Monday, June 25, 2012
Terre Thaemlitz has recently released his mega-project, 'Soulnessless'. As Terre put its, 'Over 31 hours of audio. Over 80 minutes of video (per language). Over +150 pages of text and images in English alone. This is a fuckload of data...'. Indeed. I have only just begun scratching its surface. If there is one thing you can be sure of with Terre Thaemlitz is that she won't make things easy for you. And that is precisely why we need artists like this - there are not people willing to constantly challenge us and push us outside of our comfort zone. The main reference point for 'Soulnessless' is religion, and for those who know him through the DJ Sprinkles work, the response to this project might be 'what the fuck does this have to do with house music?'. Anything and everything would be the reply. One does not have to dig very deep to find some of the ways that religious elements have permeated house music. This is hardly surprising - music is unavoidably influenced and shaped by the political, economic, social, cultural, historic contexts in which it is created. House (or techno or whatever genre) is no different in this regard, even if we like to try to pretend our parties can exist in some bubble (but where exactly do you think that coke came from?). Rather than letting us maintain our comfortable habits of maintaining a false detachment that tries to separate us and what we do / are / consume etc., Terre pushes us to face up to these relationships and interconnections. To re-emphasise, music is certainly not exempt from any of this, which is what PC has tried to explore in different ways over the years on the blog (his interviews with Terre are particularly interesting in this regard - here, here, here and here). So from our perspective, what Terre is trying to do in terms of contextualising the way we understand and engage with music is very valuable and necessary. But it is not simply what Terre is doing, it is also how she does it: 'Soulnessless' is brave, challenging, provocative, thoughtful and thoroughly worthwhile. This is certainly something that will not be for everyone, but I think it is a project quite a few of our readers will be interested in. If you want more info, head over to 'Soulnessless' homepage and also check this recent interview with Terre at The Quietus. And you can get a copy of 'Soulnessless' directly through the Comatonse recordings shop.