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Messages - aquarius

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Metal / Re: Metal 2011: The Year of Tradition
« on: July 25, 2012, 02:34:18 PM »
Hail's Inheritance of Evilness is a prime example of a newer band that made successful metal. It sounds old, maybe even timeless, while still being something new.  Is putting out a good metal album nowadays as simple as this: some bands mimic the old, while others are actual artists.

I actually managed to hear this recently and it shows a lot of promise despite its outward appearance of immaturity. They've certainly got the right intentions and have evidently studied their Beherit, Varathron, early Darkthrone and Autopsy albums. Some songs are a bit underdeveloped and sloppy in execution but have the spark and could easily lead to greatness it they ever follow up.

Metal / Re: Interview with Euronymous, Beat Magazine, 1993
« on: July 25, 2012, 02:18:00 PM »
Musicaly EMPEROR is different from the rest of the band because of their extremely shrieking vocals and with speedy changes from slow to ultrafast. The slow parts is a thing they share with the Oslo-band ARCTURUS, which have released an 7". They are something special, because their music is based on synth. Immortal is also a part of the family. Their debut - DIABOLICAL FULLMOON MYSTICISM - is out in these days on the french company Osmose. Their music is more primitive than the others.

I like the way he describes things. Actually I always considered ITNE as one of my favourite synth albums.

Metal / Re: War metal
« on: July 25, 2012, 02:09:37 PM »
I'm guessing the world will get increasingly messed up in the coming eras and that the transcendental/dissident genres of death metal and black metal will amalgamate into a stripped down, folkier version of its historical highlights. Until then, yes metal is very confused, searching for meaning in all the wrong places; thus no good releases these days.

Interzone / Re: Archaic video games
« on: July 25, 2012, 01:55:29 PM »
Consumer is the key word. Unlike other members of generation x y z dumbfuck, I actually grew out of this stuff way back, but briefly returned to it years later as some sort of 'trip down memory lane' only to find it had about the same depth as the different design used on milk cartons back then. It is a waste of childhood and I now put an altogether different value into memories as a result. But I seriously couldn't imagine the devestating effects of carrying this into adulthood, for one thing I barely even have enough time to listen to cds any more.

Interzone / Re: Colorado Batman Massacre
« on: July 25, 2012, 01:40:17 PM »
This guy is an obvious nutjob who killed innocent albiet moronic people for no apparent reason. If nothing else, his deeds will function as an example of societal decay firstly in the sense that a citizen (of any country) can shoot their own people and secondly in that the rest of society will identify him as an external force to be done away with rather than acknowledge it as the sickness within.

It seems like any dissenting ideology that wants to have any popular credibility simply cannot be linked with violence. People like Breivik, McVeigh and Kaczynski are well above average intelligence and have their hearts in the right place but have done themselves and their beliefs a great disservice by resorting to violence, forever being associated with guys like this.

Interzone / Re: Sociology
« on: July 21, 2012, 12:00:28 PM »
Perhaps governments could fund studies into the almost yearly occurrence of puplic shootings as it is a serious problem and one that is not easily solved by ostracizing each individual perpetrator.

Interzone / Re: Comic Books
« on: July 19, 2012, 10:13:04 PM »

Really? I don't know much about comics but I read the four books of Nausicaä a few years ago and it was pretty good as I remember, certainly it had its oddball moments of profundity.

Metal / Essential ambient/drone/vibration recordings
« on: July 19, 2012, 10:03:58 PM »
It's not something I can listen to all the time, but I have had some great ambient listening experiences from time to time and it would be good to get some input or further recommendations from other listeners here.

Fripp and Eno - Evening star - This could well be the perfect ambient album and I've realized what a long overlooked gem it has been in my collection for many years. The basic idea is to have a continual stream of audio from a live instrument (Fripp) fed through a tape-delay unit (Eno) with the two forces almost playing off of each other. This is further processed and rearranged into layers which phase in and out to form a droning repetitive structure with melody at its core. It's a better album than No Pussyfooting and probably the best project Brian Eno was ever involved in.

