(Image sourced from the Phil Dick covers archive)
Music is our alternate reality generator. It scaffolds the environments that we transverse and dwell on, splashing the masses with Romero red, Lang black, or Neo-Tokyo cell-shades, as we dodge them towards the toothbrush section of the drug-store.
The semiotics of the dodging are themselves altered – a Resident Evil evasion past corrupted vessels, or a smooth Miyamoto-an sailing through a sea of empathetic skin.
Music breathes a beastly heartbeat into the buildings that host us, entering them equals being devoured. It acts as a bridge between the everyday and the fantasies of literature, video and art to which we are addicted.
Perhaps the prominence of certain kinds of music, nowadays, is correlated with their ability to transform our world in such ways?
Our enjoyment of this visually altered status quo paints our reaction to Google’s forthcoming ‘Terminator Glasses’ with ambivalence. On the one hand, we fear that a blandly branded and surely AdWorded head-up-display may mess up with the hallucinated odyssey into which even our most banal excursion can be transformed.
At the same time, we are excited about the possibilities – the encoding of certain textures, peripheral mirages and cinematographic editing into future sound formats, Rez style sonic interactivity, apps that respond algorithmically to the collision between sound-wave parameters and our bio-metric chart.
It could be quite cool, but until absolute responsiveness to the subconscious flux is achieved (i.e. instant rendering and responsive animation of all of the potential outputs of our febrile imagination), we will keep going back the freestyle synesthetic bricolage on which we engage already, with a little help from our friends.
FWY again! Its trajectory is like that of the blind gunslinger Shalashaska who roams the desert in an arcane philosophical pilgrimage. He is ambushed by a band of rogues who demand his antique (and still operational) Jaeger LeCoultre watch. He draws a colt peacemaker, and draws a smiley face in the creaking sign of a petrol station at least 75 feet away. Having averted violence with his sleek demonstration of marksmanship; he heads towards the country of the heat-devils.
FWY is like that, grim determination & hits. The San Clemente tape may be his best yet (we say that every time). In Subdivision, he does for the high-tech North Californian sprawl what Basil Kirchin did for the abstracted industrial North, voiding it of all life and movement (except his own), to revel in its disturbingly reticulated, digital-dream haunted psycho-geography. All of our senses are transfixed by a gentle, sad warmth.
The tracks within NHK’Koyxeи’s* Dance Classics Vol.I are numerated like stars or software modules. Or barcodes cataloguing the original American Techno-Futurist’s panoply of visions. Perhaps packaged memories in the archive of a robotic psyche-design consultancy.
Maybe all of these things at the same time.
587 is an aural déjà vu, the muffled thump full of promise at the entrance to the discotheque, coming from a room which will disappoint you no matter what happens, for in our present reality, they don’t build discotheques at the foot of gilded Bauhaus towers that rise through a neon-impaled data sky, or populate them with angel-shaped drones programmed to perform the disciplined routines of the party bushido.
Use your imagination.
*-The illustration is also his btw.