ADVERTISEMENT!!!!1♣ I have finished, well nearly finished, the super duper severed heads video collection and it’s a double DVD called Showbag*. Double DVD because that’s infinitely cheaper than 1 dual layer disc – economies of scale at work. More on this coming up on the old sevcom.com site.
* Yes, aware that there is a band called Showbag. There is probably a band name for every combination of words in the English language. This is God’s way of saying – guys, knock it off already. Have you checked to make sure there’s not an emo band using your surname? Phew!
So I have also nearly finished the minidisc that goes into the snappily titled Album 10542304 box set of different formats. Each of the elements in the box has to follow at least two rules: it should employ contemporary methods that best address the media, and it has to start with a piano. Lucky in this case, contemporary methods include a whole truck load of digital tomfoolery of the kind used by Autechre back in the 90′s. Which makes what was a piano into just about everything you ever wanted, so long as it has little clicking noises.
Autechre and friends working as Gescom recorded their minidisc back in the 90′s much to the pleasure of Sony Corporation, who gave them a resounding testimonial something along the lines of this band should be as popular and as long lasting as our minidisc format. Or maybe something less grim. Anyway, even though I’m not making the same record as they did, there’s only so much difference between gleep, blorp, splat and ticky ticky no matter who does it. Because it’s a very limited genre really and already has its own tombstone on which is written: Post Digital.
Yes folks, we are in a Post Digital culture now. Various people have explained this to me and some of them, mostly those that were drunk at the time, made a lot of sense. Post is the word we use for the let down, the realisation that systems won’t take care of everything. Hence Post Modern in essence is the realisation that modernity wasn’t the answer to everything. Which makes sense but is a reactionary stance, no matter the sugar on top. It’s like the wise guy in the film who says, ‘that plan won’t work! You can’t climb twenty feet of sheer metal! I prefer the modern guy who says, ‘Well we have to try anyway!’ who usually ends up eaten by the monster in reel 6.
Post Digital is the failure of digital mechanisms, the skipping CD, the effects unit that overloads and makes splat sounds. It’s every tedious Oval album you wished you hadn’t bought. It’s now built into many digital recording tools such as Ableton Live, where failure can be successfully controlled and automated. In 2008 it’s also the 12 bar blues of electronic music. The rules seem to be pretty much in place and everyone knows them. That’s kind of Post Digital too I guess. But what worries me is that when I use analogue equipment that screws up, is that Post Analogue? Is tape hiss Post Analogue? I mean that makes every record that came out for decades unwittingly post something or other. Like Frampton Comes Alive. Very Post Analogue.
Taxonomy, folks. It keeps the university system rolling along.
Recently I was part of a seminar that also included some performances by academically endowed musician types. I was not one of them, being well known as ‘that fat bastard who does that old 80s stuff’. How little they know. Anyway the genre of the evening was most definitely 12 bar post digital, but to be honest it was the moments that didn’t fit that rule that made it bearable. Forget the names, there was the overall idea that this was a concert on the edge of something current, but only in the times where it leaned back into standards such as melody and rhythm that I found any interest. Lord help us if the fetishes of the 90′s became the new academy. MaxMSP, I have my guns out, I’m a coming for ya.
Are we ready for Post ‘Post’?