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o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



UPDATE: The imagined film narratives of Danny Wolfers is revealed on page 2.
Lord Krangdar provides an overview of Oneohtrix Point Never



Hi!!! Probably due to a combination of non-existent recording budgets and an interest in the Punk DIY aesthetic, early black metal recordings were extremely lo-fidelity, and remained intentionally so to capture a rawness that the music may not have been able to provide otherwise. The use of low fidelity recording techniques as a way of transfixing music onto a new plateau is something not restricted to metal, and since the late 00’s there has been an explosion of artists who have re-appropriated other canonical genres such as rock, funk and jazz to achieve the same ends - as a way of either undermining or celebrating these musical edifices; sometimes simply capturing or chronicling a specific moment in time which has been largely forgotten by the generations since. I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss the music of James Ferraro and similar trends in modern experimental music thru a cascade of disorganised hypertext and YouTube embeds. Reader's note: click all the links for the full experience

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilXHFgNO8XQ

Someone on last.fm posted:

Underground musician/composer/virtual atmospherist James Ferraro produces small runs of releases on, but not limited to: cassette, CD-R, and VHS with a wide variety of styles all representing different dreams of a demonic mind tower spanning from freak flesh bodybuilder atmospheres to ambient modern world/psych. It appears Ferraro draws influence from many different places but best summed up by the quote, “I am Flintstones.”

Someone else on last.fm posted:

dark energy temples of 80s consumerism filtered through the prism of hypnagogic post-noise and vhs distortion

Pitchfork posted:

Just don't wait around for him to tone it down. More often, in the massive discography he's built, he turns the queasiness up to 11. In the resulting swamps of noise, ghosts of pop songs, movie soundtracks, TV ads, and other fleeting ephemera stew and rumble, but never quite break through the stubborn surface of his dense mix.

Palm Trees, WiFi and Dream Sushi (from Far Side Virtual) posted:

Would you like to see our virtual menu? Excellent, sir. [...] Your dish is being prepared by top chef, Gordon Ramsay.

When people ask me “yo oiseaux who is this James Ferraro guy, what kind of stuff does he make” (nobody EVER asks me that) I’m like, “well um there’s no genre per se, more like a quixotic melange of cultural motifs and reference points presented thru song-form” and they switch off immediately. Like me they probably don’t really know what quixotic means and have to look it up in the dictionary. I have created my own meaning that it implies a kind of psychedelic quality in conjunction with its actual definition which is usually interpreted as being “exceedingly idealistic”. But Ferraro’s music is in a sense this; optimistic, idealistic, contradictory. It’s fundamentally psychedelic music, remarkably effortless at being flawed, ugly, and frustrating yet intensely beautiful at the same time. Most psychedelic music you would get recommended if you went on say, /r/trees or TCC is really bad at communicating the continuum of the psychedelic experience in this regard. You’ll get trance music, or downtempo with its Buddah-Cafe beats and pleasantly sampled ethnic instrumentation. This kind of music is often mistaken for representing the psychedelic experience, when actually I would claim it’s highly non-representational, and used more as a tool to enhance a psychedelic experience in the same functional sense that a wrench is used to turn a bolt (Sphongle fans please don’t get mad). On the other end of the spectrum, we have something like Jefre-Cantu Ledesma’s “Where You End & I Begin” communicating a kind of transcendent physical non-corporeality that I believe transmits or rather describes the psych experience in a manner that is truthful, particularly to an an outside observer. And that’s where we find a large portion of James Ferraro’s work.

Two Different Places On The Spectrum Of Psychedelic Music

Enhancement - Descriptive and organised, using traditional musical structures to comfort the listener into a space where specific techniques (build ups, break downs, repetition, processing, effects) are then allowed to enhance the experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qt2WbfotkU

Transmission - Non-heirarchical, challenging, unfamiliar, visceral - a window into the reality of the psychedelic experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zthv_-DDlvU

Usually Ferraro’s work is placed unblinkingly in the ambient, noise and drone genres but not always for obvious reasons. In fact, the three genres have become overwhelmingly intertwined in the past decade (we turn to the music of Tim Hecker or Christian Fennesz for an popular example of this). Ferraro’s record “Far Side Virtual” (2011) was noise music in the sense that, if noise is meant to be a difficult, challenging and repulsive listening experience where the listener must face uglier aspects of the human condition, then the deluge of FSV’s gaudy corporate ident music with its naive optimism forces the listener to confront the logic of the Westerner’s modern reality - vaccuum sealed, ageless, sanitized and culturally indistinct. The same record was also ambient in the sense that it channeled low-temperature vibes through its use of space and clarity.

