SWAGZ - A FREE DL...

BEYONCE GOT SWAG

So do we. Delighted to offer the very first track entirely produced, mixed and mastered in-house at Neu Music Studios.

Follow us on the gram' - we'll be forever grateful...

https://www.instagram.com/neumusicstudios/

credits

released August 14, 2019
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Rick Bull at Neu Music Studios

NEW music video work, Derrida, A haunted GAZE...

"[T]he world [is] suspended by some unique tear … reflecting disappearance itself: the world, the whole world, the world itself, for death takes from us not only some particular life within the world, some moment that belongs to us, but, each time, without limit, someone through whom the world, and first of all our own world, will have opened up….”  - Jacques Derrida

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Those who know me doubtlesly appreciate my ongoing fascination with the writings of the late Mark Fisher; one of the great champions of Jacques Derrida.

Fisher's books "Capitalist Realism - Is There No Alternative?" and "Ghosts of My Life" give eloquent shape to the sense of existential "future loss" so many of us feel, swimming in a digital culture defined by 'cultural re-treads' of once radiant fictions.

From widescreen remakes of "Wonderwoman" or "Friends", to a fascination with analogue recording technology, vintage synths (and the recreations thereof) and 'relicked' guitars, the implication persists that a new post-millenial 'authenticity' is measured by ghostly,  nostalgic signifiers, forever locked in the amber of an imagined past few actually experienced.

If "the medium is the message", what then is the message, when the medium resembles an opaque replica (plugin, filter, artificial noise-floor) of an older medium, originally designed for 'transparency'?

We are viewing 'through a glass darkly', only this time intentionally, literally.

Reflections of reflections.

Grafton Tanner's excellent "Babbling Corpse" expands further on notions of 'hauntology' examined by both Fisher and Derrida, examining musical forms like Vaporwave through this lens of the uncanny. It's vital reading, well written and engaging.

As part of of my own teaching and composition work, I've just completed the sketch below - a video response to a piece I composed as part of a previous EP, itself something of an exercise in unwitting hauntology. The video itself is composed entirely of youtube clips, most of which are digitisations of kids' toy advertisements from the 50s to 70s -  including a number for products for "mothers". I'm fascinated by the maternal gaze here, and that of the 'child' - the lines between volition and passivity which the camera imbues both with, and how these parlay with each other, dependent on product and circumstance.

You may well recognise the brief segments I've culled from the Johnson & Johnsons 'Language of Love' commercial(s) - unlikely examples of prescient hauntology in the 80s advertising cannon. We are as disconcerted by this advertisement's unanswered questions, moved by its exaggerated emotional caricature,  framed as voyeurs in an intimately uneasy emotional discourse,

In an era of rampant 'oversharing' on Facebook and Instagram, pre-internet commercials like 1987's "The Language Of Love" are eerily prescient, sitting at a hinge-point between 2nd and 3rd wave Feminism. Prototypical legitimacy via contrived confessional.

Who is this (wealthy?) young mother, so palpably alone in her ward after childbirth?
Where is her partner, family?
Why has her child been taken from her, set to be returned whilst she anxiously waits in psychic limbo?
What is this deep distress which haunts here?
What future awaits which she is so noticeably anxious about?

The dominant tone here is one of deep loneliness, and perhaps a loss of 'self' - an advertisement which speaks to a sudden erasure of one future and the giddy adrenal aftershock of a strange new kind of love.

It struck me enough to create (something of) a video response to.

"The lie is the future, one may venture to say [...]. To tell the truth is, on the contrary, to say what is or what will have been and it would instead prefer the past." - Jacques Derrida
 

FREE DL: Ariana - "Into You" (Deepchild Austerity-Free VIP) & 20+ more...

Amidst my constant posts about pedagogy, futurism, melancholia and neoliberalism, it's easy to lose sight of the gratuitous joy of pop music.

