Dark ambient usually is for pussies; Lull, a so called isolationist dark ambient project by Mick Harris (former drummer of Napalm Death), is nevertheless cool. For instance the Continue album is neither particularly scary nor does it create an atmosphere that is truly welcoming; it is neither truly artificial nor is it truly natural; it does not actually create space neither does it display time (however at the most abstract level it may do so); there is no movement only an endless shift; it neither actually displays presence nor does it display absence; it is neither truly brown not is it truly green yet might display a constant morphing of a drab brown into a drab green – though not in the true mindspace rather in the phase space projection of it or so; it is not actually immersive nor does it repel you; it is not the transcendence of dichotomies nor is it the implosion of dichotomies; it does not make me think of Bodhidharma nor does it lay bare the inner processes of Shankara to me; …….. aaaahhh… what great glory…..; nothing in particular happens for one hour, and I think if´d last ten hours I wouldn´t become supersaturated by it. Scelsi would´ve been quite fond of that and I´m quite fond of Scelsi.
25 and a half years ago I bought my first metal album: Iron Maiden´s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. (I came across popular music as a slow learner because I had considered it as vulgar before; then, at 14, I began to listen to Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and the like, soon became interested in Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands, because their obscurity attracted me. The first contact I made with Iron Maiden was when I was little and I saw the Piece of Mind LP at the Pro Kaufland when we were shopping, obviously in the early 1980s, the cover with the monster in the rubber room made an impression on me I still remember, ahhhh…) I initially disliked it but soon got into it, and soon got me some other metal records (from Helloween, Motörhead and Iron Maiden, later in 1991 Guns ´n´Roses and Metallica became big shots, etc.). – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, one of Iron Maiden´s finest works, is a concept album about a person with supernatural powers. The forces of Good and Evil try to manipulate this person and to turn him into an agent for their causes. As it turns out the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son possesses the faculty of clairvoyance and foresees impending doom, yet, like Cassandra, is not taken seriously by people, respectively after the disaster gets all the blame for it. Despite his powers to see through people and through things the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is not able to foresee his own demise and it remains dubious what he actually has achieved in the human realm – „The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones“, a quote from Shakespeare´s Julius Caesar which serves as a Leitmotif for the whole album. In the end it seems the story of the Seventh Son was only an episode in a seemingly eternal struggle between the forces of Good and Evil. – If we zoom out of this section of the fractal, where Good and Evil are categories of the understanding of man, we progressively refer to the cosmos, of the totality of existence, and their dubious purpose, where it is maybe right to envision forces of constructiveness (energy) and forces of dissolution (entropy) as the deep structure, as the ultimate logos; maybe those forces are conscious and god-like, or they create their own (quasi-) consciousness as they progressively unfold, and who knows if it is not the forces of entropy which guarantee the eternal repetition of the cycle (for instance the Penrosian Cycles of Time)? Or is the state of order we experience just a natural and logical state within an infinite mass of chaos which naturally inhabits finite regions of cosmos, bound to dissolute again? – Such questions are of some interest for humans, and although those interests are usually not very pronounced among people they form the screen on which the shadows of all the other ephemeral interests are projected. It is the call of the genius, who naturally sees all the ephemeral in its cosmic significance, who projects daily struggles into cosmic struggles, who expands finite contexts into the infinite – sometimes for good, sometimes for worse – to establish systems of reference, of meaning. In their final consequences, people will not truly understand them. Apart from that, everyone will understand them. Because they are just natural and soulful, intellectually and emotionally intelligent abstractions of everyday life, of the common life experience.
Adressing those articles again the health benefits of listening to heavy metal are apparent. Heavy metal is simply better music than what is usually displayed in other genres. It is more intense, more erudite, more sophisticated, more simple and direct, more natural. There is more melody and harmony and more abrasiveness. It involves new ways to express melody and harmony in a dialectics with cacophony. It gets you much more immersed. That is why metal fans have an unusually strong attachment to their music. It is more sincere and demands passion, professionalism and devotion, yet is also more tongue-in-cheek and funny. That is to say it is more multi-faceted and comprehensive; what you see is not what you get, what you get is more. It is also more authentic, i.e. heavy metal fans avoid the psychological downsides of conformism and the unhappiness it involves. If your cognitive type is being a mismatcher you will be naturally more attracted to counterculture; if mismatching is most pronounced you will be most attracted to (the extreme subgenres of) heavy metal. That´s the voice of the outsider, of the individual, not of an anti-conformist quasi-partisan collective as you have it with punk. The truth is to be found there – in the enlightened, enchanted individual that contains most aspects of the world and is therefore in the most perfect state of harmony with the world. Beach Boy´s Pet Sounds or Led Zep´s Physical Graffiti are pretty comphrehensive albums but so are Forbidden´s Green, Grip Inc.´s Incorporated or Inter Amra´s Sky Burial, however the latter are clearly further down the horizon, in a more elevated region in the atmosphere, a higher echelon, closer to the vanishing point of totality. Why keep on insisting on listening to Sun Ra or Pink Floyd, if it is not some weak shit at all, when it is Morbid Angel, Meshuggah or Mitochondrion which give you an impression what music that comes from another planet, originates from or tries to realign with other worlds could look like; or when it is Abyssal who transmit the sound, the signals of the abysmal depth of far outer space (from close to the region where Azathoth dwells)? They expand the frontiers of the human mind, those acts explore new horizons. I do not quite understand how anyone with a brain working at high intensity level cannot be into heavy metal. It is music for schizotypal explorers. Schizotypal usually also is the poetry in metal lyrics, the scattered patterns, the strong lines transporting messages open to interpretation, so that you can establish multiple perspectives on them, a call from the beyond, ahhh … the patterns you can see in those lyrics! Healthy schizotypy involves introversion/introspection, intensity of inner world experience, power to ruminate, creativity and independence, ability to create a new world. It is not a disorder, but the highest level of personhood, of man. And with its lyrics about satan, about gential mutilation, or also with its sincere lyrics about politics, society or the human experience is simply more in touch with reality that the phony shit you can hear on the radio. Being in touch with reality, and mastering it, according to the principle, is good, is healthy. Smell the gravity of the heavy metal.
By the end of last year, enchanted by some new extreme metal releases, I wanted to write the Metapysical Note about Extreme Metal, which I could have already done, but still haven´t since I wanted to involve more contemplation and maybe new insights. But I think I am going to finally write it in November this year. The Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal will be about how to realign „Western“ and „Eastern“ metaphysics, about how to avoid the negative consequences of both, and it will teach about the overman.
(The idea is that by embracing extreme metal you embrace otherness. By embracing otherness by the means of productive mimesis you get in closer contact with otherness and the apparent shadow realm it involves, as well as the shadow realm you involve yourself. Your consciousness will be broadened and you yourself become deepened. „Western“ metaphysics is concerned with the possibility of solid knowledge, „Eastern“ metaphysics with directly experiencing the faculty of perception itself, the extreme metal experience allows an integration and synthesis of both approaches. As you broaden and deepen yourself by embracing otherness, you will progressively lose the egoic aspects of self, both become a fluid entity as well as a distinct individual entity which does not get lost in the perception of Tao but will, with the knowledge of Tao, operate as a scientist. Finally, in that fractal-like process, everything that is untrue will be sorted out and only the true nature of things will remain. That entity which encapsulates things in that way is, then, the overman.)
The Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal, together with the Postscripts to the Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal, will be a very important document in the history of human thought, and of human practice. That will make me unpopular on Facebook again.
A while ago I heard Jon Leifs´ „Geysir“ at the Konzert am Vormittag on the radio. I was initially struck by it and I liked it. Most art, and notably most music, from most composers, is insipid and not completely true. Leifs´ music however is true, it is real, and it is in no way insipid. He originated his own peculiar musical language, his own peculiar style, and it approaches you as something that is completely natural, an expression of nature itself. Few artists are able to develop their own peculiar language. However, whenever someone does, it does not actually strike you as a „composition“, but as something that is completely natural, making forget the huge intellectual and personal effort that lead to such a result. It is as if nature´s boys and girls finally managed to find their way home.
