Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kode9 from outta Space (come to save da human race)

Just had the most amazing evening in a long time in Petrol in Antwerp. First Alex and Laetitia of Karat Records rocked the place with the kind of house that I did not know existed any longer. Then Ark (of Perlon fame) and a mate of his did a dj/laptop funky techno set that rocked even harder. And then Steve aka Kode9 came to dub da place out with the most incredible dubplates I've ever heard. You just saw that he was afraid to hit the decks after a couple of techno dj's but already at the first record he had to do a rewind. He got the place dancing like there was no tomorrow and there was nothing but shouting and screaming going on every time he put on a new record. And he played Digital Mystikz' 'Anti-war Dub'. And the Digital Mystikz remix of Fat Freddy's Drop. Suffice to say Kode9 is "nearly God" behind the decks. Every single body in the place was moving, even the women ("most importantly", as Steve rightly put it), even more remarkable when you take into account the overall darkness of the music he played. Afterwards we had a little chat about his upcoming book on sonic warfare, Mark K-Punk (who else?), Ballard (The Drowned World and Chronopolis, what else?) and the upcoming new Kode9 & The Spaceape album (yes! it's coming up!), while Belgian techno kingpin Spacid put on some Basic Channel 12-inches. What an evening!

23 comments:

dejan said...

watching this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaU-pnassYM

i was struck by a structural
similarity with Bjork's All is Full
Of Love.

But can you explain this jouissance
in images of rot and decay, and
what seems to me like a dystopia in
which the world has been turned
into a rat laboratory (I wrote about this once in an early post on
the ''tyranny of the digital choice'')?

what is your view on this, shortly?

Fire in the Mind said...

i do not view it as such. there can be jouissance in the breaking down of old codes and formulae, because then something new can emerge. it is the reason that i cannot possibly with k-punk post a few weeks ago on the proclaimed end of all things new. distortion (may it be into dystopia or into utopia) can be a powerful tool. it does not have to be a negative force.

Fire in the Mind said...

call it - again in a derridaddyan way - an apocalyps with apocalyps :-)

Fire in the Mind said...

an apocalyps without apocalyps, that should be :-)

dejan said...

well ok give me simply your view without any referral to either kpunk lacan derrida hauntology or anything else.

what you seem to suggest is that it is precisely by its ''displacement'' or by the fact that it's not interpretable that this stuff sort of posits itself against various pomo mystifications... and so on...

but i would be better able to sort it out if you just gave me your own view, in your own language

Fire in the Mind said...

i would not say that it is not interpretable. what do you mean by that? why would decay not be interpretable?

dejan said...

there can be jouissance in the breaking down of old codes and formulae, because then something new can emerge

from this i could conclude that it is the breaking down of old codes and the emergence of something new, that is the meaning of this clip, or did i get you wrong>?

Fire in the Mind said...

yeah, that's about it. the virus element in kode9 is pretty important. just as a virus indeed destroys at first it is at the same time a creative element, mutating from that what was there before.

mind you! the emergence of the new is, as i view it, in this clip not yet established. but there is the certainty that the distortion is needed as a modus operandi.

it remains to be seen, for the future, whether this breaking-down will indeed lead to something new, but for me personally this lab situation - to which i think you refer correctly - is not necesserily a dystopian situation.

Fire in the Mind said...

maybe it is even the other way around. it is what has gone before that is dismissed at dystopia.

dejan said...

oh well then that's a ''deleuzian'' situation forgive me for using a qualifier, but i don't have a better description

and i have absolutely no problem with this idea, except that the presence of technology (those screws, flywheels, buttons, and the ''difference through repetition'', replication, copying, cloning and simulation) interrupts my enjoyment because i don't really know yet whether there can be a revolution through technology...i am ambivalent about it

it can easily turn itself moebius-style into ''technological fascism''

must inform you that i stupidly associated burial with something else, i was listening to something called EXTOL instead of burial-burial. the burial itself is nice; it sounds like a very dark and darkly poetic vision of something like Vangelis's soundtrack for the blade runner, only better I would say.

