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  1.  (2375.1)
    There seems to be few different strands to the whole hauntological thing ( Ghostbox/Moon Wiring Club's hermetically-sealed English sickly nostalgia , Jeck and co's more universal themes of loss and memory...
    hauntology with a capital H ?, and Burial's specific reimagining/lament for specific music and youth culture )...what's extraordinary is that the music itself hasn't yet descended into parody. The srtike rate for great stuff is very high , despite the obvious possibility of pretension , repetition and formula. I suspect soon that we may see the Roobarb and Custard version.....

    Also , as my ramblings above show , it's an area of music that allows a lot of faded thirty and forty somethings to feel they are both culturally relevant ( We were here for rave / 1970s safety campaigns the first time ! ) and
    very intelligent indeed. We get to talk about Derrida and electro ? Marvellous.

    Don't get me wrong , I love the stuff on Ghostbox in particular , and Burial's stuff is fantastic. I just don't like the idea of where it might go next . It feels too good to be true.
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    @radian, you can get a some free downloads from Ghost Box here by signing up for the mailing list.
  2.  (2375.3)
    I suspect soon that we may see the Roobarb and Custard version.....

    For me, that was the new Advisory Circle album, OTHER CHANNELS.
    • CommentAuthortreylane
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    very interested in this topic, as i'm starting to hear more and more "hauntological" and faux-ethnomusicological artifacts in pop music.
  3.  (2375.5)
    the whole ghost box label stuff is great, as is mordant music (a former member of Portion Control) - also seek his contribution to the bootleg "scene" from a few years ago - dark side of the autobahn which plonks kraftwerk with pink floyd and actually works rather well - the b-side is the a-side in reverse.
    • CommentAuthorMusiM
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Wouldn't all music be like that? Any artist out there uses past styles and mashes them together to create something familiar but new. I figure there's a lot of music out there already that does a more direct version of what you're talking about though, like Sigur Ros, God Speed You Black Emperor, Mental Destruction, etc. Wouldn't the entire emotional basis of music be familiarity?
  4.  (2375.7)
    MusiM, have you listened to any of the stuff under discussion? There's a radically different energy to (for example) Burial and Jeck than there is to Sigur Ros or GY!BE.
    • CommentAuthorMusiM
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Oh hey I almost forgot. There's a Russian classical piece by Bedrich Smetana (I think) called Vltava which is about the Moldau River (according to this article I just found). The idea behind the piece is that you follow the Russian river as it goes through rocks, some boat party, and I forget what else. Its a neat concept. Here's a youtube link:
    • CommentAuthorMusiM
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Sorry I wasn't trying to be mean. I intend on doing a bit of research tonight.
  5.  (2375.10)
    Oh, you didn't sound mean, just slightly off-beam to me. Tell me what you think once you've played some of this stuff, whether you change your mind or not...

    I'm going to have that YouTube link, though. Field recordings aren't quite hauntology (to me), but I do enjoy them...
    • CommentAuthor___________
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008 edited
  6.  (2375.12)
    Also , as my ramblings above show , it's an area of music that allows a lot of faded thirty and forty somethings to feel they are both culturally relevant

    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008 edited
    It's been 'redefined' in my opinion to suit a certain artistic pattern in a kind of chic way

    I think there's certainly an introduced disconnect between "classical" Marxist hauntology and the current "cultural" hauntology that's missing a useful name but may have an "end of postmodernism" presence to it,

    --my interpretation of that 'What is ideology?' text by Derrida was that it says clearly the opposite of this past haunting the present stuff:

    ...It affects and bereaves it in advance, like the ghost it will become, but this is precisely where haunting begins. And its time, and the untimeliness of its present, of its being “out of joint.” To haunt does not mean to be present, and it is necessary to introduce haunting into the very construction of a concept...

    The part of the quote I've clipped is that which I think does partly define the cultural hauntology. "Time out of joint" is essential to a hauntological enterprise. UNTRUE is undoubtedly a modern music, but it does also clearly introduce the concept of haunting into the core of the build.

