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The Rambler :: blog

Thursday, September 18, 2003

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For those of us not completely enlightened on the whole Deleuze-Guattari/electronic music interface, it is well worth taking the time to read this article by Alexei Monroe, published in the British Postgraduate Musicology Journal online, which goes a long way towards clarifying the issues. I'm always a little suspicious when musicians appear to latch onto recent philosophy (and this goes as much for Richard Strauss as snd) - it always feels as though they are using it as a prop to elevate/legitimate their music in some way, without having the confidence to let their music do the work. Having read Monroe's article I still need some convincing, but do at least see the difference between, eg. Strauss programmatically describing Nietzsche's philosophical thought in Also sprach Zarathustra and the Mille Plateaux label working within a more-or-less loose philosophical construct. As I say, I'm still not entirely convinced - when approaching a Mille Plateux record, you're immediately thinking Deleuze-Guattari because of the name on the sleeve, and not because of any of the music's content. Chicken, meet egg. It seems to me less that MP - and other labels/artists who would associate themselves with this field - are engaging with and developing the theory, and more that they are simply proving the strength of Deleuzoguattarian notions by setting themselves up as a test case for the theory and proving that it is a valid mode of operation and existence.

But I'm happy to be challenged on this.

Incidentally, Monroe's metaphor of a 'compositional virus' is one I might just have to borrow...


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