Sunday, February 27, 2011

Interview from September 2010

Nice interview and article from a few months ago:

2010 Stranger Music Genius: Shabazz Palaces - by Eric Grandy

the response to the question "when did the SP project begin" is hilarious and telling. a simple: "why?". why do we think we need to know all this stuff? it's because philosophically speaking we're all obedient little followers of 19th century european thinkers who decided that time is linear and in order to understand anything we have to have a historicist approach. the poet, the artist, doesn't buy into that set of restrictions. What difference does it make when the project came together? why check that box along with others so we can feel like you know have some kind of handle on it. it's an impulse i find myself battling in myself frequently. i hear of a recommended book or film and thanks to the internet i'm on google and wikipedia and checking out the author/director etc... why? all the crap i read, well all it's going to do is allow my mind to put stuff into pigeonholes and connect things with other patterns my mind's already trapped in. no. much better to approach things with a fresh mind and being amazed like a child. input, without commentary. now our generation needs to be told what to think of everything. Another good point he makes in the interview is how the marketing machine has gotten us all to expect all these anecdotes about how a record was recorded. Recently someone was telling me about this 'amazing' electronic artist so I listened to it but it was boring and flat. Damp. but she was enthused saying how she read that during the record's synthesis the guy didn't leave his home for 2 months, not even once. My response was firstly: bullshit, just a story to sell mediocre music, and secondly even if it's true, he's a fool to stay indoors for that long. well i didn't say all that to her out loud obviously. but that's what i thought!!!

the next update is going to be all about the show last week with Thee Satisfaction.. the seattle press was agog so much writeups and photos to come. but no video yet. i know someone out there has some fotage. yeah you. give it up!


  1. That part about "why" got me thinking. We're so use to getting all this information now. Looking back to when I was younger, even when Digable first came out, I didn't get half as much background info on artist, especially MC's. Just enjoyed the music and visualized it more. I'm so bored with the majority of rap music and it's probably because I know too much. Less is more.

  2. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. I think the rise in 'anecdote-marketing' needs to be seen alongside the hyper-corporatisation of the industry in the last fifteen years.. when you're pushing safe marketable artists rather than riskier, more interesting artists who tend to not want to stick to any formula but just push the envelope whether or not it's commercially smart (how dare they!?) then you need something to help the public swallow that bitter pill or should i say bland 'music-like substance'. It reminds me of the thoughts Ish offers at the close of "See For Miles":

    And then they wanna say "Oh this is Chris Ofili, he's sorta like the Chapman Brothers, almost like Juergen Teller taking a photograph with Nan Goldin's camera"
    Fuck Off!
    And the same shit fucking [???] rules everything,
    In this 'entertainment state',
    Where the stars are the police.

    So there's this idea that we the people need to be told who someone is based on comparisons with these other people. Chris Ofili is a major artist in his own right but the journalists and PR guys try and sell him not on his own merits. That requires thought and a relationship between a work of art and a soul. Nope, the want to act like intermediaries and so we don't even go in with open minds. In an interview around the tiem of Cherrywine he said something like: "hip hop used to have a healthy, self-policing atmosphere [before the mid/late nineties]." So what was hot was decided by the listeners.. isn't that they way it should be!??

  3. I love hearing fresh to ear music without knowing anything about what Im listening to, because then you dont got no reference to compare it with. For example, if you know its a Coltrane piece you will compare it to other Coltrane stuff, see me? Thats actually the way I came across SP. It was about into the second tune I got to hear that I came to realize that the voice I recognized so much belong to someone I was listening to about 15 years ago. The point is, have an open mind, and experience the actual creation and not the creator... if you get my point.