Thereafter, I went to my favorite classic record dealer, Gramola am Graben, to buy some material by Jon. There was only one CD in stock (with the Saga Symphony), the other one, containing „Geysir“, I had to order. The Gramola guy told me that it´d rarely ever happen that someone asks for a record with the compositions of Leifs. The same thing he told me years ago when I wanted to buy records with stuff by Scelsi. Also Scelsi is a transcendent genius who is completely natural, and real. And also Galina Ustvolskaya is of this kind.
At that day I also bought a Yukata at a hipsteresque fashion store in Vienna because two days before I saw a woman with a Yukata who struck me, and told me about from where she bought it. At the fashion store I was told that unfortunately they do not have much else somehow more „eccentric“ and idiosyncratic for men, because men don´t use to buy such things (although the situation is said to be a bit better at their outlet in Berlin). Same old story. I am used to it. I do not buy clothes like the Yukata to look cool, and most of the time I run around wearing casual clothes. I buy them because they are beautiful and it is simply natural to wear them. It is natural beauty, and they give an idea of how more beauty can be brought into this world. People then tell me on the streets how cool I look with those garments. But strangely, they never seem to come to the idea that they could wear such stuff themselves.
We are living in a free, independent, individualistic age. Hail the new age.
I was reading that despite the initial, apparent natural beauty and the striking profoundness of artistry of his music, Jon Leifs had a difficult life and was not understood, respectively rejected by most people. He was born in 1899 and died in 1968 due to cancer. His last composition Hughreysting („Consolationn“) was meant to be his last salute to humanity; in the eyes of Leifs the purpose of art was to console man. In Hughreysting you again seem to have nature exposing itself, directly, without intermediary. You have the flow of being, of existence, of Werden und Vergehen, the hopefulness, the tragic, the elegy transcended into tenderness, at the end a fleeting, but tender and upright memory created by the bright violas as the music dies out. I was having a conversation with the record dealer at Gramola, myself wondering why there is so little interest in music by true and apparent geniuses like Scelsi or Leifs. In Vienna alone there must be thousands or at least hundreds of people receptive for such things. There has been a Scelsi fan page on Facebook with not even 4000 Likes which eventually got deleted, and there is a Wikipedia page on Facebook for Jon Leifs with 263 Likes as well as a Wikipedia page on Facebook for Galina Ustvolskaya with 600 Likes and a fan page with 277 Likes. There is also a group on Facebook named Pretentious Classical Music Elitists with close to 8000 members. When I post music by Scelsi, Ligeti or Grinblat I, on average, get 2 Likes. When I post my writings about Scelsi and Ustvolskaya, I never get any Likes from the Pretentious Elitists. – However, the Gramola guy told me it is part of a more general phenomenon: 15 years ago there was more interest not only in Scelsi and Leifs but in modern classical music in general. So I asked him what people are interested in now. Kommerz, he said (indicating that the interest in the more deviant forms of art has never been genuine and rooted in itself at any time).
HAHAHAHAHA! – We´re living in a ghost world! Which is frighteningly empty! People have no solid, natural access to what is natural and to the eternal categories that reflect true quality! The genius is real, because the genius is a direct expression of nature, communicating with other geniuses across space and across time, across the Continuum. As a conscious agent of nature and nature´s productivity, the genius initiates and creates culture. Culture is then brought down by the priests, the technocrats and the scientists to the level of civilisation. Civilisation is then brought down by the politicians to the level of the government and of the state, and by the businesspeople to the level of commerce. Commerce, per se, is innocent. It reflects the half-conscious realm of the human ego. The human ego strives to realign with nature, in multiple ways, some better and of higher quality, some worse and of lower quality. The striving of man should be to try to to ensure the reproduction of society at a higher level in a world headed for entropy.
That is the order of things.
Shampoo were the best girl band of all time. I have never seen more non-uniform teenagers. They were 5 sigma/IQ 180 individuals. Only one in a million people are this intelligent/independent/individualistic/multifaceted/complex. Examples include Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, van Gogh, Kafka or Emily Dickinson. They are seldom understood or appreciated. Usually they are born posthumously. Jacqui and Carrie had a brief career in the 1990s which unfortunately faded soon again because the populace usually does not really know what to do with such individuals, apart from that they got screwed by the record industry and partially used as a blueprint for the design of Spice Girls. They are largely forgotten but in my heart they do live on. They stem out from the heart of it all, from the center of it all. They are seen as hybrids but are of course the most natural of all things.
