Friday 16 October 2015

Fragments Of Time

I dunno if It's me or not but I have a stack of unfinished posts that I just can't be bothered returning to. Is 2015 too boring to write about? Is writing about music irrelevant? Am I taking myself way too seriously after receiving kind words, tweets and replies from people I admire and respect? Have I started second guessing myself? Had a loss of nerve? Or run out of things to say? Has medication levelled me out so much that I've become indifferent to anything or everything. I suppose rap is still where it's at in 2015, with only a few choice things emanating from other zones. I am waiting for something to come along and stop me in my tracks though. I reckon even the slow increments of innovation in hip-hop are coming to a halt and the rest of the music world has reached stasis point or entered a time-warp. Let's face it I'd be happy if something really retro came along as long as it was bloody awesome, you know like that last Daft Punk record, Urge Overkill circa Saturation or Soft Bulletin era Flaming Lips. If the concept of time's been flipped I don't see why we can't use that to our advantage, at least for cheap thrills. Hey cheap thrills are some of the best thrills. Perhaps I'm not as easily swayed or impressionable as I'm not young any more, then again Random Access Memories was only two years ago...I'd be happy with a new Bruno Mars album at this point. Maybe Retromania is no longer the thesis of our times. The law of diminishing returns has probably killed that party. Should someone write something about stasis? Stasis, I just did. I guess Ekoplekz and Beatking will probably have new records out soon but come on everyone else I can't keep relying on those two artists for my new music pleasures, they can only release two or three records a year.....oh I suppose I can if I have to.

Telly, movies and blogs all seem to be offering less. I used to love the blogoshere back in the day. The early to mid 00s were its heyday it seems. When the likes of Blissblog, K-Punk, Woebot, Gutterbreakz et al. were writing about stuff like Grime, Dubstep, electronic music of the time, old stuff and even rock, it was great. I wasn't even into any of the music really but their excitement was infectious. I don't even know what I was listening to then (ye olde afrobeat compilations, I think?). I mean Friday nights were all about gettin drunk and listening to The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top and AC/DC. I thought music was over for me but I liked the fact that innovation and progression were still happening, so I still kept an eye on it. I thought maybe something new would come along that I liked eventually. It did come slightly with Hauntology, Hypnogogia, Altered Zones type stuff and Ratchet. Now it's like Philip Sherburne is the only one attempting to document the new (see this Energy Flash post) but even he appears to be struggling to get blood out of the stone. Good on him though, at least, for trying. I think I came to this blog game too late. In my first couple of years of blogging there was still a shitload of great stuff being released but it has been petering out and in 2015 well geez.....


  1. it does feel like everything's winding down (music + blogs)

    got a grim chuckle out of this: "I'd be happy with a new Bruno Mars album at this point". could be a tombstone for an era

    yeah even the retro-y things recently have not been consummate or exciting like "Locked Out of Heaven" or White Stripes 'Icky Thump"

    stasis - i was thinking about posting about how deep tech, which seemed promising this time last year, has not gone anywhere in a year as far as i can see, none of the twisted, dark, abstract tendencies discernible have come to fruition... a diva lick and a bass drop ain't enough in 2015

    but then i thought, can i really be bothered... ;)

    one new-ish thing that's pretty impressive i think is the Visionist.... but it's not quite enough to sustain through the drought

    what do you think of gqom?

    this week i've gone back to Sinatra Songs for Swinging' Lovers and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony for sustenance .... music my parents used to play

  2. I too thought deep-tech was going to reach mental proportions this year but no. None of the Rinse FM mixes have been doing it for me so I stopped buying it a while back. The last thing I liked was KG3's What I Did EP.

    I shall check out that Visionist album, I keep hearing good things about it.

    gqom I quite like, I dunno if it's particularly new but some of it's fabulous. I particularly like the Rudeboyz EP (see my latest blog post) which real good.

    Haha...I haven't quite made back as far as Sinatra or Beethoven but I've made it back as far as the 70s recently with Gong. Mainly though I've been going through the 00s checking out what I missed just in case. So you'll be pleased to hear I'm in some kind of Grime reappraisal stage.

    The three artists though who I really think I shouldn't have missed in the 00s that I'm currently diggin are Lil Wayne, Ricardo Villalobos and Terror Danjah. So they're keepin me busy in past zones but I fear once I'm done with the 00s there might be nowhere else to go. The Finders Keepers, Trunk, Soundway, Strut, Now Again, Soul Jazz, Sublime Frequencies etc. reissues are running out of steam. I didn't really want to ever go through a ye olde classical phase but fuck I might have to.

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  4. I guess when I said ye olde classical I meant pre 20th century. I've listened to a fair bit of Musique concrete, electro acoustic and minimalism in the past. I suppose I would go back there first to find what I have missed, hoping that in the mean time something new or undiscovered has come along so I don't have to go back too far. Wendy Carlos has introduced me to Bach but I dunno if I want to listen to it without it being played on a Moog. I did listen to the likes of Stravinsky, Vivaldi, Chopin and Bartok as a teenager. There was a time, I now remember, where I only listened to classical radio. I used to go to The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra free concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl too. I'm not as averse to this stuff as I think I am. Of course soundtracks have introduced me to stuff like Penderecki, Ligeti etc. I just didn't buy that manifesto that Paul Morley put forth about classical music being the future of music, maybe I'm wrong....

    Cecil Taylor is one jazz dude I've never checked out. He's in my 'one day...' list along with Charles Mingus and maybe Charlie Parker. I've never ventured back to the pre-free jazz eras either. I can't really see myself becoming a be bop, modal or ragtime fan though. That stuff's for other people but who knows what the future holds for past music? seems a lot of people don't want to listen to George Melly despite having enjoyed his writing. I've read 'Revolt Into Style' but have no desire to check out his recordings.

    Anyway I'm diggin some of this current gqom stuff. I bought that Visionist album that Simon recommended and it's damn fine so perhaps the 2015 musical landscape is slightly better than I thought....maybe.

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  6. Robin you say 'different strokes' which I take to mean live and let live but you can't help having a jibe at the Visionist album. This smells to me like music snobbery especially when you go on to claim jazz as being 'deeper waters'. What makes Mingus deeper than Visionist?

    You go on to bag out older people liking current music as if they're trying to hang on to their youth. There's an irony here however as you are claiming you are a better listener to others. To me this comes across as very teenage, like when I thought I was better than my school friends because I liked The Smiths, The Church and The Cocteau Twins and not Bon Jovi, Richard Marx or Motley Crue.

    I feel your snobby attitude about music is very adolescent and well, middle brow. I mean by the time I had reached my late teens I realised you could enjoy both The Smiths and Bon Jovi at the same time, much to the chagrin of hipster elitists.

    I'm not trying to remain relevant to the kids by listening to Visionist, I just like the sounds. Perhaps if I were trying to be down with the kids I'd be listening to Tame Impala, FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey etc. I just liked it when music was moving forward no matter what it was. That didn't mean I was averse to retro flavours. I really liked The Stems, Urge Overkill and Mazzy Star back in the day. Plus I really liked (still do) old stuff like Pharaoh Sanders, 70s Miles, The Doors and Steely Dan.

    Sure I am not a fan of Pink but why should my aesthetic checklist be thought of as superior to that of a Pink Fan? I don't see how listening to one form of music to another can make you more intelligent.

    After all it's just music.

  7. Hey Robin Tomens why did you leave the discourse?

    We were having an interesting chat I thought.

    Were my points just too dazzling?

    I'm a little disappointed that you removed your comments as I was enjoying what you had to say.

    Anyway I hope to hear from you again sometime.