Planet of the Garage

I should be able to get in the spirit of Van Vogt blogging once I get the novel handed in, but I wanted to blog a bit about THRU YOU by Kutiman. I’m sure a lot of you have come across this already.

Aside from the amazing music mashed up from various YouTube sources, which (in general) has a Can meets Cody Chesnutt feel (with a healthy dash of the 70s singer-songwriter genre thrown in), the visual cues of the various people in their “garages” are wonderful to behold. It makes the whole idea of public vs. private music elastic and blurry.

(The coda of “I’m New,” for example, absolutely slays.)

But the ability to move backwards into the process-to investigate the credits and the original YouTube sources-is an act of astounding generosity, allowing the original contributors a moment of radiance, no matter how brief it might be. The songs both become more than the sum of their parts and a codex of compelling, “ordinary” musicians. One can backtrack for quite a lot of time.

Finally, it completely deconstructs the entire idea of the “one person band”, as evidenced by early solo McCartney and early Prince. The project could have the feel of robotic puppetry (manipulating loops of sounds) if the music itself wasn’t so multi-layered, warm, and from everywhere at once.

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