Ferraro’s earliest work was a hybrid of incredibly low-fidelity drone music on limited cassette releases. A lot of the music was written with art installations in mind. The secret recipe (a function of all his work) was that, if you listened carefully, looking past the fog of tape delay and surface noise, you would find an expansive and meticulously constructed sound-world. All instruments performed and recreated with no samples from other artists. This dichotomy of sparkly, quasi-new age ambient music masked with noise and hiss created enough room for Ferraro to make music that, if it had been made with the intention of making a traditional production with each object placed carefully and without conflict in the sonic palette, would not be understood as anything but new-age trash. Much in the same way that black metal would be seen in a different light (particularly, one that doesn’t evoke some terror-drenched Arctic nightmarescape). Instead, the lo-fi veneer acts as lens, taking the mundane and fragmenting it in much the same way an ordinary scene becomes psychedelic and distorted when viewed through the facets of a glass jewel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR7eADGQYg8

Most of his music explores concepts. Not a concept album like how Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down In Broadway” is the literal story of a street punk, but by presenting the listener with a non-heirarchical mass of motifs, references and signifiers; a kind of “concept-bomb”. The record-object is a starting point with which to explore whatever topic Ferraro has decided upon, usually presented in a cryptic fashion. This is the crucial distinction between this approach and other conceptual music - the path is shown, but there is no tour guide after that. It stands in direct opposition to the traditional idea of a “concept album”.

We begin with 2008’s “Clear”, which Ferraro is on record as saying that there was an intention to explore themes of new-age spiritualism - specifically Scientology. Although there is little to go by (the term “Clear” being a Scientologist’s vernacular, the image of a pyramid perhaps suggesting the use of that particular symbol on the covers of pop-folklore books on ancient aliens and occult knowledge). The ideas and themes behind the music are in abundance, and the listener is free to take things where they want. The music itself is typical of his early work, large slabs of instrumental rock excursions, synthesizer improvisation, and rhythmic elements that fold in and out of the haze and murk that swirls around them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z76cyKcWYkE

Ferraros critique (or “celebration”, in his words) of modern cultural detritus comes to the fore in the essential “Last American Hero / Adrenaline’s End” (2008). The album art is a photograph of a Best Buy store with a tiny JUDGE JUDY ident haphazardly photoshopped in the corner, and adequately sets the tone. Again the music is lo-fi, but this time with clearer, minimal instrumentation and a composition that sounds like the theme tune to an 80’s TV drama set in the wild west. In combination with the album art we are given this image of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where a lone figure walks under the lights of an abandoned shopping mall, a single television playing a daytime TV show on endless loop ("There's nobody here" - Chris DeBurgh). Perhaps a comment on how meaningless these corporate edifices seem in the face of our inevitable self-assured destruction, or the wider stage of history? Or perhaps not prophetic at all. there’s nothing here to suggest any particular intent on behalf of the author. It’s more an idea that Ferraro has captured, like a painter might, a specific moment in time, a cultural artifact. “Archiving is the new folk art.” - The guy from Ubuweb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Y7wKfpOqY

“Edward Flex Presents: Do You Believe In Hawaii?” (2009) is pure psychedelic body-builder schizophrenia. There is simply no precedent to this kind of record. Warped, hyper-masculine voices urge the listener to worship at the throne of self image/body. Confusing Xeroxed artwork portrays some kind chimera of indeterminate gender who regards the observer with a psychotic grin. It’s absurd stuff. There is an anxiety here, with its dark homoerotic undertones, insane beach holiday resort jams co-mingling with spiralling blasts of noise and tape flutter. But really the only question here is - do YOU beleive in Hawaii?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W6xESV0C78

2009 was a mind-bogglingly productive year for Ferraro. He released a ton of records around this time all in the same style - limited run CD-R releases with black and white Xeroxed artwork that revelled in the totally bizarre, typically exploring some obscene meditation on trashy science fiction and cyberpunk narratives, in the same vein as the imaginary soundtracks of Legowelt's side projects. There’s a series of releases called “Jarvid” which come with tracks written in alien heiroglyphs and utterly cryptic sleeve notes that promise to tell the secrets of a subterranean Lizard race:

quote:

Jarva Jarva Headplug In; Finger prints plug into headstream of déjà vu through the desert sands of Jarvid 9 into time tracks of red earth download memory of fossils underneath the desert sands of Jarvid 9.

Or perhaps you’d be interested in “KFC City 3099: Toxic Spill” a kind of total urban psychosis which seems to be heavily influenced from B-Movies and that scene in Robocop where the dude gets covered in toxic waste and explodes when the car hits him? Tracklist:

1. Toxic Spill
2. Sounds From The Cam 1: Metal Cop In Acid Rain/Body Of The Underground
A.Warheads Metal Yard: Acid Bath
B. AD Warp Of Hidden Portal Into Demonic Realities
C. Road Rage Glitch: Highway Crucifixion
3. Surveillance/Sounds From The Cam 2: Inside the Mutant Church
A.Human Headspace Hell
4. Sounds From The Cam 3: Inside The Mutant Church 2
A. Rage Room: Microwave Head
B. Mysterious Egg Escapes
C. Egg Killers
D. Pipe Leading To Oceania Clear Scan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUhF4Znm5Ak

On a lighter note, there are some relatively conventional drone and ambient compositions such as “Heavens Gate” (now playing in the lobbies of Scientology centers worldwide) and “Marble Surf” (2008) that simply revel in their own blissed-out sonic landscapes.

