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Tag: Electronic Music

Tmymtur - Yusei 湧声

TMYMTUR – Yusei 湧声 – 5000 Gushing Voices

The microscopic particles were developed by myriads of voices. They make you feel the vitality as if lives are flowing over, and after a while, you will realize you are being covered by them, as if sinking into the deep psyche. Then, as if they correlate with the millions of flowing lives and nature in this world, reflecting and blending, we will eventually be touching the shared particles which connect all of us.

–Tmymtur

TMYMTUR – Yusei 湧声 – 5000 Gushing Voices

NOTE:This sample was recorded at 44.1kHz, and therefore is not capable of expressing certain distinctive elements (over 20kHz frequencies) of the work.

Yusei explores creating music in the tradition of a John Cage and Brian Eno android lovechild, digitally enabled to search for the objective “truth” in the depth of ultrasonic sound. But even God knows we need to listen to something in order to hear. Enter Tmymtur (pronunciation: as difficult as the work) and his method of using imperceptible, ultrasonic waves contained within the voice (as well as 4999 accompanying, melded voice tracks) to create a shared musical journey of the imperceptible symphonic whisper.

Released in late 2012, “湧声” was created by using microphones to record over 5000 voices, including inaudible, ultrasonic waves that human ears are incapable of catching evoking sounds of a mostly nonexistent pastoral nature–the flow of the river, wind blowing through trees–effectively relocating the brain to an artificial environment. Earlier this month he constructing a sound system at Asahi Art Square in Osaka that transmitted frequencies over 20kHz (above the audible bandwidth). His hope was to demonstrate a sound-art performance there, to create a “sound space” where people subconsciously felt something, such as everything being connected and shared by the sound creation “湧声” (Read: HESO as in connection). We were able to talk with Tomoya Matsuura of the Osaka-Based ENSL AMDC label representing Tmymtur.

Tmymtur - Yusei 湧声

HESO: How does Tmymtur produce the high-frequency sounds?

Tomoya Matsuura: Tmymtur’s voice contains an ultra-high frequency (super sonic waves) components which has over 20kHz. ※It is analyzed at the Japan acoustic lab.

HESO: Are any musical instruments used at all?

Tomoya: This work is created by Tmymtur’s voice only. Instruments are not used at all.

HESO: Is this analog or digital or both? What recording devices are used?

Tomoya: Digital recorded with ProTools, Live Microphone: MKH8040

HESO: How are the sounds processed?

Tomoya: This work is created to record one voice and one voice and overlap more than 5,000 layers of the voices. Also, to output ingredients of super high frequency contained in the voices, microphones and recorders that can record super high frequency beyond audible range (more than 20kHz) are used to produce at sampling frequency 96kHz/24bit. Effect processing is not daringly employed this time.

HESO: What does 湧声 (yusei) mean?

Tomoya: Yusei is coined from Japanese word, “湧く(gush)” and “声(voice)”. There is a Japanese word “湧水 (Yuu-Sui: Spring water)”. The water from a spring in the mountain makes us relax and might be a sacred space for Japanese people.

Almost inaudible until the four minute mark, the entire 21 minute recording gently ebbed and flowed like a calm sea beneath a new moon. Though at around the ten minute mark, when the track suddenly grows in volume in a very conspicuous manner, my 8 week old daughter started to shuffle and cry in a way very peculiar to her. The 12 year old beagle stretched out next to her on the sofa, however, did not stir from her snoring slumber. There may be something to Tmymtur’s Yusei, and although I can’t hear it, I’m still listening.

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

The Stone Collection Of Tim & Puma Mimi

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

As the sparse synthesizer and video games breaks beep to life on the first track of The Stone Collection Of Tim & Puma Mimi we hear a Puma Mimi ask a question, “Acchi, kocchi, acchi, kocchi, dochi ni ikou?” (Here, there, here, there, which way to go?). It is unclear if she’s asking us or herself. And with the range of musical genres represented on the album (hip hop, dance, electronic, J-pop, crossover jazz, fruit), this might be emblematic of the album itself. At its heart, it’s a fun and accessible (even if you don’t speak Japanese) musical metaphor for modern Tokyo living.

