NOCHEXXX: "RITALIN LOVE"
If Nick's twelve seems to play around with ideas of spiritual / technological attenuation, signal drift, futures-past, faded love-affairs with / hatred for The Machine (whilst also suggesting possible strategies for boosting the signal and re-establishing contact - restarting old dialectics and making The Ghost solid once more - without resorting to full-on nostalgia or squirm-inducing Hauntophilia), then Dave's twelve comes to the table (the dancefloor? the bed?) from the opposite side of the Man-Machine interface and reminds us of what it could once do when it was all domesticated and tamed back in the Futurity-embracing 80s - when the Fonkmaschine was still a benign and sexy idea and CCTV only existed in Cabs videos and we'd let the music grab us by the short n wiggly quarter-inch jacks and its guidance-system would make sure our pelvic phallodonics were nicely lubricated n ready for a bout of zero-G post-human luuuurve. Baby.
My, what a long sentence.
Nochexxx reccids're are misshapen, hairy, leery, squirty, shiney, chunky, hunky, squeaky, drunken, smiley, lumpen, bumpy, (cont. page 94). He turns strut into a syncopated lager-stagger (and vice versa); his beats sound like bones swivellin', drunken muscles flexing, like a mechanised digestive-system squirting a mix of acid n enzymes into a bolus of musical chyme; he inverts The Fonk, The Jack, The Schwing into something more... willfully slap-happy and haphazard - there's a gleam in his eye; a glint of cheek; but he's a romantic at heart, really...
On "Ritalin Love" he ramps up the rude noises, the parps and the phat, rumpy-pumping bass. The snares sound like a slapped arse. It sounds awesome on vinyl. I don't envy any DJ who plays this record: they look up from their instamatic-mix-beat-counter, only to find that Essex has turned into West Hollywood. There's a parade - an infinite limbo-line stretching through 4-dimensions (back and forward in Time simultaneously) - marching past the DJ-booth: Fonk-Freaks and She-Things with different-length'd legs, hands on each other's hips, swaying like land-locked sailors limping on their pegs, as they stagger-dance past the DJ - an endless parade of physically-remixed extras from old colour-saturated Peech Boys promo-films waving neon-tubes, wearing lurid woolen leg-warmers over unshaven legs, a sackcloth-and-ashes dress from Patsy Climate tm, zircon-studded headbands, just beggin' you to get it on, baby, one last time....
"There But For The Grace of God Go I..."
"And I knoooooow," sing-says a sample-that-knows-it's-a-sample (it's a sad sample, see? Sad samples always know they're just samples trapped on a hard-drive, on a reccid), "Whoooooo gets your love...." And it's heartbreaking to hear it talk like that; it's like an old flame asking for one last chance. A regret entombed in an 8-bit waveform.
In one way, Dave's and Nick's records are strangely similar in that they both allow the Past to access the Present; they let the Dead draw breath again and look at the world with fresh, newly-grown eyes.
Both these records are the musical equivalent of breaking The Fourth Wall. Unlike - and let's try and be truthful about this rather than unnecessarily cruel - so many contemporary artists who produce work that's merely a form of sonic re-enactment; puppeteers who just put old tropes through their paces again and pass xeroxes off as Spontaneous Generation or Oujia-Board conjuring - but here, here I get a sense of Music Wanting To Be heard Again, of Musician-Producer-as-Conduit, of voices-from-the-other-side willing themselves back to life.
Life loves Life. The universe rebuilds itself from peco-second to peco-second; newness springs constantly from collapse, from Quantum Uncertainty, from Death. The Past inhabits us; our nervous-systems are like antennae. The Dead speak to us; they force our hand, force us to make them new again. Old forms and cultural themes perpetually rise within us like dormant viruses.
I don't care it you don't get that, or don't hear what I'm hearing. It's not important.
I'm not a critic, just a listener.
I believe in these things so that you don't have to.
It's my right to be wrong.
But this...this is on white vinyl, sucker.