Re: [rumori] enjoyable Charlie Bumpling

From: Jon Leidecker (
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 22:36:05 PDT

>Tue, 11 Sep 2001 found illegal art writing:
>->but i'm curious, do others spend countless hours searching for sounds?

I am going to talk about this sampling nonsense now, frankly because it's
the best way I can think of to keep sane at the moment.

I basically agree that a lot of new work done with sampling seems to erase
the line between 'shopping' and 'creativity'. Artists who don't have much
more to offer than a really huge record collection.

Not too long ago, such juxtapositions seemed inherently political; it
really has been personally shocking to me over the last twenty years to see
it slowly infiltrate every level of popular expression and learn that in
fact, the working method in and of itself isn't INHERENTLY anything.

I'm going to sound insanely naive here, but you know, even as recently as
15-20 years ago, manually cutting two disparate media sources into each
other onto new media seemed like an inherently political act, the
associations it would send off just automatically short-circuited all mass
media credibility, if only for a moment there was no way to stay asleep
through it. I'm sure the people on this list hear me, although this does
sound increasingly quaint; remember your first media cut-up exposure from
your however-long-ago youth.

Of course it was assimilated; it's a simple technique, after all, the
rules are simple and the 'craft' easily comprehensible, now that samplers
and turntables are as ubiquititous as guitars. Now, it's clear that
thoughtlessly chosen juxtapositions are even MORE numbing and
stasis-inducing than the worst of any decade's previous mass media culture.
The technique that used to provoke useful confusion and crucial questions
now just provides numbing distractions, it's drug music.

A lot of people now utilize sampling techniques and think no farther about
their method than simple personal expression. Which has always been a part
of it, or course, I'm permanently guilty of this. But now that it's easy,
a craft in and of itself, now that recordings are being used & organized in
much the same way that 'notes' and 'melodies' once were -- well,
recordings are NOT quite as signifier-free. They contain meanings (as
Hayward manically stated, 'That's a man's LIFE' etc). Not like anyone can
be aware of ALL the meanings they're invoking when they utilize recorded
material, but now that a program like ACID exists, it doesn't even occur to
people that such meanings could even exist.

This list is a very specialized group of people, it's no surprise that the
people subscribed to this list draw their work as a response to what
naturally falls in their path. Totally natural. And of course we're avid
collectors, I have an unforgivably large music collection, it's a large
part of who I am. All the rhetoric about responding to the one-way
barrage with our own work makes sense.

But I do sympathize with Hayward's take on this (and he's one of the
pioneers on integrating tape and studio work into live performance, of
course, probably why he's so sensitive on the issue). The 'unmediated'
response that humans have to music can't be charted, and we all know it's
compromised and altered by recording it. We all know this as if it's
obvious, but now that 'live' music involves pre-recordings, I have to
remind myself ten times a day about this 'simple' fact. Now that our
work involves pre-recorded music, a very simple truth about the experience
of music is becoming somewhat obscured by our new working methods.


>he said he was going to send it to vicki.

damn you, steev, you turdly spoilsport. now she done know, before I done
converted to NTSC or anything. vicki, you no read this.

Rumori, the Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Sharerights extended to all.