Results 1 to 15 of 61

Thread: artifacts / fog of war

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

    Default artifacts / fog of war

    by which i mean phenomena like distortion, saturation, tape hiss, static, background noise, various forms of feedback, etc. just any "imperfections" in the recording that obfuscate the tunes.

    (a few threads that could be relevant: 1 2)

    this stuff is interesting to me because even when unintended it can become one of, or even THE most vivid aspect of the music. for example when i gave patty this song to write about in the "listen to something now" thread, here was his response:



    Quote Originally Posted by pattycakes_ View Post
    Time and age are the very first things you're greeted with here. The crackle of those old field recordings. Unmistakable. The high frequencies smothered by a David Lynch like sheen of violence, fuzz and filth. In their place, the ghostly, hyperactive excitations of an old 78. Dust dancing on the surface, like a never ending downpour of microscopic particles on a thin sheet of worn out perspex. The occasional pop like a loose thread from the ragged overalls of the groundskeeper catching a splinter as he walks down the hallway of the big old wooden house. Candlelight. The highs tucked away, the guitar a muted chord machine. Articulations barely distinguishable. Just a rhythm and the sound of a thousand humid nights and handmade plectrums working away at the guts. Strings that once had texture, but through all the dirt and grease have become smoothened and dulled like rain carving stone over millenia. Take a sip. Time, wood, skin oils and heat. The root of the oak tree. Unguarded, no filter. Croaking vocals treading well worn boards. Palpable decay. Well built. Built to last. Weather the storm. Vocals croaking their plight. Clawing their way out of the larynx, scarred and scratched. Lips dry, liquor near by. Jazz fag and rolling tobacco, whipping up a nocturnal cloud of purple plumes and cricket calls. Its all living and breathing. Decay, decay. It's tradition.
    basically the majority of the post is dealing with the character of the recording itself, because it conveys so much to us now; it changes and adds to the musical experience.

    so assuming we agree that these dull on paper qualities can actually have a magical effect, what does that teach us? what lessons can we apply in the future? generally speaking recordings are getting cleaner--so maybe these aesthetics are on the way out unless we can extrapolate new creative possibilities from them.

    any favorite examples? alternatively, reasons you're not really into this topic?

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mvuent For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

    Default

    seems to me that there are three ways of looking at "fog of war":

    1. signifying oldness. this is probably the most obvious, potentially gimmicky use. but it can also be executed very interestingly. i think a better way to put it might be: signifying distance.

    2. signifying decay. similar to the first perspective, but i think it's worth distinguishing. thinking about oldness/ wornness as a dynamic process rather that as a pre-existing state. (but if the distinction doesn't make sense, forget about this one. it's not the thought im personally the most interested in.)

    3. as diegetic sound. i.e. hearing these qualities as musical, as part of the recording's internal world. this is probably the view that's most creative and likely to be fruitful in the future. it suggests that the aforementioned magic of "fog of war" is completely separable from its associations with the past, and can be harnessed to make something new.

    (and no, i don't expect the term to catch on.)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

    Default what changed in the past few years?

    as the default cleanness of audio recording improved, these obfuscating qualities have been utilized more and more deliberately by musicians--reflecting our increased sensitivity to "fog of war" as listeners.

    this is apparent in how efforts to evoke the music of the past have changed. at first artists only imitated the sonic signifiers of previous eras that were intentional: the particular guitar tones, reverb, etc. (e.g. john lennon in the late 60s wanting the same reverb that was used on his favorite 50s hits.) but then by the time of chillwave in the late 2000s, imitating and exaggerating the "fog of war" of old music had became the central aesthetic goal.

    BUT the mystery is that at some point in the 2010s this tendency dropped off. other life and i have talked a bit about how vaporwave went from being like this to becoming polished, hi-fi electronica. i'm sure there are still certain artists on pan, etc. that are experimenting, but for now "fog of war" in its most obvious form seems to have been cancelled. i wonder why?

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to mvuent For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

    Default


  7. The Following User Says Thank You to mvuent For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8,196

    Default

    That Leo Kottke clip you posted the other day was a great example of this. Another I like is this grainy clip of Enya performing 'Boadicea' in the studio.


  10. The Following User Says Thank You to version For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    850

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    3. as diegetic sound. i.e. hearing these qualities as musical, as part of the recording's internal world. this is probably the view that's most creative and likely to be fruitful in the future. it suggests that the aforementioned magic of "fog of war" is completely separable from its associations with the past, and can be harnessed to make something new.
    And at the same time, I get nostalgic for things that didn't really exist. I might have a cassette from the first time a Melle Mel track, say, got played on radio in Manchester. And it might be a copy of a copy of a copy of a tape and there's all these weird nuances and distortions that have affected what I know as the truth, if you like, of that track. And I'll go and download or buy that original 12 and get it home and go, "Whoa, it sounds flatter than my version, the one that I've had for 15 years in my head is actually more exotic than had originally been intended in the studio at the time of making it."

    So I know that there's a lot of room to maneuver in those kind of ghostly musical spheres, you know what I mean? And we try and lean on those elements and try and blur the lines between certain sounds. I think that's the way some of the magic of music can be, even if it is a little bit from nowhere. Even if it doesn't really have any bearing on reality or grounding as a real piece of music. It might be an homage to a track that just sounds like my memory of a track, an homage to that memory as opposed to trying to recreate exactly how the song is.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to mvuent For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8,196

    Default

    Corpsey's law.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to version For This Useful Post:


  15. #9

    Default

    "cancelled" really is the word for it.
    it was forward looking, the skaters/emeralds/opn/sky limousine school builds on sonic referents of synth-prog, new age and video game soundtracks but doesn't at all feel like that music. it's not a re-creation, those kinds of morphogenetic/drug spaces and emotional territories are just not explored in your heldons and tangerine dreams. i know because i took a deep dive to compare one to the other, to see if the former being accused of being derivative of the latter held water. it doesn't, really.
    if anything, the frictionless, well-promoted, "nice-sounding"/"impeccably engineered" stuff feels more backward looking of the two. my reasoning is that its sonic reference to the past is more recognisable because this fog is not present. it doesn't have to be struggled past to be heard, the reverbed slide guitars, the 808 drums, the 'smooth' 'rnb' keys and voices.
    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    It says bless the lads and it means bless the lads.
    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    i don't know, probably some marxist cultural theory or something
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    gabber terrorism is fun but not all the time, sometimes you gotta be sophisticated or sulky for the ladies.
    https://manifestacionesoterica.bandcamp.com/

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to other_life For This Useful Post:


  17. #10

    Default

    a very forward looking way to achieve 'fog of war' without being able to be pigeonholed as 'retro' is not necessarily or exclusively to put things to tape -

    'wrong'/'brickwalled' compression in contexts outside of pop music is the thing, using digital effects 'wrong' in general.
    this is where 'vaporwave' both departs from and is continuous with 'hypnagogic pop', in that something like 'redefining the workplace' relies as much on Every Ableton Effect At The Stupidest Settings At Once as something like 'jarvid 9' relies on natural cassette tape compression.
    the comparison could even be seen as 1:1.

    putting things through amps and recording them as such rather than having everything be in-box/direct inject is key, also. capturing how the sound pushes the air on record rather than having the record be this abstract digital space. this sets what you do apart from things having the sort of audio-watermark of their workstation/line of equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    It says bless the lads and it means bless the lads.
    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    i don't know, probably some marxist cultural theory or something
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    gabber terrorism is fun but not all the time, sometimes you gotta be sophisticated or sulky for the ladies.
    https://manifestacionesoterica.bandcamp.com/

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to other_life For This Useful Post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •