02 April 2005

Sguiggles, Munkins and Amarillo

The 'Acid' squiggle of electronica is mankinds' way of marking territory; a sound indelibly associated with manufacture, with artifice, with machine. It's been forever associated with the future, from the 1950 jet-age Forbidden Planet theremin swirls to to Acid House and it's descendents, even if 'acid' (as currently re-cycled via the Aphex loop) is now considered retro as culture tries to evolve around it into glitches, pops and the eskimo tunnel-howls of Grime.

Coil - Nasa Arab

Of course, this is inevitable since the future isretro: nothing better defines a past age than it's own attempt to map the future currents: just look at the early Acid House 12"s, how much slower they seem. And remember, from here we had the gradual acceleration / decceleration into the twin Gods of Gabba and Ambient and then the associated blowout of both routes which lead to the mid-tempos and songforms of trip-hop.

My first idea was that the 'acid' squiggle has endured because of it's implication of human mastery over nature; we hear that sound and we can feel separated from the animals, can feel proud that human consciousness has the left over knowhow to dissolve itself into the creation into something so magnificently pointless as as a new sound.

(and how will techno etc fare with regard to old people's homes? forty years from now when my children are voting Euthanasia and shoving me into Maximum Security Twilight Homes will there be special acid nights put on for the old folk? will they pass E's around like warmed butter, import some luminous whistles and whack on Voodoo Ray? will The Prodigy be our Vera Lynn, Aphex our Gracie Fields? will youngsters, ears tuned to the micrfo-sounds sensitivites of 2050 cyber-minimalism be devastated at our dancing?)

But then I got to thinking... perhaps the creation of that particular sound is an attempt to communicate something, a messaging service to creatures who sound like that; perhaps evil munkins from new dimensions, perhaps unspeakable balls of energy who speak in pops and fizzes and squiggles.

Do aliens speak like that? The sounds are associated with space; the genres that most embraced them - Acid, Goa, Psytrance - are all space-time obsessives, stealing 2001 samples off each other, burning their retinas looking for more american voice .wav files describing out of body expriences and alien abduction.

Reload - Sexomatic

And if these dark creatures aren't simply trying to communicate with aliens then maybe it's only because they are aliens and what we're taking as incomprehensibility and rush is simply the dogstar equivalent of easy listening Doonican slipper kicks.

In which case, when are we gonna get the Rosetta Stone? I'd love to know that Winx Higher State of Consciousness is really a tune about making our way to Amarillo.

Both files are RapidShare

1 comment:

Brown said...

Robin Whittle (creator of the worlds largest slinky,) states on his page some interesting things about the TB-303 and its vocal qualities. He goes into quite a bit of detail about how the machine chatters and howls in a way we find alive. Go to : http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/dfish/303-unique.html

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