- Leon Vlieger / songsoverruins
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Ryuta.k has released music before on the .net label Dark Winter as Ryu. Recently his third album, "In The Middle Of Late Capitalism", has been released there. The accompanying blurp on the website immediately clarifies how this Japanese artist thinks about music:
"Musical things mean nothing to me.
Rather music may be 'aufheben' for me."
I think he means "aufhebend", which is German for "elevating". And if there is a label to be attached, he prefers "Post sampling kinetic nonhierarchical nonlinear nonequilibrium forth world muziq". Sounds like something abstract, although it doesn't help us much.
What we get are five, rather long, abstract soundscapes containing a lot of heavily distorted, sometimes unrecognisable, vocals. Mind you, it avoids power-electronic excesses we are used to from, for instance, Sutcliffe Jügend. Neither does it fall under the banner of "babbling" as Kenji Siratori likes to do (as a note aside: I have decided he should stick to dark ambient, which he does well. Unfortunately he seems to have other ideas on that front). No, the vocal sounds are exactly that, sounds. Sounds that serve as raw material that are being woven into the music, as in "Potala Sympathy For Autism". Large parts of the opener "Hegelian Distress (Song For Ituji)" are also build around these kinds of vocal landscapes. And then there are of course, for want of a better description, the abstract soundscapes. You won't find Merzbow-like escapades here. It doesn't really turn into dark ambient, or into walls of noise. Although a track like "Newest Bolshevik District" comes close to the latter.
Can I recommend this release? Difficult question. I find that the album neither attracts, nor repels me, even after repeated listening. My tendency to get some hallucinogenics and try again might be an indication of how stimulating I find this album to be. The middle three tracks, that sort of tend towards "recognisable" dark ambient and noise, are most to my liking. But "interesting" is still the best descriptor that comes up. Without wanting to sound euphemistic. Possibly it would be nice to mix a track at random in between other things. How much you will appreciate this will likely depend on how well you can stomach abstract sounds. I won't dissuade you on this album, there is simply too much... well, interesting stuff happening here. No, I'll remain neutral on this one for a change.
Originally written for the Dutch weblog IkEcht (http://ikecht.web-log.nl/
Manuel DeLanda, (born 1952 in Mexico City), is a writer, artist and philosopher who has lived in New York since 1975. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (New York), the Gilles Deleuze Chair of Contemporary Philosophy and Science at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, a professor at the Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and professor at Pratt Institute the School of Architecture in Brooklyn, New York..
He is the author of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997), Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002) and A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006). He has published many articles and essays and lectured extensively in Europe and in the United States. His work focuses on the theories of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze on one hand, and modern science, self-organizing matter, artificial life and intelligence, economics, architecture, chaos theory, history of science, nonlinear dynamics, cellular automata on the other. DeLanda became a principal figure in the "new materialism" based on his application of Deleuze's realist ontology. His universal research into "morphogenesis" - the production of the semi-stable structures out of material flows that are constitutive of the natural and social world - has been of interest to theorists across many academic and professional disciplines.
Alongside his intellectual work, DeLanda made several short Super 8 and 16mm films in the 1970s and early 1980s, all of which are now out of circulation. Cited by filmmaker Nick Zedd in his Cinema of Transgression Manifesto, DeLanda associated with many of the experimental and art filmmakers of this New York based movement. Much of DeLanda's film work is inspired by his interest in philosophy and critical theory; one of his best known films, Raw Nerves, has been described as a 'Lacanian thriller' by at least one critic.
He recently contributed a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky.
- War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991)
- A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997)
- Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002)
- A New Philosophy of Society (2006)
 See also
 External links
Choice Outstanding Academic Books 1996
Notes From Underground offers the first Western sociological study of rock music and counterculture in Russian society. Based on participant observation, in-depth interviews, and life-history analysis, the author provides a detailed ethnographic examination of the origins and local meanings of rock music and the countercultural way of life of rock musicians in St. Petersburg during the socialist period of Russian history. Rock music served as the basis for alternative forms of individual and collective identity which stood as beacons of difference and resistance in the bleak cultural environment of socialist industrial society. Cushman explores the experiences of members of the St. Petersburg musical community after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in order to shed light on the following questions: What happens to oppositional "underground" culture when it "comes up from the underground?" What is the fate of Russian rock music and those who make it under new conditions of the rapid capitalist rationalization of post-Soviet Russian society?The book traces the experiences of musicians in new capitalist culture markets, both in Russia and in Western societies to illustrate the more general process of "commercialization of dissent" which is taking place in post-communist societies. Russia's entrance into the path of Western capitalist modernity is viewed not so much as a path to freedom and cultural autonomy, but as the intersection of two trajectories of modernity that has given rise to new and unique cultural dilemmas. It concludes with an examination of important theoretical issues about the problematic relationship between capitalism, cultural freedom, and democracy in contemporary Russian society.
Theories of Minimalism Still Welcome
This might be a timely moment to reiterate that the deadline for submissions to the second international conference on minimalist music, which is being held at the University of Missouri at Kansas City September 2-6, is January 31. We're prepared for more papers than we've received so far, so if you're interested, give us a try. We've gotten almost no papers from Europe yet, but it was our European colleagues who asked to have the date extended, so maybe their proposals will all arrive at the last minute. We're honoring Charlemagne Palestine, Tom Johnson, and Mikel Rouse, and the barbecue's going to be to die for. E-mail your proposals to me (email@example.com) and David McIntire (firstname.lastname@example.org). The economy's making the money hard to come by, but as I told David: "We're minimalists - if we can't hold a conference in this economy, nobody can."
January 11, 2009 10:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
January 10, 2009
Freedom Caught in Notation
I wrote my "American Composer" column for Chamber Music magazine this month - though it won't be out till March - on John Halle, one of the eight composers of the Common Sense collective. And, as often happens, I obtained a generous influx of his music, so I uploaded seven pieces to PostClassic Radio. John's vocal music employs political texts - from Project for the New American Century, Larry Summers, D.C. activist Sam Smith - that sound pretty shocking when set to music with seeming innocence. (Much the way, I suppose, that Allan Kozinn once wrote that Custer's hate-spewing memoires sound in my Custer and Sitting Bull.) My real interest, though, is in John's rhythms, a typical example given here from his 1997 piece Spooks (the instruments are flute, oboe, violin, cello, and two guitars):
Look at that: triplets moving to dotted quarters in the flute, septuplets grouped in sixes in the oboe, triplet quarters grouped in fives and fours in the violin, five-beat patterns in the cello and first guitar, over a dotted-quarter pulse in the second guitar. Pure totalism. You can tell me no such style exists, and I'll bury you with examples. Call it whatever you want, I don't care. Metametrics. And that doesn't at all mean that John's music sounds like Michael Gordon's, Ben Neill's, Evan Ziporyn's, Mikel Rouse's, Art Jarvinen's, mine, and so on. He's got his own fresh way of speeding up and slowing down through lines nonsynchronously over a pulse that ties everything together, more jazz-sounding than the other totalists (he started out as a jazz pianist), and the music would sound improvised if the harmonies didn't fit together so snugly. Amazing stuff.
John Halle is a man after my own heart. He used to be an alderman in New Haven, and his political writings are fearless. One of the first things Google attributes to him is an article on the wealth tax, and over at his humble-looking web site, he's got some excellent articles on musical politics, including the best debunking yet of Joseph Straus's MQ article claiming that the 12-toners never wielded any power in academia, and a report on the nefarious dealings of Mario Davidovsky. The kind of stuff that, were I to post it here, 20 people would write in to cry foul - and yet it's god's own truth. God bless 'im.