“Night Dolls With Hairspray” (2010) is bizzaro Saved By The Bell. It’s every 70’s / 80’s college frathouse movie. You’ve already got an idea when you read the track titles: “Buffy Honkerberg’s Answering Machine”, “Killer Nerd”. but something’s not right. amongst the valley-girl vocal inserts, burp noises and perfunctory Glam-rock soundtrack are thinly veiled references to pornography, TV addiction and cheap substance abuse. The ugliness and confusion a teenager’s sexual conundrum is told with alarming veracity. This is explored even further on the body-horror mashup “Feed Me” (2010) with tracks like “My Parents Think I’m Turning Into A Cockroach.” Every generation has their Kafka I guess, or perhaps in our case, Pinhead - an individual who is dedicated to the erasing of the flesh in the same way that our relationship with technology inexorably threatens to. More on that later!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xacj2zBp458

Probably the crown jewel of his discography is “On Air” (2010). It is worth noting that the album comes in two flavours - the original release and a re-release with extra tracks released on Underwater Peoples. Either is good but I’d go with the Underwater Peoples re-release. The album: a kind of cosmic, channel-hopping collage of sounds heard (circa 1985) from your next door neighbour's radio/hifi or cable TV station, with the added condition that your neighbour is an alien messenger from the Sirius star system. A swirling vortex of space-rock, wigged out synth kosmiche (similar to the style of Oneohtrix Point Never) and ambient wrapped in a glittering, amorphous lo-fi sheen. There’s a traditional 50's rockabilly thing going on too, which seemed to be a subject of revival in the 1980s. Anyhow, this is the dimension you fall into when you drop off to sleep at 11 o’clock with the TV left on. Track titles: “Pleiadian Channel Surfer #1”, “”Zapped By Something Strange in the Night”, “Moonshocked Dudettes” gives the listener some kind of idea of what they’re in for. There’s a kind of cosmic spirituality to the music that connects the mundane of the living room TV set with a higher plane. That feeling perhaps, as a kid with access to cable for the first time, that the landscape was wholly infinite and the possibilities unchecked? A lot of his earlier work in a band called The Skaters had this same kind of “transcendent” motif so I see “On Air” as a perfect introduction, summary and final resting place of his pre-2010 music. And as ever, repeated listens reveal a depth that is masked at first by questionable fidelity. I worry about how much TV theme music Ferraro must have studied to create these distorted, beautiful cultural facsimiles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTCUsX7AwNg

quote:

And then I started considering that Ferraro was neither disgusted nor enthralled by what he was reflecting, and instead was serving to document a strange microcosm of American existence. He’d taken a step back and pretty masterfully concocted a collage of “found” programming as such, equally favoring television and radio, and let it do its thing – you either resonate with it or you don’t (and if you don’t, you’re probably annoyed by it). And instead of creating a record that sounds like a single composer imposing his will on his medium, On Air plays more like a curatorial endeavor, an attempt to preserve cultural idiosyncrasies at a specific time. So when I say that, for example, “‘S.O.S.’ sounds like the lead-in music to a hard-hitting news program,” the prepositional phrase “in the 1980s” is implied at the end of it.

Pixarni (2010) is perhaps a precursor to 2011’s Far Side Virtual in the sense that in evokes the aesthetic of a similar time-frame: when early CGI (think the T1000 in Terminator 2) was starting to enter into the public consciousness. We are invited to step into the world of The Lawnmower Man, or perhaps the melancholy Bryce 3D landscape left in his wake. There is a clear nostalgic angle for those who grew up in the 90’s here, but not in the same way that say, a retro garage-rock band would explore nostalgia; this doesn’t directly reference anything that actually existed in the past, rather it celebrates nostalgia by virtue of it being a mass of clues and signifiers that hint toward a certain moment in time. It’s a puzzle of sorts - and I think that when Ferraro’s music is viewed as a puzzle or game then it can be most enjoyed, simply because it champions the concept of fun and play in music - a free-form exploration without any structural centerpoint; this is refreshing for an arena which is more often than not painfully serious or overly melodramatic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZfltT_ZVx4

Far Side Virtual (and Condo Pets EP) came out in 2011 to critical praise, although the response to FSV was divisive - Wire magazine gave Far Side Virtual “Album of the Year” causing quite a stink, and is probably more of a comment on their readership than anything else. On the face, two things are evident; the production is now crisp and “hi-fi”, and the tracks appear to sound like the kind of thing you’d hear in an hotel elevator or Korean MMO lobby (“Dubai Dream Tone”). You begin to ask yourself, on reading track titles like “Eco-tot” and “Find Out What’s Playing On Carrie Bradshaw’s iPod” that we going to be greeted by an ironic critique of modern capitalism. Fortunately, this is more a celebration of said culture - as this Quietus interview revealed:

James Ferraro posted:

