Reynolds on planet-mu

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Only then can drug use escape precisely the banality you rightly accuse the rest of culture of, reclaim its inherent weirdness, become non-naturalised, frightening and sublime. And in so doing escape many of its negative externalities associated with excess.
Yeah it has become banal, but transcendence is still transcendent; if you've ever been pushed completely off the edge you've likely experienced the frightening and sublime. Whether or not its something more (religious) is up to the individual I guess. Though to be honest the poorly run coat-check at the club I was at on NYE was frightening and sublime, and while there was much human suffering there was very little empathy or pity.


Happy New Year all...
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Yeah it has become banal, but transcendence is still transcendent; if you've ever been pushed completely off the edge you've likely experienced the frightening and sublime. Whether or not its something more (religious) is up to the individual I guess. Though to be honest the poorly run coat-check at the club I was at on NYE was frightening and sublime, and while there was much human suffering there was very little empathy or pity.


Happy New Year all...

The interesting point would be where it wasn't interpreted in either the banal just-another-consumer-"choice" fashion OR the pseudo-mystical far out man/mind body bollocks one--> but rather in some new and alien (and weird) way. I think then a radical drug culture would be possible.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Bought a random cd two days ago that turned out to be pretty decent - by British hardcore band 'Million Dead.' The first song - Bread and Circuses - had lyrics that reminded me of this thread (awww):

It’s time to celebrate, to come out and play – we’ve been counting down the days. This weekend we’ve got a band holiday! We’re as sick with expectation as we are with what we’re escaping. Lock up the house, load up the car, we’ve twenty-four hours to spend in a goddamn theme park. We are so grateful for our new state-funded stately pleasure dome. Shock and awe and an over-priced gift-shop – you didn’t have fun if you didn’t buy the t-shirt. Paying through the nose so you can prick-tease your animal instincts. Art starts to imitate life in the factory; the factory’s a prison, so art is seen to atrophy – all our days off in front of the TV instead of a stock screen. We just commute from one end of the conveyor belt to the other. Oh, the kids who would’ve led the unions in the past now grow up staying silent in darkened cinemas. If every hour that I have spent stuck in a circus was spent learning a language, I’d have so much more to say. And if every penny that I have spent on processed bread was spent on growing my own food, my skin wouldn’t look so grey. Work and rest and play safe in the knowledge that this is the only way. The hand that feeds chooses the menu, but I’m a fussy eater. Work rest and decay. One commodity a day will keep subversive daydreams away.
 

Immryr

Well-known member
more on the original topic (the article), i think rephlex is a way better label than planet mu. i know it can be patchy, but when was the last time mu released a record as good as the last Dopplereffekt, or The Tuss albums?
 

bassnation

the abyss
more on the original topic (the article), i think rephlex is a way better label than planet mu. i know it can be patchy, but when was the last time mu released a record as good as the last Dopplereffekt, or The Tuss albums?

easily. the landstrumm lp for one, plus every bizzy b release on mu tops pretty much anything rephlex have released in the last 2 years. if we are talking idm releases more specifically, then i haven't a clue cos its not my bag in any shape or form.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
easily. the landstrumm lp for one, plus every bizzy b release on mu tops pretty much anything rephlex have released in the last 2 years. if we are talking idm releases more specifically, then i haven't a clue cos its not my bag in any shape or form.

The Tuss album is grossly overrated anyway, whether its Aphex or not.
 

Immryr

Well-known member
that landstrumm lp misses the mark for me, not as good as other things ive heard by him (that thing on Marguerita for example).


also the whole idea of using the term 'over rated' as some kind of polemic statement is silly to me. i honestly dont care how its rated. it sounds great.
 

bassnation

the abyss
that landstrumm lp misses the mark for me, not as good as other things ive heard by him (that thing on Marguerita for example).

i liked it - a return to the bass heavy bleep days carrying on where sleeparchive left off. in particular the mega heavy groove on the collaboration with the ragga twins - whats not to like?

but yeah also rate a lot of his earlier work too - pro audio is awesome.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
also the whole idea of using the term 'over rated' as some kind of polemic statement is silly to me. i honestly don't care how its rated. it sounds great.