Philip Hautmann „Shampoo combined a poppy girlishness and a love of all things plastic, kitsch, and pink with a punk sensibility. They often cited their main influences as being the Sex Pistols, Gary Numan and the Beastie Boys, whilst also claiming to be huge fans of East 17 and Take That. They approached interviews with a studied insolence and tended to finish each other’s sentences, claiming that they always thought exactly the same thing.
Playing on an image that was part Johnny Rotten, part stubborn lolita infantilism, part lipstick lesbian and part razor-sharp wit, Askew and Blake tended to confuse both journalists and record-buyers as to who exactly their target audience was.
Whilst this may have prevented lasting mainstream success, it was also arguably their greatest strength in an industry increasingly dominated by easily-digested, two-dimensional artists.“ https://www.facebook.com/Shampoo-24872944171/
Philip HautmannCool stage performance, very INTPish <3
We’re Such A Hot Sensation
What A Creation!
Who’s The Latest Teenage Dreams
On The Front Of Every Magazine?
We Got Our Shades Pulled Down On The Escalator!
Is Everybody Staring?
Uh-Oh, See Ya Later
Camera’s Watching When We Go Shopping!
Better Step Aside
Cause We Just Ain’t Stopping!
We’re Such A Cool Sensation
What A Creation!
We Are The Last Teenagers
The New Front Pages!
We’re Going Downtown On The Escalator!
We’re Blond Haired Teenage Terminators!
Camera’s Watching When We Go Shopping!
Better Step Aside
Cause We Just Ain’t Stopping!
Hippy Chicks Are Sad And Supermodels Suck!
Riot Girls, Diet Girls, Who Really Gives A Fuck!?!
I found a new page <3 Gira announces The Glowing Man, which was released 3 weeks ago, is likely to be the last Swans album at least „in this version/iteration of the band“, which was forseeable because with The Seer (2012) and To Be Kind (2014) they were again exploding into transcendence/into the beyond; the archaic, wild, basic convulsions, the Dionysian, got contrasted with a basic, reduced, fragmented Apollonian framework structure, the lyrics imploding in form and exploding in meaning and associations, respectively establishing a plateau out of its own intensity, similar to the last string quartetts of Ludwig Van, the Seer looks into the infinite and the message which lies there is to be kind; before entirely collapsing over itself The Glowing Man now presents the equivalent to the White Land, the Salt Lake Desert, the return to base, to innocence, the starting point again, tiny figures appear within the landscape, they barely move, but will learn to and feed and grow, again, the next iteration within the hypercycle is going to set in, ever eccentric, ever moving towards the center and the heart of it all, death to false metal. And I am going to write a note about this very important band which expresses so much about what everything is about and „what is a mind for“, I was always thinking/associating what Beckett has done in literature and Francis Bacon has done in painting Swans have done in popular music (the subversion of the subject along the barely visible lines of pre- and postindividual forces which constitute and, then, reflect the subject into the Hyper Subject, the Menschheitssubjekt, the objective subject), although the actual depth of their genius has not yet ever been truly discovered.
This is the best song by German black metal band Eis, Am Abgrund (At The Abyss). It starts as a confrontation with overpowering chaos which gets somehow more modest, apparently intimitated and ready to negotiate and to reveal its secrets to the one who is fearless (respectively „fearless“ since there are no such qualities and all men are equal) (00:40) to synthetisize with him and in duality with him increase the dynamics of the now more powerful aligned (infocognitive) entity (02:00), at 02:36 the traveller gains competence, first mastery over the chaos, yet of course there is no final resolution in there, to reach a higher level at 04:20 with still no resolution but the traveller is now operating at the meta-level and is therefore ever more powerful than the chaos, than the abyss, etc. The final line says „Sei dem Himmel ein Stück näher“ (be a bit closer to the heavens/the sky). – I find extreme metal good, it contains everything and operates at the highest plane of reality. It reveals the deep structure of the world, the chaosmos (at least to me, but to me also a chewing gum package paper reveals the deep structure of the world, the chaosmos).
