On Second Thought
DJ Spooky vs. The Freight Elevator Quartet - File Under Futurism

By: Ian Mathers

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 03/14/2006 - 06:33:29 AM by The-Disexists:
 That`s almost an anti-intellectual comment you ruined this otherwise interesting rereview with, at the end there, \"There`s nothing wrong with an album having an intellectual dimension...adding depth to explore and appreciate.\" As if the intellectualism of the artwork somehow rests *in* the artwork itself. Excuse me, but there are screeds of well-meaning intellectualising devoted to many of the albums reviewed in these very pages (much of it laughable) & I think you unwittingly insult many of the Stylus reviewers. Your comeback argument would be; no I mean albums where the artist`s intention is to create a work with some preconceived amount of intellectual depth unfindable in say the latest Rolling Stones album; and to that I hardly need to point out that anyone can intellectualise anything if the y put their mind to it, which might I add, you ended up NOT doing in regard to this album, why? Because you couldn`t really be bothered.
Posted 03/14/2006 - 11:17:11 AM by IanMathers:
 I guess it would have been clearer if I had phrased it as something like \"There\'s nothing wrong with the artist attempting to add an intellectual dimension to their artwork\" etc etc. I wasn\'t talking about what we can do about it. And the Rolling Stones thing isn\'t really a counter-argument - my point earlier on is that when some people (i.e. DJ Spooky) have such a heavily conceptual/academic bent to their work all the time, and focus on that so heavily, it can get in the way of the music. It\'s hard to say the Rolling Stones are doing the same thing, no matter how much _someone else_ could intellectualise one of their records.
Posted 03/14/2006 - 02:11:22 PM by mikeharper:
 I think examining a thoroughly pre-intellectualized album by listening to the actual music is the correct response. Context can only provide so much for music; eventually the music has to have some self-evident worth to stand on its own. Thanks for reminding me of this album, I picked it up around the time of its release and dig it out fairly often. It\'s one where the whole may live up to the sum of its parts, unlike many other experimental projects.
Posted 03/14/2006 - 03:28:53 PM by IanMathers:
 Absolutely, Mike. The fact that they succeed so fully whether or not you care about the context is one of the best things about the album, to me.
Posted 03/14/2006 - 04:11:38 PM by pabanks46:
 Enjoyed the piece, Ian. I love this album, and it also got me back on a jazz bent b/c after listening to this, I went to Optometry, which features Matthew Shipp, which puts me right back into all the jazz I\'m into. Good choice.
Posted 03/14/2006 - 06:39:23 PM by IanMathers:
 Is that one of the Thirsty Ear series, pabanks? I\'ve been a little curious about Spooky\'s contributions to them for a while, but never enough to warrent the hefty purchase price.