Wednesday, June 19, 2013

exquisite nothing

further to the previous post and idea of Z**mby as pasticheur and perfectionist craftsman:

"Is new music possible? Maybe... but probably not. I do feel at this point that we have some nearly original music – especially viscerally new, of course – but in compositional terms, most constellations have been charted and explored. But you can work complexity into a sleek nothingness, which becomes a new refinement, critically of parts composed. My music is digital prose. I like to sketch outlines sometimes, and sometimes I’ll fill them in" -  Z**mby, interviewed at Dazed Digital

at Tiny Mix Tapes, meanwhile, Nick Henderson argues (using quotes and observed details from the Dazed Digital interview), that the problem with Z-man's formally exquisite takes on hardcore/dubstep/eski/jungle/drill/trap/etc is that there is nothing behind them -  they are disconnected from the matrix of social energy that originally brought those forms into existence

"The idea of an undeniably perfect aesthetic that is capable of erasing or obscuring the context it arose out of frankly strikes me as, well, really fucking dangerous. Context is always oppressive because of the way it binds art to the material conditions that surround it, but without it, aesthetics would have nothing to transcend and would lose their significance entirely. Reality is violent, and context is the symbolic intrusion of reality into art...  With Love is anxious about its own existence and paranoid over its own deniability, the possibility that there might be a splinter of the underground somewhere out there that its sleek algorithm has failed to integrate....   [He] navigates the rhythms and frequencies of the underground with all the intelligence, precision, and tenderness of a brain surgeon. This preoccupation with transcendence via flawlessness ultimately renders With Love an utterly loveless affair, the soundtrack to an infinitely-extending gallery of gleaming white rooms filled with slightly varying riffs on nothingness".

Bit harsh, maybe, but definitely grain of truth, and wider applications beyond this specific artist.

Andrew Gareig has a warmer appraisal of With Love in Pitchfork: nutshell of the verdict is "less a homage to the past than an intensification of it"

Apparently Z-man is going to release Where Were You In '92 Part 2 later this year, or so I heard

"Is new music possible?". Well if one concentrated all one's energy on trying to make something new, rather than dissipating one's undeniable gifts on pasticherie...  

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