The definite, most likely the ultimate climax of music is Giacinto Scelsi (also in the respect that it makes the term climax appropriate/inappropriate and therefore transcends it). What you hear in the improvisations/compositions of Giacinto Scelsi is the universe. Tender and powerful. Ethereal and abyssal. Sublime and intimate. Uncanny yet ever providing home. Both the deep silence and the glamour/clamor of being. Curved space which makes the infinite. The fluctuations within which the absolute establishes/relates to itself. Space and time are relative, absolute is the ? field from which they emerge. Colours show up, shifting from blue to a more red, then yellow, into the colour of light. Within the pure sound, the OM, distortions arise and transform, that is how the OM relates to itself. Eccentric loops and attractors. The movements, within the whole concept. The compositions/improvisations of Giacinto Scelsi are the Ear of God. Thus spake Zarathustra.
Giacinato Scelsi, Count d`Ayala Valva, was born in 1905. Not much is known about his life for he was a very reclusive man. He was said to have been a beautiful child with long blond hair. As a young man he traveled through Europe, studied in Vienna, had contact with fellows like Salvador Dali or Henri Michaux, married an English aristocrat and traveled to Africa and the Far East. After his divorce and unhappy with his work he fell into existential crisis and had to be hospitalised. As legend goes he spent his days in the mental hospital sitting at the piano and playing a single note. At age 50 his actual period as a highly idiosyncratic composer began and lasted for 25 years. During this time he hardly cared for his ouevre to become published or performed. Shortly before his death in 1988 his work was discovered and became accessible to the public. It was acknowledged that the history of Western music had to be rewritten and that Scelsi was at least a forerunner of Ligeti.
Most music (and most art indeed) is insipid (if it is debatable at all). Yet Scelsi´s music is NOT insipid. Scelsi was not actually avant-garde i.e. something which is fresh and virgin in the first place and then becomes insipid. Scelsi was a loner who tried to connect to the universe. To do so he abandoned composition altogether and supplanted it with improvisation undertaken with help of the piano or the ondioline. He explored the possibilities of sound and its multiple facetes. The purpose of the game was to connect to a higher, transcendent reality.
Those who want to make art but don´t properly know about it say art is about self expression. It don´t!!! Art is basically science, philosophy (and ethics). Science is about the exploration of the rational aspects of existence and art is about the exploration of the irrational aspects of existence. In order to be able to explore the irrational aspects of existence it is true that art is about the self expression of the artist. Yet in the sense that the artist has to cultivate and grow such an important self that his subjectivity obtains objective quality. The great genius is the most subjective and the most objective personality. He is both most idiosyncratic and hyper-normal.
In accordance with his artistic approach Giacinto Scelsi eradicated the traces of his subjectivity. He saw himself as a vessel, as an intermediary. He banned all pictures of him and erased his signature, respectively transformed it into a line under a circle, as a symbol of Eastern provenance. He said all the other composers just want to appear in the newspapers. He did not have any desire for that. He desired experiencing openess of the mind, to the universe, to creation. All the other composers in the Musik-Konzepte series appear with their portraits on the cover. Scelsi appears with the line under the circle.
The journeyman artist wants to express himself. The brillant artist, in addition to that, searches for new modes of expression. The genius, in addition to that, tries to connect with the world. The hyper-genius, in addition to that, tries to connect with the universe. The (hyper-) genius wants to initiate a transformation. He wants to transform material into something new and, in doing so, exposing the core of the subject. It might well be that before his inner eye the (hyper-) genius sees a field of intensity and now wants to initiate a transformation on that field of intensity. He wants to turn the field of intensity inside out, he thinks he will then, in seeing what´s behind it, see what´s at the core of it. That´s what his main activity is. Count Scelsi turned the intensity of sound inside out. The sound now reached infinity. It became the universe.
My favorite record dealer, Gramola am Graben, told me that only once in some years someone comes around and asks for a Scelsi record. #trigger People would say Scelsi is strange, and scary. Yet Scelsi was very healthy, and normal. It´s people who are strange and scary.