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Thread: Sherburne reports on Shackleton Villalobos remix

  1. #1
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    Default Sherburne reports on Shackleton Villalobos remix

    I felt this warranted its own thread. Great news!

    http://www.philipsherburne.com/

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    really nice review. i haven't heard this remix yet but i'm really curious.

    18 1/2 minutes!

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    I really, really, really dislike the review, but I'm still curious about the tune.

    However good the tune is though... horrible review.

    Quote Originally Posted by phillip sherburne
    I've been advocating a crossover (or at least a friendly afternoon tea) between dubstep and minimal for a couple of years now, and 2006 saw such encounters start to happen. One tune appears to have been the key: Shackleton's "Blood on My Hands"
    Quote Originally Posted by phillip sherburne
    Coincidentally or not, that's the tune that was playing on my stereo, driving down the coast of Chile, when I first heard that Pinochet was dead, which is rather uncanny when you think about it. Chile's exiles had been resisting the urge to look behind since 1973; even the country's return to democracy in 1990 did not permit a full backwards glance. Only with Pinochet's death—because flesh, thank God, is weak, and forms break down—does it become safe to look behind.
    OI OI.



    I'm going to go listen to blood on my hands about 20 times now. And not think about pinochet once. Or villalobos for that matter.
    Last edited by UFO over easy; 06-01-2007 at 01:35 AM.

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    Erm, yeah that was a bit sloppy of me. I'd only skimmed the end. I still like the enthusiasm at the beginning, but this...
    His mix, it must be said, is imbued with a gravitas that Shackleton's original, no matter how good it is, doesn't quite achieve.
    ... is irritating. Between that statement and the Pinochet stuff, it's as if the lyrics are made to belong more to Villalobos than Sam for whom it seems to be a very personal song. And if the remix of 'Blood on my Hands' that I heard in a minimal mix a while back is the Villalobos one, then frankly, it can't hold a candle to the original which I think is one of the best tracks of any sort to come out in the last year (exactly as it is with no need for value-added gravitas).
    Last edited by nomos; 06-01-2007 at 02:04 AM.

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    The vocals are no longer creepy, but simply mournful, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that that's precisely what Villalobos, who grew up in exile, probably intended.
    What?! ...has that got to do with anything. I'm sure when Villalobos was deciding where to pitch the vocals, he had that in mind.

    What a wanky review. But yeah, interested to hear the remix although it won't touch the original, that's for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomos
    Between that statement and the Pinochet stuff, it's as if the lyrics are made to belong more to Villalobos than Sam for whom it seems to be a very personal song
    I don't even mind this to be honest. I think it's perfectly valid for someone to sample lyrics they didn't write and feel personally involved with them.. but it was the first thing, even ignoring the babbling about Pinochet, about how Blood On My Hands apparently inspired some kind of minimal/dubstep revolution, which was what got me in the first place. total nonsense. aside from the fact that it's factually inaccurate (there have been plenty of actual four to the floor dubstep pieces this year that techno djs have completely ignored), that techno DJs are playing the tune out in no way suggests that the tune was intended to be some kind of crossover piece.
    Last edited by UFO over easy; 06-01-2007 at 03:14 AM.

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    I don't mind the critique of the Pinochet references; I was trying to connect various threads and I realize that it may not have worked. That's a blog for you. (But I also don't think it's a stretch to inquire into Villalobos' bio and backstory when he's working with such loaded lyrical material as Shackleton's; this is a guy who played Violetta Parra tracks at Chile's Loveparade last year. My language may have been clumsy, but Chilean history and the politics of exile are very much a part of his work.)

    As for the crossover idea, UFO, I think you miss my point. I didn't imply that Shackleton was attempting to foster a techno/dubstep crossover--only that "Blood" seems to have been the first dubstep tune to really make any traction within the techno scene. (The fact that you say that techno DJs have ignored "plenty of actual four to the floor dubstep pieces this year" would seem to support that.) I honestly don't think there's much crossover in either direction, yet, but I'd like to see it going both ways.

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    yeah I hope this has been touched up since the version in the Fabric mix. that sounded half-finished and a little uninspired once FZ finished (although very obviously a Villalobos remix of it from the off).

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    Quote Originally Posted by psherburne View Post
    I don't mind the critique of the Pinochet references; I was trying to connect various threads and I realize that it may not have worked. That's a blog for you. (But I also don't think it's a stretch to inquire into Villalobos' bio and backstory when he's working with such loaded lyrical material as Shackleton's; this is a guy who played Violetta Parra tracks at Chile's Loveparade last year. My language may have been clumsy, but Chilean history and the politics of exile are very much a part of his work.)

