There's a rampant nostalgia these days in New York for the city that was and no longer is. A city of cheap lofts and artistic experimentation has been swapped for big box stores, glass towers, and market-proven art. Seamless and tidy, I'm beginning to feel that New York is much like Paris: a place where once great things happened, but now we go there to pay homage to a mythic past where such wonders took place. Paris is a tomb. New York is quickly becoming one.
And yet there are pockets of resistance. You're holding one in your hands (or more likely streaming one through your infrathin aether). There's something old-fashioned -- I dare say impure -- about a musician and a poet creating a set of crystalline miniatures, both in scale and in inception, hearkening back to an earlier time when it was only natural for disciplines to be truly crossed. Think of Judson Church: on any given night you'd have poets dancing and musicians painting pictures, all on the same stage. But things began to change in the Seventies, when if you could name what you did, you had a good chance of getting grants for it. And once that happened, the arts remained forever separate.
Don't look back. The Twenty-first century is invisible. We were promised jetpacks but ended up with handlebar moustaches. The surface of things is the wrong place to find the Twenty-first century. Instead listen closely: you'll hear that the unseen, the impure, the horizontal, and the uncanniness of this music locates you firmly in the present. The uncomfortably strange meets the comfortingly familiar. Impossible to deny or improve, this disc at once exudes gravity & conviction, a power born of two mature artists collaborating at the very height of their powers, bucking both trends and time, in order to be completely contemporary. -- Kenneth Goldsmith