hyperstasis, part 78
"What all three
tracks share in common is a profound, almost militant, resistance to the
immediate, booming gratification that the vast majority of contemporary
club music promises. Turning bass-music formulae inside out, they
represent the anti-drop. But here's the other thing: these tunes are so
extreme, in their own ways, that they don't exactly invite imitation.
They're difficult and hermetic; they don't play well with others"--Philip Sherburne.
what Phil's describing in this post The Genre That Shall Not Be Named (Dubstep) -- which itself Spins off the blog Postwutchyalike: we can name it later
--is basically what i described (less favorably) a while ago as
nu-IDM... and what others have been calling, more as a placeholder than a
useful descriptive, post-dubstep
what's interesting is
that the very aspects that to me seem frustrating (as a listener) and
sterile (as an observer with an ear to the long view) are things that
Phil seems to be valorising, or trying to
i mean, man this sounds enticing, don't it?
"Cactus," released in February on Hessle Audio, was the first to catch
my ear with a weird inversion of dance-music energies: its bass wobbles
with the ferocity of the down-and-dirtiest dubstep, but the rest of the
tune feels gutted and hollowed-out.The drum track seems to be missing
information, as though a mute button had been pressed or a patch cable
had come unplugged; for all its heaviness, it's a weirdly enervated
tune, gliding listlessly like a sailboat stuck in the doldrums. I've
never heard it in a club, and I can only imagine that it would be tough
to play effectively"
what Phil also describes--a lateralism of connections transecting genres--is also the hallmark of hyper-stasis
which is criss-crossing journeys back and forth between and across the known, the extant forms
rather than forward movement into the unknown
pinpoints what may be the most interesting and revealing characteristic
of these hybrids, which is that they are one-offs...
like iron rods into the clockwork of the night, they feel less like
seeds for potential subgenres and more like weed killer, burning off the
overgrowth. Savor the sizzle"
hybridisation, in the analogue era, seemed to take the form of, well, new forms...
there was a centripetal logic that created a collective surge, a
swarming/flocking to a new sound... the scenius logic of one strong new
template that then "seeded" (to use Phil's organicist metaphor) myriad
minor variations, and this then created a monolithic vibe that was both
absorbingly total (at any given rave or club night) and also had staying
power (breakbeat hardcore/jungle/drum&bass lasted six years
before starting to calcify)
in the digital era, seems to not lead to anything.... something about
it's very fundamental constitutive processes (editing, morphing, etc) is
inorganic, hence the non-generative nature of the one-off hybrids, the
fact that they don't become genres.... there is a momentary
agglomeration of all these networked influences... but it doesn't become a sound that is adopted/mutated/evolved...
there is something inherent in digiculture logic that encourages differentiation, divergence... anti-scenius
the extreme, even the artist doesn't develop an individual style...
doesn't repeat themselves... each new track is another genre-of-one
after all is related to a measure of inflexibility and a measure of
predictability... that's how we recognise artistic signature.... but in
the ultra-flexibilized conditions of digi-flux, the artist is
encouraged to endlessly differ from himself, is pulled every-which-way
genre is the collectivisation of style, and depends similarly on an element of inflexibility and predictability...