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Re: [microsound] Re: electro-acoustic blues

Hi Jeff,

Very interesting topic here and one that goes deep into many facets of
capitalism mixed with the political and racist forces that were shaping the
United States at this time. I for one am a believer that the blues was a
call to a lost voice of emotion within a cold materialistic society. It
wasn't only blacks that felt the blues, but all people who wanted to feel.
The severe conditions forced upon our darker skinned brethren intensified
these emotions to the point it became an absolute necessity that it come

You have to keep in mind that even black Americans at the time sometimes had
prejudices against this rooted music...due in part to the churches claim it
was Satanic. B B King once claimed that to play the blues in those times was
like being black twice. There are still roving musicians that recall the
histories and ancestries of the villages through their songs in many parts
of Africa, and are not so much a victim of prejudices, but of knowledge of
the supernatural and therefore not part of any village, but more like a
force of nature passing through and raining down ancestral knowledge.

I look at the blues in it's present form as the voice of what is basic, and
a call to common sense in a world that is increasingly becoming more and
more complicated and out of balance. I am not sure how one comes to a
connection with past bluesmen through the electronic recording process
except to have a feeling of it and express it honestly with raw emotion in
the moment.


Mark Ragsdale

On 6/27/06, jeff gburek <tsazmaniac@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> microsounders and steven,
> the material for bruce russell's recent release "21st
> Century Field Hollers and Prison Songs" (available at
> www.mattin.org) uses the material originally released
> on the "a bruit secret" cd for further manipulation in
> the "dub" experimental domain. the booklet given to me
> by mattin states it is published in coo-operation with
> ekskubalauron press, 2006. the text is debatable but
> interesting:
> "...the blues were literally made by the recording
> process...For the Bluesman the long road from
> plantation to obscurity to international fame was
> first marked out with 78 sides and later singles and
> albums. I know plnety of rock musicians who have
> meausured their days on earth in exactly this way,
> between records." --Bruce Russell
> the stance might be appealing to post-capitalists,
> post-modernists and archaeologists. on this list we
> have heard that "folk music is a discourse". i dont
> neccessarily disagree. but to take bruce one step
> backward, as his title suggests, i.e. one step
> backward in the history of blues (while his recording
> of his "recording" takes one step forward into
> dub--which sounds more scaheffer than tubby to me)
> begs the question: if the blues was entertainment
> industry music then what of prison songs? what of
> remoteness, incarceration, loneliness, slavery? is
> there no feeling that preceded the blues? is the
> feeling we associate with blues an affect of recording
> only? were there no fields for the field
> hollers---just scratchy grooves of a smithsonian lp?
> in this respect take Tetuzi Akiyama's "don't forget to
> boogie" --where he uses tape delayed guitar (also a
> comment on the use of history). he has a choice when
> to turn on or turn off the proceedings of "history"
> (i.e. the recording process) and when he recorded the
> original takes he had a friend turn the machine on and
> off. is it the comment on the recording process that
> itself makes it "microsound"? it is a big question
> that takes on the "identifiction" of microsound
> itself. is history (a recording) made with erasures or
> with memories? sampling itself is always a record of a
> data transaction. is all granular "ideology" available
> to you in the turntable or tape-machine?
> i'd like to hear some comments on this.
> j.ff gbk
> http://www.futurevessel.com/orphansound/
> http://www.mattin.org/desetxea.html
> http://www.djalma.com
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Mark Ragsdale