Category Archives: Delia Gonzalez

Teh End of History

Pop historian-philosopher Yuval Noah Harari fascinates and horrifies us in equal measure with his long-view description of human evolution (see Sapiens (2014) and Homo Deus (2016). It goes a little bit like this:

In the dark ages, humans believed in superstitious fictions that gave their life meaning. They existed in close connection with nature, but also at its mercy.

With the Enlightenment, humans gained control over nature through science, and turned themselves into the measure of all things, but this made their lives feel empty and meaningless. The religions of authoritarianism tried to fill that void with awful results.

New scientific and technological advances are now calling into question the basic assumptions of the enlightenment: behavioural economics and evolutionary psychology show that human being are not rational, their beliefs and actions are conditioned genetically and culturally. Machines are becoming smarter than humans, able to predict and manipulate their behaviours in increasingly sophisticated ways. All these developments point at an impending transition to a new stage in history.

Can democracy and markets survive this change, or will they be replaced by collective intelligences and platforms that aggregate and automate decisions in complex ways?

Can humanity survive the battle between the forces of reaction and acceleration?

Will we find meaning again in new religions of fandom and singularitarianism?

Noah Harari tells all this with a dispassionate voice, avoiding linear narratives of progress or decay. With each phase transition in human evolution something is lost and something is gained. A mystery always lingers, we listen to its music.

The dark ages were full of mystery and emotion, they contained a sense of permanence, and order, with human existence tightly embedded in the cycles of the celestial and terrestrial spheres. Free will in believing and sinning opened the way to moral behaviour and heroism, but this was part of a bigger story told written by the Deux Ex Machina.

Delia Gonzalez’ latest album, Horse Follows Darkness brims with that sense of thrust through layers of gnostic mystery and invisible force fields, into a space of revelation hidden at the heart of the dark forest. Hidden Song is the theme track for the werewolf gang that runs things that neighbourhood.

Delia Gonzalez – Hidden Song

Go get Horse Follows Darkness from DFA records.

We are the children of the enlightenment. Our most successful societies protect and nurture us, encourage us to express ourselves and our creativities in a myriad ways. Those of us endowed with genius can make their selves (even souls) seen, heard and felt that way, and when this happens, all witnesses are seared by a flash of joy. We might be alone in the universe, but we can gift each other universes.

Modern composition has many moments of such humanistic beauty, here is one from Philip Glass’ North Star.

Philip Glass – Lady Day

Some information in discogs.

Many of our favourite musics are produced through collaborations between humans and complex technological artifacts (electronic music) or seek to induce trance-like states where humans start behaving as if they were components of technological systems (dance music), or had been bodily spliced with technology (EBM/post-punk).

Caterina Barbieri’s take on our technological structuration is more abstract. Her electronic compositions give us nerd-rapture inducing vistas of cybernetic worlds where human and machine intelligences have already merged; we listen to their message with a mix of alienness and familiarity, as if told in the tongues of the natives of those strange new lands, distant descendants of the mild cyborgs who today inhabit online gaming clans, collaborative consumption platforms, and the deepest code architectures in GitHub’s sprawling cathedrals.

Caterina Barbieri – Information Needed to Create an Entire Body

Acquire Patterns of Consciousness from Important Records.

Gnomic classicism

delia

In the record we are featuring today, Delia Gonzalez transforms with subtle alchemies what would otherwise be just (just!)  a crystalline demonstration of formal beauty, and gives it new dimensions of mystery. In Remembrance becomes a haunted chamber where echoes of past lives flutter like butterfly wings, the void pregnant with significance and feeling that remains after a best friend, a good person, goes away, perhaps forever.

DFA’s press-release says this could be an alternate score for Don’t Look Now. We think it would also suit Candyman’s doomed lovers, escaping, dancing, dying through the ages, across forlorn modernistic ruins.

Delia Gonzalez – I

You can acquire Remembrance in beautiful vinyl from DFA.

delia gavin

More than a decade ago, Delia Gonzalez collaborated with Gavin Russom to create one of the finest records of the millennium so far, the astounding Days of Mars.

In summary, Days of Mars takes John Carpenter’s tight eeriness and applies it to the vastness of the cosmos. It contains a key that will unlock in your immediate environment – in the movement of bodies in the street, in the eyes of a friend, in the geometry of a skyline in dusk – portals into vistas of truth and infinity.

We featured Days of Mars when it came out all those years ago. Today we remember it.

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom – Black Spring

You can get yourself a copy of Days of Mars via Discogs.

Genesis

Throbbing Gristle - Hot on the heels of love

Throbbing Gristle- Hot on the Heels of Love

September 1979 produced something odd and less difficult to digest than previous gristly. Perhaps more Chris and Cosey than Genesis. A hypnotic electronic Love to Love you, was this the inspiration for Lil Louis – French Kiss?

It sounds similar to being tied up, blindfolded and slowly whipped into a never ending dream state of sexual ecstasy (if you like that sort of thing). Very hot. Very heels(12″ I reckon). Slow enough for Tory mps to dance to in leather shorts bought from Sex in the King’s road. Filthy and perverted in the grand tradition of Je t’aime.

Frustrated housewife Beverly in Abigail’s Party could have easily said “Ohhhhh I love a bit of Throbbing Gristle, don’t you Ange?”…..well maybe not.

Why has the whip sound not been added as a percussive noise on drum machines since? Anyone with an early yamaha/casio with such a sound on be sure and let me know (finders fee – a shiny new penny).

BUY Throbbing Gristle

deliangavin

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom – Rise (DFA Remix)

Another track with whips lashing.

Rise is a Moroderian chase where layers and layers of synths spill over a metronomic rhythm full of subtle variations (ah, this is a DFA remix), the result a monster of primitivist electronica which takes the listener on a trip down Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, the melodies drawing a misteryous landscape, vague but full of wonder and anticipation.

This the sound of robots, not having sex but travelling to a rendezvous point where they will, we know which song they’ll play then.

BUY Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom