December 8, 2018 at 7:07 am #3808
Your review reads much more like a series of essays on various topics than just thoughts on Enuma Elish, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. Develop each of those ideas more and you could have a long series of pieces on the hidden meanings in Finnish freeform, all centered around a single track at that! Being strictly anti-review myself it was pleasingly thought-provoking.
Thanks. I have to connect the ideas expressed on those first paragraphs a bit better, but they are all nonetheless on-topic and relevant to the review.
The reason I started the review in a more theoretical (and outright philosophical) vein and went out of my way to bring the issue of complexity to the table, was because the number one objection of all current and future critics will be the apparent lack of complexity of Enuma Elish (and indeed of all EDM, really, house and trance and whatever included). These critics are so used to the classical style of music that when faced with EDM they will immediately brush it off as too “simple”, too “stupid” and too “popular”.
For this reason I have to redefine what complexity means in music, or even outright declare its relative unimportance for EDM, all the while showcasing that I am conscious that complexity is, in general and in principle, a good thing as far as art and intelligent human beings are concerned.
I’m saying, then, that even though a track like Afternoon Owl is structurally simple, it deserves to be taken seriously. I even accept and allow that you call it “non-music”—call it whatever the hell you want, basically, but I’m siding with this “non-music” now, and my job here is to explain to you and to every skeptical critic out there the APPEAL of this “non-music” and why it has continuously managed to FASCINATE human beings all over.
And my ultimate conclusion to this question is: because this “non-music” or whatever the hell you want to call it is… virile as fuck. What IS complex music anyway? If I’m right that music=feelings, what ARE complex feelings? Forget about complexity and intelligence for a second, and think what the psychological implications of rave music and EDM are. THAT’S where I’m trying to get to. This “non-music” does not need intricate structures, nor any nuanced melodic shenanigans to have an effect: it’s direct, on-point and to-your-face. So let’s redefine what complexity means for this “non-music”, because we all know already that not all EDM is equal, and we too respect and desire complexity.
December 8, 2018 at 7:09 am #3809
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by bern.
I mean, the first time I heard Alek Száhala I thought it was terrible. I think it was Tigris on Crush on Hardcore 3. Later, after getting hooked on Carbon Based’s Cyclone (and momentaneously spreading it on my high school, lol) I found Iron Squid, and that’s when it got serious: I knew at that point that even though happy hardcore and whatever were terrible, the Finns were doing just what my little developing brain was demanding. Gradually, I came to learn to appreciate what these pioneers were doing. For with this kind of “stupid” “non-music” you actually have to make an effort to entrance yourself in it. The hypnosis I mentioned above won’t work if you aren’t active about it.
And how did I even get to this extreme form of EDM? I was searching online in Google for “fast paced electronic music” or something to that effect, and kept navigating through a huge amount of genres because I wanted to hear it all. I liked trance, for example, but the prospect of finding music even more powerful than that motivated me to keep searching. I knew I’d like electronic music because I already actually did: I freaking loved Slyder’s Score the very moment I heard it in GTA III‘s Rise FM. So it’s kinda funny that shortly after I solve the problem of EDM, Száhala, who made me conscious of this problem, releases a remix of the very track that got me into it.
December 8, 2018 at 7:20 am #3810
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by bern. Reason: fixing broken English
and as an Australian living in Finland with an inescapable obsession on a long-dead civilization, that’s no surprise
Wait… Száhala is Australian?
Also, I tried to decipher your following post, Sherkel, but failed. I have no clue what you meant to say with it.
EDIT: blehDecember 9, 2018 at 3:04 am #3813
Not sure what gave me that idea actually. I think I looked at a Google Translated version of some page when I first discovered him and didn’t think to look back into it. Everywhere seems to say he’s Finnish through and through.
Guess I can’t blame you for not understanding it as I wrote it all when half-awake on my phone (don’t even know why; originally I just had the Hyphen quote), but in short, Firecloud uses its structure to suggest a possible narrative, and it does it in a way that’s quite straightforward but that for some reason, other tracks simply don’t do, the majority of his own included. (Actually, that’s the type of complexity you want to denounce, but I’d rather not get into which is “better” as there’s no accounting for taste (hence my stance on reviews)). What do I think he more likely intended? To put down random notes until he liked how it sounded. Why do I think so? Because it’s advertised as music, not storywriting! Nonetheless, the excitement factor from having all those distinct sections just can’t be overlooked in my opinion.December 10, 2018 at 4:04 am #3816
The thing is that anyone can hallucinate a narrative out of Firecloud. In other words, the “narrative” is not in Firecloud at all, it’s in your brain, i.e. it’s entirely fictional and superimposed on the track by you. One thing is to interpret a feeling out of a melody and call it “sadness”, another is to interpret “fools that become kings” out of it. A couple more steps in that direction and we might as well just give up altogether on trying to understand the meaning of music, and just go take some LSD together to some forest and hallucinate giant monsters out of trees.
What I mean to say is that it’s OK to imagine “fools that become kings” when listening to Firecloud, but trying to extrapolate from this idiosyncratic imagination and from the review this imagination produced that EVERYONE will imagine the same thing is silly.
I’m not doing what you think I’m doing, basically. But it’s still nice to know how your brain and imagination work, though!December 10, 2018 at 4:25 am #3819
When I read someone’s review I want to read what the reviewer thought of the reviewed object, and if a piece of music made him think about “fools that become kings”, that’s all interesting and fun to read. That’s what reviews are, after all: personal opinions.
However, even though my review of Enuma Elish is personal, too, I’m trying to build this personal opinion on very solid theoretical foundations. I go all the way down to the freaking depths of philosophy before I get to voice my ultimate opinion and final judgement. Because I’m using Enuma Elish as an excuse to get to the meaning of music I mentioned above. So take it as philosophical essay if you want. Because compared to my review of Betwixt’s Hydra, it really is philosophy.December 11, 2018 at 3:04 am #3822
The thing is that anyone can hallucinate a narrative out of Firecloud. In other words, the “narrative” is not in Firecloud at all, it’s in your brain, i.e. it’s entirely fictional and superimposed on the track by you.
As is the testament you claim he’s making through Enuma Elish’s simplicity. I don’t buy it, but again, personal opinions.
Like I said, follow the tonal centers. Follow the basslines if that’s simpler. Look for the relation between each part. Mine has a theoretical foundation too, even if it’s weaker for a number of reasons, one being that I don’t know all the right terms. (And also was trying to keep it simple so that people who haven’t dabbled in theory could follow along.) No, by the way, it’s not what I think of when listening to it. I was considering adding timestamps considering how much interest you seemed to have in it, and if I had more time right now I might. For now, I’ll just add for the tenth or so time that I’m not speaking in absolutes.December 11, 2018 at 5:15 am #3823December 11, 2018 at 5:16 am #3824
Here’s a little window to what the freaking depths of philosophy look like, btw:
“Music”—and the grand style.—The greatness of an artist cannot be measured by the “beautiful feelings” he arouses: leave that idea to females. But according to the degree to which he approaches the grand style, to which he is capable of the grand style. This style has this in common with great passion, that it disdains to please; that it forgets to persuade; that it commands; that it wills—To become master of the chaos one is; to compel one’s chaos to become form: to become logical, simple, unambiguous, mathematics, law—that is the grand ambition here.—It repels; such men of force are no longer loved—a desert spreads around them, a silence, a fear as in the presence of some great sacrilege— All the arts know such aspirants to the grand style: why are they lacking in music? No musician has yet built as that architect did who created the Palazzo Pitti— Here lies a problem. Does music perhaps belong to that culture in which the domain of men of force of all kinds has ceased? Does the concept grand style ultimately stand in contradiction to the soul of music—to the “woman” in our music?— I here touch upon a cardinal question: where does our entire music belong? The ages of classical taste knew nothing to compare with it: it began to blossom when the Renaissance world had attained its evening, when “freedom” had departed from morals and even from men:—is it part of its character to be counter-Renaissance? Is it the sister of the Baroque style, since it is in any case its contemporary? Is music, modern music, not already decadence?—Once before I pointed to this question: whether our music is not a piece of counter-Renaissance in art? whether it is not next-of-kin to the Baroque style? whether it has not grown up in contradiction to all classical taste, so that all ambitions to become classical are forbidden to it by its nature? The answer to this first-rank question of values would not remain in doubt if the proper inferences had been drawn from the fact that music achieved its greatest ripeness and fullness as romanticism—once again as a movement of reaction against classicism. Mozart—a delicate and amorous soul, but entirely eighteenth century, even when he is serious.—Beethoven the first great romantic, in the sense of the French conception of romanticism, as Wagner is the last great romantic—both instinctive opponents of classical taste, of severe style—to say nothing of “grand” style.
