Feb 042012

I first became intrigued with Javanese and Balinese gamelan music after reading about it in David Toop’s exemplary loose-form and well-researched personal take on the Ambient genre, Ocean Of Sound.

As a matter of fact I was somewhat familiar with the sound itself before that. Its influence is evident on the soundtrack to Akira and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (just two examples), and it was also a great ear-opener for early 20th century composers such as Claude Debussy.

Toop describes a gamelan concert as quite different from a “traditional” Western concert. Without a fixed start and ending, people can drift off, chat with their friends, drink or smoke something, even take a nap to wake up to the sunrise, with the music still going on. Your experience depends on mood, energy, and how close you choose to be to the musicians.

That sounds like a rave to me, dude. That’s closer to the whole thing of ambient and techno than to rock or classical music.

It is rather mind-blowing to think that electronic music really has more in common with traditional music from places such as Java and Northern Africa than with “Western music”.

To someone more schooled in electronic than traditional music, this Dengung Bali tape that I’m enjoying at the moment sounds like some minor Boards Of Canada or Black Dog track blown up to a whole aesthetic. I can fuxx with that.

Jan 212011

Vissa dagar är det endast sån här intensiv ambient som duger: vackra, ödsliga pianon och suveränt återhållna beats som passar perfekt till grå- och brunskalorna i de postindustriella landskap vi rör oss genom.

Ett soundtrack ämnat för kontemplation, för att hitta den inre styrkan och vägen framåt.

Tack till M-Nod för den här.

Aug 122010
Oneohtrix Point Never “‡PREYOUANDI∆” from Megazord on Vimeo.

I think Boards Of Canada started this genre. Visual Ambient is all about the unconscious, memory, dreams, blurry visions in the back of your head. Or pure bliss. Some kind of storytelling. Tape copies, radio transmissions with static and echoes, internet blurs. Naming yourself after the documentary films of your childhood automatically puts you in meta media mode. Traveling through the remains of your mediated life. Of your childhood and your dreams (how much time is spent staring into the mysteries of the screen, or lost in the worlds of the speakers or the headphones?). Of the cold war and colonialism and space exploration and science nightmares. Screen and speakers archeology. In this case it’s a thing of good.

This aesthetics is manifested fully in the vimeo clip above (not by BoC, but by newcomers Oneohtrix Point Never (music) and MEGAZORD (video) (more works of the second gentleman are shown below)).

One mo’ time its proven that its not the method in itself – in this case: the collage – that creates the new. What’s needed is a constantly arriving generation that transforms the craft and its myths, influences generation specific; technological, economical, territorial, theological.

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