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    • CommentAuthorjzellis
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2008
    @radin: Exactly what I was thinking, along with's MP3 filtering tool.
    • CommentAuthor___________
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2008 edited
    you might be interested to hear that Mordant Music have a sale on. Albums, singles and picture discs, cds in petri dishes and the most fabulously designed cd packaging i've seen at bank balance friendly prices (the bumper package for £30 is a steal)
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2008
    I used to call this "Illbient" (I think I stole that from Ishkur), though I don't think the term is interchangeable with sonic hauntology. The latter seems to me to be more of a theme than a proper genre (like Film Noir or New Wave compared with Western for example), not so much the case for ambient.
  1.  (2375.4)
    'illbient' was the wire's buzzword for 'dark ambient' in the mid 90's. Virgin released several compilations solely from this .
    • CommentAuthoracacia
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2008
    Digressing a bit as well: I sort of loathe genre names, but I always considered 'illbient' to be sort of like someone took drum and bass/dub or what have you and dropped them in a black hole or antigravity zone, so what came out was an off-kilter, dense yet almost inert morass of broken beats and grim debris of sounds. I believe the first album I read labeled as 'illbient' and agreed that the term somehow fit was Silk Saw's '4th Dividers'.
  2.  (2375.6)
    The Art of Noise basically invoked a particular composer as haunting 20th century music in The Seduction of Claude Debussy.
  3.  (2375.7)
    i think all of you need to bear in mind that the term "hauntology" was coined by simon reynolds, the same schmoe who blessed us with the unfortunate term "post rock" and thus cursed us with the most banal, sterile and vapid form of music of the late 90's, early '00s (save for "idm").

    hauntology is interesting as an idea, but the whole thing just strikes me as another (pseudo)intellectual way of labeling, and therefor demystifying a rather obscure and unique form of art. by it's very definition, nostalgia is nothing new kids, it's an inherently human concept. intellectualizing and over thinking it - thats counterintuitive to the very structure of this form of art or music. worst case scenario is that we'll start seeing musicians classify their work as "hauntology" on myspace. feh.

    i also have to call bullshit on reynolds claiming this as an inherently british form of nostalgia - that's a load of malarkey.

    take this all with a grain of salt, as i'm moving to london to study under the dude who hosted the whole hauntology thing anyways.

    just my two cents -
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2008
    I'm not sure how to address most of your argument-- it escapes me how something can be both "obscure and unique," in danger of being demystified, and a simple "inherently human concept" in danger of being obfuscated and overthought. perhaps I'm just missing your point. I will say that, in most cases, it doesn't matter how a concept is first put into words or by whom. what's important is what it turns into. language gets coined and thrown out into the ether where anybody can grab it and change it-- that's the cool and maddening thing about it.
  4.  (2375.9)
    it's not an argument, it's a musing. don't confuse the two.

    yeah, i think you and i aren't quite on the same line of thought on this - i really don't understand yr response. i'll try and clarify a bit:
    i think what's beautiful about hauntology, and nostalgia is that in being "inherently human" - i'm suggesting that it's a natural phenomenon. i think in over analyzing something that's a natural response - and therefor genuine, you run a serious risk of becoming dangerously insincere and disingenuous. i think over analysis in general is detrimental to most forms of art - especially for the artists themselves.

    also, i just like poking fun of simon reynolds. i mean, the guy invented the term "post-rock" and is constantly genrefying things. he *is* an exceptional writer though - his columns for the wire are fantastic and "rip me up and start again" is probably the best book on post-punk. but seriously, someone needs to give that guy a swirlie or something, it's long overdue. ;)
  5.  (2375.10)
    someone needs to give that guy a swirlie or something, it's long overdue.

    Geezer, you're the student here. You're the one who gets the swirlie.
    • CommentAuthorHarlotbug3
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008
    I followed this discussion more and less than I should have, wondering all the while if ghost bussed in tracks could provide a perfect fight fire with fire anti fascist anthem, seeing as nostalgia is a prime gateway drug to fascism.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008
    warrenellis: Headphones essential, mind you.
    interesting. using big empty spaces of sound bouncing off the old dead church apse... but listened to on small direct input... is the ideal audience one person in headphones, or a collective in a vast hall at a dj gig? which is best to spook/effect? one person's fear of the dark, or the campfire ring of kids in a cold sweat feeding off each other's nerves?