Much as the album defies straightforward definition, so too does how Tim and Puma Mimi met (“We met at the Santa Klaus party in the Netherlands in the end of 2003.”), and eventually came to live and make music in Tokyo.

In places it is a throwback album of beautiful voicework and analog instruments, yet its modern synthesizers, canned drumbeats and use of fruit as instrument (what?!) belie the way it was made–not in the studio, but in Puma Mimi’s small 1DK (One Dining Kitchen Apartment) flat in Shinagawa, Tokyo.

HESO: How do you make music? digitally, analoguely, with fresh produce or all of the above?

Tim: All of them, we don’t have rules, how to produce, it just has to bring the song to a cool shape. The cucumber is electronic, the flute acoustic, mostly I use the micro Korg, but sometimes Fender Rhodes or Mini Moog, or even plug-ins, but I don’t like midi.

More than just the multi-instrumentalist genre-mashing, the way the songs are made reflects on the private/personal relationship between life and music, recording and touring, loving and playing. Having met and seen a bright future, both musically and romantically, they soon had to part because of the technicalities of bureaucratic life–visas, work, nationality. But long distance relationshipping didn’t stop them from making music. The Skype concert series soon sprang to life, with Tim touring clubs Europe and skype-casting Mimi singing live from her kitchen in Tokyo. This, plus their growing number of singles, created a following and got them into electro-festivals across Europe. But it wasn’t enough.

HESO: You wrote and recorded your album in Mimi’s tiny Tokyo apartment, but where are you now?

Tim: Now we live in Zurich, bit bigger apartment, but still all instruments in bedroom. It’s in Kreis 4, the melting pot of underground Zurich (yes that exists too in Zurich, beside being a super-expensive and clean old town famed for the Bahnhofstrasse). Sometimes we rent a music-room, but it’s often underground and humid.

Tim & Puma Mimi Live at Womb in Tokyo

Tim & Puma Mimi Live at Womb in Tokyo

HESO: Tim, what is your impression of Japan? Puma Mimi, Switzerland?

Tim: Japan? First I was disappointed, I had a picture of crazy colorful people, but 90% of people in Tokyo wear black suits. But after two weeks you start to understand, why they don’t look into your eyes, that they have different lines to queue for next train. After two months you start to love it, but I’m not sure if I will ever feel at home there.

Mimi: I like Zürich very much because I can get both city and nature life at once. I grew up in the northern part of Japan where I enjoyed nature, but as a teenager, it was boring. No concert places, no exhibitions. Even the last cinema in the town went bankrupt, and turned to be a Karaoke house (yeah! of course we had Karaoke!). Then I went to Tokyo to study when I was 19. Tokyo was so exciting, creative fashion, fast information, music, arts and so on…. I enjoyed it a lot. But sometimes, I couldn’t breathe. I missed nature, fresh air, fresh water, quietness, the sky. Compared to Tokyo, Zürich is very small, but there are many things going on in this “little big city”. Lake water is very clean. And I can get to deep nature in 10 min by train. That’s perfect combination for me. Besides Zürich, I like mountain area in Ticino, old stone houses and sharp mountains. It’s so nice to walk there.

HESO: If your beats and words are inspired by the cramped and crowded Tokyo lifestyle, what happens when you have all of the Alps from which to take inspiration?

Tim: I would love to do calm, maybe even spiritual music, but always when I try it, I think that doesn’t work, audience would fall asleep, or just start talking. I would like to do live music for yoga or something similar.

Mimi:I try to write about something around me. So Alps could be a good inspiration too. But the problem is that the nature is very powerful. So, when I go to mountains, I become wordless. It takes more time to write about the nature than about concrete jungle… at least, for me.

