If you had to sacrifice one of your senses, which would it be? Now, before you think I’m getting all Kevin Spacey in Se7en, as we get older we all will start losing some of our senses. Due to living a stressful life, or just plain genetic degradation. If you had to choose, which one would be willing to part with? When I was a child, I would’ve been willing to sacrifice my hearing. This was before I discovered the sonic depth the world had to offer. This was during the times of hearing drunk adults ruin classic songs with slurred covers. This was a time when I’d rather sit in silence, than turn on the radio and listen to the same song twice, if not three times in an hour. Of course, this was before music allowed itself to come into my life and I was able to be apart of that human experience, one track at a time. So, when I started going deaf in December, I was more than just displeased.
Now, I have experienced a variety of hearing loss throughout the years. Mostly in my right ear, because, like many, that’s the earbud side. Another cause of deterioration was the years I spent working as a touring security guard. I’ve stood at the front of stages at small intimate shows, to having towers of festival speakers at my back. I loved it. I loved it because I didn’t become a security guard for the reason most bros do. There’s a little saying among experienced bouncers, “Either you’re here to fuck people up or you’re here to keep those people out.” I was both, I won’t lie. The thrill of battle is as appreciated as a great meal or a sunrise when on a prime acid trip. But I really was there for the music. I’ve had enviable views from stage left, right and back. I’ve even had the opportunity to hear Roger Waters practice, with nobody else there but him and his vocalists and his manager. There was a grand lesson learned in those years. Well, there were two i guess. First, never judge an artist or band until you’ve watched them preform live. Time and again my prejudice had been overwritten. I am thankful for the musical connections I can make with others, because of said experiences, even with people not on my sonic level or people who would normally be completely disagreeable. The second lesson being, music is like all other substances your body ingests. Sound is converted into tiny electrical impulses, that then travel into your brain and are processed accordingly. So whether you stuff your face with garbage or your ears, it’s still poisoning you. Only one poisons your health and the other your mind.
So one glorious morning, I woke up in a fish bowl. Actually, I was in the plastic novelty fish bowl, that spews out tiny bubbles for air circulation. It was a titanic joke, so meta, that I laughed it off at first. After a few days, I thought Robert Sterling would deliver some private monologue that only I would be able to hear. One about the irony of the lifelong auditory critic losing the single facet necessary for his forte. That would have been a fitting end to grand opinion. Everybody recommended folk remedies. I tried them all. Even my girlfriend was surprised that her three hundred pound boyfriend could do a headstand with ease, but it never changed. After weeks, it became maddening. Relationships deteriorated all around. No one was used to me silently nodding like a courtesan, while everybody had a grand conversation. What I mean by that is, every show I went to was just an exercise of appearances. It was gonna be like this the rest of my life, beseeched by that infernal Peanut’s “Wa Wa Waa”. The doctors found nothing. I was on the verge of seeking out a deep sea diver’s depressurization chamber and cranking that bitch to 11. So I turned to music. All sorts. People started seeing me all over, shocked at my appearance at their stomping grounds. They tried to express welcoming interest and spoke at me, yes at me, about this style of music and sub-genre that. I politely nodded. It’s all I could do. I wasn’t there for knowledge or wisdom. I was there to steal they’re sonic level and see if it could unblock the rest of the frequencies. It was chemo for my ears. My travels lead me everywhere. To the predictable lands of Trance, where I tried to let their constant repetitions massage my ears out of their coma and wake up screaming, “I need real music.” I went to Psy and Hardstyle shows for their high pitches and bells, hoping a foreign entity would lead to vaccination from the silence. I went to Moombahton nights, the remnants of the Dub community. I even went to the downtown top 40 clubs. All I heard was Charlie Brown’s Mother dropping a remix. The thought that I would have to adopt the dreaded philosophy “ Well, I like it for the Bass,” began sinking in. Life had finally caught up to me and it was going to snatch a defining part away.
After a couple of months of muddy silence, I finally reached the apex of being alive for thirty-aught years. Since there was no sense in punishing my ear anymore, I went to clear my sinuses, like every old man does, without any extra motivation or hope that it would help. Within breathe, somewhere far in the distance, a faint hissing pushed aside the shallow deterrent of quiet. It felt like a lustrous breeze catching a circus tent mid ascent. It would hull open and set itself upright, so the marvels of pitches and wonders of tone would come back to parade, even if only for a brief time. I’m glad I’ve been able to keep it that way. Without my hearing, the next part would have not been possible.
