haunted synaesthesia

I find it amazing how Boards of Canada never fails to evoke for me some nebulous suburban sunshine America in the 70s I never lived through, simultaneously with intense feelings of childhood. No words, no explicit stylistic references, just pure tonic nostalgia for an absent past.

Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy

Earthgrazer, Wyoming, 1972


pro-stars, pro-skies

"Listuuuun, I been drinking"

I guess most artists probably write their songs in a kind of odd toss back and forth between music and lyrics, lyrics and music. Come up with a nice line, or a nice melody, fit the words to the sound, the sound to the words. Whatever, I have no exact idea.

The thing that strikes me with Destroyer's 'Bay of Pigs' - an epic(ally quiet) ambient disco number that clocks in at just under 14 minutes - is that Dan Bejar has really just let this song write itself, there's almost no causality. Like he really was drinking one night and decided - 'hey, I know how to revive my flagging artistic cache: I'll devise a sprawling, spacey song that's as casual as it is profound, as lethargic as it is groovy, as aporetic as it is layered, and I'll do it without any apparent template'. I defy someone to tell me how Bejar actually started to write this song, what came first, second, third, so on. It just seems fall out of sky, every minute peppered by some divine synaesthesia of voice and sound: "As apocalypses go that's pretty good, sha la la wouldn't you say" as a Roland blurts a trance line; "Say a prayer for the light" as a starburst of synths appears; "Now shut your mouth" as the music quietens after a funk out. I'm not going to go on. Only someone either utterly tanked or utterly genius could have devised such serendipity, where everything is connected but no one is in the driver's seat, in part because of just how long this thing is, like he fell into a stupor and forgot to stop playing for another five minutes, like "the tide comes in the tide goes away / Oh the tide comes in, yeah the tide yeah the tide", like the final minute or two reprises almost exactly the beginning as if the song were some cosmic Mobius Strip in which the secrets of the universe glittered like so many synth stars amongst its ethereal drone.



consumer grade

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (VBR Remix)

The materiality of Michael Jackson; the aesthetics of digital audio degrading.
The materiality of digital audio; the aesthetics of Michael Jackson degrading.