A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Techno has long been associated with modes of transportation. If Carl Craig’s Landcruising or Kraftwerk’s Audobahn were meant to simulate the feeling of rubber on cracked asphalt, then Voidweather, by the enigmatic Paradise, is music for hovercrafts, cruising above a sea of liquid mercury on a lattice of light.
“Algorithmic air raids, telemetric morse code to the sub base satellite feed. The tingling feeling in your thighs when you just realize that something has gone subtly awry. A good cup of coffee on a warm beach, a lover who never lets you down. A fantastic undulating vision of a 5 dimensional universe as a substrate for human consciousness frozen in time and on the verge of collapsing into pure data” – from Bandcamp
Logic is built around binaries: machine/human, artificial/organic, warm/cold. It’s how the Western mind works, either it is, or it isn’t. Yet, as we look more closely at culture, at the world around us, we find infinite shades of gray. This can be observed in electronic music in the synthesis or Techno, or machine-made, and the Human. The clinical, airless perfection of the uncanny valley, parodied ad nauseam in Vaporwave, has us craving MORE. Surely, there must be more than this? 2000 years of Western Civilization, only to yield the predictable ecstacy rush of manipulative beat drops, jerking around like marionettes, as carefully selected frequencies tweak with our neural chemistry? The alternative is a luddite fantasia for a past that never was, turning yr back on all innovations, crying “it all used to be so much better”. This can be seen on the electronic scene by the resurrection of academic forms like musique concrete and modular synthesis. I personally love the sounds of machines, and spend hours listening to academic sound treatises, but it leaves you yearning for classic musical traits, like melody, rhythm and structure.
Surely, there must be another way?
We are seeing rise of a new form, unforeseen in Simon Reynold‘s Retromania. True, in certain ways it is a bricolage of retro-forms, mainly avant-garde electronics and classic Techno, but Voidweather, and a slew of releases like it, are a true cybernetic synthesis of these seeming opposites. They combine the sleek efficiency of machine music, with the feeling and “soul” of handcropped samples, textures and the Human touch of analog electronics. This is true cyborg music. The joining of two worlds, seamless integration.
Voidweather sounds like a landscape, a place unto itself. A timeless sphere, where all of creation whisks by like a meteor shower. This is what i imagine it sounded like, as Dave approaches epiphany at the end of 2001. It’s transhuman, but more importantly, it is the Human experience of that which is beyond.
While this amalgam could end up as an awkward chimera of mismatched forms, some doomed Frankenstein’s monster in cursed half-life, Voidweather is a vital, smooth and fluid new mutation. This comes about from masterful mixing and mastering- Voidweather uses every spatial tool available in the Dub Techno arsenal, to give a rich and full-bodied sense of space and time, a welcome contrast to the mummified, autistic world of Trap music and generic drone. This sounds wonderful through a good pair of headphones, and i recommend you do yrself a favor, and actually EXPERIENCE this one!
Fans of the last couple Pye Corner Audio releases, Best Available Technology, 1991, most anything on Opal Tapes or some of 100& Silk, you NEED this! Paradise is part of an emerging new collective, split between Denver, Co. and Austin, Tx., called Obsolete Future, and if this release is any indication, they will be a rising constellation of the coming year. Get on board now, before their tapes sell out in 20 minutes, which is inevitable.
I could wax philosophical and eloquent about this album, and others like it, all weekend, and i want to, i really do. Few things excite me as much as the confluence of popular culture, philosophy, psychology and history, chasing the -geist of an epoch. It keeps me awake at night, desperate to come to terms with all the learning that has come before, with the infinite sea of language that has accreted around music, literature and film. But the fact is, this music needs to be HEARD. It doesn’t need a string of letters after it’s name to make it respectable. This is clearly a major talent at work, with great care and craft going into the production of this humble cassette.
Paradise have kindly offered this up as a free download, for preview’s sake, although you are highly encouraged to get the official release, or even better, buy the tape, while you can.