Friday, November 9, 2007

"i," by so

Earlier this year, I suffered through a pretty difficult period of depression-influenced musical disinterest: I wasn't seeking out much new music, and I wasn't listening to much of the music I already owned. Fortunately, the pendulum appears to have swung back the other way, and I've been back to picking up new stuff, listening through lesser-heard old stuff, swapping mixes with folks, etc.

So, this has led me to dust off the old policy of posting some notable track here every week. As a discipline, I've rarely followed this for more than a few weeks at a time, but hope springs eternal.

This week we visit So, an under-rated 2003 collaboration between Oval's Markus Popp and an enigmatic woman known only as "Eri," who hails from Mito-City, Japan. Fans of Oval's glitch-based electronica know that noise contains its own dimensions of sensory delight, and the So collaborations reveal this even more markedly by grafting Popp's brightly-colored, coding-error aesthetic to something more traditionally lovely: a female voice engaged in song. We fret, sometimes, about the monsters that may emerge from a fusion of the human and the technological, but a track self-evidently jubliant as this one ("i") reveals that that fusion may be just as likely to yield forms of beauty. Remember Donna Haraway's claim in her "Cyborg Manifesto": there is a pleasure in the confusion of boundaries.

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