In Diaspora, Greg Egan, the master of mind-blowing hardcore sci-fi that is more easily readable if you have undergraduate level training on physics or biology, tells us of a distant future where mankind’s tribes reconfigure their physical and psychical setup to explore new ecosystems, and alter their perception of the world. These diverging branches stop being able to communicate with each other, not just because they speak different languages, but because the cognitive make-ups underpinning what they are trying to say have become orthogonal (in several dimensions). A new tribe, the bridgers, seek to overcome these barriers by evolving in their population a wide span of subtly modified yet overlapping psychic maps, so that they can act as translators across the cognitive Babel which humanity has become. A bit like six degrees of Kevin Bacon after the singularity.
If we were really on it – and indeed knowledgeable enough – we would do the same thing for the tangle of cultural branches which is the sonic universe that we dig. We would describe the connections between the differentiated species that have evolved from that initial big bang where sound become more than the indicator of an environmental threat/ reproductive opportunity, to turn into a whole new language through which feeling survives across space/time.
Alas, we aren’t Alex Ross, so we do this instinctively rather than systematically. Hopefully, from time to time, you will feel that there is a method to our madness, an invisible thread running through everything that we do. Like today.
Space.Rec have, over the last few months, locked our neural circuitry into a exponentially expanding sensory overload feedback loop whose X axis is beauty, Y is awesomeness. Just to kick off 2011 in style, here you have a taster of their new release by Indonesian experimental composer and traditional gamelan player, I Wayan Sadra, whose tune Crung sounds like Barry de Vorzon’s legendary theme credits for the Warriors’ Soundtrack if only the peace envoys were alien races of impossible physiognomy and enlightened spirit, and their summit took place in the vicinity of a pulsar. Yoooou shall dig it.
Sun City Girls are one of the foundational stones on top of which this house was built, and to this day, each of their releases brings much exhilaration and joy to our spirits. Funeral Mariachi, released in 2007 before their drummer Charles Gocher’s death, has animated in its reissue form (on Abduction) indolent times of rest over the seasonal break.
It bridges the gap between the delicate folk massage which was their contribution to the soundtrack for Mister Lonely, and the psychodelean soul reboot of one of our fave albums ever, Torch of the Mystics. The Imam, with which we exit today, is the echo and scent and telepathic imprint of a hazy jaunt in two acts where the coyote, the philosopher and the spiritualist get drunk over a spicy meal washed away with homebrewed liquors, music untangles at a leisurely pace like a slumber song for summer shadows, casting all pragmatic preconceptions into doubt with a gap toothed smile of belief and tolerance.