From: Dr Jamie Brassett <jamie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 12:52:57 +0100
What an interesting discussion my, somewhat throwaway, comment on "real" v.
"unreal" instruments has engendered. Cool. However, it's all rather
technical for me. As a committed clubber & DJ my musical knowledge is
rather less highbrow.
My interest - in, what in Britain at least, comes under the umbrella term
"techno" (which causes some confusion with purists who only like the
"original" Detroit version to merit this name) - may be more "popular", but
it should not be dismissed for that. Techno, Drum'n'Bass/Jungle, Trance &
anything Acid, to me, all seem to provide something that is greater than
their parts (unlike Pop, like Classical?). They are the true swarms in
music: largely rhythm orientated, noises, samples, beats, squelches are all
mashed together to give something...more.
Is music, then, the best way to understand an emergent property? I
remember reading about Ecstacy fairly recently. The article stated that
there was more to the effects of Ecstacy than is contained in the
pharmacological make-up of the drug, or even of the neurophysiology of the
user(s). I immediately thought of swarms, of packs, & of emergent
behaviour. The multiplicities of Ecstatic clubbers, plus the repeated
rhythmic refrains, equal experiences/consciousnesses/vectors of
subjectification that spill out over the edge of the mere parts of the
In his 'Out of Control' (1994) Kevin Kelly writes:
". . . there is nothing to be found in a beehive that is not submerged in a
bee. And yet you can search a bee forever with cyclotron and fluoroscope,
and you will never find the hive. . . . And for that matter, what is
contained in a human that will not emerge until we are all interconnected
by wires and politics? [I would add, "& chemicals?" JB] The most
unexpected things will brew in this bionic hivelike supermind." (16-7)
Like Judge Schreber, stuck on & penetrated by the divine rays of God, are
not these clubbers strung-out on various schizophrenizing pulsions?
The experience is nothing less than multiplicitous. And though some DJs
try to emulate egocentric Rock Gods (nb Oasis's "All my people, right here,
right now..." ugh!) my experience has been more BwO-like.
Any other thoughts?
PS I am available for parties & clubs (for a modest fee!), playing largely
chilled out D'n'B or Trip Hop (though I can crank it up if required). Mix
tapes can be requested via e-mail (see above). Thank you. Jx