Maeror Tri - This group seems more droning and noisy with less emphasis on melodic development, but fairly enjoyable if the mood permits it. Mind you their catalogue is extensive and not so easily penetrable so it would be good if someone could identify a 'best work'.

Lustmord - Heresy - I found this interesting at first but don't find myself coming back to it all the often. It's basically just a 'sound-collage' of sampled audio pitched down and drenched in reverb. It's also kind of lacking in internal motion which is really what drives this type of music if nothing else. The place where black stars hang is better but still doesn't grab me in a big way.

Steve Roach - The magnificent Void - I find this hard to distinguish from The place where black stars hang but I think where this guy really shines is when he is mainly melody-focused. Structures from silence has a warmth and a stillness to it unmatched by any other recording while still retaining the necessary sense of movement or internal motion. While Midnight moon is on a different plain of existence altogether. Deep, dark intoxicating waves of spacious organic sound in seemingly endless repetition. I'm almost forced to slow my heart and mind down while appreciating this recording.

Klaus Schulze - To me he was the master of creating a sense of motion/movement/momentum within his music and shaping it furthermore with a genius tact for tension and release. This is best exemplified in early works such as Timewind and Irrlicht. I still like Moondawn but it's an obvious decline from there as everything starts to sound a bit glam-rock-ish in its choice of sounds/timbres and it's also a step away from ambient compositionally.

Tangerine Dream - People praise Phaedra and Rubycon and won't deny that they're brilliant but at this point I honestly find more longevity in their pre-breakthrough album Zeit. Perhaps it is that I listened to that other stuff a thousand too many times and that Zeit by its very nature is not as immediately accessible, but really I just love the heaviness and vastness of it. Of course they didn't yet make use of any sequencers thus the emphasis was more on creating layers of heavily oscillating sound. There is not so much a sense of movement or tension, but inversely, the lack of it as for over an hour it holds you fixated without doing anything. Interestingly the moog modular synth which comes in at the tail end of the first track is being played by Florian Fricke of the group Popol Vuh, he later sold that same synth to Klaus Schulze who was at one stage also a member of Tangerine Dream.

Popol Vuh - Their first two albums fall partly into ambient/noise and partly into world music, but are notable for the dense atmosphere of 'tone sounds' and interesting array of contrasts. In den Gärten Pharaos is particularly awe-inspiring at times in its ability to convey a merging of the senses; as though one were observing the audial form of the great european frescoes.

Eberhard Schoener - Meditations - Interesting, a good companion to the above mentioned but not overly enduring . This is about as close as Krautrock ever got to something purely droning and meditative, devoid of rock.

Biosphere - Substrata is a genius album but the rest of Jensen's catalogue is largely unremarkable. Why is this? Basically because he was transitional at the time and still retained something of the energy and directness of his roots in house/techno music. Thus he stumbled onto greatness with substrata but failed when the design became codified. The point is that ambient is not slow and quiet, it is pure force simplified to the point of being immaculate. There is no narrative structure but its design is something like a byproduct or afterglow of a narrative structure (and mostly it is that the artist has attempted both).

Time Machines by Coil could be considered the quintessential drone album but it doesn't go for atmosphere and it certainly doesn't acknowledge even the slightest hint of melody. Instead it functions more in the way that beautiful architecture does; revealing inner space rather than outer space. And in a conventional understanding of music appreciation it simply isn't music but it's awesome nonetheless. It's something close to what I think of when the average joe ask me what kind of music I like "well, I prefer noise to music".

Suuri Shamaani is like Time Machines worship but with an even more clinical or sterile approach (a trait oddly enough shared by fellow Finnish techno pioneers, Pan sonic). The project is labeled as 'ambient metamusic' and it is fairly faithful to that description, if you can imagine a picture composed of component parts but no obvious whole

Interzone / Re: Final moral question about killing and this website
« on: July 15, 2012, 12:02:36 AM »
A few people mentioned that IQ alone is not enough to determine the true value of a person/society. Things like dedication, good moral character and kindness are just as important. Really, there are many contributing factors that make up the whole and when one is neglected there will obviously be an imbalance.

