beyond “weird stuff from Arizona”.
It’s hard to even describe most of the songs – “Uh, ok – there’s mostly beats but not always, sometimes a thick ass low end, a lotta modular sounds, and all the hooks sound like a band is playing half a song on top of them. But it’s very good.”
My personal favorite is “The Final Night”, which has an old Trans Am buildup with a buried swirl of that kind of triumphant synth symphony of yesterday, but it’s also kinda ugly and smashed to pieces. It sounds like a fight between the collaborators involved and their disparate influences and ideas, and despite all the harsh corners, is about as polished as something of this nature can be.
A plea for the gatekeepers of yore.
It’s more than a bit dismissive of some of his points to declare this conservative reactionary nonsense, but it’s about as far removed from my lived experience with music that it might as well be in Russian. Then again, I’m not a music writer trying to live in a world where bands “hustle” in a multivariate mediaverse because of the 800lb elephant he ignores – people don’t buy music like they used to, and the barriers to entry have fallen or split into dozens of tiny pieces.
I’ve seen a similar notion pop up about the creation of a trans-national musical monoculture (the favorite term of the nattering nabobs of the fearful future) or some such rot, simply because the world we live in is different than the one most of us (meaning post 25-year-olds) grew up in. I am convinced that this is a kind of romanticism, and not just the old cultural cachet of being in the know (the “firsties” of the end of the 20th century), but of a slower media environment. When finding things was more deliberate, perhaps, or at least more easily digested.
That said, a slower pace is not unavoidable. All it requires is a little bit of effort. And more to the point, Robert Christgau invented Twitter-snark decades before the kids who made Twitter existed.
Richard D. James Album [Elektra, 1996]
Jungle sure has livelied up this prematurely ambient postdance snoozemeister. His latest synth tunes are infested with hypertime electrobeats that compel the tunes themselves to get a move on. And where once he settled for austere classical aura, now he cuts big whiffs of 19th-century cheese. He even sings. Hey, fella–I hear Martha Wash needs work. B+
While reading Thoreau’s comments on the lenses of specialists in the field of cultural interpretation, I thought of this essay on a very Brit hyper-hybridity popping out amongst their kingdom of sub genres. The essayist above draws together a slew of really disparate threads into a coherent – if not very convincing – narrative about (I think) what happens at the margins of genre. I’m not entirely sure, but I find it interesting writing about largely uninteresting music.
This one’s even more relevant to Thoreau’s topic, or maybe it’s simply that I can follow it more easily. That essay was written partly in response to this hilarious character assassination. If IOZ was British, straight and cared a lot about hating dubstep, he might read this essay. I can’t say I actually follow most of the personal snippiness, or even agree with him on most points, but it is a funny read.  Continue reading