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Blog Entry #1
(originally posted as a Facebook Note on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5:43pm)
Advertising teaches me that most ideas are disposable. Thought is a process: to arrive at a Big Idea, routes must be plotted, and mostly later scratched out anyway. If I look at a Big Idea as a point of arrival, I haven’t arrived; I’ve only made several departures. Why am I jealous of people posting pictures of themselves in costume? Why has that raw desire translated into me wanting to write a Facebook note?
The Aquarius horoscope maintains that 2012 would be a year of death and rebirth. I can’t count how many times I’ve died. Maybe this impulse to write something “lengthy”, to defy the microblog trend and to revert to early 2000’s Tabulas and Livejournal-style blogging, is a rebirth. Maybe it’s the bad kind, where I’m simply repeating myself, rehashing, regressing. Jesus not as Holy Spirit, but as zombie.
Blogs were originally intended to be points of departure, link curations that defined an individual’s experience of the internet, and in a sense, defined the individual (at least hyperreally). Though it’s not New Year’s day, nor my birthday, this “newer-school” type blog entry is one of those sentimental attempts to plot this year’s personal victories and tragedies into a “sensible” framework. Maybe I’m afraid because I don’t know what I’m afraid of, and writing is my Jack-o-Lantern.
Support Filipino vocal house music! Have a free listen.
Source: SoundCloud / Nights of Rizal
You start forgetting days, start counting
your life in minutes. You reference places
where you never are, even talk about the weather.
You mute your slips of color.
Composing your thought-by-thought,
you finally hear that sunshine
too many singers sing about—you liken it
to a California summer. As afternoon’s bursting
through your jalousies,
you no longer shift in your sleep.
You do it for customer care, you give in
because it’s company policy. Begin
with phonological control: permit your muscles
to forget. Learn with your mouth
the meaning of “liaison”, drown your vowels out
with schwas; pop your P’s and T’s, seduce your ears
with a brand new consonance. It’ll come naturally, as in
a dream, as if you’d been inspired. One minute,
the voice in your head has changed.
Scuba’s Personality: a review
The big daddy of my favorite UK label Hotflush Recordings returns on February 27th, 2012 with another full-length collection of Electronic Dance Music after 2 years: Personality.
The new LP is in many ways NOT a follow-up to 2010’s brooding dubstep/future/bass album Triangulation. It’s easy to call Scuba’s Personality “multiple”, noting that this pivotal UK (post-?)dubstep producer seems to have drifted completely away from the shuffling, heaving, moody beats, synths, and atmospheres that have so far characterized his music. In fact, the album introduces itself with a very floor-friendly electro groove in “Ignition Key”, which sounds a bit alien even in the context of his other, house/techno-driven project, SCB. His tracks range from 4x4 grooves in “Underbelly” to almost-cheesy-80’s-synth-laden club tunes in one of my favorites, the very catchy “July”. He even evokes new (perhaps “nu”?) jack swing in “NE1BUTU”! If in Triangulation Scuba seemed to be brooding, in Personality there are quite a few moments where he seems almost ecstatic.
What seems a deliberate nod to his previous work though is the track “Cognitive Dissonance”, which is similar to the halfstep track "So You Think You’re Special" from Triangulation. I love the track title and I wonder if Scuba (aka Paul Rose) might be referring to the psychological term in a marketing context, which is the theory behind advertisements published for the sole purpose of (re)assuring customers who have already purchased a given product that yes, they made the right choice. “Cognitive Dissonance” features that familiar pulsating bass, that distinctly cut-up, echoing breakbeat; and it seems to reassure me that regardless of huge leaps in style, I am still listening to Scuba. “Action” and ”The Hope” are also somewhat reminiscent of his earlier sound, but then again, not really. Overall, I think Personality has managed to coherently tie a myriad of sonic ideas and ambiances together; that said, this might just be Scuba’s moodiest release yet.