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Ambient music and the impulse towards deconstruction

Uploaded by duprie37 on Sep 14, 2001

Out of Light – cometh Darkness, dark ambient music and the impulse towards deconstruction

© 2000 Daniel du Prie

1. “These recordings may be seen as a notation of our deadminded society, but not as a reaction against it, we will all become ambient dead heads, if not...” (Archon Satani, In Shelter, liner note, 1994)

If not, then ellipsis. The conditional clause of fact, followed by an open-ended ellipsis, where not only the conjunction between a conditional present and an effected future (then...), but the whole of future time itself is omitted – is a good way to immerse oneself in a description towards a functional definition of a difficult form of a “popular” underground music (I write popular because it is, in critical terms, usually excluded from the domain of “high” culture, or “serious” music, being more aligned with other popular underground genres, eg, industrial, death metal), that would seem to defy the very notion of popularity a priori: I write of so-called ‘dark ambient’ music.

2. Your attention is drawn to a notation of the future as ellipsis, as a potent form of signifying a coming-into-being that is never-yet, and may well never be, as a danger:

The future can only be anticipated in the form of an absolute danger. It is that which breaks absolutely with the constituted normality and only be proclaimed, presented, as a sort of monstrosity (Derrida, 1974: 3).

This ellipsis of the future, signifying danger (becoming, in Archon Satani’s space, dead headed), also dislodges the comfort of the present, and of presence; of the representing object, and its relation to the object represented, of the sign versus its referent. Hence the need for a notation, obtuse of signifying directives, not yet as a denotation and decoding, full of revealed meaning, of a certain type of society; but only of the function of recording qua art in reality, over and against symbolised reality, and even without any metaphysical reality. Archon Satani refuse permission for their recordings (not yet historicised as music, nor art) to be seen and hence, to be read as a reaction qua art against society: “we will all become ambient dead heads...”

3. In refusing music, and art, and reaction as historically revealed, politics are also seen to be refused. The future is one where the listener-subject will become as dead as the given inanimacy of the environment that surrounds her. Fundamentally psychoanalytic desires – those...

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Uploaded by:   duprie37

Date:   09/14/2001

Category:   Art And Music

Length:   13 pages (3,024 words)

Views:   1433

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