Fire in the Mind said...

but maybe it would be better to try to explicate this matter in a musical form. lots of the musics i am influenced by (jeff mills, underground resistance, drexciya) are committed to strategy and futurism. but as method rather than as an end in itself, hence maybe the absence of overt jouissance in some of these musics.

evolution can never end, every deed and thought must be political. the end of the new would be the ultimate dystopia. the revolution is permanent and always going on.

hence also the retro-futurism of kode9. the past is not necesserily a bad thing but to be new it has to be distorted continually.

in this the status quo is the ultimate enemy and it, too, will always re-emerge in distorted form. the only difference is that its end is always the same.

dejan said...

it remains to be seen, for the future, whether this breaking-down will indeed lead to something new, but for me personally this lab situation - to which i think you refer correctly - is not necesserily a dystopian situation.

but what i suggested is that the images convey a perverse kind of pleasure in decay, in a nostalgic and simultaneously commodified dystopia (via imagery borrowed from the soviet union's nuclear movies). retrospectively through your comment i now see how the rat is dissolving in a rhisomatic fashion and then reassembling, so that this is not so much about destruction in the modernist sense, more about the Becoming but the philosophy notwithstanding it seems to me a form of ''death drive pornography'' (as i described it in my article on the BODIES expo)
and therefore just as SICK as it is indeed NEW and STRANGE.

i essentially have two dilemmas - 1) can you transcend technology by fusing with it? and 2) with respect to the Gothic materialist film THE PRESTIGE, don't we first need to invent a device which can produce autoreplicate energy, and therefore replace the capitalist mode of production (because I think the revolution would boil down to exactly that).

dejan said...

evolution can never end, every deed and thought must be political. the end of the new would be the ultimate dystopia. the revolution is permanent and always going on.

well yeah already the bible defines apocalypse as an end of the old AND the beggining of the new

however as i said i'm ambiguous about the technology part of it

Fire in the Mind said...

and therefore just as SICK as it is indeed NEW and STRANGE.

indeed, and the virus comes into the equation again. to stop the dystopia from happening any longer it has to be made sick. but the sickness is only a method, it is not a drive.

i essentially have two dilemmas - 1) can you transcend technology by fusing with it? and 2) with respect to the Gothic materialist film THE PRESTIGE, don't we first need to invent a device which can produce autoreplicate energy, and therefore replace the capitalist mode of production (because I think the revolution would boil down to exactly that).

i think this is entirely correct. but about technology: is technology not already a transcendence of humanity? it can never be an autonomous force just because it has grown out of us.

Fire in the Mind said...

because ultimately that what is transcendent can never again become a concrete working force. it remains then a mere constant background phenomenon. it can still influence, sure, but no longer act.

so yes, you can transcend humanity by fusing it with technology. but then the new starting point is not any longer humanity.

Fire in the Mind said...

well yeah already the bible defines apocalypse as an end of the old AND the beggining of the new

i have always interpreted what comes after the apocalyps as a new situation that will remain stable forever. so, there is change, but it is a change that is a dead end.

dejan said...

i think this is entirely correct. but about technology: is technology not already a transcendence of humanity?

no it isn't , we are (as we have always been) fused with it, but the 21th century has brought an unprecedented degree of biopower with it which means that technology now penetrates deeply into life processes; so let me reformulate my question, can we avoid technology transcending humanity?

dejan said...

P.S. here I draw a clear distinction between technology as in: body as a machine. the body can metaphorically be seen as a machine, or you can draw parallels between an organism and a machine.

I;m talking here strictly about the kind of technology that intrudes upon the body-machine, from wires to nanodevices and brain implants. There is a threat that can invade us and gobble us up in the process, TERMINATOR style.

dejan said...

i have always interpreted what comes after the apocalyps as a new situation that will remain stable forever

yes that is the catholic interpretation, but russian orthodoxy has another: of the apocalypse as permanent becoming, even the afterlife (the eternal kingdom) is designated as perpetual mutation, only within a different kind of , spiritual materiality

dejan said...

my dear Mind of Fire, the stakes are high. As a friend of mine said, this is the time when we will eather steal fire from the Gods, or be burned by it

Fire in the Mind said...

i think this risk is a dystopian one. and like all dystopias it has to be / it can be distorted and evolutionized.

me for myself i have never believed that technology can gobble us up.

but maybe after all the creation of dystopias as such is also a method rather than a fact.

i mean if capitalism is perceived as the end of history, then why is there such a thing as "late" capitalism? does this decadence not also preclude the emergence of something new?

i also do not think we are fused with technology. it is a tool, and yes, the tool has an immense influence. but how can you be invaded by something that you have yourself created?

dejan said...

what do you mean, we already are enslaved by technology - even when you turn off the network, it still stares at you. you read shaviro as well!

but how can you be invaded by something that you have yourself created?

here you're being derridaddian or even worse zizekiarian, by invasion i meant the penetration of the organic body by external (foreign) technology, like parasytism or viral infection

dejan said...

so like a virus or a parasyte it can indeed eat you up. i can imagine robot with parts of my body in it and my brain *(altered totally so that its no longer mine)