J.K. Huysmans as Des Esseintes suggests transcendence in the paintings of Gustave Moreau (without genealogy, sui generis). Sean, Matthew and I all have a past with the American underground experimental tape scene. I was an observer with a radio show on WNYU. You can google them. There was a time when you had to go to Troniks forum to keep up. Today, one need only search a label or follow a person on Instagram. The popularity of the cassette format after the dawn of social media-the splintering of DIY subcultures-creates a problem of how to brand your label when there’s the possibility of distribution deals and booking agencies. That’s a problem in Chicago where I live: the hope of escape from provincialism in pursuit of upward mobility. One possibility is to present an image of solitude and disconnectedness through fetishizing an ostensibly transcendent work of art (maybe the cassettes of Amok). A contemporary rehashings (Make a zine like Rollerderby). Yet then there’s the problem of regression in either believing nothing has changed (ontological continuity between then and now) or reacting to today through sui generis patois (ontological discontinuity or the persistence of political theology). The politics of friendships, if not professional or intuitively moral, can turn morally wrong (Otto Muehl).
Yet the dandy is different from the artist. The artist in Kafka’s Josephine, the Singer, as Michael Krebber says, “normally seeks the limelight”. In a previous manifesto, I talked about the stage. One conclusion was “When a “child”, it seems all activity related to the spectatorship of art is tightly bound with music”. Five years after writing the manifesto has led me to experience other profound conclusions: make a searching moral inventory of oneself, which would result in a psychic/artistic (or behavioral if you’re cynical) change. Ultimately what is left is a pragmatic solution that the artist recognizes “the front” (the virtuosic stage performance) of a circulated image (or in this case, a record) and the causative “Add Friend” connections with its community: emails, DMs, compilations, nights, festivals, etc.
This record is a productive record that recognizes its genealogy, representation and the talents of its collaborators like a company consults the best contractors. The last track with Josephine presents an un-ironic possibility (in Fluxus rehashings) but even an earnest attempt can me made fun of when there are acolytes and shadowy masterminds. A truly genuine acquaintance with God (gnosis) has yet to truly begin.
-Eric Schmid, July 2017