Music

I’ve recently came to the conclusion that music is my favourite of the art forms and the one that I find most indispensable. If I’m ever in the depths of despair, if something seriously bad was to happen, I wouldn’t be taking refuge in a novel, or even poetry. I’d most likely be listening to music, over and over again.

I’ve never learned an instrument or had any real skill in the crafting of it, but I’ve always been a voracious listener. As a confused peroxidey teenager, I’d listen all the time, downloading individual tracks on Limewire; breaking laptop after laptop, feeding music into my Ipod. Each song like a collector’s item and listening to them over and over again as I cycled round the village on my mountain bike, finding my way in life, on my own little journey, accompanied by its own eclectic little themes- anything from Keane to Klaxons. I’d listen as I walked home from the bus stop, contemplating the latest social scandal I’d got myself into with my mobile phone, the latest insipid girl that I pined for and all other imbroglios. If I was to listen to Jack Peñate now I’d probably feel like I was 15 again. Best not to.

I think people have a serious problem in that they don’t see the value of it. Music is free for everyone, and accessible whenever you want it. Discovering it is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Music punctuates what’s going on in your life at the time and gives it both meaning and significance. Meaning and significance which is perhaps much needed as we are arbitrarily generated and propelled into the agonising vortex of life briefly before it consumes us for all eternity, dispersing our peripatetic atoms across the Universe. It’s no wonder that the non-believers listen to much more and better music than the believers do. You don’t need god to get through it all, when you have music. Just ask Neitzsche, he realised this nearly 130 years ago, and this was before proper techno was being produced.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich himself.

It adds order to the chaos, it joins up the dots and provides your own unique life with it’s own unique sound track. What’s more, if you search hard enough and you want it, you’ll find music that will help you reach places no body has ever reached before. At whatever unique place you are in life, choosing to listen to (presumably good) musicyou are giving your brain the chance to interpret sensory experiences in a way that nobody else has ever had the fortune of doing before. And these experiences will turn into memories that you can look back on fondly, whenever you want at the touch of a button (just not Mr. Brightside please, okay I understand it was a good track but it’s dead now, get over it).

The act of listening is very easy, and never time consuming. It’s effect on the brain is immediate and it can accompany and enhance almost any situation (other than eating and reading, and arguments with family, I find) and can be enjoyed by thousands of people all at once, in one location. Also there’s so much of it, electronic music is constantly developing due to the infinite library of sounds that can be created and used in tracks. Readers of my Rise of Intellechno will understand that a lot of that blog was a joke. But behind all good jokes, lies an element of truth. I wholeheartedly believe that this new techno is the best shit there is. Probably the best shit there has ever been, it’s music for body and mind, and it’s becoming more and more popular by the week. Whether you choose to take my word for it or not is up to you.

Similarly to if you want to read good books, you’ll be confronted by the paradox of choice if you want to listen to the best music. You might feel paralysed by how much of it there is and choose not to risk failure by trying at all.You’ll listen to some stuff and not hear anything, though it might later turn out to be the work of your favourite artist. Just get over the hurdle. You’d be a wallowing imbecile and a waste of space if you didn’t simply get over it and immerse yourself in at every turn. One of life’s great tragedies is missing the boat. To stay at the port would display appalling sloth and arrogance.  You must aim to always get on the boat because you don’t know where it might take you.

My friends and I don’t get each other Christmas presents. But if one of them bought me a pair of trainers one Christmas or a PlayStation I’d be extremely grateful. But in reality, if throughout the year that person was to share music with me, give me artist names that I can discover and delight in for the years to come, and give me license to develop and refine my taste then that surely is the greater gift and the richer source of pleasure. And one which we can all make the effort to give for free.

If we were able to rationally ascribe a value to music, based on the enjoyment it provides, it would be somewhere between reasonably expensive- highly extortionate . But because it’s free we foolishly set it aside and merely shrug our shoulders if we allow the best of it to slip the net. And what’s absolutely reprehensible is that we shake off recommendations provided by our friends- that’s the equivalent of me buying you a pair of shoes I think you’ll really like based on your preferences and you never even bothering to take them out of the box. We also covet music as well, which is greedy. If for whatever reason you miss or lose a track you should feel like you’ve lost a piece of your life.

And no, that really isn’t hyperbole.

♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬

You will see that the Music category has returned to the LordoftheReeves menu above.

