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Dialektik, Dialektik Podcast 11 John Object photography by Geray Mena

11John Object

John Object’s music has been described as “pop musique concrète”. Within, the strange juxtapositions and the cacophonous and mutant digital textures erect grotesque structures, as if the natural and artificial materials of the collage connoted “the noise and jumbled signals, the unimaginable informational garbage, of the new media society” (F. Jameson). But amidst the dyspeptic case of nausea, vomiting and panting produced by the massive bombardment of data, mysterious, kitsch or naïve melodic passages and hooks erupt, clearly revealing a fascination towards pop. The tense fracture of the two spheres of John Object’s music has to do with the sense of musicality insofar as it, as Peter Sloterdijk points out in relation to the field of acoustic anthropology, “assumes that the adult ear can occasionally take a holiday from the trivial work of hearing and be lured away from everyday noise […] [where predominates] the inescapable chatter of our fellow human beings which the media amplify maximum”. The fragments of the nursing’s cry report the impact of the transformation brought about by the quantum leap to the confrontation from immersion in the fetal world, the memory of a developmental phase where the subject was “into a mode of conflict-free encirclement”. Perhaps it could be said that we are talking about an artist inserted in a kind of updated pulp modernism (see G. Meier, “Reassembling the Pulp Doppelgänger”).

The present mix illuminates aspects of Object’s conceptual universe through two main dissociable but inseparable themes. The first is that of internet effects, which, together with mobile telecommunications technology, has “altered the texture of everyday experience beyond all recognition” (M. Fisher). Apart from the phenomena of archivism and the obsession with accumulation in the total flow –explained by means of collage techniques and whose limit is that of sound materials torn from their context to become floating signifiers–, the most striking is that of streaming, its technical repercussions made evident by fluctuations in sound quality in the simulation of the concert. When it seems to work as a substitute for rave/club culture, streaming is the most ruthless element of the Fisher dictum and has decisive operational ontological consequences; bilocation then multiplies to a paroxysm in the form of a simulacrum that conceals “the fact that the real is no longer real” (J. Baudrillard), whose ghost is the myth of an era now retromaniacally taken up again in the form of “Grim and boring beats, endlessly pounding to an audience who felt they were part of an experience but who lacked cohesion and energy” (L. Kirby). Could not only time but also space be out of joint?

The second theme deals with loss and moves based on reference points, pieces held for relatively long periods around which synchronizations, overlaps, duplications and prefigurations occur. After the introduction, the section ranging from “The Game Is Over” to “Cosmia” is dominated by the psychological nostalgia of the 90s and 00s. Then begins a “retraction inward” process that, after “This Country” and “Home”, is confirmed with the beyond-the-grave vocal tessitura of “Sweet Thing”. From this point onwards, a heartbreaking, negative synthesis of the dialectic between community and atomization, artistic advancement and cultural sclerosis is produced. It is as if after the concert, during the subway ride home, the subject, off-centered by the overwhelming bureaucratization, traced on his iPod the cultural artifacts of a trajectory now lost. Memory gives way to hauntological history. The biographical element contains hints of utopia and has political reach: the ubiquitous commodification of culture after the deactivation of soft power, the fragmentation of public space, the vague but caustic political and economic references as parodies of themselves in the face of catastrophe

All tracks have been remixed/edited in some way.

Photography by Geray Mena.

00:00 Un homme qui dort (1974), excerpt
00:36 (& throughout) Cringe Mobile Game Ads (compilation) by substandrd, YouTube
01:05 Massive Attack v Adam Curtis – Intro (Live)
01:56 Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – Television, The Drug Of The Nation
02:08 Emergency Broadcast System – Shoot The Mac-10
02:23 NSYNC – The Game Is Over (Live at PopOdyssey)
03:16 The Beatles – Revolution 9
03:20 NSYNC – The Game Is Over
05:41 Pool – Last Request
06:55 M – Pop Muzik (Pop Mart Mix)
07:11 GZA Rates Björk, Republicans, and Crazy Rich Asians | Over/Under by Pitchfork, YouTube
07:29 Negativland – Over the Hiccups
08:12 Electric Light Orchestra – Midnight Blue
08:15 Massive Attack v Adam Curtis – Interlude (Live)
09:01 Meat Beat Manifesto – Now
09:37 Arto Lindsay – Erotic City (Live)
09:40 John Oswald – Blur
10:33 Boards of Canada – Statue of Liberty
10:51 Kyle Kinane Rates Gatorade Martinis, Demolition Derbies, and Condom Snorting | Over/Under by Pitchfork, YouTube
10:55 Fred Frith & John Oswald – Continuation In Concert Of Sound Check Interrupted By Mechanical Failure of Saxophone
11:09 Waldorf Q | demo by Jexus / WC Olo Garb (part 1 of 2) by Jesus – WC Olo Garb, YouTube
11:10 (& throughout) DDR S Bahn Berlin Ghost stations geister bahnhof by bulgaar, YouTube
11:35 Thurston Moore Rates Harry Styles, Vaping, and ’90s Nostalgia by Pitchfork, YouTube
11:55 Joanna Newsom – Cosmia
12:12 Clouds – DJ MCD «Heavens Tilt Into Darkness»
12:40 Clouds – Dark Leviathan Krew
13:39 Joanna Newsom – Cosmia (Live)
14:22 Fever Ray – This Country
17:00 Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music, Part 1
17:15 Lene Lovich – Home
18:52 David Bowie – Sweet Thing
21:32 The Conet Project – Three Note Oddity
21:38 The Conet Project – Choking
22:16 Waldorf Q | demo by Jexus / WC Olo Garb (part 1 of 2) by Jesus – WC Olo Garb, YouTube
22:57 Christian Marclay – Night Music
23:50 Wire – A Public Place
26:20 Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin – Grey Geisha
27:57 Kraftwerk – Sendepause
28:37 Kraftwerk – Nachrichten
28:42 David Bowie – Sense of Doubt