The end came much as we expected, with our hands around each others throats, scrambling madly for the last dried-out crumbs. Overhead the vultures circle thirstily, their sleek silver machines hanging suspended in the rarefied air.
“Empire’s Comin’ Now We Gonna Get Blessed”
Another entry in my series of “songs that use synths to make something approaching heavy rock and/or punk”. Noisy, ravey, and I really like the coda.
The death of Soundcloud made The Pitch a few days ago! Also of note from that article: the phrase “broken embeds, dead links, and lost sounds” sounds like a stellar name for an album that I’m totally going to do now.
I may have skipped a day. Eh.
This one is a filler track from Temporarily Abandoned Profiles, but one that I remember fondly. Brash, aggressive, noisy, almost punk rock. Good times.
“Waiting For The Sign”
I want to say this was 2005, at the tail end of doing these sorts of faux-guitar sludge-heavy electronic tracks with creepy Apple Talk forced melodies. At the very least I remember it being the last one of them I ever really did. I still like the reversed beat that threads through parts of it.
Feel free to check out some books: today’s featured titles include Disappearance, only 99 cents, which if you enjoy the action bits in books and you like apocalypse fiction you’ll enjoy; What You See Is What You Get, which manages to combine the specter of ag-gag laws with criminal trials that look more like reality TV than anything else; and 9th Street Blues, about a kid delivering cobbled-together drugs in the near future ruins of Woodward, OK (and is also the jumping-off point for my new serial novel, coming soon from ATM Publishing).
“Singing Plastic Songs”
44 days to go…if no one buys Soundcloud, people will wonder what the people of the mid-teens meant when they used the term “soundcloud rapper”. “What does it mean that Lil Uzi Vert was a Soundcloud rapper, daddy?” they’ll ask. “Not a goddamn thing, you ungrateful little bastards”, I’ll answer.
“Singing Plastic Songs” has this fun little drum n bass break over some sludge-synth work. It also has more of that Apple Talk vocal work, which means I probably wrote it 2003-2004 or so. It’s marked off as being on Goodbye To Welcomesville, which was the name I gave my non-political stuff, so that’s probably 2004. It’s a little three-minute pop song, not much more.
The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
Released April 7th, 1997 on Virgin Records
As an adolescent I hung out with the stoners, the smoking pit crowd, the “greasers”, the rockers – however you want to call it, my friends were not the type to wholeheartedly embrace the sort of music that was making inroads in our mainstream consciousness during the mid 1990s. Some of them splintered off and decided that hip hop was where it was at (they were right, in retrospect), but most of us plodded on with the Korns and the Bizkits, as the well-heeled buying public who lived vicariously through tortured-artist college rock and floor-punching macho pablum (with respect to Propagandhi). Give us our guitars or give us death, we all probably thought at one point or another.
Still, there was something radically compelling about the kind of electronica that was finding it’s way onto radio between 1995 and 1999. The Prodigy were practically a de facto punk band, with their mohawked singer and their overall vicious sensibility. Ditto Atari Teenage Riot, whom we were all acquainted with through the legendary Spawn soundtrack. The Sneaker Pimps kind of felt like an alt rock band that had been through a wringer that got rid of – most of – the guitars, in the same sense as Portishead. The Chemical Brothers, though, were something else. Dig Your Own Hole embodied – embodies – the sounds of big beat. These beats are big, in the purest sense of the word. The duo knock out funked-up samples and acid-inspired synthesizers and watch them land with the force of an atomic bomb into breakbeats that were, from the moment I heard them, all I ever wanted out of drums.
“Block Rockin’ Beats” and “Setting Sun” are the bigger singles, but every track on here hits the same particular nerve endings that make me want to loop the album forever. It’s an amalgamation of drum n bass, hip hop, psychedelia, and English rave culture and it follows an internal logic that punches holes in walls. Twenty years later it still gets the party going like nothing else.