Tuesday, December 15, 2015

the Neofuture

most interesting end-of-year essay at Tiny Mix Tapes about a "Neofuturist Aesthetic" in current music, by Matthew Philips

exemplars being Arca, Lotic, Garden of Delete, Platform, NON Records, M.E.S.H, Rabit & Chino Amobi...

"Neither utopian nor fully dystopian, works in this mode project a complex future contrary to the Futurist and transhumanist ideal, where the human subject places itself in tension with technological progress, seeking liberation in the spaces between the cracks of the monolith of capitalism.

"these artists... posit a counterfuture of resistance, and beyond it a faint glimmer on the horizon: hope."

"This instability, this absence of solidity, suggests a new reading of the future, in which the progressive incursion of technology offers neither predictable consequences nor even the opportunity to decipher successive, novel events"

Literally grating - shredding the human, morcellating voice-flesh

For there is a lot of extreme mouth music in this area - continuing the musique concrete tradition  in which the human voice figures as privileged site of dismemberment and violative reconstruction

"Lotic’s “Banished,” from the late-breaking Agitations.... represents its mutations as a kind of trauma, a forcible binding of the subject into tortuous, impossible forms."

"Amnesia Scanner slice language into grains, and these bursting, liminal bubbles cast off their particular significance into the void of potentiality, reabsorbed and yet separate from the mutant mass of the track. Invading the liminal zone, the synthesis engine has captured these bubble-worlds; in its attempt to assimilate the poetry deeper into the rhythmic mass of the track, it obliterates the language’s value as a world-generating force. What is left is a ghostly relic of meaning, a mute hologram of a subject cut off from its ability to critique and its ability to desire, a subject bound to the mutations of the mass, propelled into the future by a volition other than its own."

"Although the harsh, digital texture of the neofuturist aesthetic is one of its defining elements, the voice plays a surprisingly crucial role in many of the works within it.... The neofuturist aesthetic derives beauty not from the form of technology itself but rather from the struggle of the human being that is fascinated or trapped within that form."

Grating in the other sense, though too - with most of this sort of thing, I'm impressed, but never have much of an inclination to listen to it again

see also: Philip Sherburne on the new formlessness and its relationship to a queering of  electronic sound - Arca, Elysia Crampton, et al

1 comment:

  1. this stuff reminds me of why a lot of "idm" is kinda boring - pursuing a restrictive aesthetic that signifies "future" rather than seeking an attitude or a technique that actually feels fresh... on the other hand hopefully even stranger things will be inspired by it!