Five Songs, 8/6/2017
Five Songs

Five Songs, 8/6/2017

Your music is over here!

John Oswald, "Way"

John Oswald, a composer, coined the term "plunderphonics" to describe the process of composing a new song using recognizable parts of existing songs. The "recognizable" portion was something he considered key. It involves the composer making using of existing associations in order to raise emotions in the listener that might otherwise not be possible. This can distinguish it from some of the sampling used in hip hop and the like, which might be considered plunderphonics or not, depending on how much the source is widely known.

Oswald put these ideas into action across a series of releases, which were pretty mercilessly suppressed by various copyright claims. Seeland (Negativland's record label) later gathered all his stuff together into a single compiled release, Plunderphonics 69/96. As time has gone on, this sort of approach has become acceptable in wider culture, and Oswald looks pretty visionary.

As an exercise in experimentation, I find it to be pretty fascinating. It's not the kind of thing you're going to bust out all the time, but I wish more artists would engage in this kind of conceptual work.

(NB: the linked video combines "Way" with the following track "Sfield".)

Touché Amoré, "Pathfinder"

Back to the hardcore of Touché Amoré, which we last visited several months ago. I really do wish I knew more about the punk scene these days. I suppose I could find some blogs?

People Under the Stairs, "The Double K Show"

Part of the L.A. scene that also produced Jurrasic 5, the People Under the Stairs are very much a throwback group, focusing on breakbeat-based songs. This comes from their album O.S.T., which I think is their best record, with this track being a good representative track.

(NB: the song starts at 34:46 in the linked video.)

Lightning Bolt, "Infinity Farm"

On the heels of yesterday's Hella track, we've got Lightning Bolt, another frantic noise rock outfit that's a duo. Like Hella, it's about crazy rhythms and punishing noise, but you can't really tell from this track, alas. Unlike Hella, they usually also feature howling vocals, performed by the drummer, who just jams the mic into his mouth to shout into it.

The Smiths, "Stretch Out and Wait"

A staple of my high school existence, and one I've continued to listen to, the attractions of Marr's jangle and Morrissey's moping being eternal, apparently. As a bonus, it also annoys some of my friends!

Joshua Buergel
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