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Wednesday, November 12, 2003
  the lexicon of love

NYLPM is fantastic at the moment - in one of freaky trigger's signature formalist exercises, stevie trousse appears to be moving through the alphabet and writing about whatever takes his fancy. great stuff. personally was very excited to read the the entry for B, on green gartside. anyone who knows me knows that scritti politti have been this year's chief obsession. cupid and psyche sounded like my favourite album the first time i played it, and i am now deeply in love. stevie mentions a bootleg of 'absolute' (a song that somehow, i'm sure, *sounds like* being in love. something to do with the combination of little starbursts of primary colour synths, sounding like synapses popping in your head, the sweeter-than-heaven vocals, sung from the edge of the most beautiful cliff in the world, terrified by the immense beauty of it all, the heavy, warm bass notes that sound like a new world being discovered every time the chorus hits (the astronaut steps down the landing ramp of his ship, and realises that the stories were right, there is a better place), and the flat, pounding beat underneath it all, the single-minded drive forward that provides an unshakeable structure for everything else to hang on too. the audible swoon of it all. and the line 'holy girl, you kiss away the meaning of the working day.') with 'like i love you' (a song so in love with itself, with you, with the world, with love and life and lust, that you can hear the stupid grin on its face, the delight in its discovery that something as simple as a riff and a beat and an electronic bleep can sound the richest most exquisite thrill imaginable, it's a song you want to swallow you) which i must track down, if i ever get into this downloading business, i'm not, when is there the time???

but anyway, what stevie says about the bootleg, that it "makes vivid the premonitory beauty of Cupid & Psyche" is very exciting too. this is what listening to that album has been like, it feels like a utopian vision that hasn't been realised yet. i know nothing about 80s pop music but as far as i can tell, cupid+psyche predicted a future that just disappeared. i want to know: who heard that album, and what music did they make? did that path just dry up? it's not challenging or difficult music, it's all about the simplest and most instant pop hit imaginable, so why does nothing i can think of sound like it? the suggestion that it's only now, with our own millennial pop (the 'like i love you' connection is vital because it's the neptunes, not timbaland, who represent now-pop best; no-one ever says this so fuck it, timbaland, yes, visionary, futurist, scientist, genius, etc, but when it comes to a high-sugar pop fix the neptunes push my buttons much faster and more effectively, i dunno, this is bollocks maybe but you get the impression they're just a lot more single-minded about the basic elements of unforgettable pop: y'know, like, cool sounds, catchy riffs, and hooks HOOKS HOOKS!), that suggestion is ultra exciting, just because i think, before the most recent golden age of radio pop (99-02 or thereabouts?), i think i'd have to go back to the time of scritti 85 to find a mainstream pop (not talking about hip hop) that sounded so delirious with its own power and so confident that it was creating the future at the same time...fuck it i've lost control of this idea, ah well, maybe you get what i mean. 
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