Thursday, August 15, 2013

not-so-New Age

So many operatives in the Zones of Alteration have moved away from hypnagogic 1.0 to hynagogic 2.0, i.e.  high-definition / digital-NOW! aesthetics, otherwise known as vaporwave. Indeed they did so a while back, following Ferraro's lead, such that there's already a vaporwave-backlash! D Check  this, that, and this: one-star and half-star reviews from Tiny Mix Tapes, until recently the great champion of all things V-wave. (Not forgetting its other great champion, our foremost taxonomist).  Commencing the slide in its stock profile,  this earlier TMT review - a tour de force of conceptual-reviewing - damned the genre with faint praise and fainter abuse.

But I expect VW will chunter on for a good while, as genres seem to do these days. The mystery of subcultural persistence (drum'n'bass is still being made in 2013) is now joined by the puzzle of  micro-generic obstinacy: hauntology chunters on, even coughing up twilight-era gems against the odds, while in postdubstep, "neon", first identified /christened circa 2009, appears to have cycled around into  sudden renewed relevance, or so we are led to believe).   

Another example: hypnagogic 1.0 has not gotten away either.  Defying high-def, the blurry, lo-fi  Nu-New Age sound of 2009-2010, which fetishised analogue from its synths to its cassette-tape format,  is still percolating in certain  quarters. As documented by this blog

And then there's this:

 I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990 
Light In The Attic
October 29th

press release:

 "Forget everything you know, or think you know, about new age, a genre that has become one of the defining musical-archaeological explorations of the past decade.

I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990 is the first major anthology to survey the golden age of new age and reveal the unbelievable truth about the genre.

For new age, at its best, is a reverberation of psychedelic music, and great by any standard. This is analog, handmade music communicating soul and spirit, often done on limited means and without commercial potential, self-published and self-distributed. Before it became big business and devolved into the spaced out elevator music we know and loathe today, this was the real thing.

From mathematical musical algorithms to airport murder mysteries to Henry Mancini and Bugs Bunny, the connections to mainstream culture run in curious directions. (Did you know, for instance, that a track from the first modern private press new age album is featured on the Blade Runner soundtrack? It’s called “Pompeii, 76 A.D.”, and we’ve got it here.)

I Am The Center is a knowing, but never cynical overview that invites listeners at last to the mainspring of a misunderstood genre’s greatest lights. Many of the biggest names are present — Iasos, inter-dimentional channeler of “paradise music”; Laraaji, discovered by Brian Eno playing for spare change in Washington Square Park; and the recently famous JD Emmanuel, icon to a new generation of drone, ambient, noise musicians. Call it what you will — before it was anything else, it was new age.

Lovingly conceived and lavishly presented, I Am The Center features stunning paintings by the legendary visual artist Gilbert Williams, and liner notes by producer Douglas Mcgowan, who weaves the words and images of the wizards and sorceresses of new age into a prismatic portrait of music that can finally be recognized for what it is: great American folk art."

2xCD housed in deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket with 44-page book
3xLP housed in slip case w/ 3 tip-on jackets, download card and 20-page book
Both formats with notes by Douglas Mcgowan featuring interviews with artists and includes rare archive photos.
Artwork by Gilbert Williams and Janaia Donaldson.
2 unreleased tracks, 7 others previously only on cassette

postscript - how about some post-post-vaporwave?

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