Category Archives: Patrick Cowley

Interstellar ejaculation

Featuring : Odyssey + Patrick Cowley

muscleup

We have spent some time lost inside one of last year’s best releases: Muscle Up, Dark Entries second reissue of Patrick Cowley’s psyche-o-tronic gay porn soundtracks (School Daze was the first, you should check it too).

Muscle Up is very special indeed. As Maurice Tani points out in his reminiscence of Cowley and 1970s San Francisco in the lovely essay that comes tucked with the release, this is music better understood in its context of rapid change, both societal (counterculture, sexual revolution, fight for gay rights) and technological (better access to cheap music-making tech). It was part of a wave of change that Cowley rode to the end.

His music generally, and specially here, challenges all attempts to fragment the unity of the human experience into unhelpful dualisms between mind and body, art and science, nature and technology, experimentalism and pop. It is multi-functional, multipurpose, boundary-ravaging. You can use it to have transcendent sex, to go on science-fiction flesh odysseys, definitely to boogie among ectoplasmic clouds, in altered gravities.

As we listen to it, scenes of dudes banging each other transmogrify into the psychedelic landscapes of an Alain Goraguer film, Lalo Schifrin’s turtlenecked Frisco thrills are augmented with sexy comixxx curves, ejaculatory arpeggios give lift off to Carl Sagan’s interstellar mission.

Dazed and delirant, we imagine a future where humankind overcomes its current troubles, abolishes scarcity, fear and prejudice, and realises its creative potential, while keeping an edge, a necessary sense of danger. Patrick Cowley’s music helps us dream of that future, he’s one of its prophets.

Patrick Cowley – Deep Inside You

You should get Muscle Up’s in lovingly edited double vinyl from the wonderful Dark Entries.

Vangelis-4-583x400

Muscle Up also includes  “Somebody to Love Tonight”, an instrumental version of what would eventually become Sylvester’s legendary ballad of longing  “I need Somebody to Love Tonight”. This reminded us of the Dirty Sound System mixtape where we first heard that song. There, it was accompanied by “Who” by Odyssey (aka Vangelis).

This piece of otherworldly, cosmic jet–set soul is today’s bonus for you.

Odyssey – Who

Discogs reference.

Positive Panopticon

ARS ELECTRONICA 2009

Your body crosses a scanner that reproduces it as a multi-dimensional cloud of data soaring in the noosphere. This is the new you. A vector of n examples with m features correlated in complex patterns.  There are many other datasets like you here, impressions of reality that generate their own reality, abstract manta rays swirling in a mathematical ocean which is all colours and none.

You mingle with them, becoming their predictor or their outcome, or simply spiralling down their complex structures like a winged visitor at one of the wonders of the mind that some of them doubtlessly are;

Like:

The constellation of data generated by the 600 million collisions that take place every second within the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – a 15 petabyte poem within which all of the twisted truths of reality lay hidden, a memory palace decorated with artefacts representing all the Gods’ mementoes and plans, a collection of love letters between subatomic particles that bonded and kissed in the darkness, if only for a picosecond. Imagine them in the club, holding the conceptual equivalent for their hands together, just before the drop.

David Kanaga – Jupiter.

Like:

The 12.47 billion Google searches taking place every month: acts through which a confederacy of users learn about the world and about each other, but also expressions of desire, hope, fear, conflict and complexity, a Rorschach blot of humanity’s collective psyche. Also critically, the ambient babbling through which a language is taught, the constant stimuli driving the growth of the globalised cortex of a baby AI that will soon flex its robotic muscles.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Americans

Like:

The 200 terabytes of data generated by ESA’s Gaia telescope as it renders a 3D map of a billion astronomical objects i.e. 1% of the population of our very awesome galaxy – within this information set, an outline for the evolution of the society of planets, including clues about the murder mystery which is the Fermi Paradox, or a peek through the wormhole which was the escape hatch for our absentee neighbours.

Hieroglyphic Being – Untitled

Like:

The security log detailing the process through which unseen forces infiltrate a super-secure corporate system with purposes as yet unclear. At one level, this is a police procedural where each of the tricks used to obfuscate a path, divine a password, scramble a file-system contains the scenario of a Michael Mann calibre-heist. At another level, this is (info) sex. Seduction, surrender, intrusion, corruption, joy. Like the ecstasy of the mystics, like what Patrick Cowley’s perfect futurism does to its followers.

Having visited all of these places and more, you need to decide whether you want to progress into the asymptote. Go here.

Or re-integrate with the meat as it enters a shadowy house. Go here.

2013 References

The image is from Ryoji Ikeda’s Datamatics, which we very much enjoyed at the Brighton Dome.
 
David Kanaga’s soundtrack for Dyad helped us understand more fully the physical concepts of velocity and acceleration. Oneohtrix Point Never’s spectacular R Plus Seven felt contemporary like few contemporary musics do, but also like some kind of declaration of independence of the algorithmic nation (for all we know this is already happening). Hieroglyphic Being’s Imaginary Soundscapes did what it says in the box (and had a swell dance when he played in London). Dark Entries reissue of Patrick Cowley’s School Daze revealed a primeval soup whence new evolutionary trajectories will emerge. It also resolved the eternal mind-body problem without having to say a word.

Link to positive party scenario 2

Link to omen scenario 2

All made up and ready to go

pink

The initial breakdown of this Marina and the Diamonds’ remix circa 2.15 might well be the most beautiful thing that Pink Stallone have come up with yet, and God knows they have been good kids and true purveyors of blissful 80s tinged top-class ‘dance with your make-up smudged by tears’ music since they came inside our radar less than a year ago. You can enjoy it at quite a few levels, right now as I write this I am revelling in the minutiae of little details accumulating in the background, pleasure sighs from electronic devices squeezed by loving hands which set the pastel-coloured scenario for yet another demonstration of greatness. These kids definitely got the right stuff.

Marina and the Diamonds- Obsessions (Pink Stallone Remix)

patrick_cowley

Let’s check what we have like we were John Rambo’s loving nemesis- trademark Cowley locomotion hi-energy styles, uplifting chorus re: that utopian discotheque where luminescent reflections in the glitter ball breed dancefloor stars swirling down below in a ground fertile soil for weird and beautiful flowers, and to top it all a killer collection of apoplexy inducing air-keytar riffs, which at 3.20 reach ecstatic heights not far below those of Do You Want to Dance with Me’s glorious coda. We have all we need it seems, let’s do it.

Patrick Cowley- Lift-Off

doctors

If you didn’t know this one then I am happy to introduce it to you, as Stuart did to me in the shape of a dog-eared 7” with suitably cheesy artwork (regretfully not the one with the cat driving a car, but hey, you can’t have it all). Doctor’s Cat’s ‘Watch Out’ is a definitive italo hit,  mythical theme tune for a gang of gay bravos to engage in some proper dancefloor hustling in the oversaturated celluloid of an imagined Warriors Z-series rip-off, and perfect soundtrack for a bout of hedonistic shadowboxing that will help you overcome all adversities.

Doctor’s Cat- Watch Out