Friday, April 23, 2010


Darren + Jenna = Melusine.

"Starshine Tendrils" is still a work-in-progress: here.

Obviously, I'm biased where Darren's work is concerned: but it's interesting to me when - on one side of the musical fence - we're seeing a (very) cautious 'psychedicisation' of Dub/UK Urban Bass, but here we see Melusine (equally cautiously) inching towards placing a quasi-Dub undertow under a multi-layered psych-drone piece.


At 2:54 pm, Blogger Fritz Bogott said...

I dig it, but I don't hear the dub. Where's the dub?


What are the distinguishing characteristics of dub? I would have said the basslines and an assload of tape delay. (That, and the duppies. The process of making dub is basically a summoning. You do what you do, and the duppies arrive, take up residence, and fuck shit up. If you had wanted to be alone in there, you shouldn't have done the summoning.)

So, uh, is it the presence of duppies you're hearing in there?

At 12:39 am, Blogger I am not Kek-w said...

The Dub's implicit here, more of an influence, rather than the full-on use of overt Dub tropes, I think. Darren's into some of the Bristol/post-Bristol stuff (as is April) - the post-Tron / Nu-80's Wonk-smearage, rather than classical Dub shapes, maybe. I think you can hear a bit of that in this, in the drums; like I said: it's still v. tentative: big bass detonations (or token scattershot echo-eruptions) wouldn't suit what he does; it would disrupt the narrative layers (musical and vocal); like Darren said recently: "I think I'm a story-teller" - he's replaying the old radio mystery-plays he heard as a kid, like a magnetised/ferrite stone-wall playing back old sounds that then get inadvertently interpreted as 'ghost-sounds'....if you listen to this on head-phones, you can hear panned-echoes slide off to one side at a couple points; there's a certain roundedness to the drum-sounds - it's not like he's trying to emulate Tubby or Perry; he's still trying to figure out how to integrate this shit without sounding like MBV dropping trip-hop loops under their music to add Extra Nod-Factor. I think what's happening here is he's starting to add new types/blocks of structure to his music; it's part of new tendrils of personal growth - a reaching outwards towards something different...he's not entirely sure how it's going to work out himself, but it's good he's doing this: I trust him enough to know that - once the initial experiments are out the way - it won't be obvious or sound like anyone else.

Darren on his use of "Dub": "...and what I meant by that was the idea of bringing in percussion but ghosting it out to the corners, giving it a rhythmic structure but keeping focus on the vocals and synths".

I think what we're seeing here is someone slowly walking towards doing something differently...Darren's work has *always* (I think) been about some sort of summoning - tho I'm not necessarily sure it's about forces from outside - his works have always been populated by figures/entities of his own creation; the music's about bringing that into focus for both himself and the listener. I think he's reaching outwards now in a more overt fashion and that gets my support.

"What are the distinguishing characteristics of dub?" - my own thoughts about this are that it's about the partial erasing of sound too: I grew up in the original era of Dub, of tape-tracks where part of the original track still exists/persists in the Dub despite its erasure and you hear those ghost sounds still as inter-analogue-track leakage on the records...

In the mid-70s Dub was a form of Living/real-Time Hauntology.

At this point, I'm hoping Darren will wander into the comments box - as if in an old Woody Allen film - and say "well, what I actually meant was..."

At 9:56 am, Blogger db said...

It's a little tricky, as we're just getting started, so I don't want to make any artist statement or anything, but part of what I like about doing Melusine stuff is getting out of what I normally do in MPA -- working with Jenna has a complete different vibe, so while (to speak in comics terms) the Melusine stories aren't canonical they're related, like some hidden dimension. Part of this, as well, is I'm changing up my work process -- there's a lot more dealing with hardware samplers and drum machines as opposed to noiseboxes (though there's obviously overlap), so while I don't expect or even want it to sound like traditional Perry-style dub I'm thinking of how that sound repurposes reggae's instrumentation for different ends, pulling it apart -- it's more conceptual than soundwise. This is fine, as I hear a lot of stuff lately where "dub influence" basically means "shit-tons of echo", and I'm trying to stay away from that. The erasing is definitely there, and it's part of the *texture*, which is a primary part of Melusine -- right now the one thing that really makes something a Melusine track is how it feels more than having this sound or that sound, which is something I think of with dub as well -- the instrumentation might be the same, but the feel is entirely different. Still thinking on this...

At 5:14 pm, Blogger Fritz Bogott said...

> repurposes [] instrumentation
> for different ends,
> pulling it apart

(lightbulb finally lights)

Aha! That formulation makes complete sense to me! Thanks!


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