Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Terra Mort

UB40-The Earth Dies Screaming. extended mix

What does a dying world sound like? A slow, unwinding. A mid-tempo dub skank. A sweet despair.

UB40's lament is both oddly nationalistic and environmental: "Your country needs you let's strike up the band". It's from the cold war period of mutually assured destruction (MAD) c1980. But it still hits hard. Now. And harder when the lyrics are deferred for the first four minutes to open up the duration of the music to the slow footsteps of the bass.

This is a sustainable speed. Those other more intensive tempos are layered as a double-skank, that comes over the walking-pace of the bass.

The libertarians, contrarians, denialists and sceptics that seek to ramp up the pace of economic growth--again--and celebrate its laying waste to the biosphere, lack a body capable of anything but isorhythmia and arrhythmia: the dissonant rhythms that impel each other into speculative furies of acceleration and . . . crash. Again and again and again.

The rhythms of the earth in harmony with the rhythms of the social--something heard at the edges of the beginnings of UB40's lament--is a eurhythmia that perhaps can only be heard and felt locally. Maybe you need to put and play your body into your local social- and bio-spheres before any movement towards region, nation . . . can be felt.

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