[Post on] weed and music and how they don’t go together in the minds of many musicians and many fans. How Baths said that he didn’t want his music to be described as ‘blunted’ a few years ago and how this has caused me since to wonder about the issue. I’ve sort of thought of it as a slight dilemma with loads of foods of thought – coming down to how we perceive our music, how we perceive weed and how we perceive them if coined together through such descriptions as ‘blunted’ used in relation to songs.
[Post that] concludes with compliments for a 2010 album called Compost (album art above) by Oscar Mcclure along with remixes by Baths and Delofi.
I remember in 2010 when Tom + I interviewed Will Weisenfeld of Baths, I asked him why he had reacted with online annoyance to an online Pitchfork reviewer who onlinely proclaimed his music to be ‘blunted’. Will said “it reduces it to something, makes it like just beat”. But obviously, other genre names also ‘reduce it to something’, so there must be something poignant about this particular reduction that is undesirable for Will [he went onto to talk about purity, how he has ADHD and how he loves water]. I end up thinking – what is the type of thing that makes a noise sound blunted? I have the idea that the ‘type of thing’ is analogous to a more sincere-sounding appreciation/interpretation of noise. I.e. Person A and Person B might have in some places exactly the same music tastes but Person A strives unconsciously to always find new music that he feels is blunted, Person B strives unconsciously to always find new music that he feels is ‘something’ – where the word ‘something’ replaces the ‘type of thing’ to which ‘blunted is analogous with. Whatever that type of thing is, this kind of topic feels slightly unconventional on a music blog – certainly my question to Will made everyone feel uncomfortable.
I think a more general response might be that there is a certain beauty to embracing all attempts to reduce; there’s a certain beauty to appreciating the guy who describes all music that involves artificial percussion as ‘electro’, or the person who compares every single artist to a certain band they know (e.g. Foals), our reducing things to genres or ‘similar artists’ or certain poignant adjectives like ‘blunted’ is simply a reflecting of our own personalities, perspective and our own limitations. Reflecting our own person and limitations through output is something that can perhaps be said for all individual creation.
I’d like to put here a joke to offer ourselves some relief, some opportunity for some nervous laughter.
But that might happen through song –
Oscar Mcclure put this album out in 2010 and it’s stuck firmly as one my favourite collection of songs. In fact, HypeM has it I blogged this a few months after the time it was released and thence it seems I deleted the post; absence of proof of this record having really stuck.
The album: Oscar McClure – Compost
Apart from anything, the album’s broad and it fills with me with sensation deep in emotions and feels. Sometimes it is novel, almost producing a certain comedy through experimental-feeling arrangements and bizarre rhythms. Then it’s kinda riveting/ somewhat scary; jerking and glitch-sounding snare-replicas thudding and cutting into eery background noise. Most of time it feels like you’re lost in a bewildering world of nonsensical objects and nonsensical sounds, and through bewilderment, you are tugged along lovingly by dynamic innovative hand-made rhythms – it feels enchanting and stirring (and stuff), it’s enjoyable, you’d listen again.
Perhaps the above description has something to say for the motivations of Person B’s evolving music taste.
‘Compost Remixes‘ also provides such sweet songs by good artists: Baths (!), Asura, Delofi, Teebs, yeeeeeees.
Oscar McClure original; ‘Weeds‘
Baths‘ Otalgia remix:
Perhaps it isn’t so much that being described as ‘blunted’ is reductionist in that music is reduced to one universal quality that applies to lots of music i.e. music that people like to listen to for its complimenting or reminding them of being high, but rather, it’s reductionist in its relating songs to other desirable objects. Like food; people don’t like their songs to be thought of as merely stimulating an appetite like food does, they like to think music appreciation and creation is more than that.
Two questions are, do you think of your love for music as something more than just fulfilling your needs, your appetite? Are there more dimensions to appreciation than simply a one-dimensional satisfaction of quenching thirst, soothing addiction, easing hunger or relieving stimulation needs?
Maybe just listen and don’t think about any of this stuff.