Things We Love
A selection of tracks and short musings on them from this season's StudioSound artist DJ /rupture, after the jump.
“The Pleasure of Ruins”
Sound artist, radio-play creator and writer Gregory Whitehead’s sound work is compelling at the visceral level—much of it is simply words, gasps and utterances. Additional sounds set a psychological mood or unnerve. Yet it’s also playful—overtly funny and occasionally flirtatious. The music tells or suggests stories, even as the narrative is may be linear, c, disarticulate, or straight-up impossible. He sidesteps the usual categories of musician/critic, academic/street, high art/no-fi art, documentarian/confidence man, thanatos/eros, etc. As he describes it, “I try to use [the disembodied radio voice] in a way that’s constantly hinting to the listener that they’re not listening to the voice of authority, though I will constantly play with the expectation for authority, because Americans are trained from a very early age that anything we hear on the airwaves has got to be the truth; that’s the voice of authority.”
Yannis Kyriakides & Andy Moor
“A School Burnt Down”
Often called the blues of Greece, Rebetika is the sonically expressed woes of displaced Turkic Greeks, who got kicked out of Turkey at the beginning of the twentieth century and sent to coastal slums, where they shared dark old songs played on weird instruments from their former Asia Minor home, which unspool in time signatures as unsettling and engaging as the stories behind the players. (main themes: poverty, drugs, prison, women). This song is a contemporary reinterpretation for guitar and computer—they take a respectfully destructive approach.
Lloyd Banks feat. Juelz Santana
“Beamer, Benz or Bentley”
This is one of those summer jams—you may not know who raps it or who produced it, but the chorus and the tidy staccato melody have seeped into the sound space of New York City itself, just as inescapable. Whether or not you've got payola at your back, success on commercial radio is about the ubiquitous shine of heavy rotation. Radio Goo Goo, my installation, filters, flips and transforms these signals—for the Hot 97 patch, this song is one of the few whose melodic content can be recognized in the transformed version.