all screwed up
maybe things are getting out of hand with this free-for-all screw shit. i don't think so, though. i think it's pretty exciting, actually. props go to dj screw and his houston bredren, of course, for giving the practice a kind of legitimacy, an air of cool, a sense of craft--but people have been slowing down and speeding up other people's music for a minute.
after he heard my unscrewed mixes, my man andrew scannell (who may or may not be looking for a few good popcorn stuffers) sent me an mp3 of an antony and the johnsons song that he had pitched down, but kept at the same tempo, in order to learn it and sing it in his own range. this process is a tried-and-true technique for musicians of all stripes. jazzists have long slowed down satchmo and bird records to cop their solos. and rock musicians do it too. andrew's slurred fistfull of love--done simply, via pro-tools--takes on some epic proportions, especially the way it highlights the insane warble of antony's vibrato. it doesn't quite have the same sonic resonance as an "unscrewed" joint, per se, as it lacks the analog crunch of a slowed down record brought up to speed. but it makes for a sublime listening experience at any rate.
and that's what this is all about: expanding the listening experience, the modes of reception, our very interaction with the music around us. consumption blurs into production, much like with a record scratched, a radio dial tuned in and out of signal rhythmically (i love doing this when nothing particularly good is coming through in the car), a twisting of EQ knobs on a shitty boombox, etc. folks have been doing this kind of thing, intentionally and serendipitously, for a long time, and i'm delighted that, in the wake of so much sizzurpy sound, more of these experiments are coming to "light." (ever notice how strange it is to talk about music when most of our metaphors are vision-centric?)
john at chiasm has been riffing off these experiments himself, slowing down suicide and most recently, speeding up t.rex. clearly, the flood gates are opening and a syrupy wave is bearing down on the blogosphere. sounds paradoxical? you clearly ain't heard of the great molasses flood that swallowed up 21 bostonians back in 1919.