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Old 05.22.2011, 07:40 PM   #1
tw2113
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When they're starting out or when they've already gained some sort of level of positive notoriety?

Personally, I feel that the most creative work comes when there is the least amount of pressure from anyone above.
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:16 AM   #2
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I'm not sure. Personally, every time I start a new record, I try to completely do something I've never done before. I don't see the point in repeating myself. If I feel like something I've done resembles something else, I erase it. That's just me though.

I think most artists tend to get "worse" as they go along, or at least more tired. There's a few exceptons, but.. think of it like this. The first record a band comes out with, it's kinda like.. their whole life has led up to this. Know what I mean? I just can only think of a few bands where they tend to get more interesting as time goes on -- usually, their first records are the ones with the energy, the passion, the creativity, etc. I mean, this goes for popular bands and underground bands. Oh, bands might get "Better" -- as in more "Talented", or something. For a lack of a better example, look at SYSTEM OF A DOWN. They suck completely, but their self-titled album is AMAZING. They added more instruments later, had more complex and "talented" songs, but their energy, creativity, etc. was zapped.
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:22 AM   #3
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There's also the route an artist goes where they don't find their true voice until several records in.

And today this is happening more and more considering people can just zip file their music to others without any need to grow first.
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:30 AM   #4
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haha what's your sig from derek?
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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In terms of music... I think the problem is that we're stuck in the idea of the album, still (well, some of us are). It's a fairly outmoded concept - I mean, it's fine if that's what you want to do, but if it's not it seems a pretty pointless obligation.

I've been getting more and more into this idea, from Atalli's noise, of music being a gift or an experience or a theatre - anything but 'band' and 'album'. It's made me much more 'creative' to just say 'fuck it' to a lot of the charades that don't really interest me.

The more interesting musicians are nearly always the older ones, in my head. The problem is that we're still drenched in these preposterous 'invasion of the teenager' things. The problem is that a musician sort of only becomes a musician when s/he realises there's nothing left to prove, nothing left to impress upon the world, and whether they can still be creative after that moment. So, late Bailey, Cage, Smith, Haino and even stuff like Merzbow, Hijokaidan, Whitehouse - I tend to find it most interesting when an artist realises (in both senses) their creative inertia.

Best books, paintings, poems, plays - nearly always the later stuff. And, of course, often the problem with the later stuff is that the artist has created their own world, impenetrable. Joyce, Beckett, Benjamin, Prynne, Eliot...

I don't get this 'I try and do something different' thing. With all the best will in the world - and I do like some of your stuff, Herr Park - that doesn't come through at all for this audience. You have an incredibly precise aesthetic to my mind. Ok, it's not quite a case of using the exact same chords, but aesthetically there's absolute consistency and thematically it's difficult to differentiate one from t'other.

[this was a response to ASP's first response]
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:43 AM   #6
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Oh, I guess I'm just saying, I don't see the point in making the same record twice. I've already made that statement, why repeat it? Also, if you really think any of my albums sound anything alike, I don't think you've listened to my stuff. Compare HOLE IN THE HEAD OF GOD to SHRINE TO SALVAGED JUNK to SYNYONYM FOR THE WORD DECAY -- all released within a few months of each other. COMPLETELY different albums. It's not something I even thought of initially, it wasn't me consciously going "TIME TO CHANGE MY SOUND 100%!" It was more that I wanted to challenge myself, and I noticed reviews always commenting/criticizing/being bewildered about how different an album is, and then I decided.. "well, that's cool. I guess I do do that. Why don't I keep trying to do some different stuff then?" Bercause I just do the things I do, I neer really think of them, though some reviews have made me think aboutmy stuf stuff in a different way. A good one is fishbasket's at http://www.discogs.com/artist/Scissor+Shock ...

"Okay, Adam Cooley has got to be the least predictable musician I have ever heard. I quite highly doubt that, without any prior knowledge, I would know that any two albums bearing his name were actually by the same guy. He and (whenever applicable) his band are capable of a wide range of styles and sounds, from Kid606 contracting the Rage virus to Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band and Volvox having a stand-off. Even in the course of a recording itself, Cooley's not afraid to whip the listener about on the end of the rope before pulling them up to safety, just to push 'em off so he can do it again later on. But he will not drop you, don't worry.
Scissor Shock is capable of conjuring up all kinds of moods, from lunatic catharsis to unsteady calm, but they have only one steadily followed modus operandi: Each album should differ markedly from the next. There is no clear-cut "sound" to describe them. You would have to hear this audio Calvinball for yourself and draw your own conclusions, and there in itself lies the fun."


