Posts from 11th September 2002

11
Sep 02

VITALIC – “Poney Part 1”

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VITALIC – “Poney Part 1”

There’s something magical about singles which are built around just one floor-destroying sound. You can imagine the look of humbled awe on the producer’s face as they stumble upon that noise, waiting deep and patient in their software for someone to exploit it. The rest of the track becomes a display case for this one jewel of a sound – often cut into a riff, as on “Poney Part 1”, where the track builds itself around one almighty chromium throb, a celestial motorbike noise that rises and falls while you just keep on rising. Not particularly minimal, it still asks the same question minimalism can of its critics – “OK then, what on Earth would you add to it?”

Exploration

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Exploration! After Cabbage’s post about the George’s transformation, finding ourselves in London bridge last night, we decided that we would try going to SHOCK GASP HORROR, Another Pub. After meeting in the dreadful, dreadful Barrowboy and Banker – it might be vice versa but to be honest I would recommend publoggers not to even bother wasting a precious second considering this, we found that about 20.30 that the lights started flashing in an ominous LAST ORDERS signal.

I mean. DUDE!

Of course, their electricity could just have been fuxx0red but this is a risk that all decent drinkers shouldn’t have to take.

So off we went down the road to the Globe Tavern. It’s one of those places which sells peanuts that look more like chickpeas in small tubs. I’ve never seen the point of these! PUB LORE has a whole chapter dedicated to peanuts and pork scratchings that come in packets. It’s like giving you your crisps on a plate! For a while I admit I wasn’t having a great time there… but then at the magickal drinking hour of about 10ish, I realised how damn surreal this pub was. I had been listening and quite enjoying some glitchkore CD for an hour or so – and then when Tom Jones started playing, realised that their CD player had just been skipping, and no-one had done anything about it! I blame this on the fact that I could have gone to see Steward that night, hem-hem. And their radiators were painted in a faux-wood effect so that they matched the walls! And there was a woman, who on the outside looked like a tired City professional, out in a City Bar for a Wine Spritzer… except that she was propping up the bar by herself, with a pint of bitter and a cigarette! It was almost pure genius.

Then we came up with the idea for Goth Eastenders Party – featuring Goth Cotton.

A moral to us all, publog readers – no matter how rub a pub may appear to be – there is always hope.

MARIANNE FAITHFUL – “Sliding Through Life On Charm”

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MARIANNE FAITHFUL – “Sliding Through Life On Charm”

Everyone knows Marianne Faithful:
She was the Stones Number One Groupie
She was found with a mars bar up her cunt and/or wrapped in a white fur rug in a drug bust in the country house of the glitter twins
She had a minor hit in 1979 about cold war paranoia.
She was in that leather jumpsuit riding through german forests in that arty porn flick you saw as a bootleg, because of the tits.

She wasn’t Yoko.
She didn’t break anyone up, She didn’t make bizarre performance art or experiment with noise.
She wasn’t Linda
She didn’t take pretty pictures, she doesn’t really care about lambs.
She worked her own way, making albums, writing tracks, finding her way between chanson, cabaret and chart pop.
She did smack, spit with anger when wronged, wrote an autobio whose introductory chapters were mostly about her cousin Sacher-Masoch.
She spent 10 years doing cabaret albums.
She never quit smoking, and the feminists haven’t really reclaimed her yet.

So for the latest album what does she do ?
She hires the best minds in the business.
Young and hip, with careers ahead of them but with enough experience to hold their own.
Literate and well educated, comfortable discussing snatch.
The first single that emerges from this collaboration is the Jarvis penned defense of her life-Sliding Through Life on Charm.

The disco beats make it danceable, the voice is whiskey sodden to keep the diva lovers in check but the power is the coded history, the admission to gender politics, the freudian allusions and the admittance that what she really wants to do is piss standing up. She mocks the boomers who go to her concerts and the 17 year old girls who might look up to her. She calls Jagger and Richard faggots without using that word and she is amused by the supplicants kneeling to greet her.

One of the better written songs by Cocker, it’s a gift to the women who made it happen.

MORTON FELDMAN — “Why Patterns?”

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MORTON FELDMAN — “Why Patterns?”

Indeed, why patterns?

Well, repetition can lead to knowledge, and knowledge can lead to predictability, and predictability can lead to comfort, the comfort of knowing you live in a predictable universe. If the sun goes away, it will come back. In music, we can gain pleasure in the knowledge that the dominant chord will reach its tonic as it always does, and the chorus will kick in again, just like you half-hoped it would. Repetition can lull the listener into daydreams, sleep, love.

Out of all the music I kept reaching for in the anxiousness of 9/11 and its aftermath, “Why Patterns?” was shrugged off the quickest. Some tracks I needed had a good beat and a good line I could rip from context. Others were destruction-in-sound. D.I. Goes Pop, a music made of crashes, is bleak, so bleak that at one point Ian Crause doesn’t even seem sure there’ll be a next year. Yet even that album ends with our star-hopping children’s children flushed of God, free from the blood-red jackboot of history. Almost maybe the 1964 World’s Fair run by Situationists — what could be happier?

Morton Feldman can only offer the black hit of the void. These are sequences of sound with no beginnings and no ends, no resolutions, just the dark ironies of variations either too subtle for these ears or just not there at all. Some repetitions comfort, others cause anxiety. Anxiety has its own uncomfortable repetitions — compulsion and addiction, the mind turned robotic from fear. When I was a small child, I was afraid of counting past twenty: what if I can’t stop adding another number to the last? And I also thought: what if it snows and it never stops?