NRR183: Itsï Ramirez "New Animals" CDr
In this competitive day of electronic music degenerescence & its consequent turn towards mystifying the mind and bombast of the senses, it's easy to forget one of its most beautiful aspects: demystification. One of the reasons we ever loved the imposition of electronics into music is because there's a nakedness to it — tonality stripped bare. Almost shamelessly so. Divine tonality brought to earth & dissected. What is generally considered 'the golden era' of electronic music was, by comparison today, rather laboratorial, more educational reference than a whole music for complete souls. For this reason, this music of the dissecting table often shows scars — shyly or proudly — and also reflects the doctor's disenchanting sobriety. But what if our attempts to understand our subject — music — were playful, too? What if there was a lightness & joy in the mad scientists' attempt to get under the skin of musical phenomena? What if there was an acceptance — suffused through the dissevering process — that the object is & never has been or will ever be more than a fleeting evanescence? What if the 21st century creator didn't care to further understand 'sound', but rather already understands that 'sound' is but a reified phantasm, an evocation that may never be understood & yet loved all the more anyway? What if our dissevering attempts were no more than whirling cuts through an ether of our own making? What might that music sound like?
Itsi Ramirez takes up this gay post-science of sound, with her modern spectral analysis tools, a just-born-yet dying breed of infant scientists dancing with their psychoacoustic scalpels, slicing at the air & shaping evanescent acoustic citadels. Tonality separated neatly into bins & bands, decomposed, segregated, splayed out for all to hear in the midnight air, flittering like moths, subject of the light they fly towards in post-transformation frenzy. With one introspective gesture of curiosity, Ramirez divides the tone into a swarming cloud of lepidoptera, not a single one of which is a singular animal. Distinguishing itself from the decaying glut of overwrought technical pedigree & cavalcades of unconvincing musical affectations, Ramirez pursues the light, the ephemeral, the easy. It is lightness, manifest in radiant diffusion. Such bright tonality — unfettered from gloom — that flits through the highest altitudes of your ear canal, tickling the neuroreceptors, new swans dancing upon the river of your synapses. Elusive are these fleeting animals! Free & incapable of being caught. but also, we suspect, in love with the chaser. And so, also, anxious & short-lived, for we are all-too-good at catching, domesticating, dissecting and displaying. The moment you try to grasp them, they're shred to glimmers, perhaps if you're lucky leaving an afterimage of what existed for but a moment. And it makes you wonder about what makes a moment, dunnit?
These new anxious animals, light and effervescent, as if made for escaping. Sound: that pandora's box which contains nothing we'll ever grasp, but which billows around our random actions. What domesticated animal with their jaded closed world of recurring techniques could ever tame this phenomena? And we love chasing those escaped demons, don't we! These animals, too gaseous for cages to contain. These delicate creatures. But don't be fooled, delicacy does not equal fragility. No, rather the character which is strong enough, sure enough in their knowledge of tonality's secret ephemerality to freely draw sparkling arabesques through the wave-bent air, incapable and having no need of standing, of becoming a standing wave. A fleeing wave is more like it! - Bret Schneider