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Fan Service: Laujan (David Boring)

Absurd Creation – Fan Service,每月我們會特約一些音樂人,由他們分享一些他們覺得有趣的事,如音樂作品、日常照片丶活動感想等等。希望透過此專欄拉近音樂人和聽眾的距離,以回饋讀者。

Laujan — David Boring的女主音。九月時曾與樂隊The Yours共同日本巡迴,樂隊亦已發佈demo《Unnatural Objects》 供大家網上收聽。


1. Prolapse

Prolapse

To fully embrace the genius of Prolapse, one has to have a taste for that very dry sense of British humour of self-deprecation and piss-taking. What we had here was a band that wrote brilliant music, but was staggeringly shit at promoting themselves. They had next to no publications and PR work and the only “commercial" attempt (making a video to “Autocade“, their worst song in my opinion) was disastrous. But somehow the sloppiness shine through as natural charisma; just because they didn’t act like dickhead superstars like New Order doesn’t take away the fact that this is a band that was a proud product of the thriving 70s UK post punk scene.  Musically speaking, Prolapse mixed post-punk with Krautrock and established a consistently strong style of aggressive and different and weird without being anti-melodic. Apart from the actual “singing", the vocals (a girl and a boy- two charismatic oddballs) also contain mad spoken nonsensical dialogues, turning Prolapse into one of the most unintentionally funny bands ever. Nasty but approachable, chaotically noisy without being hardcore, I still cannot decide whether they are an extremely shit commercial band or an extremely good indie band.

要完全感受到Prolapse 的那份天才,你必須先對那種刻薄怪雞而帶點自虐的的英式幽默有一定的偏好。他們不幸地結集了才華橫溢,但自我宣傳技巧近乎垃圾的兩種特質。他們近乎全無傳媒報導和公關工作,而他們唯一接近「商業」的行為(為我認為他們最差的一首歌『Autocade』製作錄像)簡直是場災難。但不知為何,他們的拙劣而卻折射出一份得天獨厚的個人魅力;儘管他們沒有自命不凡的巨星如New Order 一般的自信和手腕,也不會抹殺到他們是英國七十年代後崩的得意之物這個事實。音樂上,Prolapse的音樂把後龐克/Krautrock等樂風融合,並建立了別樹一幟的風格 - 極具侵略性、既另類又怪誕之餘卻又不失旋律性。除了所謂「唱歌」的那些部分外,主唱(一男一女的怪咖)還包含一些荒謬瘋狂的胡扯,使 Prolapse 無心插柳的搞笑。既無禮又親民,混亂噪吵同時又不至於Hardcore,令人很難定奪他們到底是一隊爛到透頂的商業垃圾,亦或是一隊極為優秀的獨立樂隊。


2. Pharmakon — Bestial Burden
Pharmakon

Gore is an acquired taste, and to paraphrase John Waters, “To understand bad taste one must have very good taste”. To understand the beauty of gore, one must first acquire enough knowledge of the opposite of gore and still go for gore by choice. For me Pharmakon possesses a kind of visceral elegance that surpasses anything classy and composed. The stylistically contorted human voice and deep-space doom evokes a sense of lingering despair that sends you plunging through some wonderfully murky areas in your own head. I particularly recommend listening to this first thing in the morning, on the way to work, pushing through the crowd- it just becomes your own theme tune. Forget about cheering yourself up with bullshit positive songs and deny yourself the need to feel angry, fear, stress, sadness, pain. Your internal anguish are meant to materialised, it is healthy to shit out the toxins that is the repressed absurdity of city life. Pharmakon helps you detox in a good, clean, artful way. And the dark humour of consisting a track of purely sounds of throwing up and spitting.
P.S. I first saw Pharmakon at a Godspeed you! Black Emperor gig as a support act. It was scary and confusing and magnetizing and liberating all at the same time. And it was the first time I realized this: good live music move you, but REALLY good live music scare the shit out of you.
P.S. I first saw Pharmakon at a Godspeed you! Black Emperor gig as a support act. It was scary and confusing and magnetizing and liberating all at the same time. And it was the first time I realized this: good live music move you, but REALLY good live music scare the shit out of you.

血腥是一種需要時間培養的品味,意釋John Waters 的話:「只有高尚品位的人才懂得鑒賞極差的品味」。同樣道理,你首先要明白「血腥」的反面,但仍然主動地去選擇它,才算是真正的掌握了「血腥」。對我來說 Pharmakon 具備一種超越所有華麗氣派的優雅和靈氣。陰森扭曲的人聲美學和彷如宇宙深處中傳來的毀滅迴聲,持續地拉引著一種直插腦內的絕望感。個人特別喜歡早上一起床在上班途中聽這張專輯,在茫茫人海讓它變成你殘酷又歡樂的主題曲。別去依靠那些所謂鼓動人心的正力量歌曲去掩藏自已的憤怒、恐懼、焦慮、悲哀和痛楚。大膽去面對及釋放自己黑暗敗壞的一面,才可以有效排走荒謬的城市所產生的毒素。Pharmakon 可以是一個以暴力美學的方式去清潔你的心靈的方法。
P.S. 我第一次去看 Pharmakon 是她為Godspeed you! Black Emperor 的開場。那次演出既嚇人又令人不知所措,但同時又充滿張力,令人痛快淋漓。那次是我第一次意識到:好的現場音樂能觸動你,但只有超級好的現場音樂才能把你嚇得半死。


3. The 70s No Wave Scene
No Wave

We live in a city where musicians with good techniques and great musical knowledge are plentiful. Giving themselves titles such as musicians or artists and taking them way too seriously, declaring they are anti-mainstream or anti-commercial whilst complying to yet another set of pre-defined rules and system. The No Wave philosophy reveals the hypocrisy in a city where even “poor artists" use iPhones.