Tim & Puma Mimi on the Phone by David Thayer 2011

Tim & Puma Mimi on the Phone by David Thayer 2011

On the lenitive “Tamago” the album takes a turn from the fun and playfully amateurish upbeat Electro-J-pop to a more serious and contemplative nature. It is not a coincidence that this comes halfway through the Stone Collection. From this point on, especially on “Green Blood Circulation”, even when the music returns to previous form, the songs retain a depth and a progressive movement toward some far-off point that we can’t quite see, but know is out there.

HESO: How do you come up with ideas for songs? Albums? Videos? Live performances? Who does what?

Tim: I produce the songs. Mimi writes texts and melody lines. Musically it’s just trial and error, sometimes it works, sometimes doesn’t. I give the recordings over to Mimi. In a bigger view I would say: The ideas grow in our heads and sometimes we can pick up the fruits. Inspirations are: fleamarkets, walking in cities and mountains, watching concerts, movies, reading books.

Mimi: About lyrics: I try to express my inner feeling by describing daily objects around me. For example, I came up with lines for “Giacometti” when I saw the poster of Giacometti hanging in the room where we were recording. And the text begins with “To talk to Giacometti, I don’t need words….”. Something like that. Melody line: it’s all depends on Tim’s music. When Tim gives me an idea of song, then I listen to it many times and try to jam (hum) with lyrics I already have.

HESO: The album has dropped. What happens next?

Tim: In a week we visit China for 3 weeks, travelling with a bunch of musicians and do live music to silent movies. Later this Year I want to build a do-it yourself-kit of my Fruitilyzer, that people can build their own Fruitilyzer and electrify new fruits and vegetables.

HESO: Can you write a very short song-poem about your favorite food?

Mimi: I wrote this quite long ago, and try to make a song out of it, but Tim never liked my melody lines with these lyrics. So it is still un-published. Tim doesn’t like Tomato Sauce either, by the way.

トマトソース / Tomato sauce
飛び散る飛び散る/ It splashes all over
白いTシャツ / on my white T-shirts
赤いシミ/ and leaves red stains
食べるのやめるか/ Should I stop eating
トマトソース/ Tomato sauce?

いやいやそんな/ Noway, it’s
トマトソース / Tomato sauce!
だってだいすき / I love
トマトソース / Tomato sauce
ファッションは /Fashion has no chance against
食欲に敵わない / appetite

HESO: I love Tomato Sauce. Thanks guys. Check out their site for more fun with fruits and beats.

Interview with Tim & Puma Mimi is part of HESO Magazine’s ongoing (late) Summer Interview Series, where we interview photographers, musicians and artists about their work and what they think about the world of 2012. We may ask them similar questions, but the answers have been anything but the same old canned responses. Check out the entire series here.

Gebrüder Teichmann - Machines Take Over the World

Gebrüder Teichmann – Machines Take Over the World

On Gebrüder Teichmann‘s latest album, They Made Us Do It (Festplatten, 2011) the Teichmann brothers point the way to the future by melding an understanding of the past with thick dance-y beats that make you want to question the present…on the dancefloor. Being designated Germany’s electronic musical ambassadors by the Goethe-Institut has not only not gone to their heads, but has helped broadened their horizons from the local Berlin club scene to countries that at first glance may not seem very conducive to jazz-inflected breakbeats or modern electronic music at all. But are these vinyl-spinning Brothers Teichmann really “modern”? A look at the cover of They Made Us Do It provides many cultural hints as to their love of what some might call an esoteric past: a Technicolor cityscape of strange-headed humanoids being overrun by 12″ UFOs and bag-headed giants in black Krautrock outfits. It begs more than a listen and, like the aliens we so feared in those old Sci-fi flicks, it…they, the machines, covet your body.

The machines seem to be nice, but who knows? Click To Tweet

Gebrüder Teichmann – Machines Take Over the World

Gebrüder Teichmann - Machines Take Over the World

Teichmann Brothers They Made Us Do It (Festplatten 2011)

HESO: The title of the album, They Made Us Do It, refers to someone or something making you do something. Who is making you do what exactly?