Ariana Grande has certainly become the subject of much focus of late - a bona-fide post-tween idol, placed front and centre in the light of the recent tragedy in Manchester. More power to her for her gracious response to the tragedy too.

Grande's work tends to be heavy on the saccharine teen-love side of things, underscored by some moment of simply superb songwriting... and (imho) a devastatingly great set of vocal chords.

Ariana is a legit singer.

Full credits for the original "Into You" can be found here which stands as one of my personal favorite pop sculptures of 2016...

I decided to take this on as a remix exercise to re-imagine a slightly deeper, more grown-up take on the original, which (to my ears) is a little heavy on an over-tooled EDM production aesthetic - which is somewhat tragic, as the original track and vocal arrangement is superb, classic pop-writing perfection.

I've offered my instrumental retake as an additional download here too - incase anyone would like to take it and make it their own (remix of a remix anyone?). I'd love to hear what other vocalists might bring to the table here. Take it and run with my blessing.....

Ultimately, "Into You" has always sounded like a backroom, bump-n-grind exercise in woozy love-making. It's the spirit I've tried to channel here - in all its 'austerity-free' glory.

Let's face it - the warmth of human bodies under low light with a little red-wine will liberate us in ways in which Thatcherism and it's acolytes could only dream of.

Deep respect to Ariana, and all those makin' love, bleedin' down the night, and shinin' on in dark times. Love, especially today for friends and familyin London, Manchester Berlin and across Europe.

I miss you all deeply. Play these loud - bonus points for anyone who sends through video evidence, which I'll gladly post here.


Here are 20 or so additional sketches / downloads from my Soundlcoud page, for any interested - a mixture of mastered, unmastered, work in progress and previously released works. And yes, that Alicia re-redux has well and truly clocked 100,000+ plays now. Who knew?

When The Future Stopped - a chat with Native Instruments

I recently had a wonderful chat with Native Instruments in Berlin, about.....what happened when the future stopped.... check out the full interview here and linked below....

Perhaps in some sense, it’s a sound aesthetic reacting to the tropes of ‘realism’ or ‘authenticity’, which are the byproducts of the neoliberal sound machine. I’m not interested in the sound of a ‘real 808’, or ‘old-school’ house or techno, or ‘authentic’ tape saturation. These technologies were so vital because they sprung from a time when the ‘future’ was still being invented, and so often now we look ‘back to the future’ which never came to pass.

An Interview with the Univeristy of Technology

I was recently interviewed by Sydney's University of Technology about my work as a teacher, producer and savagely verbose left-wing nutter.

HERE'S a link to the resulting (long!) feature piece.

“My time at UTS as a communications student was an extremely positive one. It showed me that arts practice does not exist in a void, and neither do issues of economic or cultural policy. It behooves us as citizens of the world to remain expansive and engaged in our ‘vocation’, rather than reductive and careerist-driven. “I feel like my time at UTS pushed me to move beyond being merely ‘academically adequate’ or ‘technically competent’. I had some incredible lecturers who simply refused to allow me to acquiesce into indifference about my ‘practice’.”

“My time at UTS as a communications student was an extremely positive one. It showed me that arts practice does not exist in a void, and neither do issues of economic or cultural policy. It behooves us as citizens of the world to remain expansive and engaged in our ‘vocation’, rather than reductive and careerist-driven. “I feel like my time at UTS pushed me to move beyond being merely ‘academically adequate’ or ‘technically competent’. I had some incredible lecturers who simply refused to allow me to acquiesce into indifference about my ‘practice’.”

Radio 2SER and I have a chat about performance, teaching, techno...

"The Chat interviews outstanding graduates from the University of Technology, Sydney who have excelled in their profession or community.

From CEOs to SCs, fashion designers to forensic scientists, The Chat gets graduates back on Broadway to share their stories.

The Chat is produced at 2SER 107.3 in Sydney with the support of the University of Technology Sydney."