(He has all the answers)
20jazzfunkgreats has applied a sound-mining algorithm to its e-mail intake and established that, after filtering out the trash (90% overall), 45% of what remains falls within the loose boundaries of new age-new kosmische-new minimalism-new ambient or combinations thereof (this is after accounting for the longer average length of songs within this collection of genres).
And we love it – we are after all post-psychedelean wannabe seers, and cherish any music that gives us an excuse to trample the corpus of quantum physics, psychoanalyse the constellations, or theorise about the day to day dynamics of a recreational planet where all the parameters of bliss are optimised.
At the same time, we are somewhat mystified by the abundance of such music in a world convulsed by political, social, economic and technological upheaval – if a race of aliens were to tune into the currents of the alternative underground, it would immediately assume that mankind lives in a situation of almost intolerable harmony, where a race of philosopher kings lounges in golden castles, delicately contemplating the nature of self, void and their interactions. After which the self-same snooping aliens would light up some of that good old xeno-drug whose effects are equivalent to the marihuana/cough syrup that this music seems to be so well aligned with, and accelerate towards the closest event horizon never to be seen again.
Which provides a potential explanation for the steady supply of such soothing, uncanny compositions: they soundtrack our mellow descent into the black hole and whatever awaits beyond, they are a source of relaxation, their smooth synth-waves blunt the jagged angles of a complex, stressful and even dangerous world they overlay like one of those ersatz-realities designed by our synthetic overlords in the Matrix (or the Invisibles). This is all well and good, we are suckers for escapism and fantasy, but we can’t help but feel that this music supports the strategic equivalent of ‘burying our head in the sand’, which doesn’t bode great for the sort of global change that we feel is needed. Chill out isn’t a likely motor of socio-economic transformation.
Hold on, but didn’t kosmische, one of the archetypes of the modern hush paradigm, spawn from revolutionary cells sticking it up to the man, negating the conventions of commoditised pop music to create a space for communal meditation and eventual enlightenment? True that, young padawan. Still, we don’t see much of that collectivistic apparatus surrounding this new transcendentalist wave. If anything, we suspect that one of the reasons for its popularity is that it is non-disruptive, easily enjoyed in the background as one goes about with the daily routine (which is what Eno initially intended), individually, headphone-clad and i-device plugged, isolated. It surely does make my commuting much smoother.
And even if it aspired to utopia, it would be a second-hand one, which is a subject that Simon Reynolds has aptly touched on, and we won’t get into here.
So, what do we do then? We bear all of these things in mind while we delve into this placid ocean for a handful of unique pearls rare in every artform, which are the expression of individual creativity, and genuine additions to the honourable canon. We do this very aware of the challenges inherent to practice in this un-commercial musical realm (a political statement in itself?).
Today, we constrain ourselves in our description, relinquishing the infinite possibilities of a barely explored universe, to bring things down to Earth, the day-to-day routines and happenings which we believe this abstract music has the potential to illuminate in new and unexpected ways.
One of the men who built this house recently undertook in the ultimate act of creation, bringing new life upon our planet.
As one who hasn’t yet followed in his wake, I can only wonder what it must feel like to, deep in the night, when the only sound to be heard is the smooth breathing of that small creature sleeping safe, navigating unfathomable dreams animated by portentous images just about impressed (and regarding which it harbours no expectations yet), what it must feel like to behold that small creature sleeping safe, which is you yet isn’t you, is less you every day as it runs towards becoming itself.
A sweetness, hopes, worries, and also that sadness which is the perennial shadow of our most important acts. But this night, mostly a sweetness.
Charlatan – Seed and Light
Charlatan is Brad Rose of the mighty Foxy Digitalis, you can get Equinox from the similarly mighty Aguirre.
One of the men who builds this house has been sailing the perilous straits of the actual housing market.
As one who still rents, and was too busy to examine the first two abodes he ended up inhabiting, I can only wonder what it must feel like to gaze into the bare spaces of multiplying possibility which is every visited property, bounce potential futures against its angles and glide overs its curves, visualise the vistas from within in a fast-forward motion through the stations, dwell in the nature of light and the scenes that it may illuminate, operationalize all these parameters, estimate their value and introduce them into equations that will only be resolved when you jump into the abyss.
Become a key that opens the door to your castle.
Roy Orb D.MT.- Kolibri Song
You can get Roy Orb D. MT.’s Doctor of Metaphysical Healing from Moon Glyph.