it happens for a reason

staying up late is easy.

Monday, May 01, 2006

LISTENING SINCE THE PREVIOUS POST:

A PARTY SPENT IN A BLUR OF SUGABABES, ALTER EGO, MATTHEW DEAR AND OTHER DANCE HITS OF TODAY.
SOME BACH. DUNNO WHAT, OBVIOUSLY.
BEANIE SIGEL, 'FEEL IT IN THE AIR'
JENNY LEWIS 'RABBIT FUR COAT'
GNARLES BARKLEY- 'CRAZY'
AN ALT.COUNTRY MIX AT WORK.
GALOPPIERENDE ZUVERSICHT- LIVE RECORDING FROM KONTROL, 2004
PIER BUCCI- 'FAMILIA'.
SKREAM, 'AUGUST '05 MIC'
DIGITALDIGIT- OLD SCHOOL RAVE MIX.
DJRUPERT- 'UNDERGROUND HOUSE MIX'
CAT POWER- 'THE GREATEST'
CAT POWER- 'DEEP INSIDE (PEEL SESSION)'
JOHN MAUS- 'SONGS'
RICHIE HAWTIN- 'DE9-LITE MIXMAG MIX'
ROLL DEEP- 'IN AT THE DEEP END'
MY FRIEND WILL TRYING TO DO 'MICROTONAL' VOCALS OVER BREAKFEST.
*A FANTASTIC ELECTROHOUSE TUNE IN WHICH MALE AND FEMALE VOCALISTS DUET, WITH A LYRIC OF 'MAKE IT RIGHT, MAKE ME FEEL...' IF ANYONE KNOWS WHAT THIS TRACK IS, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH, CUZ IT'S GORGEOUS*

you may not know this (why would you?), but i have two brothers. My older brother gets paid for doing posh things to chemicals. my younger brother is at school, and he does exams and stuff. both brothers are better than me. for partial proof, go to my little brother's blog and observe how it better than this blog.

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it's been a frantic bank holiday weekend, with little time for listening to music properly, and certainly no time to write on here. one thing i've been loving recently is richie hawtin's 'de9-lite' mix for Mixmag magazine. i'm no fan of the magazine, to say the least. and i'm not a huge fan of richie hawtin, either. may be i just got into techno to late to really 'get' the whole mystique about him. and me and jack saw him at fabric once and i thought he was gash. it was a b2b with villalobos. ricky V was left holding the pieces as richie H went on these interminable ultra-minimal bouts of harshness. i don't like the really boshy stuff. i'm too nice, coddled, bourgeois and emo.

and i found the last de9 release, 'transitions' to be pretty dull. i like minimal techno when it's all slinky and silky and sexy and feminine. but 'transitions' is a dry-as-a-bone, furrowed-brow mix that's as studious as they come. and not much fun. it builds and builds slowly, imperceptibly which is all very nice and graceful but it's not going to get you shaking a leg. and i'm not sure about the point of techno that doesn't make you want to dance.

but anyway, back to the Mixmag mix. It's great! even the sleeparchive track, which richie hawtin describes as a 'mind game' not a 'dance game' (alarm bells!) is actually a beating heart of dancefloor fun. the last two tracks- by man of the moment Alex Under and Loco Dice- in particular are astounding: skewed, thrilling techno that plunges through twists and turns, leaving you dizzy. i think the 'lite' format works well for richie hawtin. the full-fat version can just get too wanky, too caught up in the planning and the concept. whereas , the mixmag mix has a feeling of excitement and spontaneity to it. it gets straight to the point. sometimes simplicity- just banging it out- can be best.

but, i'm still not sure why he's officially regarded as a Techno God.

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so, Gnarles Barkley, 'Crazy'. so, so, so. i'm not sure about this one. sure, it's pretty and breezy and it sounds of summer. but when i hear it i get this weird feeling of emptiness. likes there's just a hollowness at the centre of it. each and every little bit of it is great, but when it's all put together there's something missing.

i don't know exactly what that something is, but here's my suspicion: i think Gnarles Barkley, deep down, might think that they're not 'just' a pop band; may be, even, that they're somehow above pop. but that kind of attitude is fatal in pop music. it's all or nothing. any glint of self-consciousness, or doubt about the worthiness of yr station, detroys the fantasy, utterly. pop should be brazen and so self-confident that it's actually weirdly ego-less: there can be no shame in pop. 'crazy' is a pop song, but i'm not sure that it was written and performed by people who would be happy to said to be writing pop songs. and that may be the emptiness at the heart of it.
but, as i said, that's just a suspicion. something's missing, though, definitely.

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