Grieta editor Laura Estévez kicks things off with the initial question:
How to think music?
The first thought I had in response to this question is another question: do we need public thinking about music? What function does it serve? Especially at the present moment, but generally as well – it would seem to be an inessential activity. I have long thought the relief of human suffering, whether physical or mental, is the highest calling, and that belief has a new sharpness in the current crisis. Writing about music would seem to occupy a fairly low status on the hierarchy of human needs.
Yesterday for example I was listening to this chopped and screwed hip hop mixtape. You know, chopped and crewed is a technique of remixing hip hop music which developed in the Houston scene in the early 1990s and it consists in marely dramatically reducing the pitch of the original compositions to give them an hypnotic, heavy sound. It´s supposed to recreate the experience of being under the influence of the purple drank, a street narcotic made from the prescription opiod Codeine that treats mild pain and acts as a cough suppressant. One doesn’t has to use purple drank to fully understand it effects because the music itself slows your brain down, you enter in a purple hazed environment and your perfection is complete transfigured. So you can write about this music as if you very transfigured by it.
Another idea about musical writing that influenced as a lot as publisher was this notion that Simon shared with us, I think it was in an interview he did with Pablo Schanton when we published Después del rock. It´s that musical writing can not only reflect the aural experience but also to catalyze it, to intensify the listening experience. It happens to me a lot that I read one of Simon´s pieces, or David Toop´s or Kodwo Eshun´s, and I desperately need to listen to the music again because I know that the record won’t be the same. I will even hear thinks that I didn’t knew they were there!! So writing can also chance your experience of music by injecting those alien perfections that Simon mentioned before into your mind
The original dialogue was done about six weeks, when crisis meant covid-19 and lockdown - before the other crisis blew up in this country. Subsequent to that, Ezequiel added a final comment, which went straight to Spanish. You can probably work out what he's saying.
Mientras terminamos con esta conversación llegan las noticias del brutal asesinato de George Floyd a manos de la policía de Minneapolis. Casualmente me entero que Big Floyd, como lo llamaban sus amigos, era parte de la Screwed Up Click, la familia musical de Dj Screw. No puedo dejar de pensar en sus últimas palabras, “I can´t breath” y en la relación que hay entre la respiración, la poesía y el ritmo. Y en cómo la música puede ser de alguna manera un ejercicio para respirar con los otros, crear comunidad, habitar los barrios y las calles de un modo estrictamente no-policial. No sé si será cierto, pero hay algo de poético en eso que cuentan de que ayer Anonymous hackeo las radios policiales de Minneapolis para que suene ininterrumpidamente “Fuck the police”.