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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meshuggah - The Essential Mindfuck

Listening to Meshuggah, as I just came up with this comparison, is like looking at a Cubism-movement painting- a Dali or a Picasso. For a long fucking time, it looks like fucking gibberish. Indiscernible ramblings of a plastic brained pea. It takes a special kind of mind set and situation to let those colours and lines and shapes sink in. And when they do, nothing else will do. Nothing is better. Nothing is enough.

So, if you listen to this band/playlist over and over again, you will need medical attention. Headaches and ear-bleeding is common. Along with concussion and nausea. After this has happened, three or four times, you settle down and start listening to it again, something strange happens. You discover a very tribal urge inside you. A rhythmic connection, albeit a very twisted one. Your mind wants your body to dance, but is too stymied to tell it how to. Your head bobs and bangs in very weird ways. But you dig it. You love it. Ladies and gentlemen, the essential restructuring of metal as we know it - Meshuggah.

Playing Order :

1. In Death Is Life / Is Death.
2. New Millenium Cyanide Christ.
3. The Mouth Licking What You've Bled.
4. Pravus.
5. Future Breed Machine.
6. Do Not Look Down
7. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion.
8. Bleed.
9. Rational Gaze.
10. Perpetual Black Second.
11. Straws Pulled at Random.
12. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance.
13. Combustion.
14. Lethargica.
15. ObZen.

And an oh-so-lovely-and-informative article about why Meshuggah are very important to the progress and expansion of not only metal, but music in general.


Defining the Common Man.

In all its putrid beauty, Meshuggah have presented to us. Aptly titled, "The Mouth Licking What You've Bled".

I'm The Shallow, The Superficial. 

I'm The Common Man. 
Faithless, Narrow Minded, Indifferent, Impassive.
A Sycophantic Leech. 
Tantamount To Disintegrity. 
I'm The Vulture Feeding On Malignancy.

I'm The Sin, 
The Lecherous Sneering At Prostration. 
I Wallow In Disease. 
I Rejoice At Degradation.
I Yawn At Misery. 
Spit At Others Happiness. 
An Advocate Of Manipulation. 
I Embrace The Sickening.

I'm The Lost. 
I'm Average. 
I'm Common. 
I'm Infection. 
I'm Human. 
I'm Common
A Worm Thriving In Seas Of Disgust. 
I'm Common. 
The Mouth Licking What You've Bled. 
I'm Common

I'm The Pampered Degenerate. 
I Indulge My Inclinations
The Only Words To My Attention Are Those That I My Self Create

I Debar All Order, 
Repudiate All Purity. 
Infatuated By Contentment.
I Laugh At Lies. 
Come Behold The Sickness In My Common Human Eyes.

I'm The Greed. 
The Cynic. 
I'm The Indifferent Gaze.
Mendacity, Betrayal; 
This Is Not A Phase
Ebullient With Human Filth, Here I Am. 
Here I Stay.
Flourishing In Our Disgrace. 
Blessed Be The Human Way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tool - The Essential Playlist

Factually and musically, the best band in the world. Listening to this music over and over again, will change your life.

Playing order :

1. Vicarious
2. Sober
3. Lateralus
4. Parabol & Parabola
5. Schism
6. Aenima
7. Forty Six and Two
8. Stinkfist
9. 10,000 Days (Wings, part 2)
10. Vicarious
11. Opiate

Monday, December 10, 2012

Celebration Day.....

What is it about groove and cadence? Some tribal instinct, deep in the bowels of a human's instincts, an urge to move. From the beating of the heart to the hooves of a galloping stallion. Rhythm, is that conveyor of symmetry and order. And on the bulwark of that strong rhythm, is held the canvas of the infinite chaos that is the universe.

Again, what is it about groove? And the chaos that it upholds? Completion. Closure. Together they form everything. Every speck of matter is born from the marriage of those two defining elements. everything we humans see and perceive to be of any physical substance.

And metaphysical substance. For isn't the heart's pulse and the brains discipline necessary to give birth to that rainbow of emotions? In the crowded bazaar of neurons, where the speed at which information disseminates rarely varies, are sold the highest of ecstatic highs and the lowest of the dark blues. 

And ever so often, when this commune is devoid of a customer, it finds itself looking for some chaos. It seeks out the madness, that will satiate this unusual thirst. A new thought, is all it needs. Enough combustible liquid to power the locomotive through to the next station.

In my daily life, I often find myself imploring for a new thought. The cadence of quotidian ritual is what provides nourishment to the physical self. But without the increasing entropy created by new thought, the physical self will turn into a remorseless automaton. 

Repeatedly, I find myself seeking the refuge of music and sound, to prevent that from happening. And when a piece of music that personifies this duality of nature resonates, a new being springs forth from within. So, it is the groove that captivates you first. Riding high on the chariot of that signature are the soaring vocals and strings and pipes. And so, it comes no surprise, that this song grabs my attention. Props my head up and makes me gyrate. On the wave of adrenaline that comes in the wake of the screams and building up to the crescendo, breaks out a ray of new inspiration. That is when, you realise, that you are transported to a paradise. Your own Kashmir.

That solid percussive frame, which is embellished by the playfulness of fingers hitting strings, bears aloft the majestic voice and traverses on the landscape created by the orchestral arrangement. To Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, I pay tribute and respect for making an ever enduring song. The Led Zeppelin is never to far to climb on board and marvel at what you can grasp. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Headphone sound off!

Just got my new Audio Technica ATH M-35 headset, as a part of my new guitar rig. A small birthday gift to myself, if it doesn't sound too tragic. And of course, my Sennheiser HD 202's are still going strong, which only sets the stage for a direct comparison. Here are my observations. Mind you, at this stage, I have had the Audio Technica's for like 3 days and not really given it the proper run through. But still, first impressions :

1. Audio Technica's are fucking well made. All leather pouch, headband. Better pin connector, wiring and sockets. Better plastics than the Sennheiser. But then, they did cost me much more than the Sennheiser's. Both headsets come with a 1/4 inch converter jack, but the one that comes with the M35 is superior.

2. The M35 has an absolutely flat frequency EQ. No single frequency dominates. So it is an ideal choice if you want the perfect feedback of what an instrument is doing. Perfect for home recording, I guess. The HD 202 has a more adventurous sound. What I mean by that is, the lower frequencies are pumped up. At the same designated volume, the HD 202 is louder than the M35. I guess the marketing blurb wasn't completely wrong, when it said that the HD 202 are DJ headphones. So yeah, in a manner of saying, the HD 202 are better to listen music on, in a casual listener kind of scenario. 

3. Because of the EQ disparity, the clarity of sound challenge goes to the M35. But that is only very slightly. Because, even though the HD 202 is a bit bass heavy, it has the clarity to carry it.

4. Both head sets are comfortable to wear and listen to for long periods of time. Added advantage with the M35's are that they are foldable/collapsible. 

The conclusion here, is multi-pronged. If you want to get a first set of headphones, and good ones at that (don't even touch that Sony MDR shit) get the HD 202. You will love them. They are usually $20 - $22. But, if you want to do some home recording or just use as a part of an instrument rig, the M35 (or better) are the way to go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Childish notes.....

Living in the middle of nowhere is getting to me. Steadily and slowly, but it is. I am acting as a mirror to this bleak landscape and a conduit into the lifelessness for anyone who wants a glimpse of it. I guess, this is what they mean, when they say, "You must be losing your mind, boy!". I concur. Wholly and truly.

When social life is limited to near and dear ones who are projected onto a 15.6 inch screen and colleagues at office who are nanometres away from you, I think music has been the one true escape to sanity. A true rainbow of emotions and sounds start a conversation that you find yourself immersed in. You join along, adding words. Talking to the walls, in the sanest of ways. If any. 

Brings back memories from India. Warm and pleasant Kolhapur. Happy and care free me. Mates to play with and studies to contend with. Come summer holidays, all I wanted to do was play. Mother beloved wanted me to do something more productive. Maybe because I would learn something good, but mostly to get my ass out of the house and neighborhood. She needed her sanity too, you know.

So, one summer, I was on roster at a small music school nearby. Wasn't really a school, just a very learned old man, teaching music and making his last moments mean something of any worth. I went, I learnt, and when the old pendulum clock crawled its way from 4pm to 5pm, I would fuck off out of there and join my mates. No more harmonium notes, no more scales and no more old man telling me to "practice and be perfect".

Fast forward, to the dull reality of today. Actually it is just the weather. I am fine. Those days always bring a smile. I do wish for one more thing though. I wish that the teacher had locked me up for a few more hours everyday and made me practice. Learn more and better. Be a proper musician. I know it sounds like molestation, but I believe that kids are a bit like animals. They have to be treated as such, on occasions. 

Because, when you are left completely to your own mental faculties, a lot of things start to emerge. Your thoughts begin taking shape around you. And you want to present this being with a voice. Which can only be musical notes, to do it true justice. I disagree with my good friend Ameya Warade on a lot of topics, as good friends can often do. But I truly agree to what he said about the formalized language system."It is an imperfect medium. There is only so much you can convey. Sure,  you can come up with a new word, phrase and/or construction. But even then, it takes an entirely unnatural amount of explanation to translate your thoughts with any degree of accuracy."

Which is what music does with such melodious simplicity.  It fills in the gaps. And gives voice to the mute. I wish I had a companion in a musical instrument, that I could talk to. To understand the construction of my own thought pattern. Those meandering highways that connect the super-structural city that is the human brain. I have committed to commencing a physical journey that leads to such. Only time will tell, if I succeed. Till then, music made by others is where my sanity has sought and accepted asylum. 

(I wish to make clear right now, that I am strongly, even vehemently against pedophilia and wish all sex offenders and child traumatize-rs the most violent of deaths.I know it is silly and a little unnecessary to say it so explicitly, but unfortunately, there are alive among us, what I can only describe as a bag of righteous cunts who do not understand the following - irony, humor, sarcasm, satire and wit. That said, I do not wish to offend anybody who reads this.But sometimes, I just cannot help.)