Thursday, January 24, 2013

VHS Head - Trademark Ribbons Of Gold (Skam, 2010)

A lot of my favorite music these days seems to be archive-diving, cross-referentied works of collageist fury. The Dada cut-ups mutant evolution, surfing on the datastreams, masters of post-modernism. A lot of people seem to hate the flood, blaming it for their weakened attention spans and sex drives. But then you have folks like VHS Head, who has put together a record of VHS splice and dice bangers and clangers.

A lot of it has the glow of the workout video to it, high hair blowing in a laguna breeze. Ade Blacow has pulled the backing tracks and sound effects from his personal stash, obsessively layering the 80s sleeze into a surprisingly fresh onslaught of sometimes brutal breakbeats and channel-surfing plunderphonics. It works as a gallery piece and as a soundtrack to Saturday night.

The modern archivist draws you into a world of their own, a collection of their personal memories and mementoes. Their childhood VCRs and adolescent late nights, there seem to be some so hideously WELL-RESEARCHED and PUT TOGETHER. They have the ultimate taste, or their own taste, at least. Its up to you to decided if you like it. So, here you have VHS Head, who seems to revere the 80s thriller/action flick, Chuck Norris Status, or you have James Ferraro, and his plastic armchair exotica, or Mordant Music's mouldering European gothicness. The archives are linking up, and there's a little something for everybody. These crate diggers act as a guide to the Underworld, a barely glimpsed shadow realm of Video Nasties and ghosts on tape. They are the antidote to the feeling of ennui of the been there down that, easily exhausted Twitterer.

And the best thing of it, is its not merely an Academic exercise. Its pleasurably taut dancefloor material, could get a bunch of hyfy kids hot and bothered, if they knew it existed. Which they should. Which is why i'm writing this. VHS Head, Demdike Stare, Devon Folklore Tapes, Andy Votel, Pre-Cert Home Entertainment; these folks are world builders, and its a sweet Giallo world that i never want to leave. Anybody that can reference Jane Fonda workout films and Dario Argento, simultaneously, is aces.

Some of us legitimately LOVE the archives, take comfort and inspiration in the dusty folds of abstract moldering paperbacks. I think the illusion of progress, of time moving in a linear fashion, is dissolving. There's no getting to the top of yr class and there's a billion classes, anyway. Capitalism taught us that newer is always better, to keep reaching out for that shiny thing. You'll never be content, and you'll never get to the bottom of the mystery of Human Genius and potential. Rather than constantly spewing out endless assembly line vomit, why don't we just chill and rest on our laurels? Watch some movies? Hang out with friends? This attention to detail, the care and craft, that went into Trademark Ribbons of Gold, is the perfect cure for this ADD-addled world. Don't succumb to marketing pressures, don't become a demographic. Be passionate, in all that you do.

For years, i wanted to be an expert on music so that people would like and respect me. What a joke. I ended up awkward, with too much to say, at parties. Highly specialized, you might say. I'm finally making my way through my own archives, and i'll share the results.

We still support music. We're still here.


Follow Along:

find it on AMAZON:  Trademark Ribbons of Gold
                      

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