TEICHMANN: What happened was an unexpected synthesizer accident: we were working in the studio as usual, when somehow the machines took over the power and from that moment strange things happened. It feels like we are now connected to the control voltages of our machines, but we don´t have too many memories of what happened.

HESO: The cover art is reminiscent of Science Fiction book and film posters of the 50s and 60s when aliens came to take over the earth. What are the machines’ intentions with humanity?

TEICHMANN: That´s actually a good question. As Sasha Pereira says on the intro track: “The machines seem to be nice, but who knows?” We also have the feeling that there are problems with the time continuum now, as the UFOs that were seen, are 12″ vinyl shaped, not i-phonish. So they are definitely from the past or maybe it’s the future…

HESO: Beyond the artwork, there are several distinct references to various musical genres on the album itself: jazz, krautrock, house, even classical strings. What are the core musical elements you create an album with? Where do you begin?

TEICHMANN: Sometimes we start from a idea (a style or tempo) or concept for a track, but often we just start jamming. Togehter with our machines there is allways something interesting happening.

HESO: If I understand this correctly, you both, the Teichmann Brothers, are putting out the machines’ message, which is that “We are the future.” What does that future look like?

TEICHMANN: Nobody knows how the future looks. But of course you have to take care about the present, if you want to have a nice one…

HESO: Where did the idea for this album come from?

Gebrüder Teichmann - Machines Take Over the World

The Masked Musicians Teichmann Brothers

TEICHMANN: We had too many ideas and the research process was a long one. We had a lot of inspirations from our travels and collaborations and wanted to do something that is both experimental and dance-y. While making music, we mostly use analog gear, as well as we still play only vinyls in the club. So the link was already there. The hardest part was to bring all the material on one rccord, that still tells one story, which helps you to find the right way while creating the music, but during the DJ- or Live-set we like to tell a new story. ‘Cause playing live is always an interaction with the place and the people.

HESO: Do the both of you have any specific talents when it comes to producing an album, i.e. does Andi always do this particular mix or Hannes creates the beats? How do you collaborate?

TEICHMANN: Hannes is always doing the particular mix and Andi creates the beats. No just joking! Actually Hannes is more the sound guy, Andi more the concept guy. The rest is live-jamming, recording, editing, mixing.

HESO: Speaking of collaboration, do you have a core group of artists that you generally work with or do you seek to expand your musical horizons by working with musicians from different genres?

TEICHMANN: We always want to expand our horizons by working with different musicians and artists. It brings fresh ideas and inspiration but apart from a musical point of view, it also creates a lot of great experiences. It´s a social and artistic dialogue. That’s why we love to collaborate with people from different (musical) worlds.

HESO: You were designated by the Goethe-Institut to represent the German electronic scene in countries which may seem a bit odd: Algeria, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and worked on the BLNRB project, which teamed you up with other Berlin artists to create a musical exchange in Nairobi. Has this influenced your music at all? This album?

TEICHMANN: Of course. The projects and travelling to several countries influences not only our music and work, also our personal lives. The great chance to work with Goethe Institut Nairobi on BLNRB, opened up a lot of doors and posibilties, but it also brought us a strong connection with the other German artists, especially Jahcoozi.

HESO: What do you see for the future of electronic music? Music in general? More machines?

TEICHMANN: We really like the growing interest for analog live music in the electronic music scene. And we think for all music styles there are still a lot of undiscovered possibilities.

HESO: What are you listening to these days?

TEICHMANN: Very various music, only it has to be unique and leftfield. In terms of electronic music we love the new genre Skweee from Scandinavia. Beside that we are very impressed by Nisennenmondai, a girl-noise band from Japan, but we also listen to a lot of classical experimental music and start to get more into african music. But on the other hand we still discover a lot of great techno and house stuff from the 90s till now.

TEICHMANN – They Made Us Do It (Album-Teaser) by gebrueder teichmann

Do yourself a favor and get yourself an early Christmas present: buy the album.

