File spoon-archives/postanarchism.archive/postanarchism_2003/postanarchism.0307, message 67


Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 19:54:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [postanarchism] Reynolds: "Mille Plateaux: The Rhizomatic Music of Frankfurt, Germany"


Mille Plateaux: The Rhizomatic Music of Frankfurt,
Germany

by Simon Reynolds

(taken without permission from the wire 146, april
1996)

By applying philosophical rigour to sonic disruption,
the German Mille Plateaux label has become a nexus for
resistant musicians such as Oval and Alec Empire. In
Frankfurt, Simon Reynolds makes the connections
between Teutonic hardcore, post-structuralist theory,
digital disobedience and hypermodern jazz


LOW THEORIES

Frankfurt is simultaneously Germany's financial
capital and a longstanding centre of anti-capitalist
theory. Most famously, it gave the world the
'Frankfurt School' of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno,
Max Horkheimer et al: neo-Marxist thinkers who fled
Nazism and landed up in Southern California, where
their eyes and ears were affronted by the kitsch
outpoutings of Hollywood's dream-factory. Today, the
Frankfurt School is mostly remembered for its snooty
attitude towards popular culture, which it regarded as
the 20th century's opiate-of-the-people, a
soul-degrading inferior to High Modernism. Adorno in
particular has achieved a dubious immortality in the
Cultural Studies world, as an Aunt Sally figure
ritually bashed by academics as a prequel to their
semiotic readings of 'anti-hegemonic resistance'
encoded in Madonna videos and star trek.
There's no denying Adorno deserves derision for his
infamously suspect comments about the "eunuch-like
sound" of jazz, whose secret message was "give up your
masculinity, let yourself be castrated... and you will
be accepted into a fraternity which shares the mystery
of impotence with you". But in other respects Adorno's
critique of pop culture's role as safety valve and
social control is not so easily shrugged off. Witness
his remarks on the swing-inspired frenzy of the
'jitterbug': "Their ecstasy is without content... It
has convulsive aspects reminiscent of St Vitus' dance
or the reflexes of mutilated animals." Adorno's
verdict on jitterbuggers - "merely to be carried away
by anything at all, to have something of their own,
compensates for their impoverished and barren
existence" - could easily be transposed to 90s rave
culture, which - from Happy Hardcore to Gabba to Goa
trance - is now as rigidly ritualised and conserative
as Heavy Metal.
The Frankfurt-based label Mille Plateaux shares
something of Adorno's oppositional attitude to mass
culture. For label boss Achim Szepanski, Germany's
rave industry - which dominates the pop mainstream -
is so institutionalised and regulated it verges on the
totalitarian. Adorno-style, he psychoanalyses Ecstasy
culture as "a metonymic search for mother- substitutes
- Ecstasy can be your new mommy". Alec Empire, a Mille
Plateaux solo artist and prime mover in his own
Berlin-based anti-rave scene Digital Hardcore, is more
blunt: "Rave is dead, it's boring! House is disco and
Techno is Progressive rock." As for Oval, Mille
Plateaux's 'star act', when asked about their
relationship to Techno, they seem astonished by the
question. "Relationship?!" they reply.

