Invisible Cities

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”

Invisible Cities
, Italo Calvino.

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…

What does the internet sound like?

“The digital universe keeps expanding, from the desk and the laptop to our mobile screens and beyond. Wired objects, buildings and city streets are part of our daily landscape, a chaotic and noisy electronic environment where fiber optics and radio waves intersect and connect everything to everything else.

While we speak of clouds and are invisibly linked to them, a vast and heavy infrastructure is needed to support the internet: from transoceanic submarine cables to large data centers on the edge of town, from servers and robots to call center and factory workers. Global capitalism makes noise. When so many of the world’s decision processes are hidden from view, or recombined and filtered through the 24 hour news cycle, what is the role of sound in understanding contemporary politics?

How can we decipher, reveal, or keep the world’s secrets by listening to its digital communication system?

Computers talk to each other all the time, in code and in voltage, almost telepathically and at the speed of light. This is a conversation that excludes those of us unable to read between the lines or who are deaf to this soft music. To live in the world today is to be surrounded by a constant humming, the body electric, the senses extended and transformed by all that we own, all that we have built. We live inside the machines.

What does it sound like?

Selected works will be broadcast and streamed by stress.fm between 30 of November and 1 of December 2013.”

Radio – Osso

PARTICIPANTS

_blank // Barcelona, Spain
Aline Dufat // London, United Kingdom
ARTxFM // Louisville, Kentucky USA
Carlo Patrão // Portugal
Elisabetta Senesi // Florence, Italy
Estelle Rosenfeld // Ramsgate, United Kingdom
Fernando Fadigas // Lisboa, Portugal
Jan Van Den Dobbelsteenr // Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Jeff Kolar // Chicago, USA
Jenni Stammeier // Helsinki, Finland
Joanne Lam // Toronto, Canada
João Bento // Lisboa, Portugal
John Barber // Vancouver, USA
K. Novotny // Łódź, Poland
Kevin Logan // United Kingdom
Kristiana Clemens // Kingston – Canada
Luke Eldridge // Market Harborough, United Kingdom
Marcus Neves // Vila Velha, Espírito Santo, Brasil
Mark Hardy // Chicago, IL, USA
Matt Warren // Hobart, Australia
Miguel Lucas Mendas // Lisboa, Portugal
Osvaldo Cibils // Trento, Italia
Peter Lenaerts // Brussels, Belgium – Sydney, Australia
Random Order // San Francisco, California – London, United Kingdom
Salomé Coelho // Paris, France
Sierra Mitchell // Chicago, Illinois, USA
Simon Serc / Pharmafabrik // Slovenia
Tom White // London, United Kingdom
Virginie @ OSX // Odemira, Portugal