There’s no point trying to grab No Wave’s balls by its facts. It was a movement that died before it gained enough momentum. The easiest way to explain the concept of the No Wave: it is a confrontational sub genre of punk, consisting of a group of angry, fun-loving nihilist, going around in their Dadaist beliefs. There was no definitive “No Wave sound", as these people did not share anything except the collective rejection of any kind of big statement (even themselves). What I enjoy about the No Wave scene the most was the how the snottiness of punk was crossed with profound nihilism. Music was made lovingly by people who hated music. They had with primitive techniques and sophisticated intentions, discarding any “musical elements" deliberately just to tear the established musical genres apart. And somehow collectively they formed a music scene that was so arrogant and cynical at the same time everything they created became so distinctively nasty, refreshing and original. No Wave nurtured a variety of art forms that confronted any pre-defined taste and aesthetics. You might think Swans’ music is noise pollution, nothing happens in Jim Jarmusch’s cinema, Lydia Lunch was not just ugly, but also a bitch. Then congratulations, you will live well and prosper in this city with its easily learnt rules and flat entertainments. My guess is that No Wave, among other interesting sub-cultures, probably won’t be your thing.

這個城市充斥著技巧一流,音樂知識豐富,對自己過度認真的樂手和藝術家。這邊廂宣稱著自己是給何反主流,那邊廂又去附和另一套既有的規則和制度。No Wave 的哲學正是揭露城市中的虛偽,尤其是這座城市中各位「為社會所迫害的藝術創造者」的口袋裹也有部iPhone 的時候。

去用事實性的資料來談 No Wave 是沒有意義的。它是一場還沒開始就已經結束的運動。用最簡單的方法去解釋 No Wave 的概念:(No Wave) 是龐克底下一個帶挑釁性質的副類別,由一群憤怒但愛開玩笑,四處宣揚達達思想的虛無主義藝術家所推動。所謂『No Wave Sound』的定義實際上並不存在,因為除了集體地拒絕任何類型的立場 (包括對他們自已)外,他們根本沒有任何共通點。No Wave 場境中我覺得最吸引的,是龐克的大膽放肆與強烈的虛無主義相互交合。而這群討厭音樂的人卻創造出最熱情澎湃的音樂 。他們大多只有三腳貓的技巧,卻帶著精密的理念和前瞻性,他們為了撕破現有的音樂類別而去除了任何傳統『正確的音樂元素』。而不知何故他們卻造就了一個狂妄自大、憤世嫉俗的音樂場境,但同時他們創造的一切卻與眾不同地危險、新穎和獨創。No Wave 孕育了一系很挑戰你傳統審美角度的音樂和藝術,你可能會覺得Swans的音樂是噪音,Jim Jarmusch的電影冗長沈悶, Lydia Lunch是個潑婦醜三八。 那恭喜你,你在這個虛浮反智的城市會很易找到滿足感。No Wave以及更多有趣的次文化大概不會適合你的了。


4. Iggy Pop — The IdiotThe Idiot

Over a long period of time I developed a fetish for songs that are affiliated with suicide. And The Idiot for me is very much an album affiliated with suicide for two reasons. 1, As a Joy Division fan you are obligated to put The Idiot on 神枱 (It was famously the album that was spinning when Ian Curtis hung himself). 2, This album sets out a very unique and subtle tone of bleakness and disoriented surrealism that could be easily overlooked by any casual listeners. The more poppy tracks that addressed inane trendy issues like going out (Night Clubbing) or crushing on a girl (China Girl) have a chilling air of bleakness. In fact every single track is chilling as they all have their own shiny surface agendas with disturbing undercurrents. And when you get to the last track, Mass Production , which was itself an under-appreciated proto-industrial masterpiece, it just enters a full-blast bleakness, the twisted dark industrial drone are psychedelic and beautiful, the pains of Iggy’s voice paired with accusatory lyrics and title. The bleakness of the entire album suddenly makes sense as it finally surfaces and draws you into a whirlpool of helpless despair (In a nice way).

The Idiot is an incredibly clever album and one of my top five favourite albums of all time. It can be interpreted and enjoyed in multiple levels, and the fact that it is a blatant Bowie album (David Bowie co-wrote and produced it) only added speculations to the story behind it.

