So the robots known as Daft Punk landed yesterday with Random Access Memories. Here is a small collection of links to reviews of the album.
Spin: “It’s the increasingly rare widescreen collision of talent, resources, and ham-fisted quackery that we just don’t get very often these days, and it’s in that sense that Daft Punk best accomplish their goal of evoking all these bygone decades, the days of Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper’s, Rumours and Thriller and Songs in the Key of Life, the days when making records literally drove people insane.” [via Spin]
Pitchfork: “You never know, but my guess is that people will be listening to Random Access Memories a decade hence, just like we’re still listening to Discovery now.” [via Pitchfork]
The Guardian: “This is a 13-track, 80-minute love letter to synthetic music and dancing in which many of the pillars of electronic club music are swerved.” [via The Guardian]
NME: “By assembling a cast of their favourite musicians and delving into their adolescent memories, Daft Punk have created something as emotionally honest as any singer-songwriter confessional – and a lot more fun to dance to. Go out and rejoice: there’s something new under the sun.” [via NME]
Slant: “RAM is an album that ultimately comes off having more respect for its spiritual predecessors than its listeners.” [via Slant]
Consequence of Sound: “Random Access Memories proves that Daft Punk remain masters of their domain, who defend their array of superlatives because of, rather than in spite of, unconventional sound choices.” [via Consequence of Sound]
I’m trying to keep this week light for reasons. Here is John Banville scribbling marginalia in a copy of his novel The Sea. [via The Guardian]
Omnivore is a regular report on some of the things that I’ve been enjoying during the week (or thereabouts).
Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Passion Pit. Cartoons. Vampire Weekend. Malone meurt. Youth Lagoon.
“I met Sjón when I was sixteen,” begins Björk, whose clear, ever-hopeful voice threatens to trick you into believing that the forty-seven-year-old performer is still in her midteens. I look around: all eighty in attendance already seem mesmerized as she manages to roll nearly every consonant she speaks. “He had started the first and only surrealist movement in Iceland, a group of about six or so members called Medusa.” It’s a telling way to present a writer who makes mischief with mythologies and metamorphoses.
The Paris Review has something on the Sjón-Björk connection. [via The Paris Review]
Over at Three Percent, Chad Post is talking about Jeremias Gotthelf’s The Black Spider, which is coming out from NYRB in November in a new edition translated by Susan Bernofsky. [via Three Percent]
It has the following description from NYRB:
It is a sunny summer Sunday in a remote Swiss village, and a christening is being celebrated at a lovely old farmhouse. One of the guests notes an anomaly in the fabric of the venerable edifice: a blackened post that has been carefully built into a trim new window frame. Thereby hangs a tale, one that, as the wise old grandfather who has lived all his life in the house proceeds to tell it, takes one chilling turn after another, while his audience listens in appalled silence. Featuring a cruelly overbearing lord of the manor and the oppressed villagers who must render him service, an irreverent young woman who will stop at nothing, a mysterious stranger with a red beard and a green hat, and, last but not least, the black spider, the tale is as riveting and appalling today as when Jeremias Gotthelf set it down more than a hundred years ago. The Black Spider can be seen as a parable of evil in the heart or of evil at large in society (Thomas Mann saw it as foretelling the advent of Nazism), or as a vision, anticipating H. P. Lovecraft, of cosmic horror. There’s no question, in any case, that it is unforgettably creepy.
I’m putting it onto my wishlist.
Here is my copy of Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis with a reference tapir.
“Technology has made music accessible in a philosophically interesting way, which is great,” says Bangalter, talking about the proliferation of home recording and the laptop studio. “But on the other hand, when everybody has the ability to make magic, it’s like there’s no more magic—if the audience can just do it themselves, why are they going to bother?”
Pitchfork’s Daft Punk cover story is up. [via Pitchfork]
From the way this week has started, it appears that I’ve fully jumped on the hype train and may as well make this a Daft Punk week. But we’ll see.
You can stream Daft Punk’s upcoming album Random Access Memories right now on iTunes. [via iTunes]
In related news, here is one of those Collaborators videos, this one featuring Paul Williams. [via YouTube]
An 81-minute lecture by Brian Eno. [via Vimeo]