skug freut sich, einen neuen Mitarbeiter vorstellen zu dürfen: Ab sofort wird der französische Gitarrist Noël Akchoté regelmäßig für uns schreiben. Hier ein erstes Review, erste Artikel im Mitte September erscheinenden nächsten skug.
»Pleasure grows with knowledge« once wrote Dante. As I push-play the CD-player I have no clue at all to this music. Looking at the cover, red & white, it seems improvised, has been recorded live on a winter evening at the Parisian club »les instants chavirés«, is a trio. I read someone plays »live-electronics« … I can’t help thinking of: as opposed to dead electronics?
(British humour, possibly yes). I’m waiting, I wait, it’s now weighting. After 20 minutes of it I’m getting close to wounded. One could say: file it under experimental-indus-drony-improv? or something. Soon the »classics« should arrive, yes, it is like a rule. High whistling pitch, urban poetry, mechanic modernism, western despair, or so. It is definitely too long for what it is. When, to find out, you should already know about it, I doubt (specialisation in specialism, not exactly »wide open«). I can start to understand people disliking it somehow, as a general matter. Hard to deny a precise lack of interest as the CD run through is first track (37 minutes at present time).
Pause: »Das generalisierte Geheimnis steht hinter dem Spektakel, als das entscheidende Komplement zu dem, was es zeigt und, wenn man den Dingen auf den Grund geht, als seine wichtigste Operation. Die bloße Tatsache, nunmehr ohne Replik zu sein, hat dem Falschen eine neue Qualität verliehen.« (Guy Debord: «Kommentare zur Gesellschaft des Spektakels“, Edition Tamat).
As a critic, it should be very easy to drop names such as AMM, Charlemagne Palestine, surely a few more and stop here. But, I won’t. I’m sorry, and not, for this band, but yes, it could have been another one. Back in the 60?s, music market was producing covers. One hit would have a German, Italian, French version and so on. Quality wouldn’t always matter as the aim of the product was to locally flavour the song. It is still happening but worldialisation nicely dressed up the operation. Groups, artists, singers now believe in their own difference themselves. The covering process is of course unchanged and clearly stronger.
This record is , to me, archetypal of a very usual misunderstanding in genres and music(s). (Or when laptops & electronics goes music … bollocks !). It sounds-like and has most of the ingredients inside you’ll need to be sure that it is what it is, file-wise. But, in itself, or as just music, it doesn’t happen to enter something or go somewhere. It has no center, no duration nor timing, not any particular sound focus or frame and very few directions proposed.
It is like a series of slices, a catalogue of possibilities as a fixed aesthetic (I would rather say stucked aesthetics) is highly followed (transgression is surely too risky). Thinking of interpretation, there is non.
Try a little something now: Take a reference, a piece or a sound you know quite well and imagine it played by this band, you’ll get an idea of a short kind. Difference, avant-garde, experimentalism etc … are words to describe something that is previously present to its tiny little file-bin. If not, listeners and amateurs should agree that their style preferences could be on the same line as any other styles. Emo-core, Baroque, Minimalism only one single thing: Music! (though it’s worth trying to sale a Donovan-LP to an Anthrax-fan). It is in our times more and more difficult to listen without particular framings. What does this production stand here for? We also know that different is just a sociological, cultural possible position too (don’t we?). What’s so »different« when difference is the tuning of it all? I still think of exceptions, to listen too or read and as well. Good evening.