    As for the crossover idea, UFO, I think you miss my point. I didn't imply that Shackleton was attempting to foster a techno/dubstep crossover--only that "Blood" seems to have been the first dubstep tune to really make any traction within the techno scene. (The fact that you say that techno DJs have ignored "plenty of actual four to the floor dubstep pieces this year" would seem to support that.) I honestly don't think there's much crossover in either direction, yet, but I'd like to see it going both ways.
    i think making intuitive or poetic connections between real life and art is as necessary as factual exercises. the important thing is not to claim you are doing one thing while doing the other and i don't see this happening in the article you wrote.

    this myth that music and artists exist in a vacuum has to be destroyed, really. take the most abstract forms: the sähkö label, brancusi, just about any product of the periphery has a huge dialogue with it's past and context. near the precipice you have chileans, always torn between foreign ideas and insularity, the desire to transcend boundaries through art and poetry and abstraction in direct proportion to historical hardship and isolation, psyche contaminated by the physical territory itself, which is mad and i suppose you can make out in villalobos or matta or whathaveyou. so there is a connection and it is relevant, even in techno.

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    really glad you blogged about this Phil. i recieved a copy of this remix this week and have been digesting it.

    the only bit i dont agree with is: "imbued with a gravitas that Shackleton's original, no matter how good it is, doesn't quite achieve."

    the remix basically takes the vocals and layers it over some phazed drums for 15 minutes. it's such a reduction that i cant see, no matter how good it is, how it's greater than the original.

    still, landmark release though.

  11. #11

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    This is an interesting topic, and I feel compelled to add my 2 cents.

    I think the discussion regarding the political implications of and the personal motivations behind both the original and the remix is totally warranted given their backgrounds and the material in question.

    I don't agree that the original is 'creepy', however. I think there's something very uplifting about it, though obviously not in a "Trance Nation: Euphoria" type way, but in a "the existence of a spiritual domain that transcends the physical, no matter how abhorrent" kind of way. Especially with the line "the mind and spirit remains invincible!" being followed by a drop of sorts. If anything, Villalobos' version is far creepier, like when echos the line 'when I see the towers fall' with a crumbling reverbed hit.

    I think the critical difference in their tacklings of such loaded material however, is that the Shackleton version has this element of catharsis that presumably comes from the music being so deeply interwoven with the fabric of poem... the 2 forms of expression combining in a synergistic fashion to create the overall mood of the piece. Whereas villalobos just takes the lyrical side, and turns it into one of his typical 4/4 minimal pieces, which leaves you in no-mans land regarding the possible interpretations of the poem.

    Interestingly, I was at Fabric when it was played, and I don't believe anyone noticed the lyrics (I didn't even realise what it was until my friend pointed it out, and I was pretty familiar with the original by that point). It just had this 'simmering' effect on the dancefloor, where the overall temperature of the dance is kept, without either decreasing or increasing the heat, which has a unique effect in itself, especially when extended over a long period of time (which Villalbos is a master at).

    I think the interesting thing (as with many dance tunes) will be when it becomes 'public property' of the dancers. When the tune no longer inspires a unique and fresh personal reaction, but when groups of people who have heard it out together many times, and have 'claimed it', by gradually (after a period of combined listens) developing a combined social, spiritual, emotional and physical response to it. So when it is played, it triggers this complex multi person dance routine of sorts. (I hope someone knows what I'm on about here, as I'm at a bit of a loss how best to describe it). With certain 'big' tunes (like say "In White Rooms"), the results of this gradual group co-ownership are (moderately) predictable. But with a tune dealing with the towers falling (even if it is from trans-physical point of view) the results will be interesting to say the least.

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    Thanks for responding PS. I do see what you're saying.

    And I think I've been a bit clumsy on this as well, so I'm going to leave it at that.

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    fair enough to those who are taking issue with my claim that villalobos' mix has more gravitas to it -- i actually don't think that's probably right, and i was misguided (swept up in the villa-love?) when i included that. so thanks for setting me straight, blackdown et al!

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    tangentally, what other dubstep artists are fit for 'crossover'? i'm surprised loefah isn't worshipped by everyone at this point.

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    i could see burial remixed as texturey, emotive techno. i don't really know much about that that area of music but i have the superpitcher remix of mfa's 'the difference it make' and i think that burial remixes could have a similar appeal. though you'd lose his rhythms and that's part of the magic.

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