Meta Soul - History of Disco, House, Dance and DJ Culture since the Sixties

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JahSonic's Meta Soul: a postmodern look at disco, garage, house and techno.

2002, apr 29; 21:58:
  • Tetsuo: The Ironman (1989) -- Shinya Tsukamoto [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Shinya Tsukamoto draws on the marriage of flesh and technology that inspires so much of David Cronenberg's work and then twists it into a manga-influenced cyberpunk vision. A man (Tomoroh Taguchi) awakens from a nightmare in which his body is helplessly fusing with the metal objects around him, only to find it happening to him in real life... or is it? Haunted by memories of a hit and run (eerily prophetic of Cronenberg's Crash), the man knows this ordeal could be a dream, a fantastic form of divine retribution, or perhaps technological mutation born of guilt and rage. Shot in bracing black and white on a small budget, Tsukamoto puts a demented conceptual twist on good old-fashioned stop-motion effects and simple wire work, giving his film the surreal quality of a waking dream with a psychosexual edge (resulting in the film's most disturbing scene). The story ultimately takes on an abstract quality enhanced by the grungy look and increasingly wild images as they take to the streets in a mad chase of technological speed demons. This first entry in his self-titled "Regular Sized Monster Series" is followed by a full-color sequel, Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer, which trades the muddy experimental atmosphere for a big-budget sheen but can't top the cybershock to the system this movie packs. --Sean Axmaker
    2002, apr 28; 21:39:
    I added a horror page.
    Is there a more maligned genre than the horror film? Any celluloid grouping more spat upon than the poor self-assuming chiller? I think not. Oh yes, they'll champion the artistry of the western, and heap praise on just about every film noir that ever darkened the heart of man, but mention your affection for the horror film and watch those ingratiating smiles develop into something more insipid, more condescending. "Horror? Pah! Where's the artistry in bloodletting? Show me the quality drama in teenagers getting decapitated left right and centre. Go on: show me"... You might as well tell 'em you love The Sound of Music... It gets worse: there's the argument that horror films are socially and morally irresponsible, even influencing some people to emulate the murderous techniques of the characters depicted on screen. This criticism is wrong; if anything, horror films have the opposite effect on intelligent minds (sick minds will commit atrocities without the aid of horror films - their decisions based on what is churning around in their already sick minds, rather than what they witness on the silver screen). Horror films provide a release for all the pent up emotion caused by modern living (and we're all prone to that). Watching horror films allows us to meet our private fears head on, share them with others in the audience, and purge the dread by confronting it. It might seem like a cliché, but there's no denying the truth of it.
    2002, apr 28; 11:01:
  • Notes from Underground -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, [1 book, Amazon US]
    The 1863 novel (200 pages) 'Notes from Underground' is one of the most influential pieces of fiction in Western European history. It has attracted attention for many reasons. 1) It contains an all-out assault on Enlightenment rationalism and the idea of progress which foreshadows many such assaults in the mid-to-late twentieth century. 2) It is an outstanding example of Dostoyevsky's psychological skills, depicting a character motivated by many contradictory impulses. Such contradictions were not clearly understood in the nineteenth century, but Freud and modern psychology generally were to explore in depth the irrational bases of much human thought. 3) One of the most salient characteristics of the Underground Man is his profound self-contempt combined with an exquisitely sensitive ego--a combination that is much discussed these days. 4) The story contains one of the first characters whose childhood experiences have led him to fear love and intimacy even though he longs for them: another topic of intense interest currently. 5) It portrays one of the first anti-heroes in fiction, a protagonist utterly lacking every trait of the Romantic hero and living out a futile life on the margins of society. Such figures were to dominate much serious fiction in the mid-twentieth century, notably Albert Camus' Meursault in The Stranger.
    2002, apr 27; 21:37:
  • Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-1974 [1 CD, Amazon US]
    The grooves are long and laconic, the sound reminiscent of Miles Davis's "In a Silent Way" paired with Cannonball Adderly and Roy Ayers. But, as with all things Ethiopian, the music retains its own unique and unmistakable identity, one somewhere between a late-night jazz hole-in-the-wall group and a supper club belly-dancing combo. There are some very inventive arrangements and vigorous soloing, rendering a highly articulate and listenable music that was, at the time, doomed to go nowhere. Such is the retrospective value of reissues. --Derek Rath
    2002, apr 26; 13:10:
  • Todd Terry Presents Ready for a New Day[1 CD, Amazon US] Featuring one song of Bernard Fowler, my alltime fave male vocalist. [more on Bernard Fowler] and [more on Todd Terry]
    2002, apr 25; 13:17:
  • Bad Girls and Sick Boys - Linda Kaufmann [1 book, Amazon US] Starting with introducing me to Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Introduction" and having a picture with James Woods having his hand ini his belly in Cronenberg's Videodrome, this book proves to be an easy read too. Recommended, from 1998.
    2002, apr 25; 13:17:
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre (all about my mother) - Pedro Almodovar [1 DVD, Amazon US] Missed it when it came out a couple of years ago. Easily Almodovar's best. Saw Hable Con Ella a couple of days back. Very good movie too, tho' not as good as 'Madre'
    2002, apr 19; 21:20:
  • Lo Dice Todo - Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino [1 CD, Amazon US] The best latin american musicians in the 1970's NYC scene gathered for this historical recording. Seasoned veterans like Manny Oquendo, Alfredo "Chocolate"Armenteros, Virgilio Marti, Gonzalo Fernandez, etc. along with a cast of then rookie latin musicians made this one of the best selling albums of the 70's. A must have for all afro-cuban and latin music fans! [More on Mericana Records]
    2002, apr 19; 21:02:
  • Pharoah Sanders - Message From Home [1 CD, Amazon US] Super prolific Producer/bass man Bill Laswell( Material, Bootsy Collins, Last Poets, Bernie Worrell projects) combines his tough urban funk sensibilities with artificially sweetened Afro-pop and lays them under Pharoah's otherwordly saxaphone. The end result of this experiment is a couple of cool songs including the exciting Kora drumming and bass guitar interplay on "Our Roots.." and the oceanic squealing solos that stretch throughout this experiment that fizzles. But it ain't Pharoah or the Brothers who perform on the African drums faults! [More on Pharoah Sanders]
    2002, apr 19; 20:49:
  • Lawrence of Newark - Larry Young [1 CD, Amazon US] First ever reissue of 1973 album for jazz artist called 'the John Coltrane of the organ'. Because of it's freeform, avant garde, experimental nature, Young used a loose aggregate of floating musicians, including guitarist James (Blood) Ulmer & a 'Mystery Guest' (maybe Pharaoh Sanders?). plus numerous percussionists. [More on Jazz]

