Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Low notes

I was inspired to listen to David Bowie's Low for the first time in years after reading Hugo Wilcken's treatise for Continuum's 33 1/3 series. The following are [basically] verbatim from notes taken while performing sit-ups:

Jagged guitar shreds scribbled over by sine waves
Drums: locomotion, changing phases, imploding into itself, hurling forward, swept into & swallowed by a cyclone
Motions of a rock record, but only as passage through a tunnel to altogether more interesting territory
“You” as often as “I”
The sound of a band playing together, subverted, splintered, defaced
Hooks in service of sound, not traditional song structure
Layers built up [1. band 2. overdubbed effects 3. vocals] & then stripped back down. [Isolating the middle invents tension organically]
Apex of experimentation: Throw everything in, see what works
Plenty of previous works that were darker, grimier, infused with more self-hatred. Here, the flames of hell lick at his heels [as he runs towards the horizon]
Salvation through creation
Forged from fire
1. Speed of Life: Hurtle into positive atmosphere
2. Breaking Glass: Insular blues
3. What in the World: Loopy joy
4. Sound and Vision: Dance, funk
5. Always Crashing in the Same Car: Finally some terror
6. Be my Wife: Lyrics and music most successfully at odds
7. A New Career in a New Town: Then, finally, throw out words altogether
8. Warsawza: Hope despite desolation---the majesty of survival after devastation. Rediscovery of ritual? [Primordial, before language & meaning] Jettison content from language, substance created in the absence of objective truth (substance and subjectivity)
9. Art Decade: Decay creates art
10. Weeping Wall: Beautiful. Riding flow of melody. Voice producing sound instead of imparting meaning
11. Subterraneans: Again, beautiful

Sound and vision
Sound: texture
Textures creating pictures (vision)
Vision: foresight

{End of album; end of notes}

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