Friday, March 12, 2010

Remixing Collective Memory: Low End Theory Sound

This feature-length podcast, Remixing Collective Memory: Low End Theory Sound explores collective memory, remix, and genre melding from the epicenter of the Airliner’s Low End Theory Night. For the last few years, L.A.’s Airliner club has sponsored Low End Theory Night, which has exposed some of the most innovative and contemporary artists in hip-hop. One common thread amongst Low End Theory artists is a collective exploration of Eighties and Nineties youth culture, through their subject matter, aesthetic, and sample base. Other strong influences include science fiction, glam, crumping/pop and lock, and metal.

Remixing Collective Memory explores the Low End Theory scene and its artists through the lens of technonostalgia, collective memory/shared experience, and remix culture. Paul D. Miller writes that the phonograph and recording technology produced “a non-sequential form of text, one including associative trails, dynamic annotations, and cross references" (Miller, 349). This is juxtaposed against the writings of Jaron Lanier, who suggests that digital collectivism promotes mediocrity and that there is no unified pop aesthetic of our time. Exploring the musical aesthetics and artists of the Low End Theory scene will reveal that remix and recombinant music acts as a transmitter or instigator of collective memory because the samples involved create an external network of meaning and association that exists between the artists and club-goers. For instance, much of the aesthetics and samples of Future Blap are heavily reminiscent of Eighties and Nineties youth culture, especially as sonified through early video games, hip hop, punk, metal, cartoons, Sci-Fi, and Horror movies. While these elements are often embedded in the music, they act as a three dimensional mosaic for the listener familiar with that culture, connecting the DJ/Artists’ memory to that of the listeners’ via shared experience.

Special thanks to Lunice, Daedelus and Daddy Kev. I appreciate your willingness to help a fan.

Download the "Low End Theory" podcast (32:45).

1 comment:

Trace said...

Hey, Leo. Here are the sources you had listed. I've tucked them away here to trim down the original post a bit.

Works Cited:
Lanier, Jaron. “Where Did The Music Go?”. Sound Unbound: Writings on Contemporary Multi-Media and Music Culture. Ed. Paul D. Miller. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2008.

Miller, Paul D. “Algorithms: Erasures and the Art of Memory.” Audio Culture: Readings In Modern Music. Ed. Cox, Christolph and Daniel Warner. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2008.

Interview with Lunice. Skype recording. 2010
Interview with Daedelus. Skype recording. 2010
Interview with Daddy Kev. Skype recording. 2010

Selected Tracks:
1. Low End Theory Podcast 9 – Daddy Kev and Dibiase– Low End Theory Podcast (2009)
2. Hoppin on Clouds – Lunice – Kibbles 'N Beats Vol.2 (2007)
3. Koopa Boss Mode – Lazer Sword – (2009-10)
4. Sundown – Daedelus – Denies the Day’s Demise – (2006)
5. Beginner’s Falafel – Flying Lotus – Los Angeles (2008)

YouTube Resources:
“Jaron Lanier talks about the failure of Web2.0 with Aleks Krotoski”. The Gaurdian. 22nd February, 2010.