Yeah, just to clarify, I'm talking about the '70's variety of "minimalism" (Glass/Reich/etc.), not the contemporary techno/house genre also (confusingly) known as "minimalism". Hopefully that makes the assumptions less "weird", or at least "weird" in a way that's not totally fucking nuts (not holding my breath).
― J. Marlowe, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 03:57 (11 months ago) Permalink
yes you said that earlier
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 04:02 (11 months ago) Permalink
i had a long paragraph written out about all the connections you could make btwn house and minimalism but then i realized it sounded ridiculous and i think all this stuff is super intuitive and i have no idea why hipster house makes these connections more obvious than something like the grandfather paradox, which is the quintessential "IN CASE YOU NEVER REALIZED IT, MINIMAL IS INFLUENCED BY MINIMALISM" beat you over the head with a stick argument
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 04:38 (11 months ago) Permalink
i mean, grandfather paradox is the extreme but i think most examples of truly competent non-vocal house/techno from the last 10-15 years exhibit almost every single trait one could think of to define minimalist composition without making it as explicit, and this is even more true in a full length mix as opposed to a single track but it goes for both really. i would say that hh is even less fluid/gradual than other house music but i guess stuff like blondes proves this wrong to a degree
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 04:47 (11 months ago) Permalink
I understand what you’re saying, but I think we’re having two different discussions, so I’ll try to clarify what I said earlier.
During this entire thread, people are trying to “understand” HH. They ask a number of questions:
1) Can HH even be considered house? 2) If it is house, is it really an “alternative” to existing house genres? 3) If it’s not house, then what the fuck is it?4) If it is house, does it sound different from the more “mainstream” varieties of house because it truly embodies a different aesthetic, or because the producers suck and the music is shitty?5) Why the fuck should I care if it is/is not house as long as people like it and can dance to it? 6) Is HH more of a marketing angle than an actual genre?7) How do the producers expect people to like when it sounds like shit played over a club system?
I think it’s an interesting discussion, so I read through the whole thread and listened to all of the linked tracks. One aspect of the thread that jumped out at me is the Daniel Martin-McCormick/Ital interview for LWE. In the interview, DM-M talks about what I’m going to refer to as “classical” minimalism (Glass/Reich/Riley). He talks about it in a way that suggests that the genre directly influenced the actual origin of house (back in the early ‘80’s, obviously). I haven’t seen anyone else make this claim. Maybe “everyone” already "believes" it so there’s no need to ever make such a claim, but the absence of “classical” minimalism in the “official” narrative of the origin of house is weird. I understand that “contemporary” minimalism (Kompakt, etc.) has been a popular house style for years now, and that people do associate this style with “classical” minimalism, but I’m talking about the actual origin of house. Every time I read about the origin of house, I note that the writer talks about electro and Moroder and Kraftwerk and that’s about it. I’ve never seen references to Glass and Reich and Riley, so I think DM-M’s angle is interesting, and maybe even a “key” to understanding HH. Now, I’m obviously not talking about the last “10-15 years” of house, I’m talking about the origin of house from thirty years ago. DM-M also claims that his own music is directly influenced by “classical” minimalism, and I can genuinely hear this influence. Some of his tracks actually sound a bit more like Glass/Reich pieces than house tracks. To me, (and apparently to some of the posters upthread) his tracks don’t sound at all like “contemporary” minimalism (of the Kompakt variety). As other posters have noted, his music drones and drifts and has repetitive melodic fragments (and sounds a bit like Philip Glass at times) but doesn’t really “bang” like most house (or even like most “contemporary” minimalism, for that matter). Also, quite a few HH tracks in general have a kind “lo-fi” sound that seems to intentionally reference ‘70’s analogue recordings. So DM-M and other HH producers are not referencing Richie Hawtin or Kompakt or whatever, they’re referencing actual “classical” minimalism circa 1975. For some DJ’s and fans, this is a problem. “Classical” minimalism is not a “funky” music, and it's not a "club" music. It has “detached”, “cerebral” and “academic” qualities that don’t translate to the dance floor. The repetition that it exhibits is more "abstract/mathematical/complex", and does not establish anything resembling a funky groove. Other posters have noted that HH is also aesthetically informed by contemporary “noise”, which I think is really just fourth-hand “classical” minimalism (Glass > Branca > Sonic Youth > Wolf Eyes). Either way, HH apparently doesn’t always work so well as dance music because of its embrace of some of the very specific qualities of “classical” minimalism mentioned above. The music deviates too much from its electro/funk origins, and for some people that’s enough for them to question whether or not the music qualifies as “house”. (Now, I’m generalizing here, because this discussion has about five different topics going on at any given time, and I’m trying to keep things simple. I realize that there are going to be exceptions to every single thing that I’ve said. I'm just trying to wrap this up without writing a goddamn book.)
Regardless, I see the debate about whether HH is/is not house boiling down to an “issue” about the “official” narrative of house, the “concept” of house music that results from this narrative, and the qualities that people expect or do not expect house to embody in accordance with this general concept. I’ve always seen a connection between “classical” minimalism and the origin of house, despite the lack of a “smoking gun” directly linking the two. Obviously I think the two genres share a number of aesthetic traits, and I think that they're close enough on the historical timeline to be linked (“classical” minimalism’s influences by the early ‘80’s went far and wide, and there’s a good chance that it did have a direct impact on early house), but I’ve never seen, for example, a straight line drawn between Frankie Knuckles and Philip Glass. The connection between the two genres seems aesthetically obvious but historically opaque, and so it gets left out of narratives about house’s origins (I’m not sure why this angle hasn’t been explored more fully, but maybe it has and I’ve just missed it).
Okay, so why does this matter? I think it matters because DM-M, in the interview, is actually trying “legitimize” his music by creating a kind of “alternate” genealogy of house. He’s admitting that his music isn’t really “club” music, and that it doesn’t “bang”, but that it’s still “legit” because it's actually referencing one of the “buried” parts of house (“classical” minimalism). In other words, he’s creating an “alternate” history of house that explicitly joins electro/funk/disco with, say, Philip Glass, but in a way that reaches back much further than “contemporary” minimalism (because he’s talking about the origins of house). So to all the people saying that his music isn’t really “proper” house, or who dismiss it as mere electronica because it occasionally sounds more like Philip Glass than anything on Kompakt, he’s saying, No, you’re wrong, because house, at its inception, also absorbed “classical” minimalism (along with probably a number of other influences like post-punk, but that’s another argument). I think that he’s essentially trying to cut off the people who say that his music can’t be included with house by broadening both the history and definition of house itself, and, more importantly, by broadening it beyond the parameters of “contemporary” minimalism to embrace very specific aesthetic qualities associated with “classical” minimalism from thirty to forty years ago. In general, I agree with him. To sum it up: I think his music, and HH in general, can be considered “legit” house, even it doesn’t “bang”, even if it seems “detached” and “cerebral” and “academic”, even if the production sounds a bit murky like ‘70’s analogue recordings, even if it references Glass/Reich as strongly as it references disco and electro, and - this is important - even if it doesn’t really sound all that much like “contemporary” minimalism (because it really sounds more like "classical" minimalism). As a “noise”/”post-punk” guy who listens to house, I feel like I “understand” where DM-M is “coming from”, but I also understand that my perspective is probably going to be different from a serious house producer/DJ/fan who occasionally listens to post-punk and is coming from the opposite direction.
And that’s it. Maybe it’s 100% obvious, or 100% wrong, or whatever, but that’s the gist of it. You don’t have to agree. I make a lot generalizations and speculative leaps, admittedly. People are going to disagree, and bring up exceptions and what-have-you. But this is my general “take” on the discussion at hand. I still may have to clarify some parts of what I've said, but hopefully you have a better idea of what I'm saying.
― J. Marlowe, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 15:40 (11 months ago) Permalink
i understand your argument, i really do. i'm trying to point out why it's sorta problematic though.
media about hipster house has been constantly making all types of uninformed statements about 'normal', 'proper' dance music, and it is usually extremely off base. i'm not doubting that minimalism had something to do with the 'origins' of house, though i really hate making those types of assumptions, and i think that dm-m is prob very reverent of many many types of house/techno and his statements should certainly be read as more legit than a lot of this pap, but you are taking one thing he listed in an interview once wayyyy more literally than you ever should. take these things with a grain of salt, but most importantly realize that there is tonsssssssssss of house/techno out there that doesn't 'bang' and 'drones' and comes off as 'cerebral' and 'academic' and w/e, and it's not just minimal and it doesn't need to go out of its way to market itself as these things, yknow? (perhaps BECAUSE it absorbed these things so long ago, but again this is a statement i don't feel comfortable making with too much authority) and i'm asking how the ital album does this moreso than (again) artists like voices from the lake or theo parrish or ame/dixon. the reason i'm talking about the last 10-15 years, not the 'origins' of house, is because i'm saying that this aesthetic has been swallowed whole and spit back up and redigested several times just in this time period and you should not make overarching assumptions about hh (probably at all considering how loosely defined this all is, but def not as this newfound injection of 'cerebral drone detachment' etc etc) because this ignores a very wide swath of amazing music that fits these exact same definitions and denies the massive influence that contemporary house/techno has had on hh to begin with
k i'm done, sorry for huge thread derail.
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 17:23 (11 months ago) Permalink
“understand” “alternative” “mainstream” “classical” “everyone” "believes" “classical” “official” “contemporary” “classical” “key” “10-15 years” “classical” “contemporary” “bang” “contemporary” “lo-fi” “classical” “Classical” “funky” "club" “detached” “cerebral” “academic” "abstract/mathematical/complex" “noise” “classical” “classical” “house” “issue” “official” “concept” “classical” “smoking gun” “classical” legitimize” “alternate” “club” “bang” "legit” “buried” “classical” “alternate” “contemporary” "proper” “classical” “contemporary” “classical” “legit” “bang” “detached” “cerebral” “academic” “contemporary” "classical" “noise” ”post-punk” “understand” “coming from” “take”
― I DIED, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 17:36 (11 months ago) Permalink
dammit I thought it was a code that was going to form song lyrics or something when I put them all together
― I DIED, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 17:37 (11 months ago) Permalink
"i understand your argument, i really do. i'm trying to point out why it's sorta problematic though."
I get what you’re saying, but I need to clarify again what I’m saying. I’m not just saying that DM-M (for example) is using the “ideas” of “classical” minimalism. You’re absolutely correct in that there are many, many, many house/techno artists who’ve taken certain concepts from “classical” minimalism over the years. I’m arguing that he’s taking the actual sounds, the actual recording techniques, the actual ‘70’s vibe, the actual types of keyboard riffs, etc. that you can hear on those recordings. He’s not just using the “concepts” of repetition and dissonance, or the “ideas” about the space that lies between the notes, or certain “notions” of “emptiness”. He and other HH artists seem to be actually jacking the literal sound of those ‘70’s recordings, but within a “house” framework. That’s why I think that the HH recordings sound very different from, say, Kompakt recordings (or whatever example of “contemporary” minimalist music you want to use). Other posters upthread agree that HH tracks don’t really seem to “work” well in a club environment, because they sound very different than “contemporary” minimalist tracks. I happen to find this interesting, because for a while I’ve also thought that “classical” minimalism played a role in the formation of house thirty years ago, even though it’s tough to “prove”. I think, though, that DM-M is at least throwing this idea out there in the interview, and following through with it in his music in a very concrete way that goes a step further than “contemporary” minimalism. In this whole process, I think he’s claiming a kind of “back-to-the-roots” legitimacy that I find interesting. In a sense, you could say that he’s bringing house full circle, back to “classical” minimalism. I’ll also note that I hear the same influences in some of the other HH artists linked to this thread. I’m not claiming, by the way, that all of this constitutes a major revolution in thought. I just think that it’s cool that someone else is making a pitch for the influence of “classical” minimalism in the formation of house thirty years ago, and is illustrating the point with his music in a very tangible way. I could be way the fuck off base with this, but I think it's worth considering.
― J. Marlowe, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 18:46 (11 months ago) Permalink
― J. Marlowe, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 19:46 (11 months ago) Permalink
― karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Tuesday, 22 May 2012 20:55 (11 months ago) Permalink
fucking "8================D ~~~~~"
― the late great, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 21:06 (11 months ago) Permalink
Can't argue with that.
― J. Marlowe, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 22:02 (11 months ago) Permalink
Come on, be fair. Excessive scare quotes are one thing...
But there's a legitimate discussion, I think psychgawsple is otm. Minimalism doesn't make much sense as a conflation between the two - there's also a larger issue of whether the claims of excavating 'roots' should be read exclusively in terms of House proper for HH. There's a larger project of archivalism and media archaeology that 100% silk are part of. What kinds of social formations (i.e. dance floors) they're connected to seem more of an issue imo.
― MikoMcha, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 22:11 (11 months ago) Permalink
new Teengirl Fantasy is pretty sweet
― dmr, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 22:15 (11 months ago) Permalink
this is really the correct attitude to have in this situation damnit why did i engage
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 02:02 (11 months ago) Permalink
earnest posters posting earnestly itt
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 02:03 (11 months ago) Permalink
thing about the ital rec is that it sux
― life's rich pageant then you die (uptown churl), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 02:38 (11 months ago) Permalink
yeah, i ended up not really being into it after giving it a few tries
― karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 23 May 2012 03:45 (11 months ago) Permalink
you guys must not like minimalism
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 03:52 (11 months ago) Permalink
wow. nice discussion. i love the internet.
thanks dan and jorge
― speculator (speculaotr), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 05:17 (11 months ago) Permalink
Umm... Marlowe, Phil Sherburne explores some of those links you're making between minimalisms in his essay from the Audio Culture book, fyi.
― MikoMcha, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 07:32 (11 months ago) Permalink
― MikoMcha, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:02 (11 months ago) Permalink
Repress of African Rhythms!?!?! I must acquire!
― EDB, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:17 (11 months ago) Permalink
"...Phil Sherburne explores some of those links..."
Thx, will check it out.
― J. Marlowe, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:29 (11 months ago) Permalink
Gonna see Ital, Magic Touch, Maria Minerva and LA Vampires tonite in Amsterdam for the 100% Silk label tour. I sort of have mixed expectations about the live shows, but will report back.
Anyone else seen these guys perform?
― MikoMcha, Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:10 (11 months ago) Permalink
See you at OT301, then!
Saw Maria Minerva play to a very enervated Subbacultcha crowd at the same venue earlier in the year (the usual thing where the gig was free for members and they couldn't give a fuck about who was performing, talking/boozing with friends) to no great effect, and I saw Ital play a very sweaty set in Utrecht last year, albeit to a crowd that was mainly there to see Twin Sister.Hoping for a more dance-friendly atmosphere tonight.
― etc, Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:18 (11 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, that's been my experience with Subbacultcha crowds, there can be a sense of indifference to the actual acts that comes along with that subscription model, I suppose.
― MikoMcha, Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:04 (11 months ago) Permalink
So, Ital. Really good live. He was on a bit early maybe, considering the kind of twisted banging music he played, but I was not at all disappointed.
― MikoMcha, Friday, 1 June 2012 11:12 (11 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, Ital bought the trackiness - much better crowd response than at EKKO, and I really like how into it he gets while performing. Nice sushi chef/masseuse keyboard hammering, heh. Missed Maria Minerva's set; L.A. Vampires were a lot songier than I expected, with "Wherever, Boy" a highlight. Loved how Amanda was dancing up front to the other acts!
― etc, Friday, 1 June 2012 13:45 (11 months ago) Permalink
Philip Sherburne and Miracles Club on the birth of hipster house in Portland.
I went to the Holocene on my one visit there. Saw Soft Metals, Joey Casio and somebody else with an amazing collection of Roland gear (any help?).
― dan selzer, Friday, 1 June 2012 22:35 (11 months ago) Permalink
somehow i never went to holocene in the year and a half i lived there. i think a friend scared me off of it.
in other news, octo octa continues being good, kinda http://vimeo.com/41865217
― The Reverend, Saturday, 2 June 2012 20:13 (11 months ago) Permalink
it's true that house bangers totally clear the floor there, sigh
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Saturday, 2 June 2012 21:25 (11 months ago) Permalink
I went to this 100% Silk tour show last night. Maria Minerva was a revelation, so much more dramatic and punchier than her recorded material, but really endearing as a performer. Ital was great too. Not so much "banging" as "noisy" and for a guy whose live show consists of a projector and him turning knobs on gear, he was fun to watch. Innergaze were dreadful though, between their lacklustre show and the fact it was a school night meant I didn't hang around. The highlight was watching Amanda Brown going wild at the front of an otherwise stationary dancefloor.
― boxedjoy, Friday, 8 June 2012 11:35 (11 months ago) Permalink
Sounds cool. I'm going to the London leg tomorrow, which is at Birthdays in Dalston.
― Citizen Smith (Jamie T Smith), Friday, 8 June 2012 12:48 (11 months ago) Permalink
i went to the paris show and it was super good, best set ive seen la vampires do p much ever. had low expectations tbh cuz when i saw the label tour in la/toronto it was p w/e and ppl werent that into it but the place was packed and ppl were dancing and it was a really good time. it was funny how much 'clubbier' the stuff played tho
― Lamp, Tuesday, 19 June 2012 00:12 (11 months ago) Permalink
here are some things i have found underwhelming lately
- minimal wave
- hivern disc
- octa octa
- american acid (vis a vis british acid)
some of it is just lol
annie lenox uneasy lol
craigslist after dark lolz
― funk master friendly (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:16 (10 months ago) Permalink
here is some stuff along the vein of this music though that i have found compelling
electronic prog rock in the vein of klaus schulze, yet infected with the whimsy and rowdy conceptual bent of frank zappa and the bass pressure of early uk soundsystem pioneers bill laswell, jah wobble, coldcut and daevid allen, this inspired crucial acid house artists / soccer hooligans / national front members the klf and edgar varese as well as inspiring "newbuild" and "90125", thus laying the groundwork for both the hacienda as well as the entire bass 'nuum
raw US house productions in the vein of detroit house masters like madlib, w/ strong traces of the self-indulgence that european house artists like ame,henrik schwarz and moodyman would milk to death
classic minimalist detroit techno
terry riley influence here
philip glass influenced house?
contemporary german trance
and goa trance
disco with a pronounced sylvester / patrick cowley vibe
― funk master friendly (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:48 (10 months ago) Permalink
whoops i said philip glass but i meant terry riley!
― funk master friendly (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:49 (10 months ago) Permalink
anyway - detroit techno links were broken
inspired drexciya iirc
― funk master friendly (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:54 (10 months ago) Permalink
stop putting Panda Bear on your albums people
― Number None, Sunday, 19 August 2012 21:37 (9 months ago) Permalink
i've never really understood that whole opinion— the track on the new TGF is pretty good, and his appearance on "Black Noise" was quite awesome. to me it just seems like generic "OMG some hipster guy invading my precious sub-genre" bullshit.
― for reasons of sass (the table is the table), Sunday, 19 August 2012 21:42 (9 months ago) Permalink
i don't have a problem with PB in Animal Collective. I just don't think he adds anything as a guest vocalist
― Number None, Sunday, 19 August 2012 21:45 (9 months ago) Permalink
OTOH that Talabot track with the dude from Delorean would probably better with PB.
― Tim F, Sunday, 19 August 2012 22:09 (9 months ago) Permalink
"OMG some hipster guy invading my precious sub-genre" bullshit
i don't want any hipsters in my hipster house, thanks
is anyone else into this innergaze album?
not really house at all but who cares, this is great
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Monday, 20 August 2012 19:20 (9 months ago) Permalink
ha I thought "innergaze" was some new genre.
― skip, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 18:38 (9 months ago) Permalink
yeah its crazy good posted about it elsewhere on ilm tho
― Lamp, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 19:34 (9 months ago) Permalink
where? was it in your forest thread or w/e, i haven't had time to do much other than check bookmarks lately
― akadarbarijava (psychgawsple), Wednesday, 22 August 2012 03:00 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah, probably, i just remember posting about it
― Lamp, Wednesday, 22 August 2012 03:31 (8 months ago) Permalink
i'm listening to minimal wave on a sunny day and ... fuck, it's actually kind of cool?
songs like this have not only a cool detroit techno flashback vibe but also a "computer incantations for world peace", hardly as dark-sounding in the right context as people make it out to be, more mystical than anything else
sampled by madlib i believe for this gem
― the late great, Friday, 21 September 2012 20:27 (8 months ago) Permalink