This Week In Music… Are you ready for it?
First of all, thank you to everyone for asking, “What happened to your articles?” I appreciate the fact that people read them. So, should I even talk about Deadmau5 doing Techno under Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 label, and using the pseudonym “ Testpilot”? Nah. I know you’ve probably heard enough false professes from many other uneducated souls about the mainstreaminization (not a word) of the granddaddy of all electronic musical genres, Techno. Instead, we’ll just go straight into music, because honestly, “Sunspot (White Space Conflict)” was boring even under minimal Techno standards. And the Pig & Dan remix didn’t help much. A lot of people called it, “ A song to play all fucked up at three in the morning, when I don’t care what’s on.” And I agree. So lets get into other music. Free Downloadable Music!!!!
Razor N Tape- Green Light (Rework) JKriv Edit
Here we has a fantastic Disco melody that cries for dancefloor formatting. You want to put people on your groove? Here you go. The vocals are smooth and befitting. It’s really all standard. So standard, that I wouldn’t feature it out of respect for the style. But you reach the last third of the song and the contemporary touches start to shine though. This is not a song for beginners to mix. Here is a jam for the people who appreciate that good, old Funk. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s fun, retro and best of all Funky. And who doesn’t love that Funk?
ZZT- Givin In
If you didn’t already know, ZZT is comprised of two really fucking great artists. Zombie Nation & Tiga, both veterans to the game. The song conflicts in the most beautiful way possible. It starts off with a dancey Disco House vibe, coming across as a safe bet for the unadventurous. Then after a misleading transition, this surly Techno wave overwhelms the track. It takes a happy song into dark and sweaty territory. Who doesn’t love that? There’s enough “Unce Unce Unce” to make Doge such happy. I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the release Turbo Records.
Maarius- Mary Jane
Mary J. Blige is a woman who requires no introduction. However, I was never a fan of “Family Affair” or it’s album. There was too much production for my taste. This track takes a candid view of the vocal, playing with the synth in the inorganic format. Inside this seemingly black and white style, a haunting melody is born. Bits and pieces highlight each other emulating a tritonal copulation. This is for my folks who like to hear my selections late at night. I swear, it won’t wake up the loved one sleeping next to you.
There was a fleeting moment when I was gonna feature, Jaccuzi’s “Torture” featuring Mr. Carmack. Even if it was a two minute teaser of a soon to be released track. I wanted to bring that Grime for all my filth lovers. Then I started listening to the “Mizu” EP and that new stuff could wait. Exodus alone, with that Neon Genesis Evangelion sample was lunacy. It perfectly captures the potent sentiment of that seminal show, with a Future Bass Madness. It’s like the soundtrack of a Shadowy age where Bass is the only way to fight corruption and insanity… and probably a tentacled super being trying to enslave humanity, or at least something along those lines. The video is just as beautiful and nasty. When you finally reach the last track, “Curtain Call”, the grand sense of the production and format really come to light. Do yourself a favor, if you like the Bass genres, and get Mizu. Let it sink in, then you’ll find yourself fiending for these new bits just beginning to pop up.
Legion of Doom: Elements
In a bit of an abstract choice, I humbly showcase Elements. An instrumental lovers manifesto for those with an appreciation for Supervillian References. Self described as Rap/Hip-Hop, but containing plenty traces of the last twenty years. With strong hints of; Texas Bass, Miami Bump and West Coast Bounce, this creation is a marvel in cross culture collision. Samples from multiple sources of the torrid history of the D/C Media universe give it a beat lab feel of “The Mouse and the Mask” by MF Doom and Danger Mouse, which mess around with the Adult Swim’s menagerie of cartoons. In Element’s case, it goes from playful tracks like Track 4: “Captain Cold”. To dark resonance vibes of Track 11: “Sinestro”. This album shows an amazing depth of range and formula. My personal favorite is Track 9: “The Riddler”. With the horns, hearkening back to our Jazz forefathers, then dropping into a modern template of rhythm. This is for my hip-hop heads. Just because I appreciate the electronic medium does not mean I do not remember where I come from.
This concludes this week’s Edition of S.I.G.H. Like and comment. Ask questions if you wish. I’m really not sure what going to happen to my show attendance. It seems like I go to three shows a week. Nothing is catching my eye locally, and the festivals are… well, I’ll get into that next week.
Raul Chacon is a self aware douchebag, who only listens to bands you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week, instead of class. Eventually, he became as a touring security and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been too; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.
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