2666 - Roberto Bolaño, FSG 2008 Cover Design by Charlotte Strick (HESO Magazine)

Lost Analogs A Critique of Global Capitalism in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

“This is increasingly emerging as the central human right of advanced capitalist society: the right not to be ‘harassed’, that is, to be kept at a safe distance from others.”

— Slavoj Žižek, Against Human Rights


We can thank people like Bob Moog for his eponymous synthesizers, Tsutomu Katoh for his Korg brand of musical instruments, Gershon Kingsley for his musicianship, and all of them collectively for introducing our common musical associations with the term “analog” into our everyday vocabulary. When the word comes up, we can bring to mind music that is the soundtrack to an antique electronic future—one that rushed into our sensorium with the advent of the telephone, but whose sheen is still undiminished after all these years.

This musical context of the term refers to the production of media that is directly analogous to another condition or occurrence in the natural world, in this case the shaped production of a noise through the controlled interaction of electricity and set circuit paths. Digital technology differs from analog because it does not posses the same direct reversibility to an original set of conditions. Unlike analog, it is not traceable back to a necessary original condition. It exists without a negative. No matter how we may program digital to function in lieu of analog in our cameras, musical instruments, and tape machines, the important precondition necessary for digital

to function is only the identification of a need, even if that need is eventually not decided on by present actors but derived from the framework of the system itself.

Digital came to prominence because it was able to quickly and portably fill the needs formerly met and defined by analog technology. As such, it has become the go-to form of production and recording. A seamless integration of multi-track recording and electronic production on the home computer has been worked into almost every dilettante’s life, alongside going to the gym for mandated maintenance of the corpus and sending graphomaniacal solipsisms to one’s Twitter feed. The blueprint provided by the analog forebears to digital is now less necessary for the unique abilities of digital to shine in their own right. Enabling digital technology to organize and emulate our material lives has increased our insincerity regarding the conscionable 1:1 avowal of our actions and the outcomes of those actions. It is for this reason that the debate between the analog and the digital is a political debate more than a simple aesthetic debate. Digital encompasses the ability to propose a new, total, closed system of meaning that does not need to refer back to a standard origin.


Bob Moog, Tsutomu Katoh, Gershon Kingsley for Lost Analogs (HESO Magazine)

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There are aesthetic differences to be drawn between the art that can be created by the two types of technology, but one must keep the political differences that can be discerned at the front of all arguments. This is because, more than affecting the production of individually separated works of art or culture or their qualitative appeal, the debate separating the merits of analog versus those of digital are conceptual, and their concepts affect every aspect of our lives in global society.

Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is a work of fiction that tells the story of the 20th century, a century of people’s accelerating attempts to escape and obscure the lines binding them to analogy. It is a story that spans the globe, and one whose tendrils ensnare several different global class systems.

The 900-page novel is divided into 5 books: The Part about the Critics, The Part about Amalfitano, The Part about Fate, The Part about the Crimes, and The Part about Archimboldi. There are only two sections we need touch on to connect Bolaño’s book to the idea that the relationship between analog and digital is one of enabling the disavowal of consequence.

The Part about the Critics follows the escapades of a small society of academic specialists in the oeuvre of a Prussian who writes under the name Benno Von Archimboldi. The reader is taken through their bourgeois genteel Europe of personal achievement, petty academic intrigue, and tepid love affairs.

The Part about the Crimes is the story of a fictional town in the northern Mexican state of Sonora on the border with the United States. It contains the events that most of the book centers around—the serial murders of women living in and around the town of Santa Teresa, a town given over wholly to the activities of narcos and the massive ‘maquiladora’ factory parks.

Bolaño does not stop at describing the obvious interconnectedness of the lives of the characters, each of which traces a coincidental connection to the described lives and horrors in other parts of the world or in another epoch. He does not merely demonstrate a shared capability for violence in the first and second worlds by offering the professors’ beating of a foreign cab driver in contrast to the grim large-scale industry of poverty and murder in the Mexican factory town of Santa Teresa. Bolaño goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the characters’ lives are not connected to a shared tragedy by chance alone. The coincidence of chance connections are easily dismissed as novelty stories. Bolaño does the work to show that that which connects each disparate set of characters across social and economic borders is at the root of their respective societies.