It sounds rubbish tho, sorry but its sub par Aphex at best, and the whole style is hidebound and utterly un-revelatory. Its comfort music, which I'm not interested in.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
So either the solution lies in rethinking pleasure, putting it into an entirely a-consumerist context (eg- perhaps religious or else some new and as yet unthought configuration) or else rejecting it all together (along with its double: pain and pity and empathising with the human as a suffering animal species).

(c) Siddhartha Gautama, 500 BC. ;)

(although he was quite heavily into empathising, of course)
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"I genuinely think that pleasure is so intrinsically tied in with the mechanisms of consumer Capitalist culture..."
Well you would wouldn't you?
Does that mean that pleasure didn't exist before capitalism or has it just been taken over?
 

Gabba Flamenco Crossover

High Sierra Skullfuck
Wow, just returned from a week of internet silence and hasn't this thread taken some twists and turns? :)

On Energy Flash, the tone is definitely pro-hardcore, but this needs to be seen in the context of music writing in the mid-90s which was pretty much unremittingly anti-hardcore. From 1992-1994 Reynolds was pretty much the only music journalist in Britain covering hardcore in a non-pejoritive way.

As for the intelligent records that get a bit of a slagging in the book (eg, FSOL, B12, first wave Detroit minimal techno) - 90s dance journalists were making some absurd claims on behalf of records like these, often egged on by the artists themselves it must be said. I have a lot of time for Jeff Mills but some of his 90s press interviews were so ultra serious as to be beyond parody.

At the point when he wrote Energy Flash Reynolds was very much in the position of the small boy who sees that the emporer's got no clothes on, so it should be read with that in mind. I do agree that now the consensus position on hardcore has become more balanced and it does seem a bit polemical as a result, but it was a polemic that was sorely needed at the time.

On the political 'meaning' of X...

Drugs can definitely be revolutionary in personal terms, I've found that and I'm sure lots of other people have too. If this revolutionary energy has failed to manifest itself anywhere outside of the personal, compared to the 60s couterculture, I think a lot of blame must lie with the general tenor of our times. We've had 25 years of government along lines that by 60s standards are pretty ultra rightwing, at least economically, and we seem to be at the point where this has destroyed people's sense of the public realm.

I've been appalled by the way people I know, who are generally intelligent and principled, seem to lack any sense of how their personal actions resonate politically. I had a massive go at my Dad over Christmas for opining that 'people lack all sense of community these days' directly after a 20 minute conversation with his brother about how great his accountant is, and how much tax he's not paying as a result. Another of my friends is constantly getting on his high horse about really token environmental issues like saving plastic bags, but takes four or five long haul flights every year.

Conservative culture has thrown up an iron wall between personal and family life and the public realm, with the latter having to play second fiddle to the former. Tory and New Labour politics encourages people to put the comfort of themselves and thier families above all other considerations, and to think of larger socio-economic forces as inpenetrable absracts that can only be made relatable to everyday life if they are expressed in explicitly consumerist terms ("This Is Not A Plastic Bag").

Expecting X and rave culture to overturn that all on it's own is just asking too much of a mere chemical. The 60s counterculture came on top of 20 years of postwar rebuilding in the developed world where people were encouraged, if not compelled, to put the big picture before thier personal comfort. Thus the structures were in place to deliver the real. lasting reforms of the 60 like legislation to end racial and gender segregation, better healthcare, etc.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Does that mean that pleasure didn't exist before capitalism or has it just been taken over?

A cross between the two positions actually. The chemical reactions which create the sensation of pleasure existed before, quite obviously. However, the interpretative basis upon which these bare electrochemical impulses are presented to consciousness are going to be heavily socially mediated, (specifically within consumer capitalism).
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Another almost infuriatingly thoughtful post from GFC... :)

In which he's pretty much articulated (and enlarged on) something that struck me the other day while thinking about this thread, which is that if ecstasy and rave culture in general have become just another 'consumer choice', rather than anything remotely revolutionary (beyond the entirely trivial point that the drug, and some of the music events associated with it, are illegal) could have more to do with the drug's chronology than with its actual psychopharmacological effects. In other words, is it possible that *any* drug that become popular in the late '80s and 'came of age' in the '90s could have become a tool of revolution or genuine (positive) social change? Or in our cynical, post-everything age of Che Guevara tee-shirts, was it bound to end up as essentially a toy, albeit a very remarkable one?