I also really like kitty magic's from http://www.discogs.com/Scissor-Shock...elease/2449033
how do you introduce an act that changes so much on every single album? i didn't understand scissor shock for a long time, as they really require the new listener puts in some serious research. their past records have varied from insanely sped-up bursts of pure one million BPM insanity all the way to a beefheart-tinged deconstruction of music that you could attempt to categorise, and fail miserably - this is not punk, noise, jazz, or musique concrete, and it's definitely not 'midigrind' either - the name given to the so-called scene that this act emerged from, but have always had very little to do with stylistically. what this is, at least to me, is the sound of music destroying itself. there are real songs here, but they are heavily filtered through all out ugliness and constantly disorientated by apparently random bursts of chance dissonance. for fans of early mothers of invention and secret chiefs 3, this on occasion sounds like those equally bizarre projects, but easily ten thousand times more intense than anything they've ever done... this makes its logical predecessors look like easy listening. all i can really categorise this as is... pure dada. --Weary Indie Hannah, I'M ONE OF AN ODD FAMILY



Basically, what I do is, I try to "master" a certain type of sound (not master as in be the best at it -- I don't thinK i HAVE much musical talent at all -- but I want to know I can make a certain type of sound, even in my sleep); the aesthetic I'm going for. I want to keep "moving on". Like I said, it was initially an unconscious thing, just for fun, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought... I can really do something with it.

Basically, I am always trying to challenge myself. THat's important to me.

I write songs I can't even play, on guitar or whatever, because I am trying to eventually be good enough to play that.

Basically, Beefheart is my god, and the way he changed from album to album has been a big influence on me, though I didn't start listening to him until I'd already done about 40 albums. It's actually comedic to me, I'm not trying to be a chinstroker, not trying to do some ridiculous thing here, I find it funny like, "oh, last album, I had a 3 minute spoken word thing with ukulele that was the worst recording ever and the simplest thing ever, why don't I write a 9 minute song with 500 riffs for this album?" Basically, eerything I do, musically or in my movies or whatever, is all about absurdity. I get a kick out of it.

Glice, I highly reccomend you check out my album RANGER RACCOON -- THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE TRADE, it's a dark pop album I did when I was 14. I actually think you'd get a kick out of it. It's got video game samples, digital hardcore stuff, rapping, weird spoken word shit.. my voice cracks a lot cuz I was going through puberty. At the time of making it, I didn't really have any influences, so it comes off as an energetic and singular statement. It's pretty bizarre too I guess. Just randomly play a few songs..

http://www.last.fm/music/Ranger+Racc...can+Race+Trade


Anyway, I think you'd really have to see some live sets to understand what is going on. One show had 17 people on stage with me, other shows are a bit more composed. Some are just straight-up electronic, but they've all been really different.

Basically, the band is an explosion of my consciousness, and whatever I'm interested in at the time is what comes out. But even though I find the band absurd and humorous, I do take it seriously, hence why one album took 2years to write, 1 (mars travolta) took 1 year to recrd since every nanosecond was edited. On the other hand, SHRINE TO SALVAGED JUNK was all done in about 3 hours, mostly instant songs, on the spot.

Oh, and before I discovered Beefheart, my biggest influenced was DEFINITELY Wire, especially those first 3 albums.. damn.

I think change is important. I mean, if a band still feels like they have a lot to say by saying it the same way for 3 or 4 more albums, that's nice. But, personally, I'm not someone ever satisfied, and rarely proud ,of what I've done, because the sound in my head never matches the sound I'm trying to creative. I just tend to like when artists try to think forward. That's admirable -- it doesn't always work but it's beter than another retread, which can often be embarassing. Look at all those punk bands who have released 20 albums that sound identical for example.

