November Film

November Film 06

This is what I’ve been doing lately. You can watch all my November one-minute films in this Twitter thread. All the films are similar, just tones and noise. I generate the frames using data bending techniques, so a bit of noise and a bit of glitch…

Retinal pessimism

“…Retinal pessimism is not simply the failure of the phenomena of perception, the physiology of the retina, or the science of optics. Nor is it the conviction that whatever one is seeing is the worst of all possible things that could be seen. Both are intriguing options. But, retinal pessimism is something else, and it is encapsulated in the strange status of black: at once present and absent, at once a fullness and an emptiness, at once the absorption of all light and the total absence of light. Black is at once the foundation of all colour and, in its absence or emptiness, it is also what undermines the substantiality of all colour. If one is willing to go down this path, a retinal pessimism is not just about the non-colour that is black, but it is about the perception of colour itself. It is, ultimately, the suspicion that all colours are black, that all retinal activity is retinal inactivity. Retinal pessimism: there is nothing to see (and you’re seeing it)…”

“Black on Black”, Eugene Thacker, The Public Domain Review.

I love flashing lights warnings from films and TV shows

Warning: This film contains flashing images and stroboscopic sequences

This one is from A Field in England by Ben Wheatley. I remade the original intertitle that I had because it was a bit small for a HD video.

Due to Violent Content, and Flashing Lights with Strobe Effects, Viewer Discretion Advised

This one is from Hannibal, my favourite TV series ever (it’s from “Takiawase”, season 2 episode 4). The DVD doesn’t include this warning at the beginning of the episode, but it was there when it was broadcasted on TV.

I always loved the night and now you offer me eternal darkness

Some time ago a friend told me that my musical tastes are so weird and disparate that he never knew if I’d like something or not. I don’t think that’s true, I think that my musical tastes are pretty obvious and logical. In fact, I have another friend who always know if I’m gonna like something or not, so I guess that when you don’t understand someone or something is just because you don’t vibrate on the same frequency.

The first mix of this post is something that I did some months ago for MUTEK[ES], RNE3 and Hunger Culture. It was the first time that I did a podcast for a radio show and I did something pretty complex and layered, mostly using experimental music and noise because that is what I listen to most of the time.

The second podcast (it’s not really a mix because the songs are not mixed, just organised) is completely different, it’s something that I did one boring and sad afternoon. The truth is that usually I don’t listen to this kind of music, most of these songs are things that I listened to when I was younger, but when I’m sad or angry I tend to listen to these kind of things. Even this is completely different from the mix that I made for MUTEK[ES], I think that there’re a lot of things in common between this kind of dark love songs and the kind of experimental, abstract and noise music that I listen to nowadays.

Maybe the bridge between both things is Einstürzende Neubauten. I mean, bands like Pan Sonic or labels as Raster-Noton owe both Einstürzende Neubauten and Erkki Kurenniemi. In any case, for me the bridge between rock and electronic music was Nine Inch Nails, that probably is the band that best explains my personal imaginary (at least Pretty Hate Machine, Fixed and The Downward Spiral, I’m not really interested in what they’re doing right now).

Even I guess that I’m quite “dark”, truth is that I’ve never listened to gothic rock, alternative dark rock and the like. I’ve never been a fan of bands like The Cure or Cocteau Twins. When I was a teenager my favourite albums where Dirt by Alice in Chains and Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden, that are really dark and depressive, but not “gothic” at all. In my early twenties my favourite albums where To Bring You My Love by P.J. Harvey, Let Love In by Nick Cave and Pretty Hate Machine, Fixed and The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. Then I started to listen to more experimental things, mainly noise and electronic music, and nowadays I can’t stand most things with “real” instruments or lyrics.

I think that at some point I started to find sound more interesting than music, and I started to think that music is the capitalist organisation of noise. So now I hate music – fuck music, bring me the noise.

That said, I must confess that I can’t listen to Depeche Mode without crying because it reminds me of someone (“I always loved the night and now you offer me eternal darkness”), that I love Dead Man’s Bones (“The smell of my breath from the blood in your neck”), and that I like some George Michael songs (“But Wednesday was the best day, because on Wednesday night we made love”). I’m human and I have my contradictions…

Listenings

• Split Series #4 (1999)
AMM / Merzbow
[I only like the track by Merzbow]

pH (1993)
Philus

Panasonic (1994)
Panasonic

• Eight Impressions (2010) [download]
Pablo Sanz

Retromanía – Scott Walker, el crooner experimental – 10/06/13 [listen]

• RV8 (2013)
AOKI Takamasa

• Super.Trigger (2013)
Frank Bretschneider

• Active Listening / The Act of Listening Episode 78 (2013) [listen]

Video teasers for syn3rgy, ket3m’s new ep

Some time ago, Ket3m (Shay Nassi aka Mise En Scene & Tom Kemeny aka Darmock) asked me if I would like to do a promo video for the release of their new ep, entitled syn3rgy. Ket3m involves experiments in minimalism, abstraction and the deconstruction of acoustic mathematical patterns. The ep is yet to be released, but you can listen to one of the tracks in The Wire Tapper 32, included in The Wire 354 August issue.

Ket3m sent me two one-minute excerpts of a couple of tracks and, as I’m obsessed with the relationship between sound and image, I thought that it would be interesting to translate the sounds directly into images. I mean a real transposition, not an arbitrary interpretation. In order to achieve that, I chopped the tracks in very short fragments and I saved all that tiny sound files as jpg to use them as frames. The result are this two videos in which what you see are exactly the same files that what you hear.