Friday, September 28, 2007

Response:The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel

The steadiness about this piece comes from its reliability on instability. Within a matter of seconds the listener is taken into different musical worlds that are blended together through the power of Grandmaster Flash’s imagination. The record scratches quickly mocks and compete with the music created by instruments and voices. One can hear the needle being moved back and forth on the record so meticulously that it prepares and trains the listener to welcome the change that comes along with every movement on the turntables. The bass line to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” is chosen to grant a sense familiarity. Suddenly a new music sensation hits the ear then quickly falls in line to the beat of the track. Every scratch, rhythm change and mash-up takes the listener to a party created through sound. With an upbeat rhythm the song transports the listener throughout the room catching clips of voices and sounds that connect to the overall tone of the piece. No certain voice or genre defines this expression of work since each sound is timed to align with one another. Voices of males, females, even children paired with the rock, rap, dance and disco are creating a sense of unity and commonalty. With the clear musical entity Grandmaster Flash has established through the works of others, it begs one to ask a question often debated in psychology concerning identity. Is identity inwardly self-constructed or a reflection of influences of our surroundings?

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