Influenced by post-structuralist theory and named
after a gargantuan tract by French philosophers Gilles
Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Mille Plateaux release
deconstruction electronica. Situating their activity
both within and against the genre conventions of
post-rave styles like Intelligent Techno, House,
Jungle and TripHop, Mille Plateaux identify these
musics' premature closures and seize their missed
opportunities. The results may not offer the easy
satisfactions of less ambitious Techno labels/auteurs,
but they do constitute the most consistently
stimulating catalogue in the post-rave universe.
One January weekend, I met Szepanski at his Frankfurt
apartment, which doubles as HQ for his four labels
(Mille Plateaux, Force Inc., Riot Beats and Force Inc.
USA), and is located in the city's sleazy equivalent
to King's Cross (handy for trains, lots of junkies and
hookers). Having read his Deleuze-style press releases
(lots of references to "sound-streams" and
"disjunctive singularities") and conducted a
theory-dense e-mail conversation, I'm expecting a
rather severe individual. But over the course of the
weekend, Achim reveals some unexpected sides to his
character: a dry sense of humour, a soft spot for
plastic pop (he owns CDs by TLC and Kylie Minogue) and
an awesome talent for piss-artistry.
Plagued by a mystery ailment, he spends most of
Saturday sipping homeopathic remedies and complaining
that he's too ill to undertake a planned excursion to
see Chicago House DJ and Force Inc. artist Gene Farris
spin at a club in nearby Mainz. At midnight, he
decides he's just about up to it. For the first five
hours, Achim's spirits remain low, despite an alcohol
intake rate of three beers to my one. But by 6am and
beer number 12, Achim is flailing on the dancefloor,
enraptured by Farris's trippy set. Every few minutes,
he accosts someone to blearily proclaim: "Gene Farris
is the best House DJ in the world. I don't care, I
will tell anyone - Josh Wink, Laurent Garnier - to
their face: Farris is the best."
Now aged 35, Szepanski got involved in student
politics in the radical, post-1968 climate of the
mid-70s. He read Marx, flirted with Maoism, protested
about conditions in the German prison system. Later in
the decade he immersed himself in the post-punk
experimentalist scene alongside the likes of DAF,
playing in the Industrial group P16D4. In the 80s he
went back to college, watched the left die and got
very depressed, consoling himself with alcohol and the
misanthropic philosophy of Cioran.
Two late 80s breakthroughs pulled him out of the mire:
his encounter with the post-structuralist thought of
Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, et al, and his excitement
about HipHop and House. While still working on a
doctorate about Foucault, he started the first
DJ-orientated record store in Frankfurt and founded
the Blackout label. By the early 90s Szepanski was
triping out to Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand
Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, a colossal
tome that Foucault hailed as "an introduction to the
non-fascist life".
For Achim, the experience was revelatory and
galvanising: Deleuze and Guattari's theories showed
him "that you don't have to be negative or sad if you
want to be militant, even if what you fight against is
very bad. The Frankfurt School and Marxism has a very
linear interpretation of history and a totalising view
of society, whereas Deleuze and Guattari say that
society is more than just the economy and the state,
it's a multitude of sub-systems and local struggles."
>From this notion, Achim conceived the strategy of
context-based subversion which informs his labels:
hard Techno and House with Force Inc., Electronica
with Mille Plateaux, Jungle with Riot Beats, TripHop
with the Electric Ladyland compilations. These
interventions are somewhere between parody and
riposte, demonstrating by deed, not discourse what
these genres could really be like if they lived up to
or exceeded their accompanying 'progressive' rhetoric.

Founded in 1991, Force Inc. was initially influenced
by Detroit renegades Underground Resistance; not just
sonically, but by "their whole anti-corporate,
anti-commodification of dance stance". In its first
year, Force Inc.'s neo-Detroit/nouveau Acid sound had
a lot of impact. At the same time, the label was
involved in the underground party scene, organising
"guerrilla events at strange locations, without all
the tricks and special effects that get at normal
discos". But in 1992, as the Acid revival took off and
trance tedium took over, Force Inc. "made a radical
break", towards a breakbeat-oriented hardcore that was
a weird parallel to the proto-Jungle emerging in
Britain.
Szepanski and Force Inc. deserve respect for
recognizing so precociously the radicalism of the then
universally deplored 'Ardcore. They even loved the
much derided accelerated 'squeaky voice' tracks that
ruled in 1992.
"Maybe it was our peculiar warped interpretation, but
the sped-up vocals sounded like a serious attempt to
deconstruct some of the ideologies of pop- music. One
dimension to this was using voices like instruments or
noise, destroying the pop ideology that says that the
voice is the expression of the human subject."
And so Force Inc. embarked upon its own "abstract
Industrial take on UK breakbeat", mashing together
harsh sonorities and angelic samples over ultra-fast
breakbeats, as on Biochip C.'s marvellous "Hells
Bells", available on the recent Force Inc. anthology
Rauschen 10. Achim also licensed UK tracks such as
NRG's super-sentimental "I Need Your Lovin'" and
material by Force Mass Motion. "We did some great
parties, our DJ friend Sasha playing much faster than
the English DJs, at 200 bpm, using an altered Technics
[deck] cranked up to +40. At this velocity, it was
very abstract, coming at you like a sound wall. It
worked good for us but nobody else! We were very
isolated in Germany."

