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View Poll Results: Rate!
Excellent 1 14.29%
Very Good 2 28.57%
Solid 3 42.86%
Average 0 0%
Poor 0 0%
Crap 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-05-2011, 02:17 PM   #31 (permalink)
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How exactly is a song telling you how it thinks it's so great (which is generally the definition of pretentiousness)? It never does because it can't speak, and it can't communicate any pomposity with you. There is no song that will directly make you think "Wow this thinks it's SO GREAT. It's not even close!". If somebody actually listens to music and feels this way about a song because it used 'fancy instrument', then that's their their problem with pretentiousness, not the song's. Pretentiousness in music appears when the artist brags about something, and then their art can't back it up. The artist is pretentious, not the music.
Look, we're running in circles here. I thought I explained in my last post how an aesthetic form gives a potential for pretense to appear, among other things. You don't think a work of art can speak to you or communicate anything? Really? Only if you take these words literally. Then, how can an artist tell me anything about song being sooo great, when he isn't really present? The only thing that's actually there for me is his work. See where being too literal can take me. Calling an artist pretentious or his work is the same thing to me, but, as I already said, I'm interested in the work, I separate it from the artist and therefore I choose to call the work pretentious. I really don't know how to explain this more clearly.

I'm not sure I understand the bold part. Where does the artist brag about something, through his work, or in an interview or generally in public life? I'll repeat this for the nth time, the only thing that should be critically evaluated is his work.

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Music can carry a lot of things, sure. A sad feeling or two he/she had when they recorded it. But pretentiousness is one of the most direct, one-dimensional descriptions for something that takes human examples to define. Not what the human made, but how the human discusses what they've made/will make. The terms 'inaccurate' and 'misleading' are much different and ultimately more satisfying because on the song's part, it really had no control over this supposed "I was expecting a lot more from this..." feeling that we sometimes get with music. The artist does, however, and therefore he is the pretentious one. The song is just a misleading work.
Pretentiousness is such a common occurrence in art and is a totally valid criticism. It reminds you too much of human experience? Well, guess what, that's what art reflects, it takes the good and the bad. When I hear some work is pretentious I know exactly what it's supposed to mean. The problem appears when people use this term in the wrong context, usually to take a stab at anything that is complex or highbrow. Maybe you have a problem with this misapplied usage of the word. It is certainly an overused word that people like to throw around when they're lazy and don't understand something. But, when used correctly it tells me a lot about some work of art. It tells me the work possesses a pretense to some quality, depth and artistic merit that is false.

The term 'misleading' is also taken from human experience exactly like 'pretentious'. (I mean, how can the song mislead you, only artist can ). And the term doesn't say the whole thing, it can be a good or a bad quality to have in art. For example, some work can be simple and unassuming on the first glance, but going more into it, it revels layers of depth that you didn't think would be there. It's a very satisfying revelation that draws you to come back to it over and over. The other example, misleading can mean that some work is unpredictable or surprising in the way it develops its form, or composition and that can be ultimately satisfying artistically.The term 'inaccurate' doesn't tell me much at all, and is somewhat meaningless when discussing artistic merit. Art is not an exact science, so how can it be accurate and why would we expect it to be.

In the end, your main problem seems to be that you can't separate the artist from his work and that is necessary when discussing the work's artistic merit.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #32 (permalink)
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So, I have listened to Transform probably 10 times now, far more than I normally would have probably. Not because it's bad, I think it's a good album. I was only afraid of it for about a minute because it gets really interesting around then. The reason I got scared when all I heard was a tone is that it reminded me of when I tried to get into the early experimental electronic composers and pretty much failed. To be honest I can't get through the OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music compilation. But I like this Alva Noto album quite a bit. I started jotting little notes as I listened to it and now that I try to say anything about the album I realize that my stupid notes will make more sense just by themselves. So here they are:

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Module

1 - "beat" @ 2:30-ish. around 3:00 sounds like a wall of sound?

2 - ? the end sounds like my tinnitus

3 - beats

4 - BEATS tiny hammers hitting the eardrums

5 - towards end .. head nodding like fuck yeah

6 - dense rhythms

7 - kinda rocks

8 - like Minimal Electronic Industrial

9 - 2:00 electro? very layered

10 - ethereal sounding outro to album -slow rhythm
I'll add that I also found this a lot better on good headphones. There's a lot of little things that I didn't pick up before on regular speakers.

Overall, good album.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:17 AM   #33 (permalink)
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To be honest I can't get through the OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music
I love that compilation. I can't believe you sat through Transform 10 times and you're telling us you couldn't get through that compilation at all. Wow.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:13 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I love that compilation. I can't believe you sat through Transform 10 times and you're telling us you couldn't get through that compilation at all. Wow.
I've listened to OHM. There are a lot of songs .. er, compositions that I really like and have listened to many times. It's just really long and I can't sit through the whole thing.
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