I was drinking a V-SMOOTHIE, in West Hollywood, at this place called Earth Bar. The ambience was like cold, moist air-conditioned Eco-space, digital ringtones tweeting off, smoothie blenders, laptops. And then a blue-haired man walked up to the counter in his five-finger shoes, texting on his Blackberry. The space felt so online. I was in a diverse online rain forest of $60 eco-smoothies and flat screen TV menus. I just wanted to make music that sounded like this, something these people could blast on their iPods. The ideas got deeper than this later, but this was the initial starting point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXHCv77IOAE

An interesting idea. He originally hoped the tracks could be marketed as individual ringtones that would be downloaded and played on people’s phones. The album uses almost exclusively preset synthesizer banks, cheap Casio instrumentation and samplings of sounds from Skype and Windows ‘95. Make no mistake, this is CANYON.MID: The Album, and within it contains our past, our future and all our hopes and dreams about technology. 16 minature sonic jewels made with the utmost care. This music is by no means attempting to be ironic or cynical, it genuinely is a celebration of modern culture, for all its difficulties and shortcomings. When you hear the fake trumpet solo in “Global Lunch” erupting after the Skype startup sound announces its arrival, you mustn't keep a straight face because I fear you’d be missing the point. In this regard it is an album dedicated for goons and youth connected to technology worldwide - tounge-in-cheek lauding of pretty much everything you’ll see in the “Stuff You Just Bought” thread in PYF.

James Ferraro posted:

I'm at a coffee shop, co-oping in the shared pleasantness of other MacBook users via our united wi-fi provider. This safety zone is a glimpse into the future. a look into a small group of espresso drinkers who believe in a digital Utopia. We have crocs on, Alpha Generational babies in slick ethno slings. Human-like domesticated pets. Eco-friendly plastic cups. These people represent a determinism that is informed by commodities. But there is room to dream somehow. I definitely don't fear them. I'm applauding them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWIuJUozPnY

Since Far Side Virtual, the James Ferraro of yesteryear has fundamentally changed. Gone are the lo-fi dronescapes, and in its lieu is something quite different. BODYGUARD - Silica Gel (2012) side project welcomes this change with unblinking ferocity - completely iced out, smoke-wreathed instrumental music that takes cues from hip-hop, dubstep, witch-house and a milieu of contemporary electronic music genres. Track titles like “Dry Ice ¥2K12”, “Liquid Metal #TCIZ4”. At first we’re offended by the gratuitous abuse of Auto-tune in the R&B pastiche “Raiden - Blue Lights # NZT - 48”, but repeat listens reveal a composition of delicate musicality and originality - vocal harmonies interplay between the sound of pressure release valves and other obscure industrial phenomena, and this seems to work. It’s like the world’s first industrial R&B record. The metallic prison of “BLACK AND RED” is frightening and dangerous at first, but there’s a calm, comforting hope to be found in the delightful gamelan/bell melodies. And then there’s that choral section. This mixup of serene R&B motifs and haunting industrial atmospheres is probably something best heard than described.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9Lj3MqiUE

Adam Harper posted:

BLACK AND RED juxtaposes a crystal clear gamelan riff with horrifying noises like cyberpunk battle axes being thrust down and enormous centrifuges whirring overhead. The whole mixtape hisses with high frequencies like the nanodrills mounted on the 10ft tall robotic arms of an automated car factory in H.U.M2.E.R, the future tambourines, hammered cables and screwed emperor synth-strings in BLOOD TYPE: 5 HOUR ENERGY and the gaseous emissions clouding the steelpans of DRY ICE ¥2K12. Underneath all this is a profound bass – again, a frequency that lo-fi could never reach – and slow, sexual trap beats. Accompanying the dulcet laser light of the single RAIDEN – BLUE LIGHT is the imposing SEX WITH AXE™ ON, referencing the deodorant that smells like nothing Nature has ever produced. All suggestive of some kind of extreme multimedia advertising campaign for cosmetics, stimulants and vehicles aimed at young men and giving off a considerable fascist vibe, ‘Silica Gel’ the gruesome logical endpoint of a culture that pushes body supplementation and modification products and their ideologies well beyond the point of inhumanity.

The hyper-lush R&B/hip-hop trend continues to the current day with Sushi (2012). Perhaps Ferraro’s most conventional record yet, is most easily interpreted as a love-letter to the aforementioned genres - but with all the Ferraro idiosyncrasies found on Far Side Virtual - cute instant messaging-style beeps (E7), unexpected genre motifs from house & urban music (Jet Skis and Sushi), warped vocal idents. But some tracks are so effortlessly sublime they offer a glimpse of a world beyond the next. Ferraro seems to be, at this point, fostering this kind of Prince-like entity solely dedicated to producing avant-garde baby-making music. There doesn’t seem to be any conceptual guff attached to this release - even the artwork is starkly minimal. But there is a sense that “Sushi” is a metaphor for our compartmentalized society, a world of aspirations, frustrated luxuries, and consumerist traps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f7pNVsiPFU