 

The Rise of Intellechno

We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

We’ve all been to stomp nights, where the music sounds like gravel. It goes like this…

 

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

 

or perhaps the very similar but ever so slightly different…

 

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

 

then maybe the chorus comes in and another emphasised STOMP takes you all by surprise…

 

STOMP, stomp, STOMP, Stomp…

‘Oof.’

‘Woahh, isn’t this guy clever.’

‘Yes, he is, yes.’

 

So again, it’s the same track, but slightly different. And when you get that something slightly different your response is to be relieved, or even, in extreme cases, become so deluded as to think that what you’re listening to is progressive. ‘See what that guy did there’. Listen to me now children, it’s not progressive. It’s not even techno. It’s just banging. Literal banging.

The fact is, it just isn’t intelligent enough is it? To make a combination of stomps and put them in a slightly different order then repeat them over and over again, and then for the next song, to slightly alter the stomp sequence, and then continue this for the rest of the set.  Oh Christ. I went to see Sidney Charles, Sante, and Syrossian 32B at Rainbow and heard the most cacophonous, rugged, most unintelligent, banging ever to be produced by the speakers of Man. And regarding the people who were stood about- Oh colossal hordes of the vilest simpletons! I bet they couldn’t even point to the UK on a map, let alone the Ukraine! The crowd they were attracting were shouting things like ‘oi, oi, oi!’ and playing with an inflatable hammer. We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

So thank God for Artists like Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Recondite, Fur Coat, Scuba, Locked Groove,  Solomun, SevenDoors, Stephan Bodzin, Adana Twins, Clarian, Eagles and Butterflies, DJ Tennis (and many more) for coming up with a new genre altogether, known colloquially as ‘intellechno’, a kind of techno designed for the most intellectual of techno fans, like me, my friend from uni, Ben (Fryll) and Shen.

So last Saturday night I grabbed my encyclopedia and my scientific calculator and went to see Tale Of Us at the Black Box, and have never been quite so intellectually stimulated as I was by the quality of that techno, the variety of sounds, the minimalism, the spaced out synths, it’s no wonder that so many fans and producers of this new sub-zero cool techno eventually end up turning into professors at Ivy League institutions. The music takes you on a journey, abandoning the childish constrictions of the ‘funky’. I’m telling you now, fuck disco. The world ain’t a happy place most of the time, and life is inherently sad, which is why in order to consolidate for this, we need an injection of a few sad particles, like a vaccine. We come to terms with the melancholy, and thus, we are uplifted. This is our way of becoming immune to sadness. Music has tremendous healing capabilities, it’s cathartic, like Greek tragedy. Just ask Aristotle, he loves melodic tech.

So yeah, fuck disco. Life for me isn’t disco with its smothering sense of ‘joy’, it’s slowness and its ‘musical instruments’.

Nor is life hip hop, I can’t relate to your disgusting anti-shakespearean use of language, your gang-based lies, your bragging about your car, or your trainers. Yes I can imagine Brooklyn can be a very inhospitable environment, but why do you think I’m interested? I don’t care. Turn it off please Dean, there’s a good lad.

Grime is initially enticing, because I admire the audacity of any genre that prides itself off it’s filthiness, where its artists spend all day slagging off each other’s mums and spitting at one another, it’s a nice extended metaphor, very amusing, but let’s not get carried away, that isn’t us either. Do you wear those jeans? When you think of a battle, do you think Pro Green or Gladiator? Yeah that’s what I thought. Anyway…

Chart music is for impressionable children and confused adults.

House isn’t a thing.

Garage is cheaper than chip shop chips, purchased with discount.

Jazz is something that happened many, many years ago and is currently in the process of fossilisation, with very few people caring.

Metal is for people who are mentally ill or feral.

All of these genres have produced some utterly incredible music, fantastic art work, clever lyrics and some fiery beats, but that’s in the past now. I’m not done with it, I’ll go back there every now and again, but not often, because the last thing I want to do is live in the past. It’s time to move on. It’s time to progress. It’s time to develop. It’s time to change the record. Those people who change the track at parties, demanding to play something they know from the past, they want shooting on the spot. That would show them. Regressive hunks of flesh, wandering about, desperately seeking the AUX cable, too dumb to realise that they’re massively interfering with our intellectual development. Who even invites these people?

