RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Wednesday, May 17

[HH3os] The Les OLD Jewels Majesty 2 trio

(2nd round match-up 7 of 9)

Hey, summertime got here quick. It is a thousand degrees outside, tank top season is in full effect, all those earned income credit tax return shoulder and upper breast tattoos should be healed, cookout season up on us. Bust out the pop-up tents and the yard speakers y’all, time to hide in the shade outside like our ancestors (and post global warming grandchildren) did (gonna do). Today’s trio is a second round match-up in this convoluted project (which actually has a format, and I should probably type that up somewhere, but fuck it, why bother, just follow along loosely as we go nowhere as this is the way of us men)…

Danny Brown – OLD
(released October 8, 2013; #5 on 2013 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
From the mouths of freelance babes come this Pitchfork quote:
The album is divided into a "Side A" and a "Side B," an act of aesthetic devotion that signals Danny Brown's unusual investment in the arcana of music fandom. Last year, he famously told a bewildered A$AP Rocky that one of his heroes was Arthur Lee before lecturing him on the merits of Forever Changes. The structure here suggests two LP sides, neatly divided, but one of the best things about Old is how mixed up it is—Brown's past, his present, his deranged side, his reflective side, his party songs and his nightmares.
The thing I love about pieces like this are it is referring to a fairly large portion of American recorded music history as this arcane anomaly, even though actual album sales currently make more money for musicians than downloads do (for the most part; me personally I made about $27 in downloads past two years, but zero in vinyl sales but only because there is no vinyl of me). Secondly, as an avid crate digger (who hates the term “crate digging” to be honest), I would imagine this aside about Brown lecturing A$AP Rocky was relevant to one phase of his love of album creators, and I’m gonna guess Brown’s had like 19 other Arthur Lee’s since then, probably more. Just as stupid as old people telling young people that the only thing standing in the way of their vast success is avocado toast are young writers assuming they understand a whole goddamn human mind and spirit because of an anecdote. Now motherfuckers gonna be thinking Danny Brown’s the biggest Arthur Lee fan ever.
But it’s also very weird to note how the notion of a full creation in terms of album, which used to be standard concept to tell a story through the course of an album, is now so fucking oddball that it’s used to illustrate how brilliant Danny Brown is. And look, I’m not saying he’s not, because I love Danny Brown, and love this album maybe more than all this others (after reviewing all this shit through this project), but it’s not like he’s cracked some hacker matrix from space in calling shit Side A and Side B. Anybody who’s gotten high listening to records in the past 50 years has had that idea. Fuck man, there’s even outsider artists who create entire fake albums by fake artists with cover art and everything. (Scope out my man Mingering Mike, fyi.) But I think the conflict heard on this joint is not really Danny Brown maturing, as this reviewer suggested, as it is him feeling like he’s supposed to change somehow. He’s supposed to leave behind the selling drugs on the stoop shit because that’s not his life no more. Or he’s supposed to realize he’s a hypocrite for buying Dolce Gabana shit while his nephew is hungry. But he’s not; he’s still fucking up, even if he knows he’s fucking up.
That – to me – is the actual beauty of DB… he’s normal as fuck. Understand my normal means broken people who tend to fuck up and be fucked up and also get fucked up, which is almost everybody where I’m from. And we all know we’re fucked (because mainstream normal makes sure to rub our fucking faces in it as often as possible), yet everybody always pretends everything’s okay. We’re not crazy. Your uncle’s not molesting your cousin. You grandma doesn’t have stab wounds on her rib cage from 25 years ago. Your sister didn’t OD three times. People pretend. But DB’s not pretending. And with hip hop overrun with “real as fuck” pretend shit manufacturing a false reality, goddamn if I don’t appreciate the fuck out of Danny Brown. EIGHT STARS (********)!

Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty
(released July 29, 2014; #35 on 2014 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Here, from the Pitchforkers:
The “Touch & Agree” suite is a good primer for what to expect from Lese Majesty. “Solemn Swears” builds on a bed of synth pulses and a playful riff from Ish before collapsing into “Harem Aria”, a disorienting romp whose upbeat never hits where it’s supposed to. “Harem” becomes “Noetic Noiromantics”, which peels a few layers back to tease a hook out of the maelstrom only to dissipate as quickly as it congealed. Lese’s individual tracks aren’t so much songs as ramshackle ideas subject to crumble or explode into something unfamiliar at a moment’s notice. The passage through these movements feels like an itinerant drift, a conscious rejection of the methodical drive of its predecessor.
Western cultural approach to all things – scientific or medical or artistic – is to break apart into pieces and analyze each part in as sterilized a way as possible, bleaching out whatever bacterial microflora might’ve been the spark behind the sum total. Or pasteurizing away all the various bacterial sparks that together create the big bang symphony of whatever holistic entity we’re speaking upon. This review does that exactly, and misses the entire fucking point, by breaking the entire fucking point into too many micro-shards, because western cultural approach is figure out how a machine works by taking apart all the individual screws and nuts and devising a theory as to how all those things work together when you have them laid out on a stainless steel table. Except it’s not a machine, it’s organic creation, and worldwide man is a stupid fucking monkey, but for whatever reason he’s let his stupid fucking monkey brain really run roughshod in western culture.
As that type of creation, yeah, this Shabazz Palaces is hard to really explain to a stupid fucking monkey brain, or with one (as above quote – Pitchfork or me – proves). But in holistic sense, this album is the shit, as in The Shit (positive, not negative, though both positive and negative are included, as in all atomic matter). THE ULTIMATE RATING OF UNEXPLAINABLE WONDER – SIXTY-NINE STARS (*********************************************************************)!

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
(released October 24, 2014; #1 on 2014 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Here is Pitchfork, fellating their favorite tag team again:
Trigger warning: If you or someone you love is a fuckboy, do yourself a favor and steer clear of Run the Jewels 2. You will not like what you hear.
Though I heartily enjoy Run the Jewels, I fear at this point it may be an inadvertently backfiring mechanism which flushes out fuckboys by drawing those quick to condemn fuckboys. Most people who would non-ironically use the term “fuckboy” in your vicinity are, in all likelihood, fuckboys themselves (or the female derivate of that human genre). And perhaps I am a fuckboy for saying that, or even bothering to notice. But in our attempt to prove we are not fuckboys, we perhaps out ourselves as fuckboys. Also, it should always be noted, as my esteemed digital colleague @badtracking has pointed out many times, fuckboy itself is a derogatory term for men sexually assaulted within prison system as means of control. When you realize how shit like that is linguistically layered underneath what we consume as progressive culture, then perhaps all of us are the fuckboys. Western civilization – The Epoch of Fuckboy Thinking, Scourging the Earth.
Still though, great job Run the Jewels the second! FOUR STARS (****)!


THE WINNER: Shabazz Palaces wins, and I am reading more Ibn al-Arabi while listening to them, attempting to unify myself with my self, making dirtgod hotep doodles in creeks by casting quartz in skipping patterns. Zig-Zag-Zig, motherfucker, Zig-Zag-Zig.

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