I’m not sure there’s a more artificial way to listen to dance music than sitting at a desk, hunched over a smooth tablet of glowing glass and slowly flicking your wrist up and down while trying to figure out just which 30 second sample is most representative.
It’s shit. Everyone knows it’s shit. Yet we’re all doing it, day after day and claiming that a track we’re not even really sure we remember five seconds after listening to it is “fire.”
How the masses experience art is at least as important to a society as the art itself, and we’ve adopted this crazy, alienating experience preferred by nobody but those weird Hungarian guys who release 500 records a year on Traxsource with random titles that usually end in the letter Z.
In the end, it’s simpler, more efficient and more effective to just delete everything in the inbox and walk down to the record store. Being hunched over a turntable maybe isn’t any more “natural” but quality control matters for something, so do personal recommendations from staff and at least I can pay them in money rather than “feedbacks.”
And that was how I came across this gorgeous four track EP from Aesthetic Audio. Listening to this message didn’t feel artificial or alienating – it felt like soaking my head and tired joints in a sensory deprivation tank. Rarefied Air is proudly “made in Detroit” and “remixed in Chicago” by three guys I just love a lot: Keith Worthy, Hieroglyphic Being and Steven Tang. This is powerful, sonorous Techno that fills a room even better than your head. In particular the remixes are phenomenal, both Steven Tang’s “Dense Air Reprise” and the Hieroglyphic Being Experience 43 Reprise – a sculpture of sounds fished out of a dream journal.
I think I’ve written about 800 reviews over the years (I gave up counting shortly after I began). It beats working at a gas station, though it pays worse. Every time I feel like there’s nothing new to say, it’s usually while sitting alone at a computer, endless scrolling, waiting for something wonderful to fall into my lap. It never does. When I find a record like this, it’s the easiest thing in the world to tell people about it. It’s the “finding” part that’s hard.
Originally published in 5 Magazine Issue #136 featuring DJ Spen, Phil Kieran, Mateo & Matos, a DJ’s guide to music streaming and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full access to everything House Music for just $1 an issue!