Warning: Read before listening.
It would be an injustice if I didn’t include Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient) to the album a day reservoir.
Dominick Fernow is a name synonymous with the word prolific. Eventually the Oxford dictionary will have to throw this motherfucker’s name in as an adjective. This dude has made over 100 albums. Did you get that? Over 100 fucking albums. And he’s in the double digits when it comes to aliases (Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Exploring Jezebel, River Magic, Winter Soldier, Window Cleaning By Ian, December Magic, Vegas Martyrs, Tortured Hooker, etc.) Now, does this mean the dude doesn’t take his time with each recording, or that his recordings are short. Fuck no, not by a long shot. Rainbow Mirror is three and a half fucking hours!
Stay with me.
Now, I listen to all the albums I put up. It’s kinda the fucking point. This album is all about atmosphere. Nothing else. There are no lyrics. You don’t sit down with headphones and listen to the whole album uninterrupted. You put it on and do other shit while it’s playing. I made a lunch, a dinner, put up flyers for a found cat, made coffee, tea, checked emails, and read, all while listening to this album. You may think to yourself, “Well, that’s not really music.” Well, I’m going to argue against that.
Have you ever heard of “Vexations” by Erik Satie? Satie is such an institution to classical music that when his “Gymnopédie No.1” comes on in a movie I roll my eyes. It’s fucking everywhere. It’s right there next to Beethoven’s 5th and Mozart’s Requiem. “Vexations” consists of a single motif that goes on repeat. Played in full, it lasts 18 hours. And people play this bitch in events called “Piano Marathons”. After one performance finished, one critic shouted, “Encore!” as a joke. Another dude quit after 5 hours cause he was hallucinating. Another pianist basically got hopped up on meth and finished the bitch in teeth grinding style (classical music is so sophisticated, isn’t it?). Frederic Rzewski’s “The Road” caps at 10 hours without any repetition. Classical music has a long list and a rich history of long pieces. You might ask yourself, “But, why?” And that’s a really reasonable question to ask. Here’s part of an answer.
Where did the format of hour-long albums come from? How about the 3-minute song (which used to be 5 minutes not so long ago)? Or, how about the 10–12 songs per album format? Simple answer? They don’t call it music business for nothing. These are examples of structures created in order to sell an album. It’s a capitalist-based structure. And this structuring changed the way songs were written and listened to. They had to be catchy in any way possible, so why not throw a pair of tits up there on the album cover? How about we make the song really, really loud? Not all the effects of this structuring were bad, but after a while you can see how you might want to branch out into other ways of writing and playing. How we listen to music has been influenced by industry. But we don’t need this structuring as much anymore cause of the Internet.
Artists get their music out via the web now of days. And because of this, music can take on more challenging and different forms. You can listen to a three and a half hour album in the background of your home, for instance, to see how much music can alter a mood for a day. If music were on all the time, would you be a different person? These are questions that no one but you can answer cause everyone reacts differently. And, look, we all just woke up in these skin suits one day and, overall, we don’t know fuck all about them. So why not experiment with what your meat Popsicle can do? Do something daring, maybe even stupid. Fuck, you might even like it.
The album: Dark, moody, electronic, viscous, industrial.
The effect: cerebral, introspective, hyper logical, and a sense of determination and happiness when handing out cat flyers.
P.S. If you don’t like darker music. Don’t listen to this album.
P.S.S. Is this your cat?