"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"

This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, Dusted, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.

imathers@gmail.com

 

Aphex Twin — “Flaphead”

Listened to Classics at mildly brain-pulverizing volume on the train home. It helped a little.

araabMUZIK - “Never Have to Worry”

Working music for a long work day.

Luluc — “Without a Face”

Cleaning the apartment, sipping a Jameson and ginger beer, listening to this album. Still trying to figure out how I’m going to write about it, but there are few records that I’ve played as often this year.

imathers:

EMA - “Neuromancer” (on Letterman)

I know the way they [pray/prey] and they blame
it’s been the same for ages and ages and ages

I really do wish I had the time/energy/brainpower(/financial incentive, ha ha) to write more in-depth on The Future’s Void; as I alluded to when I posted my review, I kind of tried then but was kind of defeated by the scope of the project. Even just writing about “Neuromancer” would have taken longer than my review could reasonably be; how what might seem at first like a straightforward reactionary response to “takin’ selfies” is immediately complicated, even before you look at the rest of the album or what Anderson has said about it (neither of which is necessary, both of which add more layers). Even that “is it true? you choose” hovers between and among several different types of meaning. 

I’ve talked with enough friends who’ve started feeling a deep ambivalence about their online lives (and felt it myself) that the indeterminacy, the multivalence, the mixed emotions, hell, the puns expressed throughout the album seem to me to do a better job of summing up this one small part of Where/Who We Are Now than… anything else I’ve run into, at least.

And then this particular part of the album ends with a chant of “they are AI,” and rather than some sort of overtly threatening robot doppleganger scenario I think about The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations (extremely worth reading in full). And I think about Erika M. Anderson talking about how a lot of cyperpunk feels more relevant and prescient now than when it was written. And I watch this great live performance and I wonder what happens next. And I wonder how we change the sensation that the future is something that happens to us instead of something we create.

they know more about the things you do/
they know more of it than you do/
they know/
they know.