Bolaño’s story demonstrates the point, similar to that made by philosopher and Lacanian scholar Slavoj Zizek in his book In Defense of Lost Causes, that both the first world of lettered achievement and the second world of tradition married to dehumanizing industry require one another to sustain global capitalism. The factory owner takes his profits from the information society denizen who buys his products. The first world consumer requires the cheap goods made “over there” to maintain her way of life. this connection is glossed over during the course of daily life in each separated arrondissement. It is the fact that the connection between each society becomes obscure that is important to bear in mind. Each culture perceives itself as the only legitimately mandated system. To each society the other, when conceived of at all, is perceived as a kind of anachronism strengthening the first society’s way of life before finally going away. As Zizek notes, capitalism functions in these gaps of understanding between each differing societal organization’s knowledge of the other one.

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The heart of Bolaño’s critique in 2666 is this: On all sides of the story, the reader is shown people who must step forward to recognize the origins of their way of life if the violence at its core is to be stopped. The diffuse, disparate, and desperate nature of global capitalism has a sheltering and obfuscating digital effect marked by the introduction of false analogs that prevent the acknowledgment of the origins, consequences, or resolutions of our plights. There is a voluntary excess inherent in the system that allows this gap in understanding, making these changes in perspective true only in its enactment. The enactment and making true of this excess is the expenditure that joins the world of global capital under a single system and enforces the separation of its disparate parts. The system of global capitalism requires the ignorance generated by the separation of its parts to maintain the frenzied, excessive activity of its cycle.

In an early passage in The Part about the Critics, Bolaño alludes to the nature of this excess at work. The literary critics are at table with a former rural cultural events promoter. The promoter relates a story of his face-to-face meeting with Archimboldi, the writer who is the object of the critics’ study. During that meeting, the cultural events promoter told the critics, another guest, a widowed baroness, had dominated the conversation with a story from her trip to Argentina where she and her husband had been the guests of a wealthy rancher. Because her husband had been a great cavalryman, a series of races was staged between the baron, the rancher’s son, and the gauchos of the estate. The result was that the baron won all three races. Afterwards, a gaucho boy had pulled the baroness aside and told her that, because the ranchers had known her husband would lose the first race, it had been arranged that the second and third would be secretly forfeited to him. Disbelieving the boy, the baroness asked him, if that were true, then why had her husband won all three races? Her question was met only with a murderous stare.

This conversation haunted the baroness for years after, and the encounter came to appear to her as a riddle. The riddle was this: If it really were true that the ranchers were such superior horsemen they had to arrange to throw the last two races to honor their guest, what did it mean that her husband had won all three races?

Archimboldi himself then provided the answer. At the last moment, the rancher’s son, in a fit of demonstrable luxurious excess and sacrifice, had decided to throw the first race in addition to the following two. The capital of his assured victory, of his demonstrable superiority on horseback, was squandered in secret. It was given away as a kind of unspoken sacrifice, a contract whose terms are known only to one, in order to bestow on the ranchers a sense of power and superiority over their guests that is hidden in magnanimity. It was a making real of their position of advantage over the Europeans, but it was done in the language of their vantage point’s interpretation of capital. What did they actually have in relation to the visiting Europeans but an excess of human life, of visceral skill, their own personal dignity, to expend on bettering their position? At that expenditure they not only gain a winking unity amongst themselves, but also the power of a secret and shared enmity. The problem with this brand of compensation is that it requires ever more sleight of hand to continue to make it appear self-sustaining and true, to make it culture.