    It's all semantics, wordplay, ghosts and mirrors, of course. But I think hauntology has more value as a set of cultural metaphors than as a Marxist theoretical tool -- not least because the latter leads people down the slippery slope of trying to define UNTRUE as a piece of critical theory on the "late-capitalist" condition, which I don't think is especially solid ground.
    • CommentAuthoracacia
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008 edited
    Have you heard this? dntel - live alone in a studio ( - Fits the sound you describe very well, especially a few minutes in with the vocal transmissions floating in slow motion from a gloomy parlour.
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    See, I don't want to talk about this because I'm not a 40 year old that was paying attention the whole time, but hauntology strikes me as a logical progression from, god help me, the short-lived and quickly-went-to-shit mashup phase we hit two years ago. Because I've spent a lot of time in cars in the middle of no-where, and you know I'll go back to radio every time...

    But when you hit just between two transmission zones, or you're scanning for channels in the middle of two cities, in the middle of the night, you'll sometimes hit on a mashup that's just absolutely perfect -- you'll picket fence between two stations or a station and dead air, and suddenly you've got Funky Town and some revival music playing in tandem for a few miles. And sometimes it's hilarious, it's one of those unexpected surprises you only get once in a lifetime. And sometimes of course, it's crap, and the mash-up scene started forcing it and they were 700 shit songs to one gem. I don't think you can force delight.

    The hauntology scene is DXing on a controlled scale (I am a NERD you just lemme natter for a second) I really think it is. It's a signal that's _maybe_ coming from three rooms away, but who knows? Maybe it's four hundred miles. Maybe it's twenty years. Maybe it's a radio show some kid in texas recorded in his basement and the people moving into the house accidentally hit play while they were clearing shit out for a rumpus room. It doesn't always make sense, and it's always the middle of the night, because AM transmissions travel longer distances when the sun goes down. It's also a lot easier to hear when the world goes quiet. It also, by its very nature, has to come over on what's otherwise a hiss channel. i think that's why it's spooky, when it's done right. Because we always kinda want to hear something, but it's always a surprise when a signal breaks through.

    (There's something to be said for the nerd DXing on the SETI project, but that's when I start sounding lame. Lamer.) I know it's a bit of a stretch to apply listening for voices to recorded and dj'ed music -- there's a control on one that's not on the other -- but the end result, if every time the _listener_ gets a new album or hits a show they hear something they weren't expecting from somewhere/when that's familiar but they can't immediately place, hm?
    • CommentAuthoracacia
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Yes, I'm just thinking that limiting 'hauntology' to 'the past haunting the present' deprives this clever little concept of its nuance and overarching 'spectrality' as applied to culture/history/et cetera. I didn't even think of it as being about the past, I read it as describing the present haunted by future ghosts till the boundaries dissolve and are redefined with the hauntological lens. I have a tendency of selective reading, however (which with Derrida and similar theorists, I think is quite okay, hence my not complaining too much about the current meme).
  7.  (2375.17)
    I read it as describing the present haunted by future ghosts till the boundaries dissolve and are redefined with the hauntological lens.

    Interesting, that.
    • CommentAuthorMusiM
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Wow, so after reading and listening a bit I've discovered this is going to take me a lot longer than an evening to form an opinion on (or even get an understanding of what it is). A lot of the descriptions I'm finding seem conflicting, I may have to read one of the books on it (GASP!).

    In the meantime, I'm having a hunch this band called Beefcake may qualify (not the punk band). Opinions on that? If you're not familiar with them here's a link to the only thing I could find by them online ( That's actually not one of the tracks I was thinking of either on the suggestion of hauntology so I may have just shot myself in the foot. Their albums are more like entire pieces so the ones I'm talking about are drei and coincidentia oppositorum. Pretty much all their stuff is good except for maybe the Hote EP. Personally I feel if you haven't heard them you should grab the nearest blunt object and start attacking people until you can find one of their albums.

    I'm also wondering if John Cage could qualify?
  8.  (2375.19)
    I'm also wondering if John Cage could qualify?

    I think you might be spinning too broad a net. But I'm going to check that band.
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008 edited
    Unless I'm totally off the mark, The KLF nailed it on Chill Out.

    This isn't the best example, but it'll give you an idea: (