Tag Archives: kodwo eshun

on turntable terranova

“Science razes consciousness…Terror razes consciousness by destroying the old grooves of the head.  The decks become what Lee Perry terms the ‘Turntable Terranova.’  A New Earth emerges from the new grooves of the newly scored mind.” – Kodwo Eshun

“Diary of a Madman” by Gravediggaz

“Heaven and Hell are on earth.  They’re your good times and your bad times.  The holy war is the struggle inside our heads, the war for peace.  People walk around mentally dead.  It’s our duty to dig up their mental graves and bring them back to life.” – RZA

“The RZA’s phantasmic HipHop productions induce visions in the ear.  Every breath becomes a wince of pain like a knife being swallowed.  Each suck of tical turns into a sharp intake, the shuddering gasp of someone being hacked at.” – Kodwo Eshun

“Amen Brother” by The Winstons

“Looping the break tricks the ear into hearing a continuous beat.  Each cycle slips out of memory as if the body refuses to realize that it’s hearing the same beat every time.  Each loop trains the obstinate body unti lit recognizes its endpoint.  Bodies starts to remember the point when the beat loops back on itself.  There’s a psychoacoustics of rhythm: the big brain anticipates the cycle, gets into the groove, lives inside the tense present of the loop.  The Breakbeat becomes a mnemonic.

As you’re ambushed by beats, charging breaks dock at your joints, tug at the muscles of your mind.  Treacherous underfoot, they build a new psychomotor from the old you.” – Kodwo Eshun

on break motion

“Grand Wizard Theodore, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash are human samplers who isolate the Breakbeat by cutting right into the funkengine, discarding The Song, ignoring intention and tradition to capture its motion: the charge and pull of the beat and the bass, the gait motorized by the deck’s direct drive.” – Kodwo Eshun

“In mythifying the decks as the ‘Wheels of Steel,’ Flash inaugurates the machine mythology of the turntable.  The new conceptual technology or conceptechnics presupposes that the decks have become a state of mind for the dj.  After Flash, the turntable becomes a machine for building and melding mindstates from your record collection.” – Kodwo Eshun

on AfroElectric

“Everything is electrified nowadays.  That is why the name Electric Sky Church flashes in and out.  I am Electric Religion.  We’re making music into a new kind of Bible, a Bible that you can carry in your hearts.  One that will give you a physical feeling.” – Jimi Hendrix

“‘And the Gods Made Love’ psychedelicizes cybernetics by turning the guitar into a jetstream engine: a 90-second painting of the heavens, a tone generator of sound spectra.” – Kodwo Eshun

on Advanced Rhythmic Technologies (ART)

“In the African drumchoir, one drummer is the rhythmic gravity while the others gradually layer on sophisticated rhythms on top of this tonal centre.  The whole isn’t really evolving in a horizontal way; it’s evolving in complexity and density.  It’s vertical energy getting higher and higher, compounding.” – George Russell

“The older the Rhythmachine, the more futuristic it is.  For George Russell – like Stockhausen, Coltrane and Holger Czukay – to go back into a Ghanaian or Indian or Vietnamese sonic past is to go forward into a new future.  To listen to an ART is hearing the evolution of technology 5 centuries down the line.” – Kodwo Eshun

on the hypersensual cyborg

“You are not censors but sensors, not aesthetes but kinaesthetes. You are sensationalists. You are the newest mutants incubated in womb-speakers. Your mother, your first sound. The bedroom, the party, the dancefloor, the rave: these are the labs where the 21st C nervous systems assemble themselves, the matrices of the Futurhytmachinic Discontinuum. The future is a much better guide to the present than the past. Be prepared, be ready to trade everything you know about the history of music for a single glimpse of its future.” – Kodwo Eshun

on “I am I Be”

“The self no longer amputates itself down to a single part but instead asserts that I is a crowd, that the human is a population of processes […] What used to be called alter-egos are now multi-egos, a crowd of synthetic subjects.” – Kodwo Eshun

Sounds go through the muscles
these abstract wordless movements
they start off cells that haven’t been touched before
. . . waking up slowly.
– Björk, “Headphones”