Something I used to wonder about was what might have happened if large quantities of the stuff had been available in, say, 1964...
 

hurricane run

Well-known member
Maybe the tory government that the uk will get (probably) at the next election, will be the first 'rave generation' administration. Deadly Dave supposedly tried to tone down the major era anti rave legislation as samantha was on one:) at the weekends, and tried to point out the damage it would do the party's image in the eyes of the 'youth'. Both dave and George have 'drug pasts' they've had to keep quiet about. Neo- con neon
 

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
The interesting point would be where it wasn't interpreted in either the banal just-another-consumer-"choice" fashion OR the pseudo-mystical far out man/mind body bollocks one--> but rather in some new and alien (and weird) way. I think then a radical drug culture would be possible.

It's bollocks though you've never had the experience? How would this alien drug culture break out of the drift to center and not be absorbed by capitalism? I don't know what you're expecting. If it's not fashion or mysticism...
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
It's bollocks though you've never had the experience? How would this alien drug culture break out of the drift to center and not be absorbed by capitalism? I don't know what you're expecting. If it's not fashion or mysticism...

This I cannot say. I agree though that its all about context not necessarily the chemical itself.
 

bassnation

the abyss
Not only must we think beyond pleasure, but equally beyond the pitiable suffering animal of the human too. They are different sides of the same coin. And hence my suspicion of the revolutionary potential of pleasure. Because it seems inexorably tied in with conceptions of the human which serve the political and economic status quo. Or at least, that are readily absorbable and profitable for the status quo. Or rather perhaps, it is this particular aspect (the securing of the right to pleasure) of various radical movements which is successful, and people seem to be happy enough with that- "We didn't change the world, but at least we had a lot of orgasms/got fucking high etc..." To which you will inevitably argue that at least that is better than not experiencing that pleasure... but to which I can only add that mere pleasure here is being fundamentally cheated, and indeed constitutes part of the effective control system (as an emergent property) of our society.

Interestingly of course (and to guide us back on topic somewhat) Reynolds' alludes to a lot of this in "Energy Flash", the sense that Rave at its best (darkside 'ardkore) was a music aware of the limits of its own emancipatory powers, and of its more sinister hegemony-serving aspects.

Yes, happy new year... :mad:

ok, i've been thinking about this quite a bit (yes, its a slooow time at work)

i sometimes feel a bit out of my depth debating this stuff when it edges into theory but i find the idea bizarre and rather difficult to get my head around - maybe some clairification?

i don't find the notion of moving beyond pleasure, pain and especially empathy very appealing.

we are not just animals and our rationality can move us beyond animal concerns in some extreme ways (what other animal commits suicide, for instance?) but i feel that a grand project such as the one you describe could end up leading to the gas chamber. i feel everything we do has to be underpinned by our humanity, of which pleasure and pain are of the utmost import, whether or not these things are exploited by those who want to make money.

connecting with others has to be at the heart of what we do, its how we evolved into this animal that is able to discover how the universe began. i think moving beyond that will allow us to do terrible things, way beyond the worst of capitalism. i don't care enough for rationality to sacrifice everything else for these mental castles in the air. yes, i appreciate that terrible things have already been carried out, but also there is much to celebrate in equal measures - but maybe not the big things, the small connections, the communities we can't help forming. in some ways i see the personal as more important than what we can achieve politically.

i've probably wildly misinterpreted what you said, but what the hell.
 
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swears

preppy-kei
Well, I would say it's better to have feelings guided by ideas rather than ideas guided by feelings. Better that everybody understands through reason that something like (for example) capital punishment is wrong, rather than having messy, subjective feelings about it.
 

bassnation

the abyss
Well, I would say it's better to have feelings guided by ideas rather than ideas guided by feelings. Better that everybody understands through reason that something like (for example) capital punishment is wrong, rather than having messy, subjective feelings about it.

well, those "messy subjective feelings" come first, e.g. outrage motivates people to act - the rationality to acheive a result comes later. its not always wrong-headed to be ruled by the heart.
 
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