You see, there are about eight people in the world that listen to music like this. They all have beards and aren’t afraid to stroke them. Even the girls!
When not flaming plebeians on forums and message boards, these eight people use multiple identities and accounts to create web sites and blogs aimed at enlightening the world about the things they enjoy. They give it impressive-sounding but ultimately meaningless names like drone and shoegaze, dishing out elitist bonus points whenever one of their number manages to successfully prefix the genre with ‘post.’ We await the arrival of post-navel gazing bollocks with baited breath; you can have that one chaps.
The sacred eight – there were twelve originally, but four buggered off when they realised they weren’t actually Jesus’ disciples – litter their little blogs with words like ‘ethereal’ and ‘beautiful’ in relation to the music they worship, bemoaning it’s lack of widespread appeal while making their clique utterly unwelcoming to curious outsiders. You once overheard three seconds of a Warrant song at a party? Your sort ain’t wanted round these parts matey.
It’s not particularly the fault of the artists involved – in this case, MC de Jong of Gnaw Their Tongues – who simply want to experiment with musical texture and sonics, but let’s be clear: this is anti-music music, entirely stripped of the conventions of rhythm, melody and harmony. Maybe that’s the intention; maybe that’s legitimate artistry; but let’s not get sucked into believing it actually means anything. It’s not an evocative, spiritual journey to the black recesses of the human psyche; it’s a jumble of sound, a torrent of noise, largely unlistenable to all but the most masochistic or pretentious. The chosen eight will love it.
At 90 minutes, ‘1973’ is the same length as an indie movie loved by the critics but playing to empty cinemas, because precisely nothing happens during its tedious duration.
Great music should be mentally challenging, but this isn’t worth the fight. Leave it to the special ones…