In 1993-94 Szepanski watched aghast as rave went
overground in Germany, with "the return of melody, New
Age elements, insistently kitsch harmonies and
timbres". With this degeneration of the underground
sound came the consolidation of a German rave
establishment, centred around the party organisation
Mayday and its record label Low Spirit, acts such as
Westbam and Marusha, and the music channel Viva TV.
The charts were swamped with Low-Spirit pop-Tekno
smashes such as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and Tears
Don't Lie", based on tunes from musicals or German
folk music. And the alleged 'alternative' to this
dreck was moribund, middlebrow electro- trance music,
as represented by Frankfurt's own Sven Vaeth and his
Harthouse label.
For Achim, what happened to German rave illustrated
Deleuze and Guattari's concepts of
"deterritorialization" and "reterritorialisation".
Deterritorialisation is when a culture gets all fluxed
up - punk, early rave, Jungle - resulting in a
breakthrough into new aesthetic, social and cognitive
spaces. Reterritorialisation is the inevitable
stabilisation of chaos into a new order: the internal
emergence of style codes and orthodoxies, the external
co-optation of subcultural energy by the leisure
industry. Szepanski has a groovy German word for what
rave, once so liberating, turned into:
'Freizeitknast', a 'pleasure-prison'. Regulated
experiences, punctual rapture, predictable music:
"Boring!" sneers Achim.
Would he go so far as to describe a kind of aesthetic
fascism at work in rave culture? "The techniques of
mass-mobilisation and crowd-consciousness have
similarities to fascism. Fascism was mobilising people
for the war-machines, rave is mobilising people for
pleasure-machines."
In 1994 Achim started Mille Plateaux. Just as Force
Inc. worked with and against the demands of the
dancefloor, Mille Plateaux is a kind of answer to
'electronic listening music' and the Ambient boom.
Achim sees the label's output as the musical praxis to
Deleuzian theory, fleshing out concepts such as the
rhizome (a network of stems that are laterally
connected), which is opposed to hierarchical
root-systems (such as those found in trees). In music,
'rhizomatic' equates with the Eno/dub idea of a
democracy of sounds, a dismantling of the normal
ranking of instruments in the mix (usually privileging
the voice or lead guitar). Instead, says Achim,
there's a "synthesisation of heterogeneous sounds and
material through a kind of composition that holds the
sound elements together without them losing their
heterogeneity". Anticipated by the fractal funk and
chaos-theorems of Can and early 70s Miles Davis (the
'nobody solos, everybody solos' principle), rhizomatic
music today takes the form of DJ cut 'n' mix (at its
rare, daring best), avant garde HipHop and post-rock.
And the output of Mille Plateaux, of course.

Another key Deleuze and Guattari trait shared by Mille
Plateaux is an interest in schizophrenic
consciousness. Achim talks of admiring darkside
hardcore for its "paranoia", and mourns the way Jungle
traded its vital madness for "serious" musicality.
"Since the 50s, in musique concrete, in Industrial
music, in Techno, one heard diverse noises, screaming,
creaking, hissing - all noises related more to
madness," he explains. "Echo-effects allow sound
hallucinations to occur, they delocalise the
perception apparatus, allowing forms of perception to
emerge that one had previously attributed to lunatics
or schizophrenics." For Achim, as for Deleuze and
Guattari, such sensory disorientation is valuable,
acting as a deconstruction of 'subjectivity'.
Last year Szepanski contacted Deleuze himself, sending
material by Oval and other Mille artists, and asking
if he'd write an essay for Achim's planned anthology
of techno theory, Maschinelle Strategeme. Thre great
man wrote back saying he couldn't do it, but gave his
blessing to the label, and said he particularly dug
Oval. "He even wrote about specific tracks!" exclaims
Achim. "Later, the German publisher of A Thousand
Plateaux told us this was really quite unusual, to get
such a letter."
Not long after, the terminally ill, 70 year old
Deleuze committed suicide. Szepanski immediately
organised the couble CD tribute In Memoriam Gilles
Deleuze. Featuring contributions from American
post-rockers Rome and Trans Am, DJ-philosopher Spooky,
a gaggle of Achim's old allies in the European
experimental music scene, and all the usual Mille
Plateaux- affiliated suspects (Oval, Mouse On Mars,
Cristian Vogel, Ian Pooley, Scanner, Gas, etc), In
Memoriam is probably the best thing the label has put
out yet. Stand-out tracks include the electroacoustic
jiggery-pokery of Alec-Empire's "Bon Voyage", the
musique concrete Jungle of Christophe Charles's
"Undirections/Continuum", and Rome's Cluster-like
drone mosaic "Intermodal".
The ubiquitous Jim O'Rourke also appears, and is
working on a sort of O'Rourke versus Mille Plateaux
remix project, using the entire Mille catalogue as
source material. Techno Animal may also be doing a
remix project based on the 'versus' concept, Techno
Animal Versus Reality, which will involve five guest
collaborators; material will be shuttled back and
forth between each artist and the group, eventually
resulting in ten versions of five tracks. And then
there's Oval, who are currently scheming their way
towards a sort of Listener versus Oval scenario: a
digital authoring system that will enable the punter
to make their own Oval records...

