Monday, March 18, 2013

"What exactly does it mean to plunder and pastiche a style you actually invented?"

So asks Momus, blogging again  now at Mrs Tsk*

He's talking about his decision to revisit a style he came up with right at the start of his musical career, influenced by Peel bands / dub / messthetics/ Eno:

"developed at the age of 17... a scratchy, organic one based on using the microphone of my cassette tape recorder as a new bridge for a guitar with radically loosened strings. I’d stuff tissue paper under the low strings to make a dry bass sound, and play the top strings in a style that sounded like an electric guitar above-bridge, or a kalimba... The recordings were bounced down on two-track tape machines borrowed from the language lab at my dad’s English school...

 "It’s easy enough to make recordings the same way now — I have the acoustic guitar and the tissue paper, anyway — but is my metabolism as quick and nervous as it was in 1977? Can I stick to the Dogme-like discipline of forbidding myself reverb, synths, electronic rhythm quantisation?"

And yeah, what does it mean to return to a stage of one's own music that was intended and felt at the time as authentic / uniquely original / sui generis?

Quite a few musicians do this, of course (Bowie, currently, to an extent; Talking Heads and Radiohead once they'd stretched experimentally as far as could go, "got it out of their system"....).  But there is inevitably an element of artifice that overlays such returns to one's "natural" style. Perhaps also it is related to a kind of artistic ecology, that there was more potential to be extracted from a stage or phase left behind too quickly.

I certainly wouldn't mind it if Green suddenly decided to make a whole album of this sort of thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment