Showing posts with label plunderphonics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plunderphonics. Show all posts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

video review: 'punk' by eric taxxon

Wow, this went... long. Really damn long, but I think I got to the right point.

Next up, something to knock out of my backlog, so stay tuned!

album review: 'punk' by eric taxxon

The last few projects from Eric Taxxon I've put on the Trailing Edge. Not entirely by choice - I ran out of time with The Art State at the end of 2017, I really did want to give that one a full review given the richer set of ideas and more abrasive experimentation, but One Pop didn't give me a lot to say, and while 'Guns' is a damn great song, the rest hasn't quite stuck with me in the same way as, say, Paul did.

But this was one of the projects I wanted to review in full, mostly because Eric Taxxon was going into a territory few producers or artists dare anymore: plunderphonics, taking a plethora samples and musical fragments to vividly recontextualize them for his own work. Now this is not unfamiliar territory to him - I distinctly remember his project Copy from 2016 that actually sampled me from one of my videos - but Punk seemed more ambitious, more driven by Taxxon's acrid distaste for modern copyright law and a desire to make a pointed and layered statement about it. Now keep in mind sampling for free mixtapes has not gone away, but the fact that one could pay for Punk - this project is available on Bandcamp, not DatPiff - means this was definitely in questionable territory, because I'd put money on none of these samples being cleared. And that's always a murky legal territory even if it is free given authorial consent - that's always been one of the big grey areas with fanfiction - but on the other hand I've just had a week where I've had multiple videos either stripped of their monetization or blocked outright by copyright bots without any proper third-party arbitration and despite Fair Use and Fair Dealing conditions on YouTube, so I'm just about in the proper mood to enjoy the hell out of this! So okay, what did I find on Punk?

Friday, July 15, 2016

video review: 'wildflower' by the avalanches

Been waiting to get to this one. I really do wish I loved it more, but it is definitely solid.

Next up... hmm, I think Shura, Fates Warning, and then maybe that indie record... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

album review: 'wildflower' by the avalanches

So let's talk a little about sampling.

Now if you've been listening to hip-hop - or really mainstream music at all throughout the past twenty years - you're well aware of this practice, taking a piece of music or sound and using it to build a different song, often warping or flipping it into something brand new in the process. But let's take this a step further, because normally when a hip-hop producer samples something, he adds to it with backbeats and a rapper to flow over it - the sample is not the only part of the composition.

Enter plunderphonics, a fantastic word that describes a narrow subgenre of music where the compositions are entirely composed to samples merged and twisted together so that the fragments barely resemble the original piece and come together for a brand new whole. And what's all the more surprising is that there is often so many samples in these compositions that many are often uncleared, which can lead to a legal nightmare and is the big reason why we don't really see many plunderphonic records, or when we do the samples are often innocuous, from out-of-print videos or music from decades past, long forgotten by everyone else. This takes us to The Avalanches, an Australian electronic group who released a plunderphonic record in 2000 called Since I Left You that would become critically acclaimed for its fusion of samples into a cinematic, world-crossing retro-disco experience. Now going back to relisten to this record... yes, for sure it's a very good record that demands a lot of attention, but I wouldn't say I quite loved it - I appreciated the emotive scope and real earnest power, but it does have its moments that drag and you'd like to think that The Avalanches would have a little more ambition in the final product to make more than 'string section disco', to paraphrase Robert Christgau. And yet from that point it has taken sixteen years to follow it with a new album called Wildflower, which was reportedly created to thematically recapture the euphoric feeling of summer roadtrips, mostly pushed through 60s psychedelic pop. Okay, bit of a smaller scale, but I was definitely intrigued - so did The Avalanches manage to deliver?