His mixtape COLD comes out in early March and will probably be amazing. In summary, then: Vaporwave

Selected discography

Last American Hero (2008) - lonely tape paeans to a forgotten age
Marble surf (2008) - sublime, heavenly ambient
On Air (2010) - transcendent synth / glam-rock mashup
Pixarni (2010) - Alternative soundtrack to The Lawnmower Man
Far Side Virtual (2011) - Relentlessly Optimistic music of the NOW
Bodyguard - Silica Gel (2012) - Industrial R&B dreamscape


FURTHER READING:

http://jonathanwallmusic.com/papers/ferraro.pdf - YO MAMA HEAD performs an analysis of Far Side Virtual
http://dummymag.com/features/2012/0...rper-vaporwave/
http://www.thenational.ae/arts-cult...ntury-creatures
http://www.bpmonline.org.uk/bpm4-mille.html

o.m. 94 fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2013 around 12:20

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Another Person
Oct 20, 2010


gently caress me man, I'm not sure if this is pretentious or art. That post is magnificent, I'm still just working through it. That post is both extremely long, but also a journey. I'm tending to the latter though, I'm enjoying what I am going through.

Guys and gals - this is truly not a thread for graphic designers.

Edit: How long did this take you to make?

Another Person fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2013 around 18:50

Lord Krangdar
Oct 23, 2007

These are the secrets of death we teach.


Thanks for posting this thread. I've enjoyed Ferraro's newer work but his past discography is pretty intimidating to wade into.

I think there is an underlying concept for Sushi. Around the time of that album's release he periodically posted a stream of imagined over-the-top luxury products, like toilet paper made from baby seal skin (I wish I could find the exact quote but twitter isn't cooperating). To me the album seems to be a soundtrack to that level of absurd luxury.

To any Ferraro fans I also recommend Hype Williams (aka Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland), who share his prankster spirit and love of blurred pop culture references but also the oddly affecting emotional moments that come unexpectedly out of the lo-fi fog. Dean Blunt recently played a live show with Ferraro which is available here.

Oh and you forgot this:


EDIT- Also the upcoming Cold mixtape has a teaser site now (Warning: plays music automatically).

Lord Krangdar fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2013 around 18:54

Mike_V
Jul 31, 2004

DMT
DMT
DOO DEE DOO
DMT
LSD DOO DMT
LSD DOO DMT


This has sort of been a revelation for me so thank you for the great OP.

stay depressed
Sep 30, 2003

i like what i like.

Thank you for an in-depth guide to one of the most interesting and challenging dudes around.

fairlight
May 18, 2007

intermezzo


Thanks for the excellent and detailed OP. I've just started diving into JF's work after seeing him open (as BODYGUARD) for Gatekeeper & Hype Williams. From the outside looking in, the extent of his work seems a huge Dionysian morass of really challenging music and non-music - his work is very conceptual, and I'd argue that his work is as close to pure concept as is possible in art; each of his releases sort of becomes the sonic avatar of whatever anxious dreamscape he chooses to tackle at the time (corporatism, body worship, strip-mall americana, etc). There's really no pretense; his music is incredibly sincere. Really interested to see where he goes from Sushi.

psychicsecession
Jan 15, 2011


i ordered a skaters record in like 2008 and he never sent it and stopped responding to my emails gently caress you james ferraro

YO MAMA HEAD
Sep 11, 2007



oiseaux morts 1994 posted:

FURTHER READING:

http://jonathanwallmusic.com/papers/ferraro.pdf - YO MAMA HEAD performs an analysis of Far Side Virtual

Thanks for posting my short analysis! Just to clarify for anyone interested in taking a look—I'm a composition masters student and this was some writing I did alongside pieces by William Basinski and Gavin Bryars in preparation for my comprehensive exams. I know there's a lot more to be said about Ferraro than his harmonic and rhythmic content (as demonstrated in the excellent OP) but someone should say something about the actual music every once in a while too. The string quartet I mention at the end can be viewed and listened to as well.

YO MAMA HEAD fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2013 around 22:44

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



Lord Krangdar posted:


Oh and you forgot this:



The best part is IIRC Hippos In Tanks were like "LIMITED EDITION T-SHIRT DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY BY JAMES FERRARO" and there were people who bought it

Mike_V posted:

This has sort of been a revelation for me so thank you for the great OP.

Thankyou, I really wanted to share this because I just think it's so interesting and if I can get someone else to see the same it really makes it worth it

Mikhail Gorbachev posted:

Thanks for the excellent and detailed OP. I've just started diving into JF's work after seeing him open (as BODYGUARD) for Gatekeeper & Hype Williams. From the outside looking in, the extent of his work seems a huge Dionysian morass of really challenging music and non-music - his work is very conceptual, and I'd argue that his work is as close to pure concept as is possible in art; each of his releases sort of becomes the sonic avatar of whatever anxious dreamscape he chooses to tackle at the time (corporatism, body worship, strip-mall americana, etc). There's really no pretense; his music is incredibly sincere. Really interested to see where he goes from Sushi.

