Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Inner Light/ a small statement of sorts
New Joshua Norton Cabal release, Inner Light is out now on CD. In Europe get it from Chimera from anywhere else send me an e mail (it's in my profile).
About 80% of this one was made with reamplified metal and one and a half Trogtronic boxes (the half was a decidely busted 665). I used the Blockade backline at Audiolab studio for an afternoon and made Chris Hegge laugh like a drain as i demanded more and more ridiculous configurations of amps and devices at ludicrous volume.
The last track uses a lot of field recordings i've collected over the years and is the tale of the evolution of my occasionally disconnected mind reduced to a fifteen minute piece.
Originally i had a few vocal tracks recorded as well but for some reason (perhaps a sudden bust of self awareness leading to a lack of confidence) i cut them all and left it entirely vocal free.
Art and layout was done by Joce again (he also did the Blockade/ Unearthly Trance split)
The basic theme of Inner Light is a celebration of the irrational internal flame and how it informs other aspects of my life and thinking.
As someone with close to twenty years of involvement in DIY culture i'm often asked what keeps me motivated to stay involved? Why do i still bother? Sometimes it seems like these questions are daring me to speak to all of the ultimately petty ills we could all share about the more frustrating side of hardcore/ noise/ metal/ avant garde/ youth based cutures. Generally i don't need to do that in public too much; if you want to hear other people piss and moan i feel you can look to any cock on a message board and get your fill there.
Of the many answers i can give the easiest one is a very simple "it's pretty much all i know". It's the same with my choosing to not eat meat. Sure, i had a solid ideological reason a long time ago and for a while there i was definitely every cliche of the vegan police you could think of, but after more than two decades it just becomes normal. If pressed i could undoubtedly give you a long list of reasons why it's important to me, but it would be delivered with all the passion of why breathing air or learning to read is important.
Anyone who's familiar with anything i've written over the last five years or so will be aware i tend to fall down the rabbit-hole when it comes to discussing the symbolism and semiotics of whatever culture it is i belong to (these days i feel i'm unable to say what it is i'm attached with any degree of precision by merely saying "hardcore").
One of the questions i've mulled over a lot recently is "if we base much of our public front on rejectionism (and *we* really do, just look at your record collection) what are the values and acts that we find beauty in? What are our standards beyond refusing certain models of interaction with the world?" What is said by its exclusion in dialogue?
With that in mind an aspect of Inner Light is my ongoing quest to determine what it is i personally find beauty and value in.
One of the things i've been very aware of for a long time is the current that runs through my life that informs all other aspects of my self identity. It informs my creative urge, it informs my way of thinking, it informs my career path and pretty much every other aspect of my life i can think of. Taking every individual aspect and putting them together does nothing to really illuminate what this current is though.
Unfortunately anytime anyone ever attempts to speak to a sense of calling the connotations are often too closely linked to a religious impulse. Or worse we invoke the modern soft-agnosticism of refering to things as being "spiritual" which has become a term even less meaningful or agreed on than Anarchism in this day and age.
In this blog i've often reduced it to a necessarily simplistic reference to The Occult, which as any boring pedant can tell you merely means "hidden".
I see a lot of other pop references to The Occult in culture and in particular modern music. From some quarters there is the knowing nodding head of assent, from others the open frustration that nothing is ever really specified and from the rest either outright rejection and calls of "bullshit" or an utter disinterest.
My own feelings on the matter (like it's a single "thing"...) are that if any ideology you subscribe to in this life is not a living, evolving system/ praxis that enables you to negotiate meaning in the world then you should give it up. I don't think it matters that much how you negotiate meaning, as long as you do it.
And finally, though i reject (for many many reasons) the god awful cliche (as it's become) of the personal is political, particularly when applied en masse to the drabber ends of the hardcore spectrum in the 1990s; i think there is a huge validity in the also cliched notion of becoming the change that you want to see in the world.
Lest you think i'm some kind of yoga mat carrying hippy let me qualify that by saying that this is not an inherently fuzzy and nice concept. The change you might want in the world could be utterly hostile to the change i want and vice versa.
More people need to practice or at least understand the principles of agonism and pluralism.
Pimp Action Slutgun - Body Scrap LP
SFN - Itching 7"
Autopsy - The Tomb Within 12"
Gunter Saxenhammer - Interstellar Overkill CDR
Universal Order of Armageddon - discography CD
well, entering a masters program is kicking the shit out of my ability to read for fun (and also my opportunity to write music) but here's two books i've enjoyed recently
Wendy Doniger - The Implied Spider
Roland Barthes - Mytholgies
Quitting my job was the second best move i ever made in my life (the first was immigrating to Canada). School is particularly novel to me as i don't actually have much in the way of a formal education.