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Thread: What exactly is HAUNTOLOGY to pop music?

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    Default What exactly is HAUNTOLOGY to pop music?

    The word 'hauntology' has been throwed around a fair bit, and seems to relate to some post deleuzian body-without-organs concept to music..

    I'm figuring it means anything that sounds lost, otherworldly, old, ancient, dead, spooky, etc...Correct?

    SO you could peg Moby's PLAY as 'hauntology' as much as Sebadoh as much as Jandek as much as Charlie Patton as much as Diamanda Galas as much as Burial as much as Ariel Pink and much as My Bloody Valentine as much as Portishead as much as ambient noise field recordings like on the Extreme Label?

    The more I hear the word 'hauntology', the more I think it's some sort of post-modern-retro-apolagetic version of goth!
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    Isn't that a contradiction? If Moby (or many of the artists you mention) can be classified as Hauntology then how can it possibly equate with goth? Spooky != depressing, full of self-pity/loathing, bloodlust (traditional goth values).

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    Hauntology is a state of mind, baby.

    It's entirely subjective.

    One man's blood-freezing hauntfest is another's poorly-produced retro-wank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enneff View Post
    Isn't that a contradiction? If Moby (or many of the artists you mention) can be classified as Hauntology then how can it possibly equate with goth? Spooky != depressing, full of self-pity/loathing, bloodlust (traditional goth values).
    Goth is also very interested in sex and carnality, prolly more than straight white-ponces that listen to dub and two-step.

    And goth also likes cyber/technological stuff too..
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    Quote Originally Posted by enneff View Post
    Isn't that a contradiction? If Moby (or many of the artists you mention) can be classified as Hauntology then how can it possibly equate with goth? Spooky != depressing, full of self-pity/loathing, bloodlust (traditional goth values).
    Goth is also very interested in sex and carnality, prolly more than straight white-ponces that listen to dub and two-step.

    And goth also likes cyber/technological stuff too..


    I just find 'hauntology' to be just a more pretentious term for good old 'ethereal' and all the offshoots of all that 4AD stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buick6 View Post
    I just find 'hauntology' to be just a more pretentious term for good old 'ethereal' and all the offshoots of all that 4AD stuff.
    I think it refers specifically to stuff that works partly by triggering half-remembered memories of other music - like Boards of Canada sounding a bit 70's kids TV or Burial with the half-obscured references to rave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    I think it refers specifically to stuff that works partly by triggering half-remembered memories of other music - like Boards of Canada sounding a bit 70's kids TV or Burial with the half-obscured references to rave.
    Now THAT'S a good definition.

    Didn't someone bring up the Penman essay on Tricky in The Wire as the near-definitive document of what hauntology is supposed to represent?

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    and then surely all this links in to the Kode 9 quote about 'filling in the gaps' re jungle rhythms, that was debate don here recently?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buick6 View Post
    I just find 'hauntology' to be just a more pretentious term for good old 'ethereal' and all the offshoots of all that 4AD stuff.
    Then I think you're misunderstanding what the term hauntology denotes. The phrase is coined by Derrida (not Delueze) in his Specters of Marx during which he reflects on the persistance of the concept of (utopian) revolution despite its apparent eradication from the scene of politics and history (the book is 'work of mourning' published in the early 90s after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the inaugeration of the 'end of history'). As such the concept of social and political revolution takes on a ghostly aspect - present and not present, eluding the catagorical definintion of western metaphysics, apparently erased yet still palpable in traces and echoes and uncanny visitations. Obviously, transplanting such a shadowy concept to the scene of (pop) music is no straightforward operation but as far as I can work out the concept is deployed towards a music that employs certain strategies of disinternment - a disinternment of styles, sounds, even techniques and modes of production now abandoned, forgotten or erased by history. The classic example, I think, is the music that is released on the Ghost Box label, which evokes a strain of electronic musical 'futurism' that was most notable in the 70s (but was also around before then) - the BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound of spooky analogue synthesizers etc. Listening to that music (and I must admit I haven't heard much) is like encountering a revenant - a return in figurative form of a glimpse of a future that never was, a visionary dream that was envisioned once but which slipped out of collective memory. The concept of hauntology however tends to be more loosely deployed, and in particular to music that employs samples and especially dub reggae techniques that reanimate styles and sounds that hover, suggestively, around the edges of the day to day. Such techniques foreground the 're' in recorded music and evoke the Janus-like status of music as recorded artifact, facing both backwards and forwards simultaneously, an inscripted trace that is neither presence nor absence but a spectral apparation that both referencesand eludes such binary oppositional catagories...

    Then again, there's every chance I might have got this completely wrong.

    K-punk continues to explore/expand the term in his latest posting on Little Axe which is well worth a read:

    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    Obviously, transplanting such a shadowy concept to the scene of (pop) music is no straightforward operation
    Nor, indeed, a worthwhile operation.

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    Isn't it just anything which is present in its absence? Which obviously brings up dub (the erasing of the original song, using mere snippets and echoes) and Ariel Pink (like lo-fi covers of classic pop songs which never existed) There's also all that stuff about haunting relating to home and unhome, which K-punk memorably interlinked to the Shining, which musically I guess you could relate more to unease-MOR like the JBs, that sense of unsettling normality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    Then I think you're misunderstanding what the term hauntology denotes. The phrase is coined by Derrida (not Delueze) in his Specters of Marx during which he reflects on the persistance of the concept of (utopian) revolution despite its apparent eradication from the scene of politics and history (the book is 'work of mourning' published in the early 90s after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the inaugeration of the 'end of history'). As such the concept of social and political revolution takes on a ghostly aspect - present and not present, eluding the catagorical definintion of western metaphysics, apparently erased yet still palpable in traces and echoes and uncanny visitations. Obviously, transplanting such a shadowy concept to the scene of (pop) music is no straightforward operation but as far as I can work out the concept is deployed towards a music that employs certain strategies of disinternment - a disinternment of styles, sounds, even techniques and modes of production now abandoned, forgotten or erased by history. The classic example, I think, is the music that is released on the Ghost Box label, which evokes a strain of electronic musical 'futurism' that was most notable in the 70s (but was also around before then) - the BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound of spooky analogue synthesizers etc. Listening to that music (and I must admit I haven't heard much) is like encountering a revenant - a return in figurative form of a glimpse of a future that never was, a visionary dream that was envisioned once but which slipped out of collective memory. The concept of hauntology however tends to be more loosely deployed, and in particular to music that employs samples and especially dub reggae techniques that reanimate styles and sounds that hover, suggestively, around the edges of the day to day. Such techniques foreground the 're' in recorded music and evoke the Janus-like status of music as recorded artifact, facing both backwards and forwards simultaneously, an inscripted trace that is neither presence nor absence but a spectral apparation that both referencesand eludes such binary oppositional catagories...

    Then again, there's every chance I might have got this completely wrong.

    K-punk continues to explore/expand the term in his latest posting on Little Axe which is well worth a read:

    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/

    Is that what Steampunk was as well?

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    I thought Steampunk was a scifi thing- a victorianised version of cyber-punk, usually with alternative history type plots ie- "The Difference Engine". I have no idea what that means musically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    I think it refers specifically to stuff that works partly by triggering half-remembered memories of other music - like Boards of Canada sounding a bit 70's kids TV or Burial with the half-obscured references to rave.
    Sounds like kitchen sink po-mo to me.

    But I get yer point.
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