Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - January 20/10


Thanks to The Village Voice for reminding everyone that glitch fell from relevance circa 2002. Fortunately many artists continue to build on what was a much greater musical evolution than most of the other flash in the pan 'microgenres' of the last decade.

Glitch isn't a microgenre. It represented a new way to think about time and tempo that posed a fundamental challenge to pop music.

Old-time blues and folk songs are well known for not conforming to metric song structures. If nobody tells you otherwise, why not write a song with a 15 bar verse and a three and a half bar chorus rather than a more predictable 16 and 4 bar cycle? (For that matter, even the Beatles, particularly with John Lennon's songs, were masters at creating accessible-sounding song structures that fit odd, personal melodies extremely well - "All You Need Is Love" or "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" are just two examples of great pop music which becomes much stranger when you deconstruct what's going on).

When writing music on computer, a 4/4 grid helps to organize one's thoughts, but if you're just fucking around with the infinite possibilities of slicing and dicing audio files, sometimes great ideas appear off the grid. That's the great promise of glitch - if you want to eliminate or reverse a beat or a bar, it's OK to do so. At best, it allows a composer to concentrate on what feels good to them on the tools they're working with, regardless of convention. For a lover of free jazz such as myself, it's perfectly natural (and exciting!) to concentrate on building a feeling or a free-form texture by such means. Of course, for too many casual listeners, the whole idea seems cheeky and overly intellectual, which caused its downfall as the unambiguous grooves of (post?) electroclash and Daft Punk ascended to temporary supremacy.

Band Ane is the work of Ane Ostergaard from Aarhuis in Denmark. I'm not trying to annoint her as the saviour of glitch, but she's taken that spirit of possibility and combined it in her wide ranging repertoire. In doing so the showier aspects of glitch toned down for greater impact.

The song showcased this week, "Keld I Herlighed", restricts its beat shuffling to some minor ripples in its introductory section, but asymmetrical loops become more and more prominent as the song goes on, contrasting nicely with the no-nonsense beat.

Band Ane is not likely to be termed egghead music - there are too many full blooded, body moving beats for that term to stick. Her personal sense of electronics on this double disc release (Anish Music Too & Free) never gets boring and represents further innovation in the intersection of free-tronica with big riddims. Can't wait to drop her digidub cut "DJ Lillemor" sometime soon...

Podcast

babylon a fall - the prophets (blood and fire)
the seventh moon - kasai allstars (crammed)
keld i herlighed - band ane (jenka)
take notice - suite for ma dukes orchestra (stones throw)
spirit's samba - dave pike (muse)
ti fi la ou te madam (re-edit) - anzala, dolor & velo vs. paul e. lopes (soundway)
african hustle - mombasa (intercord)
if jesus came back - the gospel soul revivals (numero)
shout and scream - teddy pendergrass (PIR)
funky phantom (instrumental) - the queen constance band (P&P)
a nun or a bawd - deep dark united (rat drifting)
istres control - hans tammen third eye orchestra (innova)
zeno - darcy james argue secret society (new amsterdam)
hilsner - tyft trio (skirl)
browen - bjorn svin (rump)
girl i love you - massive attack feat horace andy rmx by she is danger (virgin)
instinto revolucionario - the fire this time feat dubdem soundsystem, zumbi,
dandaradub, jah uli and dr das (IR)
bass inspirations - the powersteppers (universal egg)
i man - king midas sound (hyperdub)
step by step (sax cut) - ras martin (no label)
surrender dub - dubblestandart feat ari up (collision cause of chapter 3)
hiding place dub - mad professor (ariwa)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Terence Dick said...

Hi Dave,
I was listening to your interview with the Wavelength guys last night (Jan. 27) and you mentioned what you thought was a Wavelength gig in the parking lot of Ted's with Combustion Lente and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble. That wasn't them, it was Dave Clark and me and the first (of only two) Do What? Festivals! Just wanted to set the record straight.
Good to hear you're keeping the music alive.
Take care,
Terence

10:21 AM  
Blogger Dacks said...

Hey Terence! Nice to hear from you - the mystery is solved! Glad you cleared that up, the 90s are increasingly blurry in the rear view mirror.

10:42 AM  

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