I just want to listen to some nice, hygienic, melodic, intense intellectual music, and that’s exactly what I am doing, back at the flat, hanging up the washing, in the shower, when I’m out and about, whilst praying, at the rave itself, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, it’s paradise. Find a proper mix from any of the intellectual artists listed above, and listen to the stuff they play. There is not one sound to it is not beautiful, not one note which is superfluous, not one key that does not resonate inside the throbbing intellectual human brain.

You go to see any of these intellectual artists and you realise that this stuff is it (needless to say, I had the best time of my entire life on Saturday, plaudits also deservedly attributed to ShenChop and the Black Box for being devastating, as usual).

Music has to generate intensity, it is intensity which makes music captivating, distinctive, and it is intensity that drives crowds absolutely bat-shit-crazy with euphoria. And you know when that kind of euphoria happens, it’s like a Revelation. Like God has popped in to the building to say hello to his Creation. And he saw that is was proper techno.

This doesn’t happen a lot, and it’s difficult to describe to people who weren’t there or haven’t witnessed such a spectacle before, they’ll tell you they’ve seen it before whilst watching Kerri Chandler or Richy Ahmed, or in Church on a Sunday and you just have to sigh and then go home and bang your head up against the toaster until you stop caring as much.

I’ve seen it first hand and I know what it’s like.

It’s like this.

 

‘We’re going outside!’

 

 

 

 

LordoftheReeves’ 6 perfect traxx

I’ve often made the case that there is a universally ‘good’ sound. I’d still make that claim, based on the pleasingness of the sounds. Really nice pleasing sounds. I usually listen to much ‘darker’ sometimes ‘harder’ stuff in which the sounds are also pleasing but these are all proper noiiiiiiiice, not that I really listen to these any more.

If you have got a soul, I think you’ll like these 6. Sorry if they’re already bigguns to you (In which case, why not read my blog about a Jellyfish instead?)

 

Nightmares on Wax- Les Nuits

This one’s definitely nooooiiice. When I was in Lithuania a bunch of people called it “porn music”and replaced it with something else. All I can say is; they must have a seriously groovy taste in porn. I remember when I was watching Ray Mears’ Bushcraft and he was just on an Island somewhere, disappearing into the night to the sounds of this. It was essentially perfect. I bet he’s had this one on repeat in the jungle a few times, when times get hard in the bivouac. Still yet to see Nightmares, this is very bad.

 

Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons- Vermillion

Damian Lazarus is exceptional. I don’t have the musical repertoire to describe why it is good. The sounds are just absolutely lovely, and sounds that you won’t normally hear so they’re guaranteed to have a new effect on your brain, in some way. If you like all these tribal drums and stuff do check the guy out- he is an eclectic phenomenon.

 

Depeche Mode- The Things You Said

Depeche Mode are absolute geniuses. I always appreciate an artist when they have a vast amount of wonderful tracks, which is why I cringe when people worship The Smiths and think they’re all sick and stuff, listening to This Charming Man on nights out over and over again and thinking they’ve found God. Depeche vocals are worlds apart. Dave Gahan’s voice is so authoritative and the lyrics are always elusive and peculiar enough to constitute perfection. Could have picked many tracks but this is my favourite. Can’t describe why.

 

Lovebirds- Want You In My Soul ft. Stee Downes

My mate showed me this one when I was a bit of a lost octopus in first year and I could put my life into perspective listening to this. It is simply something else. Every minute will pick you up like a kite and make you went to hug your friends and smile and loads of other good stuff. You should play it at your wedding, probably, assuming your wife is also a bit funky and you love her (or husband of course).

 

Tensnake- Coma Cat

This is just a fantastic jingle. Guaranteed to make you feel like life is not too bad after all. No one with a soul wouldn’t want to dance to this, let alone like it.

 

Bonobo- Cirrus

Extremely uplifting and pleasing simplicity. Bit popular, this Bonobadger one but this blog is dedicated to universally pleasing music after all and this really does fit the bill.

 

Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle- Your Love

I don’t know if you have seen that documentary about how house began in Chicago but that throws some lovely context onto this one. I believe this one was at the beginning of it all. Most people recognise the riff as from a Florence track, I feel sorry for these people. I have probably shed a tear to this numerous times. I had the privilege of seeing Marshall Jefferson playing it with A Guy Called Gerald and the gang at Canal Mills. It was marvellous. The lyrics are sick. The way that this track varies into a myriad of completely different phases, each extremely captivating and building an almost celestial sense of suspense throughout. Making it perfect for the end of this!