Tuesday, January 7, 2014

deja entendu

Pitchfork's  Jeremy D. Larson on "Aural Déjà Vu: How Oneohtrix Point Never and Colin Stetson Create Music Unstuck in Time":

"In the early days of scientific studies of déjà vu, a psychiatrist named Vernon Neppe defined it concisely as "any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of the present experience with an undefined past."...  What is actually new sensory information... is being processed as old sensory information....   It may be mistakenly filed into the lobe that handles long-term memory, or there may be a delay in the visual signal getting sent to the brain. The sensation is a fantastic moment of confusion, where we can’t tell if we’re being nostalgic or prescient. And like just waking up from a dream, we try desperately to hang on to that disorienting feeling and figure it out, right up until it slips away from us and the lobes reconnect. I’ve found that my favorite 21st century music does this: confuses the lobes, confounds what is present and what is past into an "inappropriate impression of familiarity of the present with an undefined past." It creates something strikingly unfamiliar." 

Of Lopatin with his Ecco jams and R Plus Seven, Stetson with New History Warfare, and Dawn of Midi with Dysnomia, Larson asserts:  "by taking little sections of history and spinning them around, a little wobbly like a basketball on the finger, there is a hypnotic and incoherent sense of living in both the present and the past, unstuck in time "

Question: what happens when this approach itself becomes a cliche? (Vaporwave, yes I'm talking about you). When this zone builds up its own history behind it?  (Five years since hypnagogic O.1 stirred into being, and hard to believe but we're only year or two from it being a decade since hauntology kicked off!) When time-out-of-joint-iness becomes banalised through repetition and redundancy, to the point where "strikingly unfamiliar" itself becomes a new kind of familiarity?   Can this approach go forward, or is "forward" an obsolete concept, an inadmissible desire, in the new conditions?

1 comment:

  1. I feel like some of the stuff I have heard this past year hasn't been able to get past the initial kitsch of the reference… no interest in revealing latent, unintended meanings.

    I think the "step forward" would probably just involve some different set of sample sources from an era subsequent to the ones currently providing the raw data as younger producers show their nostalgia for different childhoods. Time to start searching eBay for a minidisc player!

    I can't see the attitude going away without some sort of change in technology or attitude towards it.