This is Rodney Wilhite's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Rodney Wilhite's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Rodney Wilhite
Recent Activity
Detroit techno is one of my greatest passions, ever since being introduced to Jeff Mills in the mid-90s, but I've only ever heard it specific contexts (two, to be specific: headphones, dance club), and the innovation of it never truly registered until I heard the pianist Vijay Iyer and his trio at my university last year. There was a moment in their live performance in which they locked into a syncopated, repetitive groove with single-chord piano riff and they rode it out for quite a long time, with the piano riff gradually getting more frenzied, in an acoustic approximation of the live tweaking of distortion and effects often employed by DJs. At the time I was shocked to hear this music I've loved for so long in an academic setting, performed by a Harvard professor, no less. After buying the CD, I learned the song was titled "Hood," a tribute to the producer Robert Hood, whose track "RAGE" (as Underground Resistance) was a favorite early in my electronic music obsession. At that time, we knew nothing about Underground Resistance--their names were not on the record, there was no sleeve or liner notes, they performed with their faces covered by ski masks so there were no photographs of them on the burgeoning internet. It was a record that felt dangerous, much like Punk Rock must've felt for the generation before me, and Rock & Roll for the generation before that. More than that, it felt like a secret and talismanic thing for a small-town kid from Oklahoma to own (or even know about), a new identity outside my rural upbringing. And then here it was, in the most genteel of settings, but still retaining its anger and power. Techno is protest music, full stop. And we need protest music in 2017. So here's "RAGE:" And here's "Hood" (beginning at about 13:25): And, why not, here's "Automatic:" I appreciate the opportunity to share music on this forum. Thanks so much to Kathleen and Stacey. -R Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at The Best American Poetry
Reading Kathleen's post, I was stricken by the moment of personal interaction with Anne Tismer, how we expect to maintain a comfortable distance from performers, and how moments when that distance is bridged can often become either very uncomfortable, very transcendant, or both. The performer Pan Daijing (also based in Berlin) describes her most recent album, Lack, as being "...created around a very intense and intimate mental catharsis, often expressed through a close physical interaction with strangers in her live sets which seek to engage them in a highly personal way." Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at The Best American Poetry
Beckett's "Not I" is a piece with which I am not familiar, but as I listened to it I found myself hypnotized as the speech in its urgency seemed to drift into the musical mode--all rests and bursts of syncopation--and this caused me to think of an old favorite from my teenage years, a very, very deep cut from the Aphex Twin catalogue. The track is titled "Words Processed" and was the last cut on a promotional interview disc released in 1994. After several conventional interview segments, Aphex gives us a remix of the interview, distorted beyond any intelligibility, but still (just) recognizable as speech. I put this on mixtapes I made for my friends for years afterwards, but no one else seemed to be as enthralled with it as I. Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at The Best American Poetry
Seeing the dancer Corey Scott-Gilbert in the “DUST” video Kathleen linked in her blog post led me back to the video I’ve watched most this year, JLin’s “Carbon 7.” The way Scott-Gilbert’s elasticity and specificity matches the complexity of the beats seems so natural and organic, and is among the most successful instances I’ve seen in music video in which the music and visuals seem to be responding to each other, rather than the visuals trying to match the mood of the music. Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at The Best American Poetry
Perhaps my favorite song of 2017, the song that I feel best encapsulates so much of the energy and tension of this year, has been Bonaventure’s “Mulatre,” a song characterized by R&B samples struggling against an oppressive wall of Baroque choral music while being pummelled by a very intense battery of drums. I was introduced to this artist by the always on-point Discwoman collective, who’ve done a tremendous amount of work to further the representation of women and non-binary electronic musicians this year. -Rodney Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at The Best American Poetry
Rodney Wilhite is now following The Typepad Team
Nov 6, 2017