THE DEMONS OF FOLK FRIDAY TUNE OF THE WEEK

August 29, 2014 CYBERDELIC! (PROBABLE DISCO #4)

August 22, 2014 SOCIAL PANIC #4

August 18, 2014 DANCING BEFORE THE CATACLYSM (PROBABLE DISCO #2)

August 11, 2014 BPTS

August 8, 2014 DREAMS

August 1, 2014 FOLK DEVILS DISCO

July 25, 2014 LET’S DO IT

July 18, 2014 H- TOWN ROCK/UNTIL TONIGHT

July 11, 2014 GOLD MINE

July 4, 2014 GAMBITS FOR DECEPTION

 

A Treatise on Probable Pop and Disco

By Darryl Thomas

It is impossible to be a musician without making a definitive statement about one’s stance towards self and towards the world. That stance will be located within a limited array of intents and possibilities ranging from the simple enjoyment of self-expression, to the chasing of fame, sex and fortune, to making an overt or subtle political or musical statement that announces that intent or stance to reach a like-minded audience that will buy and consume the musician’s work with the likelihood of the musician achieving very little, if any, financial support from their labors.   This sound recording is a work that is specific in its design, intent and purpose, created through implementation of certain life-affirming principles and considerations. That is to say, the most important features of this music, from the music creation standpoint, has to deal with the nature of the being while creating the music.[1]
For those who wish to categorize the music on this sound recording, most would find it acceptable to file these works under “pop” music and “disco,” although there are instances of “reggae” and “ambient” tracks to be found as well.   The music within is hung with the qualifier of “probable”toindicate that there is a likelihood of how these tracks will be regarded and described – although there exists room for the terms to be separated from their meanings, as these terms are usually designated to convey or send unspoken codes to deliberately manipulate and trigger specific emotional responses within the listener. The music may be close enough to be clearly defined in specific ways, but the intent in their creation is for the creator to become one with the act of creation of the music as a process of self-expression. The goal: to be “the living form in physicality of free expression.” [2]

Moral Panic!

The name chosen for the author of this sound recording is also specific. The Demons of Folk is connected to the term ,“Folk Devils” which refers to a sociological concept that has been used in academia since the 1960’s, although what the term is a particular descriptor which has a lifespan as long as the story of civilization: as scapegoats. Briefly, folk devil is a term to describe any social group that is blamed for causing trouble or being a problem to the greater good of a society. Jews, gypsies, skinheads, witches, Rastafarians, Scientologists, the illegal immigrants, Satanists, pedophile priests, “Islamists,” etc., and incalculable others have been treated as folk devils. The fear associated with the folk devils is themoral panic they cause within society. These moral panics are stirred up in part through the media in sensational and often falsely – planted stories.
The tag of  Folk Devils and the concomitant term, “moral panic” first appear together in Stanley Cohen’s book, “Moral Panics and Folk Devils: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers,” originally published in 1972. Cohen recalled the events of a 1964 minor scuffle between two teenage youth gangs which occurred in some seaside vacation spots which was ultimately sensationalized and blown out of proportion by the UK press. Cohen suggests that moral panics were also accentuated by the outcry of moral agents who act as social antibodies who uses the media industrial complex to alert the rest of society of the dangers these folk devils represent. The job of these moral agents is to prevent the moral panic from becoming a moral crisis.
Thus, for instance, there exists “anti-cult” groups working to undermine and destroy certain groups who are deemed destructive and objectionable. Sometimes even a moral agent can become a folk devil at the same time, like the Tea Party, Greenpeace, Wiccans or those who take part within either the pro-choice and pro-life movements. One thing to realize about these moral agents, or better understood; moral entrepreneurs [3] is that they use the publicity and heat generated from their activities to instill fear into the populace and gain attention not only to what they perceive as the dangers they are alerting others to, but also creating attention to themselves – energy they hope will be converted create wealth and notoriety. Just like any aspiring teenager wanting to be a famous pop star.
As someone who has been attacked and pilloried in the media and Internet and treated as a Folk Devil by these moral entrepreneurs, I thought it was proper to record under the non de plume of the Demons of Folk and entitle this sound recording, “Moral Panic!”One of the more fascinating points within this subject of the seeking of control by some groups and people over the groups that find themselves beneath such a spotlight is that nothing these so-called objectionable groups – by themselves – ever wield the power subscribed and projectedonto them by the moral entrepreneurs. Not only that, the human race is careening down a slippery slope towards toward nonexistence and is threatening to take the entire planet into the grave with it. And yet, despite all the danger signs and dire warnings that can be seen and heard from all corners, as a whole, humanity can’t see or hear anything except the pull and the tug of manipulated, manufactured and ultimately undeliverable conscious and subconscious desires. You can buy what you want, but can you get what you need?