I have "Felt" the most creative when... well.. creating. As far as inspirations, mainly depression, boredom, drugs. I thought I had run out of things to say musicaly, that's why I focused on movies and music and painting for a little over a year. After getting burnt out on that, I'm back to writing songs, and it feel really good. I think sometimes people just need a break. The SS stuff I'm doing now is really really slow and atmospheric, acoustic based, with detuned pianos, dual female/male vocals, and lots and lots of organ. The songs are being built around kitchen sink percussion and homemade instruments. It's pretty wild stuff so far, I guess. But it's very difficult to get the sound I want, which forever delays the process.
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Old 05.23.2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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haha what's your sig from derek?
I don't know it's origin, sadly.

Oh and that's a great post Glice.
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Old 05.23.2011, 09:52 AM   #8
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Basically, the band is an explosion of my consciousness, and whatever I'm interested in at the time is what comes out.

First of all, I'm not an academic of your music. So with all the best will in the world, I can't be arsed to download things that may or may not refute my point.

The point I'm making - and the point I make with nearly all musicians - is that proximity is a real danger in talking about your own work. I've recently started moving more in 3rds than 6ths and 4ths - this is a pretty radical departure for me, but I'm well aware that it's utterly minor to an audience. Perhaps this is a case of pessimism - I'd say my music is an extension of my consciousness, and while I'm aware of people who think what I'm doing is 'diverse', it really isn't. I live in my head, so I suppose I have the privilege of knowing where it all comes from. I suppose I'm skirting around questions of verisimilitude and 'authenticity', the latter of which I hate. But to pick up on that - whenever anyone says they're 'borrowing from ethnic music' - let's say West African poly-temporal drumming for the purposes of argument - I tend to feel that what they do is at best - and that's not immediately a bad 'at best' - do a approximation of that tradition. We're attached to different pulses, different swings and emphases, so if we throw a load of differently-timed percussions together, it'll always be a verisimilitude of that tradition. Again, this isn't a bad thing, but it is a question of accepting our failures and inability to inhabit nuances and subtleties. There was an interview in the Wire ages ago where Tony Allen was talking about Jaki Leibzeit's 'Africanisms', and he sort of said, 'yeah, it's the beats but not the rhythms' (or something like that). Leibzeit is amazing, of course, but his is only an approximation of African music. For myself on violin, I've assimilated a load of Maqam techniques in an utterly inauthentic way that means it sounds sort of like what I'm aiming for, but ultimately fails (which I'm happy enough with). Funnily, to a lot of audiences my technique sounds like any vague 'other' - I've been told I sound Chilean, Jewish, Irish, Romani, Indian [etc etc] - everywhere except where I'm consciously stealing from, seemingly.

This is a pretty long-winded point - sorry about that - but essentially I'm saying that what I hear in your music is precisely the opposite of what you seem to hear in it - you have a solid and consistent aesthetic. The thing is, if you do one track that's 90 seconds with 500 meticulously-prepared riffs, and another track which is a spontaneous, discontinuously framed improvisation, there is literally no difference between the two as far as anyone except the most assidious listener is concerned. What you do consistently is this sort of jump-cut ADHD thing - I just listened to less than 20 seconds of peroxide rubbing alcohol [...], which sounds no different, in terms of structure, impetus, ideas, ideology, construction, recording fidelity, aesthetic (etc) to most of what I've heard of SS. Latter SS is better, by a large margin, but it's still exactly the same person, exactly the same consciousness and general aesthetic making it.

For another comparison - there's a point in later Mozart where he stops obviating the ostinato basslines. It doesn't stop sounding like Mozart, but it's a massive change to the structure. Proximity - if I was more of a scholar of Mozart, the gradual transition might be equivalent to a complete lobotomy, a new composer - but as it is, I'm audience - it all sounds similar enough.

Or for another comparison - you know that whole Zorn/ Patton thing, Painkiller and Bungle and so on? As is probably obvious by now, I hate all that bollocks - but there's always this smug thing with them where they seem to think that including loads of things under a single umbrella constitutes 'diversity' - in fact, for most people (or me at least) the constant barrage actually elides all differences in the traditions they're simulating. Theirs (and this isn't a comparison with yourself, because you have more interesting influences) is an utterly boring aesthetic of assimilation, discontinuity and pastiche. It doesn't matter that they're putting tradition or genre x next to genre y, the song itself becomes a single aesthetic monad where difference is destroyed by the arc of the narrative - or rather, what you get is a verisimilitude of music in general where all specifics fall from conscious attention.

