While the price war on the high street in the 90’s forced many smaller UK retailers out of business, the fatal blow was dealt the following decade by a tax loophole called Low Value Consignment Relief, which annulled the VAT on any product worth less than £18 if it was shipped from the Channel Islands. Alongside supermarkets selling CDs as checkout loss-leaders, Amazon’s Channel Islands operation suffocated the market and, unable to compete on price, selection or distribution, hundreds of record shops were forced to close.
I find myself asking, as a static image of Bogner hovers over the stage, whether it’s OK for male musicians to co-opt a history that isn’t theirs. Does Jelinek’s ironic objectification of a woman who probably never existed edge real women’s art even closer to the margins, trivialise it for those of us who think rediscovering it is less a subject for satire and more an urgent political project? Is the endpoint of this playful exercise in gender-bending postmodernism just a theatre full of people staring at a photo of a woman, listening to music made by men? The sounds that come from this configuration of Jelinek, Pekler and the hypothetical Ursula Bogner are inviting, but their live presence alienates, leaves me thinking that this collaboration is better left in the disembodied realm of recording, where one isn’t so easily reminded of the still-skewed realities of who actually gets to make, perform and benefit from music.
“The sounds on this record are not about Slovenian poet Kosovel, neither about Croatian choreographer Ferlin. The sonic structures and blocks are about the intensities and movement caught in-between the industrial and information ages or, rather, they are from here and there at the same time, purposefully created from various symphonic materials, granulated and processed in with the desire to tackle certain feeling of matte patina.”
Fan attention” is becoming the most valuable commodity in entertainment. The music industry is trying really hard to optimize how the attention it currently has gets monetized, but very little trying to increase that relative attention. In other words, everyone is fighting for a bigger part of the existing slowly shrinking pie, instead of thinking of baking a bigger and tastier one. Innovation gets stifled, startups get killed, and in the long term, everyone suffers.
rarely one spots something new. somewhat original work!