    note that my interest here is lightly battered in pop. pure haunted ambience "oooOOOOOoooOoOOo*hiss*crackle*" stuff is nice, but hard for me to talk about as it's too blank a slate which can attract a lot of loaded conjecture.

    curious about people's thoughts on whether hauntology is primarily english, european, or international? ellen allien's "SooL" sounds very hauntological (love that word) compared to previous work. she's a figurehead for the berlin electronic scene. what, if anything, does that do to the genre/theory's notion of locale? our american ghosts haven't been dead as long as uk ghosts. their stories taste different.

    i find myself looking for these ideas in my collection now that i know a name for them. ghost/spectre hunting. is this a desired effect? a new audio spiritualism, people filtering pop audio for evp? i feel like i'm making too much of nothing. do i hear dot matrix printers from the grave in "Sool"'s "Ondu" rather than just a rhythm LIKE a dot matrix printer's?

    who will be the houdini to hauntology's conan doyle?

    also, @Ariana: stop being humble about your writing (i think it was the 7 songs thing where you hid the descriptions?). the burial, the waits, the in-between radio descriptions are evocative in the right ways.
    • CommentAuthoracacia
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008
    So this is the 5th time this week I've seen this: What does 'yr' mean, when it replaces 'your' (I'm assuming)? Is it a reference to something?
  6.  (2375.14)
    "yr"? yeah. it means you're really lazy.

    warren, shush, you're just begging for a purple nurple.
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008 edited
    Huh. I just pulled my head out of my ass and clued into this thread. Believe it or not, I had NO idea that someone had quantified the "mood" in music that I'm often going for. I'm not sure what to think. Compulsive "genrefication" often strikes me as a bit wanky.

    Warren, would you say the tracks that I'm working on for Miasmah would qualify? (Everything we're doing revolves around site specific acoustics, old samples, vintage gear and instruments, binaurally mic'd "EVP" moments, drones built on layers of ambient room noise, etc.)

    I get what they're saying, and it strikes me as the aural equivalent of Photoshopped montages of Victorian and Edwardian ephemera and filters that make the whole mess look like scratchy old film. It sounds like I'm panning it, but I'm not.

    No, I know exactly what you mean, and it does seem that way, which is why I'm getting squirmy. I am either hugely attracted to or deeply repelled by that stuff, depending on context and execution. Hauntology isn't a bad label, far as labels go, but if someone stared describing my wax cylinder experiments as "hauntology" I'd wince, even if they meant well. I always do that when someone throws my work into a cubbyhole.

    who will be the houdini to hauntology's conan doyle?

    Whoever they are, I can't wait to hear them.
  7.  (2375.16)
    Warren, would you say the tracks that I'm working on for Miasmah would qualify? (Everything we're doing revolves around site specific acoustics, old samples, vintage gear and instruments, binaurally mic'd "EVP" moments, drones built on layers of ambient room noise, etc.)

    Ooh ooh ooh does this mean you're sending me the rough mixes? Ooh ooh ooh (Mr Peevely)!

    It might qualify. I don't know that "hauntology" has spread incredibly wide as a label in the last two years. And, as you can tell from this thread, it means different things to different people. Mark Fisher hears nothing but the ghosts of indictment emanating from the death state of late capitalism, Mordant Music hear library music from the 1970s echoing through the walls like an old episode of SAPPHIRE AND STEEL.

    I suspect that "hauntology" will become a descriptive tool rather than a genre label. Right now, it's a broader church, but that probably won't last too much longer.
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008 edited
    Dearie, are you sure your email is not still fuxx0red? I sent rough mixes aeons ago. Don't have them on the laptop. Will send again sometime soon.

    Erik just sent me the latest Miasmah release, Jacaczek's Treny. So deliciously dramatic:

  8.  (2375.18)
    i'm all for the broader churches.

    here's to hoping it doesn't end up as a defining signifier like "indie rock" has. back in the 90's, "indie" was an wide net of punk, hardcore, sxe, diy, crust, lo-fi bands. it wasn't a sound, it was a shared ethos of independence. now it's a "sound".

    i suppose i'm arguing against harsh definitions. as an artist, i would hate to be lumped into a genre - it really narrows the breadth of ones work.

    things could be worse - we could be discussing the definition of "post-modern".
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008
    Mer, are those your strings on the track?
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2008
    we could discussing the definition of "post-modern"

    Ew. Yeah, let's not. I'd rather get my nurple purpled.

    Ariana, nope, that's not me. I have some violin work on another Miasmah release coming up soon, though. One of Elegi's new discs.