Of course, I'm pretty austere on this matter - though I'm obviously as guilty as anyone of appropriating things, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just think that an individual tends to define their aesthetic less by their conscious identity and more just by existing; and for the audience (regardless of some overly-enthusiastic reviewers) that'll mostly appear as a unitary aesthetic. That unitary aesthetic may be expansive and fluid, of course, but it'll still more often appear as such.

Sorry, that's incredibly tl;dr.
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Old 05.23.2011, 10:01 AM   #9
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Well, my point is, in just a few months, I did an album of -- for lack of a better word here -- improvised "acid folky" type stuff, a very slow droney delayed-guitar heavy album, and then an album of the stuff you describe. They sounded like completely different bands... like I said, it was more so me doing things that interested me at the time.

It was not really my intention to talk about my stuff, as like you said, there is a danger in talking about your own work. But nearly every review you'll ever read where someone is familiar with my output always remarks on how different whatever they're reviewing sounds compared to what they've heard before, usually being quite critical about it.

A good album to listen to for a good example of all this is RARITIES 2003-2008. It collects, uh, rarities/covers/b-sides/comp tracks from 5 years worth of stuff and every single song sounds completely different.

On that same note, I would reccomend an album like SHRINE TO SALVAGED JUNK -- for lack of a better word, a "Folk" album -- to most people, since it has a lot more listener-friendly stuff in it than I would some of the more, uh, "Difficult" stuff.

I guess my thing is, I've always wanted to evolve, in some way. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't really know musical theory, my entire output is based on ideas and trying to execute them. That doesn't mean I'm any more creative or forward-thinking than anyone else, it just means I'm trying, and I'm affored that because of the "independence" that I have. On the other hand, I actually have rubbed certain labels the wrong way when submitting material -- I have gotten a few rejects, such as, "Oh. Uh this is okay but I was hoping you would've done something like [THIS] album or [THAT] album." Either way, thanks for the thoughts. I typically don't think about any of this stuff, so this is good, because I can think about stuff I usually don't take into consideration. I guess no matter what I do, and this is sorta in line with your point, it is always going to sound like me, to some extent. Maybe. But I hate myself, often hate my music, almost always hate the guitar... so I guess in some weird way I'm trying to become something else.

...When are artists most creative? My new answer: ON [good] DRUGS.
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Old 05.23.2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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I think it was something from CDBaby, but I have to admit that I like the idea of removing so much focus on the 10-15 track album, and focus more on the 2-5 track EP. That way there is less focus on creating a long cohesive album and you can shake things up with the smaller tracklistings, and can experiment more with different styles if you want, and still create something that's technically cohesive.
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Old 05.23.2011, 12:10 PM   #11
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you know, I agree with that, in general my favorite albums tend to be ep's, or shorter "full length" albums at least. Less filler.
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Old 05.23.2011, 12:25 PM   #12
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I tend to think about it two ways - or at least I used to. I used to think a band would push out their most creative and incredible music right at the beginning, and felt label interest and success would hamper everything to do with a band. That was when I was completely immersed in punk rock in my teens, and to a point I still agree - the first Stooges, Wire, Napalm Death, Rudimentary Peni, Misfits, Poison Idea, Anti Cimex, all the best stuff. But the older I get I see more in artists developing - that Black Flag thread a while back for example, I definitely prefer My War and beyond to the early stuff these days.

And for example, to me bands like Yes (Fragile, Close To The Edge), Van Der Graaf Generator (Pawn Hearts, etc), The Beatles (Revolver, Sgt. Peppers, Rubber Soul), Miles Davis (Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, Big Fun), Deathspell Omega (Kenose, Paracletus) tend to peak later in life, but that's obviously a biased example as we're comparing punk bands to more complex progressive, fusion, black metal and psych music and you can obviously see that my tastes have changed a lot over the years. That's my tastes shifting. Basically I feel like if a band gets stuck in the same pattern the early stuff is better but if they continue to push and challenge themselves they can evolve to greater things than they ever imagined.......
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Old 05.23.2011, 12:28 PM   #13
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And in regards to album lengths, I definitely enjoy the concept of an album, or even a double album - I like 40, 80 or 120 minutes of music a lot of the time, I put on the reissue of Klaus Schulze's Cyborg yesterday including the 50 minute bonus track and loved every second of it, even Black Mountain's In The Future, which is an album I adore made great use out of over an hour, without even a second wasted.
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