[-empyre-] Dealing with Violence, A Compilation of Music
tykal49 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 08:44:57 EST 2014
Reflecting further on the conversation over the past few days, I thought
one way I might contribute is to offer a version of a soundtrack for
contemplating these issues or seeking solace from their shock. The idea
came to me late, so while I'd have liked to create a mix for the group,
perhaps leaving them in their full glory, and the transitions roughly
defined by their natural boundaries, fits with the friction such discussion
One of my other creative endeavors is running (and folding) record labels,
and plowing through thousands of albums to find a few songs to carry me
through the times when my soul cries out for the medicine of music.
Estimates say around 115k albums are released every year, and that doesn't
account for self-released and underground music, or singles, so this act of
filtering when there's literally too much to absorb becomes quite important
I think, whether in music, literature, exposure to violence or ways of
dealing with it. (The sheer volume of artists in the world transforming our
pain, suffering and injustice feels similarly staggering and awe-inspiring.)
The filtering done by all here certainly takes my thinking and reflection
on the subject years ahead of what I would have accomplished if I'd set out
to digest the evidence and gather experience alone.
So, in return, here are fourteen songs I find myself turning to in similar
moods and modes and which I hope can be of some use to you. Feel free to
pass it along. It's almost entirely from the electronic field, but
incorporates everything from computer-based sound design, natural field
recordings, and Native American chanting to acoustic cello, violins and
piano. Heavy on the ambient but alternating between the dissonant and
consonant, resolving the harsh in melodic lulls.
A list of the genres and subgenres involved, many converging in single
songs, could yield interesting insights on its own:
Ambient / Dark ambient / Drone / Modern classical / Contemporary / IDM /
Drum & Bass / Jungle / Breakcore / Dub / Organic / Glitch / Broken Beat /
Breakbeat / Dub / Psychedelic Dub / Psychill / Dubstep / Tribal / Techno /
Noise / Leftfield / Downtempo / Beat / Bass / House / Hip-Hop / Future Jazz
/ Experimental / Industrial / Electro / Power Electronics / Electronica
And lastly, a bit of art to preface the music. Five or six years back I
started using the mix preface as an art form, or as a quasi-art form that's
part poem, part description of the music and the effect of the music, part
stream of consciousness, part cluster unraveling, part meditation on this
particular instance of condition human. And in this case, part reflection
on the course and depth of the discussion had:
*Dealing with Violence*
In this ambient swirl of music, beatless in some stretches of embodiment
and beatstricken in others, culturally sewn from more ethnic roots than I
can trace, I think of technology's ability to make us the most efficient
and productive generation of murderers in human history, and its ability to
capture and discover depths of emotion and beauty that extend the felt
range of the human soul.
I think of the harsh daily realities of our treatment of one another, the
violence committed in the name of money, power, ideas and feelings, and the
strength of the human heart to withstand these blows, to heal, trace its
fingers along its scars and transform it all into art that exerts pressure
to the point of tears and dance and hypnotic concordance on every set of
singed senses that imbibe its fact thereafter.
I think of recycling, plastic, stranglings and struggling, thrashing until
falling still, trash, living and dead, the glory of decay, guns recycled
into pyramids, humans recycled into humus, planets into energy, dust, dust,
spacewind and phenomena beyond our explanation, beyond our detection,
occupying every inch of our here-departing flesh, song, music in the way
attention plays this touching moment.
I think of life and what it feeds, death and the patterns dying fits into.
I think of what it means to love and how that makes me wish I could spend
lifetimes doing absolutely nothing else, an entire lifetime scattered in
loving everything I hate.
I think of people, plants, creatures and viruses, the beauty of bacteria
and the functions of flatulence, laughter, fear. I think the end is near. I
think there is no end. I think the end is a matter of belief, circumstance,
mental notation and division. I think of breaking broken chains, and better
fortresses to replace them. Better ideas and scarier uses to put them. I
think of the song of a branch no one has ever seen, the one we clung to
when we first learned to climb, the one we broke to find the frailty of
I think of the choreography of pigeons at the sound of a hawk, the
choreography of aversion at the sound of a cough. I think of the earth
standing up in the shape of humans only to turn on itself in droves. I
think of missing children, missing mothers, missing grief, empathy, graves.
Faulty allegiances and the self-destructive search for sanity through
opposition. Surveillance, sabotage, betrayal. Trigger fingers to the
highest bidder, shellshock, the sickening revelations of manipulation that
lead to a renouncing of ways.
I think of seeds pushing fingers into the soil, artists pushing visions
into the soul, and trust in the seeds to grow strong.
I think of eyes, ears, mouths, eating, sucking, swallowing, the maze of
mineral from earth to anus, how the force that created us destroys us. I
think of moments where all is suspended, though it flies through being in
lightning and thunder, shadow and warmth that coaxes everything from its
shell, crack, the perfection of that breaking and its always being broken.
I think the ropes we hold, the ropes we poop through, the ropes we tie to
knit wounds, to keep tabs, to stay safe, to stay uncertainty are fraying,
and I think the fraying flares scares tears chills sizzles thrills. I think
fraying is the lamenting moan, the grieving scream, the searing sigh of
ecstasy. I think we're fraying and fraying is becoming and what energy
spins its knifeweb into. I think fraying traces perception into the
invisible and invisible here we come.
Link (right click and save-as to download)
01 Carbon Based Lifeforms - Terpene
02 Millipede - A Hole in the Shape of You
03 Atomic Skunk - Osiris
04 Chapelier Fou - Protest (Dimlite's Re-ça va Pas)
05 Kalya Scintilla ft. Deya Dova - Tribe Original
06 BLÆRG - Episodic Postulation
07 Frank Riggio - Higher Ailleurs
08 Pi - Numb
09 Tonikom - Dark Hand
10 The Sushi Club - Lormarium
11 Kid Noize - Signs (Mister Tweeks Remix)
12 Bersarin Quartett - Der Mond, der Schnee und Du
13 Clockvice - It Sounds Like We're Breaking
14 Garth Stevenson - Horizon
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