Considering the gamut of themes and styles he's run through since 2008 I really hope he keeps evolving as an artist but I think he really likes whatever weird persona (see his Twitter) where he perpetually portrays the role of some kind of super-rich rap mogul/modern day Prince, aggressively marketing his releases and vomiting out a stream of unrelated urban neologisms


psychicsecession posted:

i ordered a skaters record in like 2008 and he never sent it and stopped responding to my emails gently caress you james ferraro

There's a noise/electroacoustic forum with a 10 page post on exactly the same thing, people got really mad, but that's why you don't buy records from perennially stoned drifters. Guy seems like an rear end in a top hat sometimes, I won't deny it!

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



Tabor robak vids belong in here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKosaf5tmpI

It's Everything Time

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



Hell yeah. Fatima Al-Qadiri's music genuinely scares me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm7B1_Q6tfg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRnn5JV0T-o

slowdave
Jun 18, 2008



Gotta throw a link to DIS Magazine in here also because it's constantly great. Get familiar if you're not.

stay depressed
Sep 30, 2003

i like what i like.


He has the best twitter by far.

you rock
Sep 12, 2010

You wanna fuck with this shit I fuckin dare you. You fuck wit the hedge you get the spines


I ordered a cassette years ago and still haven't received it either. OP are you actually the guy in the OP (JF) because that's a lot of info on somebody.

fairlight
May 18, 2007

intermezzo



Y'all owe it to yourself to play Gatekeeper's EXO through. The album is so-so on its own, but pairs perfectly with the game/VR world. "Pineal activation, IMAX phantasy, drippy acid ecosystems, and HD everything".

http://e-x-o.com/

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



you rock posted:

I ordered a cassette years ago and still haven't received it either. OP are you actually the guy in the OP (JF) because that's a lot of info on somebody.

Not really, it only requires a bunch of sitting around listening to records and thinking about them. Like how people read books and think about those? You can do that with music now.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


Haha people are still complaining about not getting tapes. I mean gently caress him for doing it but like you'd think after years of people complaining you wouldn't still be reeling at this point. It's been hashed out everywhere this music's talked about.

The Last American Hero lp is my favorite thing he's done. I think Spencer Clark should be mentioned too, I generally enjoy his Monopoly Child Star Searchers stuff a lot even though it's not as conceptually interesting as nu-Ferraro.

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



Mikhail Gorbachev posted:

Y'all owe it to yourself to play Gatekeeper's EXO through. The album is so-so on its own, but pairs perfectly with the game/VR world. "Pineal activation, IMAX phantasy, drippy acid ecosystems, and HD everything".

http://e-x-o.com/

I was actually disappointed by EXO, I think if Tabor had ever played system shock 2 he wouldn't have bothered. That game already has pineal activiation set to thumping acid house.

you rock
Sep 12, 2010

You wanna fuck with this shit I fuckin dare you. You fuck wit the hedge you get the spines


acephalousuniverse posted:

Haha people are still complaining about not getting tapes. I mean gently caress him for doing it but like you'd think after years of people complaining you wouldn't still be reeling at this point. It's been hashed out everywhere this music's talked about.


I didn't know that I was 'reeling' for noting I didn't get mine either, or that people other than me didn't get the music from him that they paid for and that it was apparently a big Thing "hashed out everywhere". Some of us just listen to music.

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



you rock posted:

I didn't know that I was 'reeling' for noting I didn't get mine either, or that people other than me didn't get the music from him that they paid for and that it was apparently a big Thing "hashed out everywhere". Some of us just listen to music.

The best revenge on James Ferraro for stealing your money is to pirate his music, change the pitch or tempo, then upload it or torrent it without changing any of the track names.

stay depressed
Sep 30, 2003

i like what i like.

He's too next level you can't take revenge on him because he has already forgiven you.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


you rock posted:

I didn't know that I was 'reeling' for noting I didn't get mine either, or that people other than me didn't get the music from him that they paid for and that it was apparently a big Thing "hashed out everywhere". Some of us just listen to music.

I'm sorry for assuming you were minimally involved in the culture surrounding the music you listen to. I am even more sorry that James Ferraro did not provide you with the entertainment media product you paid him for five years ago. Here's hoping he gets sent to the Leather High level of Dante's Inferno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hnH2eyxrno

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



you rock posted:

I didn't know that I was 'reeling' for noting I didn't get mine either, or that people other than me didn't get the music from him that they paid for and that it was apparently a big Thing "hashed out everywhere". Some of us just listen to music.

