“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What a Nice Virus

The house remix of Robin Thicke's “My Life.” Its writer sent it to me just now. The bass line reminds me a little bit of Derrick May.

There are many interesting things about this tune. For starters, it's Robin Thicke, who is so channeling Michael Jackson. If you think about how the African American singing voice is the dominant mode, and that forms are like viruses, you can see that Thicke somehow was fantastically susceptible to it. I mean I grew up with Jay K from Jamiroquai (my brother was nearly his drummer, sad), who was channeling somewhat. But this is just extraordinary.

When I first heard the tune on the credits to Despicable Me, I assumed that it was indeed from the later 70s, so deft was the simulation. But "simulation" is an old postmodern concept for what this is. No. It's totally real: it's a strand of code and it's been reproduced.

And who can't like a song about meeting one's perfect mate on the dancefloor (I did), superimposed on imagery of the lovable villain falling for the little orphan girls? It is a beautiful computation of an impossible formula.

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