From 1888. The complete aphorism from which I got the first quote on the review.December 11, 2018 at 6:13 am #3827
I have never formally studied music, so intuition is all I can use for now I’m afraid.
I don’t need to follow the tonal centers of anything, buddy.
Besides, even though music is an artform, I do not believe it can be evaluated and judged with the same criteria used for visual arts
You have never opened an art theory book in your life. You probably don’t even know two things about art’s history.
I’m sorry to all the “thinkers” who equated “repetitive music” with the death drive… but this is what the most energetic and productive activity sounds like. It’s unconscious genius perhaps, but it’s truth that is being aurally expressed by Száhala.
I’m not claiming Száhala is making any testament.
This I’ll do, though:
stop writing for a sec
Are you really giving me any choice? Enjoy one more thread for nothing but your own posts, I guess.December 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm #3830
What do these random quotes prove? That you don’t know how to read?
People can reply to me all they want. But try not to put words in my mouth and then to reply to these words that I never wrote.
Száhala is merely making music he likes. It’s me who’s saying his music is the “truth”. I’m not saying he’s making any testament, and I never even used the word “testament” once in all these forum posts.
btw, I don’t need to have a formal training in music to say the stuff I’m saying, because it’s not needed for my current purposes, since all it’d do would be to more accurately describe what’s going on with these tracks, and would not change in the slightest the value judgement that it is my goal to express in here. I don’t need to read Afternoon Owl‘s composition on paper and compare it with any of Mozart’s symphonies to see their style is completely different: I can understand just fine the different styles represented, and better yet, I can explain the psychological meaning of these styles, because reasons. Anyone can do it if they put the effort.December 11, 2018 at 8:09 pm #3832December 11, 2018 at 8:43 pm #3833
this is some good philosophical gangster rap lolDecember 12, 2018 at 9:29 am #3834
I’ve stayed out of this cause I saw this as the eventual out come, but now this is beyond what I’d consider at all acceptable, let alone civil, and replying like that just makes you look like a bully trying to make himself feel better. I don’t see how anyone can write freeform like sherkel does without being a well thought out and creative person. I disagree with a lot of your statements on music as you approach them as though it’s an objective fact, when it’s really a subjective opinion born from your own personal experience of the music and in life. You have this extremely masculine view on freeform which makes a portion of your thoughts completely alien to people like myself.
Being able to create or see stories told as he does with Firecloud is not being an idiot. I think it’s an important trait to have as a musician and artist, especially within a genre like freeform. Many of the producers who make freeform write as an outlet for their thoughts and emotions and it’s not at all impossible Szahala or any other producer could have intentionally done such a thing. There’s a lot of fun music practices and challenges artists do for themselves that turn out better than expected. My artist mix series was one such pratice(and challenge in the case of qygen and alek) in fact.
While it’s fine to disagree, there’s no need to be so aggressive about it.December 13, 2018 at 1:29 am #3835
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.