Had the baroness stayed longer to speak to the boy, whom Bolaño described as having “the eyes of a bird of prey,” and “the eyes of a clumsy young butcher” any longer, that product of the injury of sacrifice that is enmity, Archimboldi pointed out, would have been expressed, literally and corporally, with an act of violent sacrifice even larger than the thrown horse races. It would have been one that, with the disposal of both the baroness’ and the boy’s lives would have both created and justified a state of honor. The boy was less sophisticated than his elders, and so certainly would have killed her.

Moving ahead to the present day of The Part about the Crimes, the author brings this idea of one-sided contracts and excess into the present day of the maquiladora, where the wasted excess made of human life is not, apparently, present enough in the poverty and working hours and conditions of the super-manufacturing facilities. In the story, the reduction of human life to an excess of industrial material must be even further realized in the apparently unstoppable serial murders of women in the maquiladora’s surrounds. That the excess that is being expended is through the murder of women, not men, goes a greater distance to enforce the truth of the system; along with time, and of course, the environment, what is being expended frivolously by industry, as though its presence is too copious to be necessary, is the very life that sustains it. The murders go on and on with the police unwilling or unable to end them. No one steps forward to volunteer what someone must know to ensure the killers are caught.

The police go as far as to arrest Klaus Haas, a cold, distant, immigrant psychopath (and computer programmer) and, in conjunction with the civic and business leaders in the community, present him as a scapegoat for the killings of women in the city of Santa Teresa. Nobody contests that he is a rapist and a murderer and obviously inhuman, but, incarcerated, he is also incapable of being responsible for the serial killings that go on and on without surcease in the outside world. He is the foil Bolaño uses to alert the reader metaphorically to the nature of this thing that resides in the engine room of capital. Bolaño chooses Haas to convey this message because he is a monster not bound by the accelerating story without continuity that is capital’s social narrative. Bolaño’s monster can see and tell us what others given wholly over to convention do not. That thing is this: He is a monster, but he is nowhere near as terrible as that blind, murderous excess which the maquiladora calls to itself.

In his moments of delusion after his arrest, Haas rants to the other prisoners:

“…a giant is coming and the giant is going to kill you. A giant? asked the rancher. You heard me right, motherfucker, said Haas. A giant. A big man, very big, and he’s going to kill you and everybody else. You crazy-ass gringo son of a bitch, said the rancher. For a moment no one said anything and the rancher seemed to fall asleep again. A little while later, however, Haas called out to say he heard footsteps. The giant was coming. He was covered in blood from head to toe and he was coming now.”

2666 - Roberto Bolaño, FSG 2008 Cover Design by Charlotte Strick (HESO Magazine)

2666 - Roberto Bolaño, FSG 2008 - Cover Design by Charlotte Strick

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To return to the discussion of analog versus digital, we have established that what is analog is built on the direct relationship of one condition to another. Digital technology required analog only to get its start, to provide the early templates of its behavior, but is not any longer bound to such a model.

Bolaño has written the necessarily long description in prose of the accelerating nature of the unpayable debts the human race took on in the 20th Century. It is his point that there is something to which we have lost the ability to directly relate in the present day. Our attitudes defining our relation to labor, to luxury, and to human life are informed by this divide. His critics live in the comfort of their critical pursuit of an elusive author, traveling freely across Europe with full access to the luxuries manufactured in border worlds like the maquiladora, places whose ruthlessness is exiled beyond accountability to the fringes of states.

The denizens of the border world Bolaño creates face a world literally and corporally defined by industry, where access to the goods and genteel stability manufactured there for use in other parts of the world is limited or somehow mitigated by the interference of sinecure, family, or fear. The commingled interests of narco-traffic and the manufacture of goods for the first world, the extortion involved in border crossings, and the murders of women loom collectively large as the hidden axle around which all life turns.

 

About the Author

Sean "Smiles" Lotman is a writer based in Kyoto, Japan (Manny Santiago)

  • Matthew Boyd is a musician and writer based in Seattle, Washington. His website is here.

Copyright

Unless otherwise stated All images © HESO Magazine, 2011.

This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If you wish to use reproduce any of this context in a commercial context, explicit permission is required. Please contact me directly.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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