    2002, apr 14; 10:07:
  • Incredibly Strange Films [1 book, Amazon US] Bought this book in Miami in the early nineties, [More on Movies]
    This book changed my approach to writing, filmmaking, and life itself. It's an extremely unaffected yet affecting tome, which allowed a half-intellectual such as myself the unashamed ability to love the dumb things I love. It's a striking example of how art and entertainment lie in the world of heart, commitment, and sincerity, as much as in the world of craft or ability. Without it I would not have been able to write the filmmaking book I wrote with Lloyd Kaufman, All I Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger. -- James Gunn from Los Angeles, CA
    2002, apr 14; 10:07:
  • Serge Gainsbourg - Couleur Café [Amazon US] Contains most of the material of "Percussions", with liner notes in French
    Serge Gainsbourg put his extraordinary talent to merging Euro-Pop music with Latin and African rhythms on this album, and comes up with the most hip & happening lounge music you'll find. I gave my Esquivel away because after getting hooked on this, it just fell short. Couleur Cafe never fails to make everyone feel like having a party and transports one to an easy state of mind. At first listen, I smiled and laughed. At the second listen, I was chilling out in my own space and at the third, I realized Serge is an extremely sensitive, deeply philosophical man who can extract the very elements of an eclectic range of styles that, when combined, lightly uplift the soul- Jumpy1 for Amazon
    2002, apr 12; 14:05:
  • Neil Young - Harvest[1CD, Amazon US] always been a fan of Neil, always will be [more music from the European diaspora]
    2002, apr 12; 14:04:
  • Our Time is Coming - Masters At Work[1CD, Amazon US] second studio album from MAW [more on MAW]
    2002, apr 06; 13:59:
  • I'm a Good Woman - Compilation [1CD, Amazon US] more on women
    the album captures the essence of bar groove mixed with a little funk and some strong feminist lyrics -- dayyous for
    2002, apr 05; 21:45:
    "You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew, or Gentile. It don't make a difference in our house." -- Mr Fingers, Can U Feel It?
    2002, apr 05; 21:45:
    Of course with all this talk, one would forget that this site is about music, my main love. A little article for you: " Dance music comes in many different forms, from disco to house. Though there have been various dance crazes throughout the history of popular music, Dance music became its own genre in the mid-'70s, as soul mutated into disco and whole clubs were devoted to dancing. In the late '70s, dance clubs played disco, but by the end of the decade, disco was mutating into a number of different genres. All of the genres were collected under the catch-all term "dance," though there were distinct differences between dance-pop, hip-hop, house, and techno, among other subgenres. What tied them all together was their emphasis on rhythm — in each dance subgenre, from disco to house to rave, the beat is king".
    2002, apr 05; 21:37:
    With the unending controversy about homophobia in black music, people seem to have forgotten that the blackest music of all, the real soul music, comes from a place that some would rather didn't exist. But it does, and now - as ever - half the world is dancing to a queer groove. -- Dave Lubitch
    2002, apr 05; 21:25:
    March saw me dealing a lot with philosophical issues. More on philosophy
    2002 Mar blog:
    2002 Feb blog:
    2002 Jan blog:
    2001 blog:
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