I’m going through some shit. Like, what does it mean to be a good little capitalist, a proper American in these shifting times? I bought some records the other day, and then I was like, but what about [insert famine or war zone here]? I mean, I only spent about twenty bucks (dealz!), but it felt like that twenty bucks could’ve been spent differently. Like I could’ve bought some grub for the homeless mom and kid with the sign by their busted van in the parking lot. But buying records helps the economy churn forward, thereby somehow helping them in the process. Right?
Circle of (capitalist) life. So what the heck, guys — why does it seem that my American values are butting heads with my human values? Am I too cynical? Where do they intersect (because dammit, they have to — right?)?
Sure, I’m oversimplifying, but Ross Birdwise is here to help us understand that no matter what we do, no matter how we direct our dollars, if it’s for entertainment, we’re sticking our heads in the sand. We’re escaping.
So here I am, doing a metaphorical cannonball off the high dive into the deep end of confusion, because the delight of something like Ross Birdwise’s new drunk formalism(s) tape on Orange Milk curdles with self-loathing at the same time, especially when the lead clip is called something like “art under capitalism at best offers us escapism.” Thanks a lot, Ross, for hanging that reminder on your video like a weight around my neck every time I glance at the YouTube!
But if at best I’m trying to escape, what’s the at worst? Introspection. Ah, there it is. Grinding drones, industrial thuds, dissonant sirens, total unease. I don’t feel good about myself, about anything, when I’m listening to this track. And the fans — oh, the constant fans, twirling, twirling, twirling, stop-motion-shudder, twirling… Factory conditions, airplane hangars, solar energy, future. All is ominous. All is monotonous.
But I LOVE it.
And I love the rest of drunk formalism(s), a tapestry of melting circuits and smeared rhythms, played backward in the Black Lodge, played forward in REAL life. Like its title suggests, it’s inebriated, but by golly, it’s trying to wind its way through life in its current state. Anxious, at times uncomfortable, it allows us to explore the constant cloud of apprehension we all find ourselves under. It’s escapism at its finest.
No, wait, it’s NOT just escapism, that’s not what I meant don’t click away yet I’m not done…