KILLED in CARS

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KILLED in CARS is a 'thank you' to the musicians who enrich my life, and a way to reach people curious about expression through sound.

This site has thrived as a destination for discussion and listening thanks to its disregard for the canon and its dedication to making esoteric genres accessible. I appreciate your readership, and I hope that you choose to participate!

PROMOS: I only accept physical promos, not downloads. If you believe your music fits my site, please send your tapes/CDs/vinyl to:

KILLED in CARS
c/o Paul Banks
2644 N 192nd Terrace Ct
Apt #3A
Elkhorn, NE 68136

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Posts tagged Techno

Here is a mix I made to illustrate the concepts I talk about here. These tracks hail from around the world, and illustrate the increased intensity of repetition in many forms of music. Perhaps our taste for music evolved to sense emotion in modes, thus that’s our nature. However, it could be that emotive power will evolve to become secondary to the propulsive energy of repetition. This nurturing of repetition will eventually lead to the beat being as second nature as melody. Will a bass beat carry the same emotion as a mode one day? Does it already?

Here is the best track off of G.H.’s Ground, a 2011 EP of bass-heavy techno/dub-techno. This particular track reminds me of a Tommy Four Seven track I posted last year, although this one gets to the pleasure-inducing vocal fuckery much quicker, and with more aggression. This entire EP is heavy on the bass, so you’re missing a lot without the requisite thud in the mix. Enjoy!

Tommy Four Seven - Primate (CLR, 2011)


I have posted a track of this here, and if you want an interview with the artist about the album, RA had a good one (here). As I mentioned on the Facebook page, I’m in a techno phase, or maybe more accurately, techno’s current mood is much to my liking. Indeed, T47 said that this is considered (by him) to be club music. I just don’t understand how that is the case, and that’s excluding the tracks on this disc that aren’t 4/4.

What is here is much like the Andy Stott album I’m going to review (track in a mix here), which is a sort of 4/4, but so much more. There is the dub techno feel to this, with the bass billowy, a sort of furry dandelion echo with a bouncing ball at the center of the sound. Around this is a heightened dissonance, where bass interaction around the central activity wavers and fluctuates, not unlike residue from experiencing the Doppler effect. While I love this sound, it is what surrounds it that sets Primate apart.

Primate has some of the best engineering I’ve heard on a techno record, and the reason I say that is that integrated elements (such as brushwork, scraped textures, vocal elements) are distinct from the bass pulses (that is, they aren’t drowned in bass, despite the volume and saturation of the bass), but feel like they’re part of the song instead of being distinct layers without much common structural purpose. Each of these little elements seems to be paired with at least one other sound, so what you’re left with are deft combinations of textures that indicate movement in a way that makes the pulsing bass seem like a contrasting movement. The end result, then, is a great deal of texture and dynamism which masks the mostly linear nature of the tracks.

In the track that is posted, you’ll hear vocal snippets layered and transformed, and this was what initially caught my ear. Each track is distinct, so don’t expect that over 9 tracks. In fact, there are almost breaks, scruffy textures, and an ambient piece. Don’t fret, however. This record works because of the variety and flow, which is a overarching structural hallmark that you can identify in the moment-by-moment composition of the tracks as well. Having never heard Tommy Four Seven before this, I’m quite pleased how well done the entire thing is. Oh yeah, Berlin. ;)

I’ve been obsessed with this track the last few days, as it has dominated my stereo and completely supplanted the Big Sean (I know…) track that had been bouncing in my head. Tommy Four Seven, on Primate, trades in what he calls hard club techno. I don’t know what clubs he’s talking about, because this is some out there shit as far as I can tell. This particular track is the best on the record, one that features an industrial feel, scraping textures that surge into prominence only to give way to manipulated, polyrhythmic vocal manipulations. Once you get to the 6 minute mark, you better believe this is a fucked up track.

Model 500 - Classics (R&S Records, 1993)


I’ve been contemplating adjusting my format a bit. In the series introduction preceding ‘The Puppet and the Divine’ Žižek asks “is not one of the most effective critical procedures to cross wires that do not usually touch: to take a major classic (text, author, notion), and read it in a short-circuiting way, through the lens of a “minor” author, text, or conceptual apparatus?” with “minor” being “marginalized” among other things. With one of my short-lived blogs, Against A New Canon, I essentially was doing this, listening to major works and trends from the perspective of a leveled playing field, smaller, obscure records detached from the prevailing notions of the development of music and the (attempted creation of a) new canon/hierarchy in music. Perhaps the exercise is the same, but instead of looking at lesser known works and comparing and contrasting them with better known works, fitting these lesser known works into an established timeline and order, I randomly took and listened to unknown records, and only explored the larger trends by way of comparison to these satellite pieces of art.

People ask me quite often what order I post things in, or what dictates the coverage on the site. To that I say the only order I am conscious of is the system of randomization I try to follow to keep myself out of ruts. People send me records in the mail, I search RYM for cover art or titles I like, and I try, most of all, to find records nobody has heard of (or a few, selected, trusted people in my RYM network) or written about. I am actively resisting deepening my appreciation of “one thing.” I’ve found this process has lead me to more enjoyable records than any system of sorting or searching records I’ve come up with. Like a stock portfolio consisting of a blindfold, a newspaper, and darts outperforming a carefully selected and balanced one cultivated by a highly-paid financial advisor, my somewhat haphazard pile of records, and the resistance to canon, has yielded a great deal of musical enjoyment.

From here, I choose records not because I consider them they most or least enjoyable, but because they fit some spontaneous idea about music. These records that get posted here aren’t my attempt to communicate my tastes overall or to even provide the readership with some gem. At least, it isn’t only that. In going negative via doc’s review last week, I acknowledged that bad music is just as much a conduit for ideas as good music is. This site exists to celebrate music, and it is for music enthusiasts to read about ideas I (and my valued partners/contributors) have about music. Full stop. In this way, in reading Žižek’s statement that “if the minor reference is well chosen, such a procedure can lead to insights which completely shatter and undermine our common perceptions.” Žižek was aware of my process before I could put it into words. I hope I achieve those end results (shatter and undermine common perspectives) through my selections and my humble support of the countless musicians that inspire me.

Now that I’ve seen articulated what I’ve been haphazardly doing, I have a more specific direction for my posts. I’m going to share or point to (for sale) random records and give only a skeletal description of them. It is up to you to take that or leave that. After doing that, I am going to discuss a theme about music. One thing I might do is to expand on the theme of this post, but I have a lot of writing saved up that I will start to share. I desperately want your feedback in the comments on these posts. Please don’t be passive readers. In this process, I will also be linking to fellow enthusiasts not based on their taste, no matter how much I may respect it, but on the quality of their thoughts about music and their enthusiasm for music.

- Paul

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