Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Feeling Evil In Costa and Unsure About ECM Remixed

Waiting for my coffee in Costa on Coleridge Rd what should surface but a powerful bout of misanthropy – huh – yes, suddenly detesting everyone around me – now lots of things surface from our subconscious mind, yes, but hatred for other humans rarely rears it horned head in mine, but there you go, there I was, looking at the young mother with child in pram, woman with laptop, portly middle-aged man also waiting in the queue – bastards! It’s not that I thought I was better than them...perhaps the implant from the night I was captured by men in black had not really been removed by LJ when I begged her to shove tweezers down my ear last year having just recovered from almost using my gun on innocent passers-by – drunk, I was passing two young mothers coming towards me when a small toy dragon fell (or was thrown) out of the pram – I picked it up, returned it to the grateful woman, went about my way – it atoned for the earlier feelings, I like to think. Two minutes later in the charity shop they’re playing Bacharach and David’s ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’ – which served as a reminder to my evil self...

Whilst in Costa I was dipping into Paul D Miller's 'Rhythm Science' book and came across the phrase: 'I write because I want to communicate with fellow human beings and forestall subjective implosion'. I like that. It pretty much sums up my motive. Subjective implosion is a terrible thing...very messy...and to write is the only way of avoiding it...apart from talking, and writing is a form of talking, of course.

I took Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer’s ‘Re:ECM’ album onto the streets two days ago, naively, not knowing what it sounded like – it couldn’t compete with the music the traffic was making. Then again, whilst cycling, the wind howling in my ears drowned out their efforts – and again (I’m a slow learner), this morning, on the street, what should start up but a street-cleaner’s machine, the drone of which could only be combated by Merzbow, I imagine. So, you gather, ‘Re:ECM’ is not the soundtrack for excursions into the urban environment, no, more suited to a meadow, perhaps, or desert, and obviously a darkened room, although having played it a few times I confess to not fully knowing what I think of it. On the plus side they haven’t just cobbled together excerpts from the ECM back catalogue with beats. But I wonder, also, if they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater by opting for ultra-minimalism in their effort to respect the label’s reputation for refinement. It might help if I knew the tracks they’d used, but I don’t, not being a big fan of the label, which is too cold and studied for my liking, on the whole. They did, however, release some Art Ensemble of Chicago albums, one of which is ‘Urban Bushmen’, and that’s a record everyone should own. Ethereal vocals drift in and out, as does brushwork on the drums. ‘Resenada’ has more meat on its bones, perhaps I like it more because it uses Bennie Maupin’s ‘The Jewel And The Lotus’. I’m not saying it’s a bad album, but for now it remains just out of reach and may grow.

What do you think of it? (A YouTube listen isn't ideal)

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