Taking advantage of christmas holiday season, Rie, Sophie and I attended a couple concerts and recitals in nearby Latin Quarter churches. Gounod, Liszt, Bach and Schubert… Also a selection from the Italian opera repertoire (my guilty pleasure), interpreted by one very Castafiore-esque mezzo-soprano.
Don’t look for soothing deep house beats this time around: it’s all moody bleeps, 808 galore and punkish overtones. This is the Sound of Tomorrow, people (which is coincidentally just like the Sound of Yesterday, only with better electronics and more post-modern irony).
Also, this is my first time, ever, mixing entirely in digital format, only using, for lack of better options, my trusty laptop and FastTrack Pro M-Audio box. The result is neither as fun nor as satisfying as a nice pair of decks, but certainly better than nothing (hopefully). Since I still haven’t purchased a new MIDI keyboard either (ohh, grand ambitions of renewed artistic endeavours from last September, where hast thou gone?), there is practically no additional productions to speak of.
PS: if you missed previous installments of the collection (including the less electro-ish ones), they can all be found, neatly labeled and sorted by bleepy type on the mix repository page.
PPS: for those looking for a deepy-house fix, I can’t recommend enough Fleep-san’s near-monthly delivery of such.
We interrupt regular programming to announce you the death of Tony Wilson.
If you ever were 14 year old, please pay respects: he is the one to whom you owe royalties for those bouts of awkward teenage moppiness, spent lying on your bed in the dark, listening to comically depressing music. And a fucking genius.
Thanks to a last minute spare ticket provided by lovely Dame Kozlika, I went yesterday to a production of Lohengrin, at Opéra Bastille (the ugly 80’s monsterchild one of the two). I figured I may as well post a quick personal review – I’m told this is what this whole blog thing is about: empowering the People, all that… So here goes…
I’ll let you peruse the Wikipedia entry for a complete synopsis, but story goes a bit like:
Beautiful Damsel in Distress is saved in extremis by Handsome Stranger from Unknown Origin, who washes her honor by pounding on Manipulated Semi-Vilain Consigliere.
Beautiful Damsel in Distress offers own hand to Handsome Stranger from Unknown Origin, who gladly accepts it with proviso that she shan’t ever ask for his actual name or try to uncover his Unknown Origin.
Evil Manipulating Witch manipulates.
Naive Beautiful Damsel in Distress is manipulated.
Beautiful Damsel in Distress lasts all of 24 hours before asking the forbidden question: Handsome Stranger no longer from Unknown Origin, turns out to be none other than, theretofore unmentioned, opera’s titular character.
Swan this, swan that, swans are everywhere.
Handsome Stranger Better Known as Lohengrin leaves, pissed off. Swan becomes a prince. People rejoice, broken love mourns, evil pouts.
Lohengrin was one of the few remaining major Wagnerian works I had not seen. Which must now bring my compounded Wagner experience to a few trillion hours. That is, like every other of his other opera, this one is long, very long. Unlike the Nibelungen tetralogy, though, it isn’t particularly fast-paced.
I must confess to a couple yawns during the first act, while second and third act peaked up a bit, both story-wise and musically.
I suppose it might be a bit late to ask him… But nevertheless: could Glenn Gould please just shut. the. fuck. up.
Glen: we know you’re a bloody genius, and you do temper that clavier mighty well indeed. But seriously: ENOUGH WITH THE HUMING ALREADY. It is driving me batshit crazy (not that I need much these days).
We had a couple tix for the Qwartz “Electronic Music Awards” last Friday (went, despite knowing this would imply spending the rest of my week-end, reading up the works of Messrs. von Neuman, Morgenstern and Nash, a coffee IV hooked to my arm)…
Despite grand ambitions and a few catchy headliners (most notably: Bjork and Pierre Henry, both a last-minute no-show), the whole event had a very homemade vibe to it. Most of the MC’s time was spent calling for people to come on stage who often had apparently picked that time to go drink champagne or weren’t even attending to begin with… The show ended up running a couple hours late (we gave up and left shortly before the end, leaving only a very scarce crowd behind us).
All this bickering notwithstanding, we had a cool evening: the live sets were very eclectic, ranging from über-experimental stuff, to dancefloor-friendly, beat-heavy electronica. The people were friendly and the venue absolutely gorgeous.
A few random rantish thoughts:
Despite the lack of an artificial commodities market where such could be sold at inflated prices, music does have its dubious “white-on-white-with-white-shadows” school of contemporary artists. They tend to make 10-minute long tracks using a sine wave generator, some bubble wrap and a microphone for sole instruments.
On the other hand, being a “serious” cutting-edge electronic artist making “dancefloor-friendly” tracks, apparently means 90% of the time, using the played-out-to-exhaustion Amen break like it’s 1998 and Drum’n’bass is the new cool shit.
Erm. Was Drum’nbass ever cool? Yea, nevermind.
Vitaminsforyou played one of the very few live acts I would have paid to dance to.
Cocoon had infinitely more ambition than substance. I have seen better post-situ art performances, waiting in line for Alcatraz at Pier 23.
Leonard de Leonard performed some pretty bouncy electro-hip-hop songs. Yet I couldn’t help notice they had little business being there: for all its cheeky joviality, the rapping wasn’t exactly Public Enemy-quality (kinda tried for it, though) while the “electronic” part ranked in the straight-outta-mom’s-garage league.
Try as I may, Pierre Shaeffer’s Musique Concrète still bores the hell out of me. Oddly enough, Soares Brandao’s “Hommage to Pierre Shaeffer” wasn’t completely devoid of interest (watching more than listening, actually).
Nominees and tracks that caught my ear : Wang Lei, Matmos (++), Electroluvs, Coloma, dr Bone, Hypo & EDH, Bostich…
Most of which (Matmos excepted) I wouldn’t dare putting up against any major mainstream electronic act (say, at random: Laurent Garnier, Matthew Herbert etc.) or even many smaller indie producers…
Despite a list of nominees spanning (only?) half-a-dozen countries, the whole music selection had a heavy French feel to it. Perhaps a little too much systemic bias within the selection process.
Foie-gras & marzipan gingerbread makes for truly divine petit-fours.
For somewhat more constructive insights on that event, you can check out this post (in French) from a blogger in my feed list who, as it turns out, also went.