 The “Art” and Stupidity of Postmodern Electronic Dance Music

Back in the day when music was first performed and written on computers and punch cards, electronic music was strange, exotic and avant-garde. Even the Dadaists and Surrealists leaped from the representational avant-garde into music. Found objects were not only to be employed in the art world, but also in music.

The Theremin, the Trautonium and the Ondes Marteno paved the way for such electronic
instruments as the electronic organs, electric guitars, electric pianos, synthesizers and samplers
which found their way into pop music of the 20thCentury. Noise and found sounds were introduced into the vocabulary of electronic music with the arrival of Musique concrete, developed and championed by Pierre Schaeffer, who used field recordings, scratching records and using tapes to create sound works in postwar France (1948).
Jump 30 years forward in time. Technology shifts in the recording arts were massive. Synthesizers and electronic keyboards became more specific and complex. Not only could the sounds imitate acoustic sounds, these instruments could imitate musicians playing music. For instance, drum machines gradually evolved enough for human drummers were beginning to be replaced by machines.
Thus Electronic Dance Music has come a long way since its birth sometime in the mid-1970s after the ascendency of disco, when a move occurred in various recording studios that began to replace musicians with instruments. The appealing feature of disco was that the 4/4 beat was hypnotic, steady and given to electronic emulation very easily. And using instruments proved cheaper to maintain in the long run. Disco artists like Donna Summer used drum machines and synthesizers to great effect, and although disco’s popularity would ebb and rise throughout the last decades of the 20th century into the 21st, drum machines, samplers, sequencers and synthesizers subsequently became the main ingredients of electronic dance music.
Emerging during the mid 1970s alongside the disco music trend over in the Latino and Black urban areas, disc jockeys and sound systems were dropping the bass –heavy sounds of emergent Hip Hop, these pioneering sonic architects using, perhaps unconsciously, the same techniques employed by Pierre Schaeffer 30 years earlier. [4]
Technological innovations continued. Today’s electronic dance can be easily created on a laptop computer by anyone with the power to acquire the necessary software and hardware. Thus electronic dance music of the 21st century which is perhaps the least compelling of all dance music in terms of originality and expertise, as technology has flattened out the creative process and has made irrelevant any real musical skill, such as knowing how to read music or playing an instrument proficiently.
The “music” heard on “Moral Panic” was created on a Macbook Pro laptop using Ableton 8 software. That’s pretty much it. I can’t read music and can’t actually sing anymore due to a recent throat surgery. Thousands of loops, sounds, sequences, samples created by various studios which sells them online to bedroom musos like yours truly. I added vocals on a Nokia 923 Windows phone and some free jazz performances on a M- Audio keyboard.
I CALL THIS MUSIC, “THE NEW PROGRAM.”
This music in itself is innocent, yet it remains a probablepop and disco simply because of its lack of common sense wrapped around a core of foolishness, and here’s why. I have no intention to make sure the music on this recording gets onto the dance floor. But if I wanted to, I could create tracks that sound like Deadmau5. Not that I would want to, see? I don’t even like most electronic dance music. I don’t know all the genres or the sonic recipes used in constructing a typical EDM song. The music I create is something merely existing as what I could listen to. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been inside a dancehall.
Thus, in the creation of Moral Panic”, no real human talent was used in creating the music works. Only the application of an “artistic” intent at creating something akin to an “aural sculpture” to be listened to while vegging out and most definitely not hanging out at the discotheque. Hey, it’s the attempt at irony that should count for something. When we turn our consideration to self-expression of art (as the application of human creativity), whether we are creating or consuming this application, we must be aware that there is no escape from the inevitable result of existing in a planet where every structure created by human beings is a system of lies, illusions and enslavement.
Put another way, just how meaningful can the enjoyment of dancing be when you’re on the disco floor of the sinking Titanic? Freedom, liberty, democracy, love, imagination, etc., all serve one purpose only; to further enslave the person into never questioning the system or seek a solution that will benefit everyone equally. If you do question – be ready to be accused of inciting a moral panic and to be treated as a folk devil. Those who wish to change the world with art will definitely fail. For every Bob Marley and John Lennon who end up dying in vain for their art, there will be a Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus raking in the dough faster than they can spend it. And it’s all the same thing! As Jim Morrison said, you cannot petition the Lord with prayer. Art cannot change the system because art is beholden to system determination. That is to say, art is largely pursued with an eye for a big payday. Art is a brand.
Once upon a time, art had the capacity to shock and cause riots. Not anymore. Those who strive to “shock” through their music or art can only offer recycled vestiges of the feeblest and overly familiar pornographic.  It is vanity to believe that art can change the world. The pop counterculture movements of the 1950s and 1960s proved this. Art has never changed society for the better.
The electronic dance music of the DEMONS OF FOLK  will not change society for the better. Even people stepping out of their preprogrammed patterns of reaction and responses, which will only occur on the most piddling of scales, can barely perceive the horror this world as it exists as and would find dancing to anything while being trapped in the jaws of a living nightmare to be irresponsible and escapist.
One may be considering with such a sour view on the state of human affairs, why create a dance soundtrack built for notdancing before the inevitable cataclysm, anyway? Maybe the music will keep one out of the mind for a brief moment. Maybe it will be substituted for the incessant mental chatter running like an endless stream while we drive across town or vacuum or make dinner. If all else fails, one could simply dance. After all, dancing can be a great support for the body. Before we Destonians became a group of Folk Devils, as people we shared a common experience of “looking” for something that felt real and completely different to any explanation that was being bandied about concerning the decay, destruction and the futility of human life that has been trapped in a crucible of enslavement. Spirituality turned out to be a fraud and a joke. Politics could not be trusted. Hell, our own minds, feelings and emotions couldn’t be trusted!
Yet we remain astonished how most people whose lives aren’t directly affected by the indomitable tide of human suffering can’t even come to grips with the reality that things are horribly wrong. It takes seeing the world with new eyes through the opening of common sense and self-honesty to see the system for what it is. Ultimately we have to bank on the fact that there are MORE of us out there waiting to see reality for the first time and then resolve to right their own lives and the lives of all through equality and oneness