Interviewing Oval is, shall we say, challenging. Their
methods are obscure, their theory fabulously rarefied,
their utterances marinated in irony. All that can be
safely said is that Oval's 'music' - however
irrelevant aesthetics might be to the trio - offers an
uncanny, seductive beauty of treacherous surfaces and
labyrinthine recesses.
Ironically, given Oval's polemical engagement with
digital culture, my encounter with the trio takes
place in one of Frankfurt's new cyber-cafes.
Immediately there are communication problems. Humble
enquiries about backgrounds and influences are met
with rolling of the eyes, sniggers, and "Next
question!" Tentative characterisations of their
activity are treated as a reduction or
misrepresentation of the Oval project. So what are
they trying to do?
Put as simply as possible, Oval is "not so much about
music as the technical implementation of notions of
music," says Markus Popp. "It's an effort in
sound-design rather than music with a capital M. The
main content of our effort is to have an audible
user-interface."
In nuts and bolts terms, this means fucking with the
hardware and software that organises and enables
today's post-rave Electronica. Most critical of these
technologies is MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital
Interface), which allows different pieces of equipment
to be co-ordinated like players in a group, or
instrumental 'voices' in an orchestra. For Oval, this
is precisely the problem. "MIDI is basically a
music-metaphor in itself, one that's so deplorably
dated. It's so constraining in every way, you have to
go beyond these protocols."
Despite, or rather because of, this technology's
reliance on "traditional music syntax and semantics",
Oval deliberately use the set-up, because their real
interest is in standardisation. Their first Mille
Plateaux release Systemisch, explains Sebastian
Oschatz, "was done with a very cheap MIDI set-up and a
borrowed copy of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works
Vol II. This later turned out to be an Oval in-joke;
apparently, Richard James is one of many artists who
have claimed that Systemisch was based on their
material. "That album is composed of material that is
really old, and it got edited, layered and recombined
so many times, it's stupid to ask whose music is
this?" says Popp. "That is the only truly negligible
aspect in our music. Most of the CDs we used were
rented, and often they didn't have their covers!"
Getting back to MIDI or a sampler/sequencer software
such as Cubase (the power tool of choice for the
post-rave generation), Popp complains that "there is
so much determinism within these programs, working
with them involves so much compliance to principles
that are highly critical. In a social context these
technologies are mostly used in a contrlling way:
monitoring the workplace, worklace efficiency,
optimising the user-interface. On-line newsgroups are
full of people who e-mail back to the manufacturers
saying, "We'll need this, change that", and all of
this keeps them in front of their computers even
longer. Our way of dealing with this is to overcome
the manufacturer's distinction between 'features' and
'bugs'.
Which brings us to the famous Oval deployment of
deliberately damaged CDs to generate the raw material
of their music: the glitches, skips and distressed
cyber-muzik that makes Systemisch and its sequel 94
Diskont so ear-boggling. The CD-thang is another
'reduction' that irks Oval: "We did use CDs, but that
is neglectable, there are so many other things we
could have used... The important point was that the CD
player has no distinction if it's an error or a proper
part of the recording, it's just doing calculations,
algorithms."
This recalls Hendrix's aestheticisations of feedback,
a 'bug' or improper effect immanent in the electric
guitar but hitherto unexploited. Oval rejects terms
like 'sabotage' to describe the CD treatments and the
more esoteric forms of algorithmic mischief they wreak
within hardware. But they do use the word
"disobedience", which also has a frisson of
subversion, and talk, deconstruction-style, of
engaging in a kind of non-antagonistic dialogue with
corporate digital culture: Sony, IBM, Microsoft, et
al.