It sucks and I'm sorry it happened. In the tape/cd-r scene, people will rip other people off, especially because collectors are so eager to get their hands on limited edition releases that will be worth dollar in 10-20 years. Like has been said, there are other ways to get your value for money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T05W6zn_xNw

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



Mr. Ferraro has probably never heard of young jay green, but they are kin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2aViY_YKkg

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


the black husserl posted:

Mr. Ferraro has probably never heard of young jay green, but they are kin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2aViY_YKkg

I def prefer the Bebetune$ and Bodyguard stuff to far Far Side Virtual, if there's anything else on that tip people can recommend from him/related people that would be cool

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



acephalousuniverse posted:

I def prefer the Bebetune$ and Bodyguard stuff to far Far Side Virtual, if there's anything else on that tip people can recommend from him/related people that would be cool

There is some stylistic crossover perhaps with Raider Klan (see above), probably most evident with LIL UGLY MANE who has a similar aesthetic, aligned more closely with traditional hip-hop& beats. Anyway check out the Bandcamp for an idea: "STUDY OF THE HYPOTHESIZED REMOVABLE AND/OR EXPANDABLE NATURE OF HUMAN CAPABILITY AND LIMITATIONS PRIMARILY REGARDING INTRODUCTORY EXPERIENCES WITH NEW AND EXCITING TECHNOLOGIES BY WAY OF MOTIVATIONAL INCENTIVE VOLUME TWO: VARIOUS ARTISTS" says it all I think

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHnNLfc0OX0

alansmithee
Jan 25, 2007

Quit Hating The South!

oiseaux morts 1994 posted:

There is some stylistic crossover perhaps with Raider Klan (see above), probably most evident with LIL UGLY MANE who has a similar aesthetic, aligned more closely with traditional hip-hop& beats. Anyway check out the Bandcamp for an idea: "STUDY OF THE HYPOTHESIZED REMOVABLE AND/OR EXPANDABLE NATURE OF HUMAN CAPABILITY AND LIMITATIONS PRIMARILY REGARDING INTRODUCTORY EXPERIENCES WITH NEW AND EXCITING TECHNOLOGIES BY WAY OF MOTIVATIONAL INCENTIVE VOLUME TWO: VARIOUS ARTISTS" says it all I think

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHnNLfc0OX0

Didn't expect to see Lil Ugly Mane mentioned here, but fwiw I'd say he's pretty locked in to traditional rap poo poo (especially Memphis devil music).

And to elaborate on the project mentioned above, roughly 6 months ago on his twitter/FB page he started asking for everyone who never made music before to download some beatmaking program (fl studio/ableton/etc) and send him the first one or two tracks they ended up making. He then compiled them and has been releasing them sporadically. I thought it was a really neat idea, and dude definitely seems to have some interesting ideas about music.

Also Raider Clan poo poo is really hit or miss, and I don't think there's much unifying everything stylistically besides "low-fi" or w/e. Especially since it seems the main qualification for being in Raider Clan is ending your tweets with #RVIDERCLVN or however it's being stylized now. Spaceghostpuurp is the main dude and there's definitely some "main" members but it's more like a bunch of youngish dudes making rap who are vaguely interconnected. I will say that I've not found much to be "bad", but depending on what you hear you'll get some really out-there poo poo (from a rap perspective) to the most traditionalist KRS-1 approved boom bap.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


Wow that comp sounds amazing. I was sort of disappointed with the one spaceghostpurrp mixtape I listened to but I will try to check out some random poo poo from that crew if it's that diverse.

me your dad
Jul 25, 2006



I just pressed play on all the embedded videos at once and let them go. I'm feeling pretty experimental right now.

This thread is fantastic. Thanks for the effort, OP.

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



alansmithee posted:

Didn't expect to see Lil Ugly Mane mentioned here, but fwiw I'd say he's pretty locked in to traditional rap poo poo (especially Memphis devil music).

Follow the trail...





o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



Yeah, seriously, the BEBETUNES album cover is a straight homage to those hideously cheap mixtape covers. He posts them on his Twitter all the time. See also: Denzel Curry's artwork, again on that reappropriation of the 90s aesthetic (this time lampooning 2Pac)

alansmithee
Jan 25, 2007

Quit Hating The South!

Never heard of bebetune$, might have to check for that. And I explicitly said that Ugly Mane was pretty much based entirely in old Memphis poo poo. I'd heard some Ferraro before and thought it was pretty interesting, but quite different from the rap stuff posted here, at least from a sound standpoint. There's somewhat of a revival movement where a bunch of older stuff is getting updated or shamelessly bitten (depending on how you feel about the artist in question). And I'd also not really say that the Curry cover is a lampoon, since most the dudes I hear talk about 2Pac still do it in largely glowing terms.

But for actual content, I've been listening to a lot of Khalil Nova
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7KNMrOizoo

lately, which I think is in the same vein. Also some of Metro Zu's various stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45sbJN9u6E

But don't want to start flooding this topic with rap stuff. Wanna say I really appreciated the OP, never knew dude's catalog was so deep, so I got some checking to do.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


Well it makes sense you wouldn't make the connection if you've never listened to the work that is actually connected to hiphop...?

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



alansmithee posted:

Never heard of bebetune$, might have to check for that. And I explicitly said that Ugly Mane was pretty much based entirely in old Memphis poo poo. I'd heard some Ferraro before and thought it was pretty interesting, but quite different from the rap stuff posted here, at least from a sound standpoint.

