Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slint - Spiderland (1991): the stone that started the avalanche

The music fans tend to be overly particular about the labeling of artists. As soon as we hear a new song or group, boxes within a preset sound scheme. It is a mental divide and conquer, partition as possible our particular music file for us to move easier for him. The vast majority of artists are content to be conveniently located within a style already defined, or at best to mix a little here and there to see what happens.

Only a few dare to step forward and breaking any previous label, ignoring the status quo of musical genres to create his own universe of sound. They are not necessarily the best, but the most creative and courageous. Slint were one of those groups. Today March 27 marks the twentieth anniversary of the launch of Spiderland, his second and last album, a small stone began to roll down the slope, causing the avalanche to finish that today define as post-rock.

The impact that the album was in its day was quite low, resulting in the group suddenly broke up without coming to enjoy the later survey, although at the time as wise people like Steve Albini, who produced the band's debut, but not this then, yes they could see coming and made clear his opinion with the following note, which needs no translation: Slint - Nosferatu Man (YouTube) I've always been amused by the post-rock as a genre, it ultimately comes to serve as makeshift common point for all those groups that are difficult to label.

Classification is unclassified, and because it is common to find groups considered the same suit, but in listening practice have little or nothing to do with each other. Spiderland marked the kick-off for this musical style, but not because he sit melodic and compositional bases for other groups the follow, but because they were pioneers in this rock do not rock.

The credit for this art is often distributed among Spiderland and Laughing Stock, the final album by Talk Talk would come a few months later. They reflects a willingness to break with any model set, taking perhaps as a more solid rock art in its progressive side, but desproveyéndolo of elegance, grandeur and even his virtuosity.

Like catching In the Court of the Crimson King and skinned, to take its most wild and rugged. But it is clear that the last thing you thought this quartet of students from Kentucky during the recording of this work was in genres, labels and influences, all that worried us so much to us as music connoisseurs who consider ourselves.

For them everything was much more visceral, more real and so is reflected in the harshness with which each song is recorded, while ignoring the most basic rules of composition. Structural Pest dark corners and dead, tempos that seem to have no cohesion, devices that come and go in a drift of distortion and lyrics narrated, sometimes almost whispered.

And all with a strong spirit analog. Slint - Good Morning, Captain (YouTube) Slint came four years before releasing their debut, Tweez, which had been much less daring and more subject to corsets creative. Following the departure of bassist Ethan Buckler, dissatisfied with the sound of this first album, training for this second effort would be made up of Brian McMahan vocalist and guitarist, guitarist David Pajo and Britt Walford on drums and Todd Brashear as a new low.

Tensions during the recording were many and are evident not only in the album's sound, but the legend that a member had to go after a psychiatric ward to recover. No wonder the disbanding shortly after completion. So rare was its scope at the time of launch to the shops, and subsequent mass recognition has been harvested.

Spiderland became known more than a few alternative circles when bands like Mogwai began to accredit them as one of his main influences. It is not difficult to see between the lines work then develop Isis, Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Cul de Sac, to name a few. So, rather than their previous influences, the best way to explain to Slint is through groups that have influenced them later.

Most of the work of the disciples is much more refined and somewhat talented, that the original master. This is not an album full of perfectionism, elaborate structures and production maintained as usual in the post-rock, and it is not difficult to find among his successors albums much higher in aggregate.

But the trait of authenticity that characterizes this work not going to find anything that came later. Slint - Don, Aman (YouTube) After all, as I said the great merit of this LP was not to define standards to emulate, but to invent a new philosophy for designing rock. Spiderland not expect is for you a nice hard, because his attitude is rude, sullen and somewhat violent.

Not the kind of disc you'd like to build a long lasting friendship, at least when you go across first. But like true friends, in the end you just find the charm of their weaknesses, and to catch them ends up caring. The question many will ask is: Are we now talking about this album, but for its subsequent influences? Possibly not.

It is true that I can be falling into the sin of value plus the weight of Slint in other artists, that the actual work they performed. But this is by no means a demerit for them, but the definitive sample of why this should be a header record for those who enjoy the rock with minimum depth.

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