Thursday, December 18, 2008

like, er, life is

Giuseppi Logan's 1969 album Dance of Satan (lala), or at least the "Tabla Suite" that opens it, is akin to a jazz tune being demolished by a hired crew and piece-by-piece thrown into a heap to be burned later. It is devastating and devastated. I love the Fire Music jazz of the late 60's for this very quality - ragged violence meets up with slowed introspection in a confused, paniced, but somehow relaxed space. How music can sound so haphazard yet fully-formed at the same time (like, er, life is) is amazing to me.

While acknowledging that most hip-hop reaching my ears is about as consciously produced to sound wild as any music has ever been, I hear a lot of the same of this push/pull in T.I.'s King (lala). His voice burbles and shrieks over the rat-tat beat, the sonic ambience referencing and mutating the same soul bedrock the Fire Music guys did for their own purposes. Giuseppi Logan's jagged and convulsive music is vying to free itself from The Machine, T. I.'s rumbling smoothness is doing its damndest to become one, both convincing that their portrait of life from their viewpoint is vivid and real, recognizing that somewhere in the middle of chaos and order lies the spot where life really is.

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