Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm behind the times--or really ahead, depends on what you're talking about

Ok, I've decided that I'm going to eat crow and admit that the self-titled record by the annoyingly anonymous "Burial" is actually spectacular--contrary to statements made to one Dave Stelfox and another tvv. I still think it sounds dated, that I like stuff with lyrics better (oh the humanity!), and that the third track, "Spaceape," is utter trash. Thing is, I can't stop listening to the damned thing.

Sure, people who are less fraudulant music journalists than I have been writing stuff like the following for ages (the record was the Wire's best of 2006):
"Far from speaking of final resting places, the overriding vibe is one of homelessness and rootlessness, and the nagging feeling that something important has been mislaid."

"This album actually comes complete with a concept (it's a sound-portrait of a near-future south London submerged under water, New Orleans-style) while the most compelling readings of its theme hear it as a requiem for the lost dreams of rave culture. But the non-specific sadness that shimmers inside this music ultimately transcends attempts to pin it to a place, period, or population."

The record is, yes, haunting and "shimmery", but I don't know from North, South, East, or West London, be it underwater or above ground. Nor, frankly, was I ever involved in rave to have the music thereby elicit a sense of mournful loss. As I mention, the music is very firmly dated, in my mind, but this isn't really a bad thing, unlike when I had to review the anniversary edition of Endtroducing and found it really tough to get myself and my ears back into the time of its release. It feels very pre-millenial (perhaps as a result of a track like "Prayer," which, to me, is a complete reiteration of Massive Attack's "Teardrop," a.k.a. the theme song to House), and, strangely, provided an excellent soundtrack to my field note writing in Ethiopia this January. Perhaps this speaks of it's "transcendental" nature, but I think that it is music that is less sad than bored, perhaps more non-specific than gloomy; music that speaks of ennui. I guess that's what might have created my original resistance, but now seems to make some sense. Then again, the whole keeping-the-artist's-identity secret is a little silly. It seems more of a response to boredom or an inspired attempt at pr. Whatever it is, it's quite emblematic, to me of the UK. More on that, perhaps, in another post, if I decide to get testy.

Recently, though, as much as it wants to be headphone music, I do, shame on me, increasingly want to dance to this stuff. This means that she who tells me I shouldn't be so down on dubstep is prolly right.

In news that I'm not behind the times, yet instead might perhaps be ahead of the game, do read what I think is a hilarious post by Houston hip hop impressario Matt Sonzala. I don't know this guy, but he's ridiculously funny. In the post that follows, he's talking about what I believe might be the most Oshawa of events (Oshawa being my wonderful southern-Ontarian hometown), save for it being in New York, Brooklyn specifically. His post CMJ "Sabbath in the Park" party, Prospect Park specifically, is pretty much classic, early 90s bush party action, without the bush. Turns out the folks involved got arrested and ticketed for their 'shwa action, and then had to return recently for court appearances that would have really been non-events, had Matt not been there. The post-"Sabbath in the Court" is, of course, one of the best parties ever and for making all this possible, Mr. Sonzala, I salute you!

We Fought the Law and Won, cuz like the Geto Boys, We Can't Be Stopped

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