Monday, August 18, 2008

left to dissolve in its indifferent power

What does the icepick lyrics and lava-floe flow of Nas have in common with the ponderous flatulent solo organ monstrosities of Oliver Messiaen? Little besides a need to corrupt your cognitive patterns. Nas gets your shoulders and hips working like all great hip-hop does and gets you nodding with him and smiling and then BAM he punches you square in the gut, with a look of that's what its like, motherfucker, and walks away.

Messiaen has the organist tear apart the structure of the familiar hymn and flings each giant chunk into the thick viscous air, allowing it to linger in the dust until it falls with a resounding thud, shaking everything in the room with its mass. This is also what it's like, motherfucker, even when the organist falls asleep on the keys creating a drone long enough to make me sure that the player wasn't stuck. Messiaen's wide cluster sweeps are like being trapped by a Klieg light, left to dissolve in its indifferent power.

I mulled over what would be an amalgam of the two, but couldn't come up with anything I'd want to listen to, so Peter Brötzman and crew from Last Exit will be put to the task of scorching the earth bare so that the flowers of new cognitive patterns can emerge and flourish.

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