But don't want to start flooding this topic with rap stuff. Wanna say I really appreciated the OP, never knew dude's catalog was so deep, so I got some checking to do.

Actually it would be fitting that this thread be totally non-hierarchical and split off into discussions with conceptual or thematic similarities, so go for it. I think as far as the connection between JF and the aforementioned artists beyond aesthetics, the BEBETUNES project, BODYGUARD project and Sushi have an intimate connection with hip-hop and the wider palette of "urban music" (for lack of a better term right now)

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



I don't think there could be a better time for us to take a trip to the HIP HOP SPA

>>>>>RELAXLYFE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsbG4pXrhr8
>>>>>>SOLITARY

quote:

Hip Hop Spa posits an uncanny parallel between the luxurious solitary confinement of a spa experience and the introspective image of prison solitary confinement often presented in contemporary, genre specific, Hip Hop cultural product. Solitary subconscious is the experience of virtual age Hip Hop culture. The track expands the lexicon of the genre, while questioning the general public’s consumption of rap and hip hop aesthetics.

the black husserl fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2013 around 23:50

Pizza Dude
Feb 22, 2011


Really cool thread. How do you guys feel about vaporwave? Seems like there were a hundred releases that could fit in that genre last year, and all the ones I listened to just felt musically and conceptually less interesting than the stuff Ferraro was releasing 3 years ago.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


Pizza Dude posted:

Really cool thread. How do you guys feel about vaporwave? Seems like there were a hundred releases that could fit in that genre last year, and all the ones I listened to just felt musically and conceptually less interesting than the stuff Ferraro was releasing 3 years ago.

I listened to a bunch of poo poo on bandcamp linked from that big article on it a while ago and I mostly enjoyed the stuff that was just basically tape drone rather than any of the muzak conceptual stuff.

That said I do like the throwaway internet mediafire link etc method of releasing and the cyberpunky use of Japanese a lot of them do (or maybe it was just one guy idk).

acephalousuniverse fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2013 around 08:27

o.m. 94
Nov 23, 2009



the black husserl posted:

I don't think there could be a better time for us to take a trip to the HIP HOP SPA

>>>>>RELAXLYFE

>>>>>>SOLITARY

The Hip-Hop Prison Industrial Spa Complex

Pizza Dude posted:

Really cool thread. How do you guys feel about vaporwave? Seems like there were a hundred releases that could fit in that genre last year, and all the ones I listened to just felt musically and conceptually less interesting than the stuff Ferraro was releasing 3 years ago.

There was an interesting discussion in the comments to the vaporwave article between the guy behind INTERNET CLUB and Adam Harper, from a conceptual and musical perspective I think it's a bit of a one-trick pony, like it's not really a genre per se but more of an aesthetic platform for the music; and if the music is bad or lazy then there's not much point. I don't think anyone could keep a straight face and call themselves a 'vaporwave act'.

quote:

That said I do like the throwaway internet mediafire link etc method of releasing and the cyberpunky use of Japanese a lot of them do (or maybe it was just one guy idk).

I guess the use of Japanese characters is trying to emphasise the 'globality' of the vaporwave aesthetic. But yeah, a load of projects do the same thing (can't find a slew of examples as I am going home now)

o.m. 94 fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2013 around 16:54

sadfly
Jan 27, 2011



Mike_V posted:

This has sort of been a revelation for me so thank you for the great OP.

I feel the same exact way.

OP, your post is loving fantastic by the way. James Ferraro is probably my favorite artist working today, honestly, and it's nice to see people talking about him in NMD for once. Right now I'm working on a complete discography (if that's even possible) and so far I've collected about 45 releases including stuff released under pseudonyms.

My favorite of his at the moment is probably either Clear or the self-titled record he did as D.M.T., which is actually a very interesting detour from his earlier material that not a lot of people know about. Overall though Last American Hero is probably his best, and I always like to keep my vinyl copy in plain sight just to confuse people with the cover art.

By the way, I'm surprised to see no mention of MACINTOSH PLUS - FLORAL SHOPPE here either, which was pretty much the defining "vaporwave" album back when it first started.

sadfly fucked around with this message at Mar 2, 2013 around 00:24

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sadfly
Jan 27, 2011



oiseaux morts 1994 posted:

There was an interesting discussion in the comments to the vaporwave article between the guy behind INTERNET CLUB and Adam Harper, from a conceptual and musical perspective I think it's a bit of a one-trick pony, like it's not really a genre per se but more of an aesthetic platform for the music; and if the music is bad or lazy then there's not much point. I don't think anyone could keep a straight face and call themselves a 'vaporwave act'.

I talked to Will Newton (INTERNET CLUB) on /mu/ a while back when he used to pop in to the vaporwave threads every once in a while, and he was actually PISSED about the whole vaporwave thing. Same with Vektroid/MAC PLUS. I have some screencaps saved, actually, I can dig them up later if you'd like.

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