Sunday, 28 March 2010
SubVersion Stop 86: Takeshi Nakamura's contribution to "Sonic Collage" (Pinecone Moonshine 009, also featuring Eschaton, Formication, dgoHn)
Horizons to some are desolate plains, peppered with upsetting prospects that cause us to retreat into our shell. Reversed, its an inimitably rich hotbed for discussion, where extroversion guarantees speakers a voice. Depending on surroundings, it can be squashed, set sail for failure, or bloom so segregation rules political quagmire. Much is survival of the fittest, a test of one's limits and preoccupations. Bewilderment can be irritating, and that's where strength of statement is penultimate.
"Drumfunk", think what you will, encircles these sentiments and hands down double-handed solutions. In drum & bass it was originally used by JMJ & Richie, but post-2000 breakbeat sampler Paradox propogated it to promote his funk influenced take on the genre. It's debatable whether drumfunk's stylists have broken ground from Paradox's coining, and subsquent diatribes, and if they wish to be part of it is another matter. It's either bludgeoning or elevating of credibility, but what is certain is it's spawning of a split on Subvert Central, a website tarred with the terminology brush, but actually containing more talk of outsider repertoire and subject.
Pinecone Moonshine owner Nic TVG is one individual seeing the benefits of adopting drumfunk as not a buzzword, but a term to loosely define product and its outcomes. In that sense, it consequently combats the sugar-rush of mainstream circus d&b constabulary, and pungent rudeboy attitude, something which replaced jungle's sexiness and left it to rot in the cold. Indeed, it has been said by underground heads that drumfunk is more like an extension of their beloved genre, before it commercialised and lost its exponential experimentation. Takeshi Nakamura, the latest artist on this independent entity, opposes pounding rhythmic orienteering over flippant fidget funk, hyperactive arpeggio chirping, atmospheric intrusions and subtle overlaying of miscellaneous fragments.
If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's likely that Nakamura's appearances on ambient netlabel Zymogen will have passed inspection too. Numbered rather that expressing narrative themes, only ordered by digits, the tracks merge into a coherent whole, with "1" supplanting an elastic swingbeat and tinny snares, enacting timbral gravity games with a bass groove that slithers like a wet discloth against stainless steel. "2" juts amen shards out from its underbelly, "3" warbles like a drunken rambler who's had his bottle taken, and "4" weaves melodies a la sunflower oil in stir fry, lubricating the tectonic activity and avoiding slapdash Squarepusher imitation. "Sonic Collage", surmised, finely advances a label that forages presentation and practicality lavishly on every level.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Psychologists at the University of York have reported in the March 15th edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have performed studies that are suggesting that babies may be born with a hard-wired predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.
Dr Marcel Zentner says that children between five months and two years respond to the beat rather than the melody of a song. Another interesting finding is that the better the children were able to synchronise their movements with the beat, the more they smiled. There are currently no universally-accepted theories as to why humans adore music, and it is a major unresolved issue in biology.
The main theory is that human ancestral individuals who could respond empathically to rhythmic beats, for example the heartbeat, would be more likely to select mates, and would be drive natural selection to trigger a happy response to rhythmic beats at a similar tempo to the heart (approximately 60 bpm). An opposing theory is that an emotional response to music evolved as a response to some other stimulus, but it also happens to be relevant for music processsing.
The infants in the study listened to a variety of music from around the world, including classical music, dance music and speech. Their spontaneous movements were recorded by 3D motion-capture, with software to analyse the extent to which the babies matched their movement to the music. It is well-known that humans also involuntarily adjust their heart rate to match a beat which is around 60 bpm, suggesting even more strongly that there is an evolutionary advantage to be aware of how fast your heart is beating.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
"Music is a wonderful thing. I collected a few tracks which remind me why I like music so much.
01. Vassilis Tsabropoulos "The Other"
A magical piano composition. I think it is a very good opener for a mellow set. He also works together with cellist Anja Lechner. I highly recommend his work.
02. David Darlin "Dawn"
I don't think that anyone could resist this piece of music. I had it on my headphones and rode my bike through the snow and it stopped me freezing.
03. François Couturier "L´Eternel Retour"
Maybe my biggest contemporary piano influence these days. This piece is pretty harmonic, but I can tell you that he can teach you a lesson in atonal improvisation. It is simply mindblowing.
04. Alexei Lubimov - Alexander Trstiansky - Kyrill Rybakov "Spiegel Im Spiegel" by Arvo Pärt
Maybe Pärt's most famous composition in a wonderful clarinet version.
5. Dictaphone "Nacht EP"
One of the reasons why I wanted to move to Berlin. I listened to their music and couldn't believe how good their sound is. The founder Oliver Döring is also part of Swod. When you haven't heard Swod yet, then please don´t miss it!
06. Colleen "Babies"
One of my favorite Leaf releases.
07. Archivist "You Are Made Of Stardust"
Archivist is better known under the moniker Remote Viewer who was a member of Hood, before he focused more on his haunting organic electronica. He also released on the wonderful label CCO (City Centre Offices).
08. Erik Levander "Månen Viskar"
He is a wonderful clarinet player and composer. Solid gold.
09. World Standard & Wechsel Garland "Donde Lion Wine"
Isn't it nice how this piece picks up the compilation? That is also the reason why I put it in there.
10. Nick Drake "River Man"
Hmmm, I'll let the song speak for itself.
11. Serge Gainsbourg "Ballade De Melody Nelson"
Aha, now I know where Beck gets inspired. A huge album. I never get tired of it.
12. John Lurie "Bella By Barlight"
Stranger Than Paradise is a great movie and I think the music plays the main role. The perfect soundtrack for a rainy night in your car.
13. Bill Evans "Bella By Barlight"
A wonderful man who is probably one of the most respected piano players in the world. When I listen to the it makes me want to stop playing.
14. Valentin Silvestrov "Bagatellen 2"
The Ukrainian composer released a solo piano album on ECM which changed my playing quite a bit. When I am allowed to say that: this is the best sounding piano record I have ever heard. Beside that, the music is just brilliant, so subtle and calm.
I hope you'll have a good time listening to "Dance".