Friday, 28 February 2014

LCD Soundsystem - James Murphy - The Sound of Pulsing Silver -

I like the fact James Murphy fits no particular visual stereotype. It is, or was, normal practice for so-called Rock stars, for the vast majority at least, to look 'the part.' This look meant glaring into a camera with attitude, as many hip-hop/rappers still do, with the apparent threat of sudden and random violence about to descend on any and all who would dare to not spot how hard they are. Male and dumb. This, along with a manacled Keith Richards image (good for Keef but why follow someone else's style?) laid the foundation for lesser mortals to follow. Mister Murphy does not appear to follow anyone but prefers to set his own agenda, his own pace, and his own look. It is an average face dressed in very ordinary garb. His face seems like that of a mill pond - reflective, contemplative but with hidden depths. His music, or rather that of the band he formed, LCD Soundsystem, is anything but ordinary but matches that promise of having something deeper behind it.

Pour a cup of self. Paint it silver. Add cathode particles, add the feeling of now and future sound then think again. Ramp up the bass, flick that switch, the one marked effects, whack in some guitar chords, overlay a Wurlitzer then sing into that microphone like you are having fun like there is nothing wrong with having fun, as though fun can be serious but still funky and...well, fun.

File:Afc lcd LCDSoundsystem.gif

Wikipedia, or whoever wrote the piece, suggests that LCD Soundsystem were some arty farty nonsensical name, some curious label, some god awful sub-genre - dance punk, post-punk revival, electronica, disco. Were they fuck. They were contemporary folk. They were common people, or person in this case, who used the tools and instruments currently available to him. The attitude and energy may appear on the surface to be punk-like but even that historical 'movement' was nothing more than skiffle in clothes which in itself was folk music. 

The energy LCD made was incredible. The sound made your heart leap into your mouth. Suddenly, we had music we could both dance AND listen to. There is intelligence there too, purpose along with poise.

ELECTRONIC DANCE PUNK BAND. Yeah, right. Okay as a description when describing the sound to a mate but lame as definitions go. This is strobe lights embodied in sound, emboldened by rhythm, emblazoned with melody. This made a mark.

Mark E Smith? Yes, perhaps. The songs vocals remind me slightly of that man's deliberate pronunciation. The way a word is drawn out in a vaguely aggressive way. The repetition too. Echoes of European techno - Daft Punk, Bowie, New Order?
Most of all though is that throbbing, that relentless dum dum dum that pounds like a metro train chasing the songs from one into another. The constant energy that defies precepts and begs no forgiveness. Funky too. Never remote. Engaging the listener in its frenetic foreplay.
All things must pass and, following three fantastic albums, so has LCD Soundsystem mores the pity. 
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog

A Utility Fish Shed Blog