Monday, September 8, 2008

Skep, New York
Melody Maker, May 22nd 1993

by Simon Reynolds

Spin, spring 1995

by Simon Reynolds

With its jungle rhythms and uncouth passion, rock'n'roll used to be the
enemy of civilisation and refinement. So I'm amused that it's rock fans who are now the reactionaries, erecting barricades to defend 'songcraft' and 'poetic depth'
from techno's barbaric assault. I'd always figured Luke Haines, prissy wordsmith of The Auteurs, to be one of those fogies who recoil from rave music 'cos it's all rhythm and no 'soul'. This is the fellow, after all, who models himself on Ray Davies' "wryness and dryness". So I'm impressed that he's submitted his songbook to the unforgiving maw of tekno whizzkid Michael Paradinas. a.k.a µ-ziq.

Like his pal Aphex Twin (via whose RePhlex label µ-ziq product is
released in Britain), Paradinas' idea of remixology is obliterative. So the po-mo
ramifications of this mini-LP are pretty piquant: rock's notion of the
singer-songwriter, the auteur, pulverised by the technology-driven pressures of the fin de siecle mediascape. Sometimes the effect is as thrillingly sacrilegious as
building a pyre of the Western Canon. "Lenny Valentino 3", for instance,
leaves only shards of Haines vocal to bob amidst the red-zone distorto-bass and sombre synth-refrains. Other treatments are more reciprocal, like "Daughter Of A
Child", which loops billowing "Astral Weeks" strings into a
locked-groove of poignancy, incongruously framed in factory-gone-mad clamour.

All in all, nuff respect to Haines for taking the punishment,
and to Paradinas for dealing it.


Grotblog said...

Didn't Mike split with his other half recently? As a high profile member of the music industry, can you confirm whether The Tuss are indeed Aphex Twin? What did you make of Rushup 10 and 12?

simon reynolds said...

yeah i think that's right about Mr and Mrs Muziq, vaguely recall that was the backstory to his last, excellent album

Tuss = Aphex? I've no idea really. I thought it turned out to be someone else after all?

Wasn't slayed by it must admit.

Robin Carmody said...

These pieces have dated very, very badly (hard to expect anything else of anything that uses the term "Po-Mo", of course).