Contradictions abound in Oval's own rhetoric. They
speak in almost punk 'anyone-can-do-it' terms of
deliberately keeping their activity at the "lowest
entry-level", of not wanting "to convey an image of
arcane technology and years of expert study in digital
signal processing and programming". Yet their
discourse is often absurdly forbidding and
user-unfriendly. Then there's the way they deny any
musical intentions, only to later come close to
characterising their project as an enrichment of
music. They talk of not wanting to produce a merely
"predictable outcome" of the hardware and software, of
wishing to "offensively suggest" the existence of
soundworlds "from 'outside' the digital domain", of
having invented a "completely new music-paradigm".
Says Popp, "Another aspect of what we wanted to
achieve musically is to generate a new kind of
perception. In the beginning, some labels sent back
the demo tapes because they said there's no music on
it!" In that respect, Oval's audio-mazes induce a
'perceptual dissonance' akin to the Op Art of Bridget
Reilly, or the perspectival chaos of Escher. Sebastian
adds: "It works the other way: obvious mis-pressings
on the albums, or DAT dorp-outs on certain compilation
tracks, don't get spotted during the production
process!"
Future Oval projects include some kind of EP for Mille
Plateaux; the US release of Systemisch and Diskont,
accompanied by "exclusive material, possibly predating
Systemisch", via the ultra-cool label Table Of The
Elements; and an 'interactive' product designed in
collaboration with British computer boffin Richard
Ross.
"It's not exactly CD-ROM or hypertext," explains Popp.
"But it will involve guiding the user through some
kind of design-environment, and basically enabling
people to do Oval records themselves. The working
title is 'The Public Domain Project', and it will
involve a lot of work. We also want to investigate the
forthcoming video-disc; maybe there are ways to work
with the combination of optical and audio, new
potentials. And we are thinking about using the sounds
of data processing itself - the sounds the computer or
sampler generate when they calculate or process the
sound. There is always sound somewhere in the mixing
desk, when the stuff is stored or [screen]
window-boxes get closed or opened. We are thinking of
recording this because it is basically the sound of
the user-interface itself."

At the other extreme from Oval's oblique strategies
lies Alec Empire's insurrectionary anarcho-Tekno.
Empire and the Ovalboys appear to have had some sort
of ideological rift, in fact. Popp refuses to comment,
but Empire makes a veiled jibe about Oval doing "their
music from this very intense theory, whereas I do it
not only from books but from what I feel."
An engaging fellow who's constantly laughing, usually
at his own utterances, Alec Empire divides his energy
between recording solo albums for Mille Plateaux (the
sombre Electronica of 1995's Low On Ice, the zany Sun
Ra meets Perez Prado avant EZ-listening of the new
Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5), and fostering the
Berlin-based Digital Hardcore scene. This two- pronged
campaign reflects Empire's interestingly jumbled
background. On one hand, he studied music theory for a
while and, unusually for a Techno artist, uses
notation when compsing his own music. On the other
hand, he was a breakdancer at the age of ten and
playing in a punk group by the time he was 12.
At the end of the 80s, Empire got swept up in Berlin's
underground party scene. Despite being anti-drugs
himself, he embraced Acid's cult of oblivion.
"For a lot of people at the Acid parties, it was about
escaping from reality. At the time it made sense,
politics seemed futile, with the Left dead, and even
the autonomists seeming like silly kids rioting for
fun."
The German scene quickly turned dark and nihilistic:
"People got into heroin and speed, there were parties
in East Berlin with this very hard Industrial Acid
sound, Underground Resistance and Plus 8, 150 bpm."
Influenced by the abstract militancy of Underground
Resistance, Empire formed the agit-Tekno group Atari
Teenage Riot. Atari signed to a major label, but were
dropped before they released an album. Wrecking a
recording studio's amplifier and running up huge cab
bills by stopping off at record stores, they were just
too much trouble.
By this point - the end of 93 - Alec had already
released around 15 EPs of solo material on Force Inc.
and other labels, including "Hunt Down The Nazis" and
"SuEcide". Meanwhile, he was experimenting with a
Germanic Jungle sound for Riot Beats, drawing on the
influence of UK 'darkside' tracks by Bizzy B and
Reinforced. Darkcore remains an influence on Digital
Hardcore, which is both a scene and a label (DHR).
"Our beats are fast and distorted, but the programming
is not as complex as the UK producers'".
Breakbeat appealed as both an antidote to Germanic
Techno's Aryan funklessness, and as a multicultural
statement. "I did "Hunt Down The Nazis" at a time when
skinheads were attacking immigrants. Then you'd
discover, talking about the attacks to people on the
rave scene, that a lot of people were quite racist. At
the Omen Club, Turkish kids were turned away for no
reason. There was quite a nationalistic aura to German
Techno: 'Now we are back on the map'. Mark Spoon from
Jam And Spoon made a comment on MTV, about how white
people had Techno and black people had HipHop, and
that's the way it should stay. One neo-Nazi magazine
even hailed trance Techno as proper German music."
Ironically, Empire now thinks that UK Jungle has
gotten too funky. "The energy is missing. Jungle is
just not forceful enough, and a whole night of it is
just too flat. The idea of mixing, of fading tracks
into each other smoothly, is over-rated. Pirate radio
was better before the DJs learned to mix properly. DJ
technique is like a guitarist who knows how to make a
really complicated guitar solo. A Stooges riff can
mean much more, with just three notes. If the energy's
not there, what's the point?"

