Thursday, December 31, 2009

let it rip

the snowball manifesto:

The pulsing digital countdown is remorseless. On the PC menu bar. The projected hanging strip in the shopping mall.

Numerologically, '
2010' feels infinitely more apocalyptic than '2001', but the best sounds around continue to share a pedigree in the analogue. Served up reheated. Or merely compressed.

A carbon footprint set in stone. Carved on set sometime back in 1968 when that mysterious black obelisk was first publicly unveiled.

Despite the threat of global meltdown, the new millennium was ushered in on the back of nothing more ruinous than a piece of digital frippery from Robbie Williams. Robbie the Robot. Not so much Lost in Space as lost in the cult of meaningless celebrity.

Seven grammes of powdered Timothy Leary were propelled into orbit aboard the Pegasus rocket in 1997, ultimately burning out in 2003 before its intended deeper migration. Two years later, Hunter S. Thompson settled for only a cannon atop Aspen to distribute his remains; a Gonzo salute with two thumbs squarely on the launch button.

Between December 25th and Hogmany, I have found myself forcibly exposed to all three episodes of 'The Matrix Trilogy' on terrestrial tv. For all its ominous flickering code and John Wooesque choreographed ballet, less than a decade after its first chapter's initial release there is far too much digital dicking around to allow it to climb much higher than a Cubby Broccoli fart. As wholly indigistible as 007 fast food, its bilious aftertaste encapsulates the dire balance of CGI to substance inherent in contemporary culture.

I'm sure there must have been some mainstream highlights in "The Noughties'. I just can't think of (m)any.

In fact, it is enough of an indictment of current trends that video gaming has for some time now provided a more engaging and genuinely immersive experience. There is no ghost in the machine. No elusive cyber deity. If we all take our fingers off the keyboard for more than an instant, there remains nothing more 'out there' than a shadowy lingering fingerprint. A decaying hyperlink to some remote RIAA interred archive. DRM protection by Microsoft stooges in Ray-Bans. CIA Spooks.

So. Let it rip. And keep on blurting.

The hard drive is our fragile collective repository: dry goods and soul food.

Produced by Sonia Pottinger.
Recorded at Treasure Isle, Kingston.
Mixed by Errol Brown.

CULTURE: SKILFUL DUB from "Culture In Dub" LP (Sky Note) 1978 (Jamaica)
CULTURE: TWO SEVENS CLASH DUB from "Two Sevens Clash b/w Dub" 45 (Joe Gibbs) 1977 (Jamaica) [VINYL RIP]


ib said...

Well, shit.

Does "Oz" count ?

Certainly "The Sopranos". And "Breaking Bad", for sure; very possibly the best tv show I have ever watched.

HBO has taken over the floor I coveted as as a youth. Independent world cinema excepting.

Hats off to Fernando Mierelles' "City of God" and its sequel. And latin cinema in general.

ib said...

And, yes. I know "Breaking Bad" is not an HBO production, but it owes so much to the genre that I feel a compulsion to include it under that same umbrella.

Sam Peckinpah is long dead, but it feels to me like he had a hand in it. Robert Stone too.

A long death list of warriors.


Happy New Year, Brother Ib.

One thing that has bugged me since the so-called turn of the Century now is being regurgitated for the end of the decade nonsense. Since there was no year zero & since the common calendar starts from the year 1, its first full decade contained the years from 1 to 10, the second decade from 11 to 20, & so on. The interval from the year 2001 (the start of the 21st Century actually) to 2010 is then the actual first decade of the 2000s. But Happy New Year nonetheless & back to the beat.

From classic reggae to smooth voiced dancehall to flying cymbal dub rhythms, what a difference a producer/studio makes. Johhny Clarke, one of the best but often overlooked Jamaican vocalists, with the added touches of the masters Bunny Lee & King Tubby. A menage a trois.

Johnny Clarke - Rockers Time Now 1976

Johhny Clarke & King Tubby - A Ruffer Version 1974-1978

Johhny Clarke, The Aggrovators, & King Tubby - Johnny in the Echo Chamber:Dubwise Selection 1975-1976

ib said...

You are right. It's fitting that 2001 marked the beginning of the new millenium, but let's not split hairs.

Happy New Year, brother NØ.