Tuesday, November 26, 2013

aphex twin - flim

quick post for now, turning away from last week's comments about what maceo plex did to aphex twin's "polynomial-c", and going to a happy place with a sentimental favorite...

"flim", from the 1997 aphex twin EP/mini-album come to daddy, was one of those tracks that helped launch me, as a serious and soon-obsessed listener, into the world of electronic music. years ago, i first tried producing with computer programs like reason and ableton; i only ever 'finished' a few tracks, and they were mostly influenced by this. here it is via youtube, with a buncha photos of cloudy skies. still perfect:

Friday, November 22, 2013

NOT GOOD: aphex twin - "polynomial c" - maceo plex edit

over the years i've tried to keep my writing here as positive as possible, because generally, i'd rather discuss stuff i like, not stuff i don't like. but that doesn't mean i'm not often stumbling into something that leaves me unimpressed or worse. so, i've decided to start a new and probably infrequent series of blog posts under the title NOT GOOD, in order to express my opinions against some of those things.

my first order of business concerns a new and baffling attempt to re-contextualize a classic piece of electronic music: aphex twin's "polynomial-c". first put out on R&S in 1992, it is a triumph of a track that defies easy classification. part breakbeat, part techno, whatever... indulge in all its glory below.

yesterday, maceo plex - aka maetrik; real name eric estornel - uploaded a track to soundcloud. its precise name is Aphex Twin "Polynomial C" Maceo Plex edit and you can stream and download it here [update - youtube link]. fast-paced and brilliantly bombastic in its original form, this take on "polynomial-c" is slowed down considerably, its nearly unhinged rhythms chained to a dry-hump tech-house groove with no features worthy of description. why, exactly, was this necessary?

according to a text accompanying the track, it was designed for dj use in "a modern techno set". i have a different way of defining "modern techno" but that's beside the point. this is what i hear: something unique reduced to something that's mostly generic; something timeless (or at least close to it, damnit) twisted to fit a certain perception of what sounds good now. and of course, putting your name on it and making it free to download brings to mind those ethical and legal questions (admittedly hard to answer) regarding the re-purposing of someone else's commercially available music.

probably anticipating criticism, the artist himself appears to have set his defense, saying in the text with the track: "dear haters, this is not a remix, it's an edit". fair enough, but it is a Maceo Plex edit, ensuring proper attribution for what sounds to me like one big, awful, unnecessary joke. there's a reason i've never before mentioned maceo plex on smilecoldanatomy. i just don't like his music. but this thing needs to be called what it is: rubbish!

[update - it looks like maceo plex has removed the track from his soundcloud page, but it can still be found on youtube.]

Monday, November 11, 2013

monday moods: rod modell - cloud over

hello again! yes i'm still around, i've just been a bit distracted. anyway, here's another edition of monday moods.

i had nice things to say about rod modell's album incense & black light four years ago, when smilecoldanatomy was in its infancy, and since then it's never been far from my speakers. this track, "cloud over", has become a personal favorite over the years - it's so warm, so cozy, so perfectly understated. at least, it's a great soundtrack to this particular monday in chicago. enjoy...

on another note: it was great to meet george, aka slydex, aka kondaktor this weekend. (he flew into chicago to play the DTH three-year anniversary party friday.) face-to-face meetings with artists who have made anatomy mixes are really rare for me, so it was a pleasure to hang out with george for a couple days and confirm that he is, in fact, a great guy. if you're in NYC, montreal and/or mexico city, you should catch him at one of his upcoming gigs on his first tour of the continent. i wish him well on the rest of his trip... also, reese's pieces!