Isn't it disgusting that they will push for a mental health sentence. At least some blame should fall on the government for creating the conditions whereby this event even occured.

Interzone / Re: Non-meaningless social activities
« on: July 13, 2012, 04:54:45 PM »
We live in an upside down world where it can be healthier to live in a bubble.

Metal / Re: Dead Can Dance "Anastasis"
« on: July 13, 2012, 04:43:36 PM »
Who would have guessed they would ever have made such a return to form as this? I've listened to it twice now and very promising so far, though I would agree on there being a few weaknesses as mentioned. The sections with Lisa Gerrard singing are a definite highlight.

I often ponder over this myself. But I still think the future of metal isn't a question of innovation vs tradition (or non-innovation?). Both directions have the potential to either succeed or fail. But what matters is function. As when a person speaks to another person: do they really have something to say? and do they mean it?

Looking at a band like Beherit, their legacy will go beyond such definitions, as they don't look forward or back, their music is ultra-simplistic and yet it moves worlds. Necessity is at the core of function.

Metal / Re: Subjective vs objective? Contradiction?
« on: July 13, 2012, 04:10:22 PM »
I can see what you mean but I'm also going in another direction in that I only seek out and enjoy music of the highest level. There simply isn't any room in my life for anything less and even then, there's a ton of high quality material I still don't have time to listen to. Even within the highest echelons there is infinite diversity.

Metal / Kraftwerk and Franz Schubert
« on: July 01, 2012, 02:20:53 PM »
I have often wondered what is behind the title of the concluding track from Kraftwerk's timeless classic Trans Europa Express. Was it that they borrowed one of Schubert’s melodies or were paying homage to his style, perhaps, though it wasn't overt and I'm inclined to believe everything in Kraftwerk has a reason. More likely I have found that they choose to align themselves with this composer much in the way that they choose to label themselves as Robots or Showroom Dummies. That is to say that they correctly identified a large amount of their art as sharing in the same essential qualities that exemplify Schubert's body of work.

Namely simplicity, not necessarily minimalism but the ability to build their music out of solid fundamental elements no matter how grand in scope it sets out to be. Thus they recognize their music as a language of ideals in the abstract and use no more of it than is necessary to communicate to the listener, lest it becomes ambiguous.

Looking at Schubert's symphonies, they were renowned for their simplicity in a time where the orchestra was rapidly expanding (following the innovations set out by Beethoven) yet he chose to work within the tried and tested forms established by Mozart. Even his most developed symphonies seem to flow so naturally and in such an uncomplicated manner, showing little hesitation of artistic inspiration. Likewise Kraftwerk have developed a profound sense of simplicity in their compositional language despite the vast potentials inherent in all the equipment they use.

To that end, both have a natural propensity for creating a rather joyous, lyrical type of melody and phrasing it with the most spontaneous sense of expression imaginable. The type of melodies that might just spring to mind while wandering through an open field or mountain range. This is coupled with a remarkable economy of compositional devices, resulting in the ability to build various themes of great contrast out of a few basic melodic variations. And on that note I find this quote most appropriate:

"If we can convey an idea with one or two notes, it is better than to play a hundred or so notes" - Ralf Hütter

Not least, both artists share a driving sense of the poetic. Schubert of course excelled primarily in the domain of the German art song or lied, writing almost 600 pieces of flawless musical poetry. But Kraftwerk's interests also lie in having some bearing on the domains of speech and poetry despite the fact that a lot of their music stands alone as purely instrumental, really it is a fusion of using the voice as an instrument and writing melodies that appear to speak, much like the perfect lied.

Above all of this there is a remarkable sense of positivism underlying the approach to their conceptual material. Both seem fixated on contemporary subjects and exalt the beauty to be found in the simplicity of everyday life or rather the essential elements of it as opposed to the often dysfunctional and over-complicated life that we might associate with criticism for the modern world. I find this particularly evident in the case of Kraftwerk with their simple, almost ironic lyrics about the humanity/technology duality and their unerring optimism for the future.

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