With its speedfreak tempos and brutalist noise
aesthetic, Digital Hardcore has less in comon with
Jungle than it does with that other descendant of
original 1991 pan-European hardcore: the terror-Gabba
and speedcore sounds of labels like PCP, Kotzaak,
Fischkopf, Cross Fade Entertainment, Praxis and
Gangstar Toons Industry (many of whom can be found on
the Empire- compiled Capital Noise Chapter 1 CD. DHR's
own acts, such as EC8OR, Moonraker, Killout Trash and
Sonic Subjunkies, mash up 200 bpm breaks, ultra-Gabba
riffs, thrash-metal guitar, Riot Grrrl shouting, and
lots of midfrequency noise. "In Techno, in Jungle, the
middle frequencies are taken out, it'ms all bass and
treble," says Alec. "But the middle frequencies are
the rock guitar frequencies, it'ms where the
aggression comes from."
As well as "boost the midrange, cut the bass", Digital
Hardcore's other key precepts are "tempo changes keep
it exciting" and "faceless Techno PAs are boring". At
their parties, DJs favour a crush-collision
mess-thetic of mixed up styles and bpms, and there are
always groups playing live. Instead of hypnotising the
listener into a headnodding stupor, Digital Hardcore
is meant to be a wake-up call.
So if rave is Heavy Metal (rowdy, stupefying) and
Electronica is Progressive rock (pseudo-spiritual,
contemplative), does that mean Digital Hardcore
(angry, speedy, noisy) is punk rock? "The only
similarity with punk is the frustration," says Alec.
"And that's also where our stuff differs from Mille
Plateaux: it's less theoretical, and perhaps more
negative. All the kids are into chaos and anarchy,
because nothing else seems to work.
"There's this foundation of musicians who used to play
at parties and have now been put out of business by
DJs: German Rock Musicians Against Techno, and we want
to join it." He pauses, then adds, "Just to take the
piss." Except I think he means it, man.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Early 1996, a club in Meinz near Frankfurt, a
Vauxhall-Arches-style catacomb carved into the
concrete foundations of a bridge over the big river
(whose name I forget). That's where I fell in love
with house again, after a long period of thinking it
the lightweight option c.f. jungle. Accompanied by
Force Inc/Mille Plateaux boss and lager connoisseur
Achim Szepanski, I'd came to check out a set by
Chicago DJ Gene Farris of Relief/Casual/Force Inc
reknown. Helped by copious alcohol intake and a
contact high from the killer vibe in that murky
crowded cavern, a revelation began to unfold: just how
much fantastic music I'd missed out on through being
such a monomaniacal junglist patriot, and the extent
to which house had a rebirth of creativity in the
mid-Nineties after a long null lull of tribal tedium
and handbag hackwork. Farris played so much great
stuff--from early filter-house/disco cut-up stuff to
Relief-style nu-acid to stuff so techy, tracky and
abstrakkk it was essentially what we'd today call
micro-house. But if a single song can be said to have
opened my ears it was when Farris dropped "Flash" by
Green Velvet. When those double-time snares kicked in,
it was one of those whatdafuck?!?!?!?! see-the-light
moments.

   

===="The world is the natural setting of and field for all my thoughts and all my explicit perceptions. Truth does not 'inhabit' only 'the inner man' or more accurately, there is no inner man, man is in the world and only in the world does he know himself."

 Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 1945

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