 

Notes

 

[1] Self-enjoyment, self-discovery while undertaking the process of the music creation act as an exercise of self-expression, physically. As a performer and entertainer of pop and folk musics, I previously held the opinion that emotion was the most valid and effective method of getting one’s connecting point across to the audience. Now I see that such emotionalism is a manipulative response that had echoed the responses that I had towards the music I favored, that is to say, emotionalism was how I was manipulated into purchasing, consuming and validating certain forms of music. I had become a mirror of manipulated want that sought to manipulate my audience through emotion through being manipulated by desire of the music I consumed. This is one way how patterns of behavior are transmitted and reinforced through the society, which helps keep society somewhat stable.
[2] “The living form in physicality of free expression here in every moment of breath, free expression from the perspective of standing here in self honesty, self-trust and living equal and one, not defined or limited by/through what exist of this world.” Veno, “Music.”Destonian Wiki. 2008.
[3] The moral entrepreneur is another sociological term used to describe individuals or groups who take on the responsibility of alerting society to the dangers of certain groups who they consider are guilty of deviant or subversive behavior. Examples include the Westboro Baptist Church, The Drudge Report, InfoWars, and the Heritage Foundation, among countless others.
[4] In the case of Hip-Hop which was originally maligned as a “fad” created by so-called illiterate street musicians and disc jockeys, we have yet another musical form invented by American, Latino and Caribbean blacks. The legend goes that down in the Bronx in the deep hot summer of 1973, a Jamaican – born disc jockey who called himself DJ Kool Herc discovered a way to extend the instrumental break in a record his was spinning at a party, thus allowing the dancers to dance longer – and began speaking over the break – and thus, “break dancing” was born. While the Jamaican disc jockeys had been toasting and rapping over rocksteady and proto – reggae backing tracks since the late 1960’s, nobody, probably the least of all DJ Kool Herc himself, would know how sweeping his innovation of record – scratching would ultimately be. Nor could he foresee how the entire world would hear a new music or the unimaginable fortunes this new music called hip hop would generate for others while the original performers and inventors would languish in poverty and obscurity.

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