I received James Blake‘s latest EP about a month ago. I could download the thing, but I couldn’t post one song, not even as a stream. I thought, that’s against the point, so the Buddhist in me told me not cling to the need to listen to Enough Thunder. The mind was quicker this time and said fuck it, let’s have a listen. And of course, it’s great. Well, go stream it over at Abeano.
…so original that if the 80s didn’t exist they just came up with it.
I was giggling already when the bright pink credits of the opening sequence made me think, “So cheesy”. That wouldn’t be the last time I’d think it, but Drive is still a very good film.
Blurring the lines between “art” and “entertainment”, it’s something of a film noir (heavy stylistic use of light/shadow). It’s got plenty of electro pop and little dialog- enter the multiplex punters complaining that it’s slow. The way the narrative goes is predictable, but that’s not what interested me. It’s the building up of a mood which is so great in Drive.
This is sort of an action film, but it’s not. There’s a heist or two, there’s a sad little love story, several conflicts. But the faces, the colours, the light, the unlight: that’s where the action is, and I loved it.
The main character is like a warrior Buddhist monk (they did in fact exist), reminiscent of Melville’s Le Samourai. The Driver is cool and collected– until he’s not. Then he’s just cool yet uncollected, smashing up heads until they hit a tone of sangria. The lady-friend is more of a prop to unleash a pathological love in the Driver. I detect no major character composition there.
The music and atmosphere are insanely Lynchian: that is, dreamy-disturbing. It’s these two components that make me think highly of the film. The violent scenes were… well, cheesy. Though one was definitely Lynchian.
And conveniently enough, one day after I see the film, an email pops up in my inbox. I can read French and images, so now you should listen to la “B.O. deja legendaire”
The music, as I already mentioned, includes something I rarely indulge in, going by the name electro-pop. In Drive it just works, in the dramatically cheesiest way ever. So Kavinsky’s Nightcall, yes, I bop along to you. It’s probably something to do with how the film came about, what with the protagonist’s soul being saved by pop music and driving and all.
I can buy that.
My favourite love-themed mix is still Bullion’s Mixed Up in Love but this is a vast expanse of mutating landscape, as opposed to Bullion’s melancholic Zen garden. Enjoy them both.
Flying Lotus, Lovers Melt 2
Bullion, Mixed Up in Love – Hm, not sure I can locate it right now. Anyone who has the mp3, leave a comment.
In Europe this summer: Tame Impala. I’m sure you can still get tickets to some of those.
Here are all their upcoming gigs via last.fm.
The tameimpala.net staff might be a bit biased when they say:
If Tame Impala are coming to your area, check them out. Their live shows are no less than an amazing tsunami of psychedelic lights, music, dreamy melodies, pounding, primal drums, droning, thumping solid bass and tripped out fuzz guitars blending together to form long jams on their songs that were trips before, but become journeys live. To see them live is a true experience.
But I’m pretty sure that’s the routine.
I’m giving up trying to describe or define music- that is entirely beside the point. But here’s the thing.
I could just yell, Translucent geometry! and leave it at that.
Uh, no. Panda Bear‘s music comes from someone with vision, and I can feel his efforts to put that vision forth, when I listen to it. There’s a sense of communing with something great when you listen to songs like Alsatian Darn or Slow Motion. It doesn’t take you by surprise, in fact it’s expected.
I know a lot of people feel enthusiasm for this LP coming from the same source, the same origin – it takes music to remind us we’re not really separate, even more so when lyrics talk of doubts, and slipping up, and ‘if’s’ and ‘would’s’. Being alone is sometimes the most community-oriented thing you can do.
PS You can buy the LP right now so do it already!