Sunday, 10 August 2014

James Hoff - Blaster (PAN)

As William Burroughs said, language is a virus. For Blaster, James Hoff contaminated 808 beats with the Blaster virus and used the results to compose the pieces here.

Common dance music is a virus that's infected the world, rendering millions incapable of resisting the insistent monotony of the most repetitive beats. Contrary to the commonly-held belief which states that this represents humankind's ancient desire to succumb to 'tribal beats' as ritualistic need, slaves to today's programmed electronic ritual are victims of the virus rather than free-minded willing participants. Their brains have been rewired by a combination of relentless screen surfing and enslavement by lowest common denominator media, rendering them helpless to resist the power of simple beats.

Theories suggesting a control system at work abound, from those implicating the CIA to whispers of a New World Order entertainment division manipulating the masses in preparation for a large scale brain washing operation. As with all conspiracy theories, none are likely to be proved and counter claims from official sources only serve to bolster beliefs that something is going on.

Meanwhile, James Hoff offers a soundtrack to the inner turmoil of trying to resist the virus which acts as both a description of war and offers a means of controlling the apparently uncontrollable. To embrace the virus is a dangerous game, but we may be able to mirror it's mutation by becoming active agents ourselves. Just watch out for the Nova Mob.

This battle for control of the machine inevitably makes for disturbing listening. Perhaps 'control' is not an appropriate word in a situation where the results of a rampant virus can only be cut and pasted anew, rather than wiped out all together. It cannot be tamed. It can be changed. As with collaged images, the possibilities are endless.

Blaster is the old Dance Programme blown into fragments, the remains of which try desperately to regain their rhythmic momentum without ever totally succeeding. Their failure to shake off the virus is a triumph of disruptive forces over the prevalent drive towards conformity. In harnessing their power, Hoff celebrates chaos and blasts the repetition control system.

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