我有一個音樂上的小癖好,就是會對有自殺暗示或自殺題材的歌曲特別偏愛。對我來說,『The Idiot』是一部與自殺有密切關聯的作品,原因有兩點。第一,作為一個死硬Joy Division 樂迷,你必須要把『The Idiot』放上「神枱」(眾所周知這也是Ian Curtis 上吊時房間的唱盤正在轉的那張專輯)。第二,這張專輯暗藏了獨特但隱晦的悲涼基調和令人幻得幻失的超現實主義思想,一般聽眾都很少會留意得到。較流行的幾曲雖然描繪的是潮流話題如夜遊(Night Clubbing) 或暗戀女孩子 (China Girl) ,卻帶不合符主題的悲涼異色感。事實是專輯中每一曲都只是一個議題的表像,底下其實暗藏令人不寒而慄的潛流。而當你放到最後一曲「Mass Production 」,一首被大眾所忽略的大師級工業音樂原型時,專輯正式進入完全絕望的氛圍,扭曲的暗黑工業轟鳴是如此的迷幻和壯麗,而Iggy 正力竭聲嘶地藉歌詞和曲目提出絕望的控訴 。這個專輯的悲酸悽涼最終會尤如一記當頭棒喝,(正面地)把你拉落絕望的無底漩渦。

『The Idiot 』是一張非常聰明巧妙的一張作品,亦是我歷來最愛的五大專輯之一。它可以以幾個不同的層面去解讀,而明顯的Bowie風格(David Bowie 也有份參與專輯的創作和製作)更加強了專輯背後的傳奇性。


5. No Trend — Too Many Humans
No Trend

No Trend is what happens when punks are intellectual. Like the smart demon child in the class that doesn’t go around punching people, but instead make witty cruel comments that shames you to the core. Instead of being angry and violent and destructive, they are mean, sarcastic and very, very harsh. They made a point at the time that pissed off the entire generation of punks: by rebelling against society/ being a punk, you conform to another pre-established system.

No Trend supported that statement by dedicating their entire musical career to systematically piss off their own fan base. Musically speaking, No Trend was highly experimental and good at they did- (hence they had a fan base for them to piss off to begin with) the angsty abuses they threw out were stylistic and confident. Jeff Mantges acted as the mascot of hate, his vocals dripped in disgust, snarling at the idiocy of not just the society, but at their own followers. In their gigs they did things like holding up mirrors and walking up to the audience’s faces while mouthing the lyrics “mindless little insects" in whiney idiotic voices. And after they gained respect for their fiercely offensive image, they did the best they could to alienate and offend even these followers; by revamping their music into into melodic, funk, new wave, ska and even lounge-jazz. Their entire musical career seemed to be a social experiment that went too far. One of their taglines “No Trend, No Scene, No Movement" sums them up the best, here is a nihilistic punk band that did not base their music or actions on raw angst or some bland punk philosphy to “fight the system", but truly from a negative, cold hard rebellion. And they “betrayed hardcore punk" no more than bands such as Big Black and Black Flag, pissing off everyone but laying down grounds for a more experimental noise rock, post-hardcore scene for future generations.

如果一般的硬芯龐克是班上胡亂揍人的惡霸,No Trend就是那個刻薄無情地去挑撥別人的小魔童。No Trend的敗壞並非來自他們的憤怒或暴力,而是因為他們尖酸刻薄和非常非常的殘酷。他們亦曾因一個指控得罪了當時整個美國硬芯龐克界:當你自命反抗社會權威/成為一名龐克風格者時,你已經順從了另一套預設的系統框架。

No Trend 利用自己整個音樂生涯對他們自已的支持者進行不留情面的挑機。以歌論歌,No Trend 的音樂是非常實驗性而且是非常在行—(所以他們一開始才會有追隨者去讓他們糟質)他們拋出的焦躁辱駡也十分之入型入格,Jeff Mantges 充當了一位代表憎恨的「吉祥物」,他的唱腔傾瀉出濃厚的不屑和噁心,咆哮的內容不只是針對社會的愚昧,更加針對他們自已的追從者。他們會用盡千奇百怪的點子去冒犯自己的現場觀眾,例如捧住鏡子迫進到觀眾前然後裝上白痴的腔調唱著『mindless little insects』。而當No Trend 以極其冒犯性的形象得到擊節讚賞後,他們又盡全力去離異和得罪欣賞他們的聽眾;將他們的創作的風格轉變成重旋律,funk,new wave, ska 甚至lounge-jazz。他們的音樂生涯就像是一個過於大膽的社會實驗,其中的一個標語『No Trend, No Scene, No Movement』可以說是對他們的歷程最好的寫照,這支虛無主義龐克樂隊並沒有依據於『Fight the System』這些空洞乏味的龐克哲學,而是真正的組織起一個堅決否定、冰冷而牢固的抗爭模式。和Big Black、Black Flag等樂隊一樣,No Trend『背叛了 hardcore punk』,並觸怒全世界成為公敵,但同時亦為日後的Noise Rock, post-hardcore 場境奠定了穩固的基礎。


photo credit: Moment Hung @Meeting people is (not) easy
Written by: Laujan
Translated by: Absurd Creation, Laujan

 

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  1. 引用通告: David Boring's post-punk philosophy: 'Resistance without philosophy or reason is a very stupid thing' | Hong Kong Free Press

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