mvuent's 2step vortex

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
mvuent is going to do a close reading of all of these one by one and we're all going to clap and applaud:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII

it's not too important whether you like them or not; ideally it wouldn't be possible from your descriptions to tell if you do.

for each post try and answer some of these or things in a similarly phenomenological vein:

what colours are there in the song?

which textures?

which shapes?

how does it move?

what materials is it made of?

what does it do to your body?

how does it affect your thinking (faster or slower, clear or scrambled, etc.)?

if it was a place where would it be?

if it was a person who would they be (demographics, clothes, psychology, etc)?

if the sonics were a story, what would it be about?

if it was one of a pantheon of gods, what would it hold dominion over?

what if the song was constructed by some secret government organisation to brainwash us; how would it benefit them?


that sort of thing. go all metaphorical; the more tangential and subconscious the connection the better.

you'll reveal to us new things about a music we've all known for 20 years.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
i'm really looking forward to this.

i've just blown through a deadline because i spent the day dancing around to this instead.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
alright finally set aside time to react to 2step, a new stage in my chronological trip through the ‘nuum.

i’m not a clever enough writer to sustain a thread like this singlehandedly though. so the more people post their impressions the better. i’m not going to catch everything interesting about these songs obviously, not even close.
 
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mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNwDbJU0oWE&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=1

entering, fading in, complexity slowly coming into focus rather than thrown at you as a challenge (it’s more like house that jungle in how it gently pulls you into the groove rather than flat out assaulting you)

the sort of computer generated liquid textures you see on shampoo bottles; refreshingly cool temperature—or is it warm? the temperature of somewhere you’d want to stay for a long time, anyways
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVycT8k0tjM&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=2

similar atmosphere as the last one, but slightly chillier

surprisingly empty—similar abandoned mall feel to vaporwave / muzak. empty food courts and halls.

it’s not just the sax that evokes that imagery, it’s especially the vocals, which don’t sound intimate so much as like the last, fading traces of something. aaliyah fading out of existence like in these videos.

there’s a weird moment around 2:38. its probably supposed to be a hype building moment like in hardcore but instead you feel…stillness. for a few seconds you’ve been deserted. suddenly the bass sounds more like a drone than a proper dance music bassline.

rhythmically this feels stiffer than the first one, which adds to the somewhat frigid quality.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWKJtKk81Qc&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=3

the main snare sounds like when i mess w/ the pitch envelope to make a shitty snare sample sound better and just make it sound shittier.

the stabs remind me of aphex - radiator. also like something from the minecraft soundtrack. mysterious and distant rather than aggressive or “mental.”

gets livelier around 1:20. sounds popping in and out of existence in a cartoony fashion.

‘lift me’ — aimed at the sky rather than the luxury spa pool. or maybe at one of those rooftop pools with glass walls.

the android singing starts to malfunction in the second half. sounds like autotune.

no room for nuance in your thoughts. just short, calm, repetitive geometry.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwxpMIEZ9fg&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=4

immediately heavier and warmer than the last two. soulful but still kind of distant. eyes staring past you.

the horns are the most overtly "old school" sound i've heard in any of these. 30s-40s nyc. conveying an older sense of 'classy' than usual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdJyLJMaQMY&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=5

5) the voices in this are so weird. completely lost to time for me. not properly old but definitely from another time.

actually all this music has that same lost to time quality to me. probably explained by its use of pop music from just after i was born. primordial singing inflections.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
with all of this stuff i'm torn between hearing a house-y sense of love and thinking of a line in energy flash where blissblogger recalls worrying that the 2step people were glaring at him because he wasn't wearing the right pants. there's a weird balance between warmth and coolness / detachment.

a few of those five i can imagine going in a completely different direction with on another 'pass'.
 
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sadmanbarty

Well-known member
there's a weird balance between warmth and coolness / detachment.
.

that's brilliant.

that myron one for example, it's at once completely sensual- feeling her breath on your neck, warm skin on skin- but also detatched (sylopsistic even). like watching lovers through a window and imagining you're one of them. or some sci fi thing where you inhabit a hologram world. his hologram girlfriend in the new bladerunner.

warm tones, with these rigamortis drums. vocal samples thin and ghostly; hollow.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
it’s more like house that jungle in how it gently pulls you into the groove rather than flat out assaulting you

echoing world famous music journalist/phallic marvel simon reynolds there:

"If you live in London, perhaps you’ve scanned the FM spectrum and come to a halt at a pirate station whose sound you can’t quite finger or figure. It’s got House music’s slinky panache, but the rhythm’s wrong – too fitful and funked-up, and besides, there’s an MC jabbering over the top, Jungle-style. Maybe it’s Jungle, then – but then again, maybe not: too slow, too sexy. Sometimes it’s a bit like American R&B – except it sounds druggy, the wrong kind of druggy: like Timbaland on E."

i fucking love that intro. it makes me giddy with intrigue.

i wanted to nick it for my ill-fated drill article. "is it grime? no because... "is it trap?" no, too rhythmic, too complex, etc.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
the android singing starts to malfunction in the second half. sounds like autotune.
.

its a sample form a tracy chapman song about domestic violence; knowing that gives it this amazing potency. cyborgism representing this emotional apathy.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Barty says I have to join in so I've got a lager and some cheese and crackers ready I'm about to see what's going on.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
It's interesting reading this. I find it fascinating and I also find myself feeling a little bit agitated. It foregrounds aspects of the music that are, not quite invisible to me, but definitely occluded or drowned out.

Part of the experiment I suppose is presenting someone with an artifact which is far removed from them in terms of time and also geographically and culturally and seeing what they make of it.

The same game anthropologists and colonisers play when they get remote tribes to listen to gramophone recordings of Mozart.

We all want to believe music is in some sense a universal language. We want the savage in the jungle to find himself civiliZed by the European orchestral tradition. We want mvuent to feel the vibe, the same way we do, rush out and buy some Moschino
 
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