36 Sal Dulu: Xompulse

It’s… really… hard.. to… write… this… I’m listening to the blissful ‘Xompulse’ while I dictate this entry to Shawn, my volunteer blog assistant. Well, I say ‘volunteer’, but a county court settlement recently confirmed that it was actually ‘indentured servitude’ by legal definition. Whatever, the fact remains that ‘the words’ remain Shawn’s job – until I am suitably satisfied that he has earned back the money he cost me when he saw fit to eat nearly half of the hors d’oeuvre that I had set out for my friends in expectation of the all night session on ‘Kira to Kaiketsu! 64 Tanteidan’ later that evening in 1997 (why were you even in the house, Shawn?? Who are you?!) – and my job is the general vibes and intermittent inspiration. But… my vibes… are being… so mollified… by this music…

Shawn, I swear to God, if I hear one more word out of your vulgarian lips I shall put your shrivelled testicles on the keyboard of that top of the line laptop and slam the screen down violently several times until you have naught but a pair of fleshy pancakes hanging between your knees. Let’s not make the same mistakes at Christmas that we made on Bonfire Night, OK?

‘Xompulse’ is just so… dreamy… comforting… cool… composed… that it’s difficult to not drop lid and just set your mind adrift (on, yes, memory bliss), surrender yourself completely to the album’s concept of exploring the space between reality in dream, that amazing feeling when you’re almost falling asleep in front of the telly so have your vivid yet glitchy dreams about realising you’ve forgotten your clothes while picking up the Nobel Prize for Physics, whilst still being narrated by Ian Darke. It’s a woozy wonder, with always enough structure and backing behind it to never fall into the dreaded ‘ambient’ territory, and with incredible guest sots by amazing rappers you’ve never heard of such as Fly Anakin, Koncept Jack$on and (especially) staHHr ensure the pace never gets too static. staHHr. staHHr. How do you think you’re supposed to pronounce that? Like staaaaar? Or do the capital ‘H’s give it more of a steeeeehr feel? Staher? While we’re on the subject, how on Earth do you say ‘Xompulse’? Personally, I’ve been pronouncing it ‘compst’ but starting with a ‘Z’ sound. Leave your favourite pronunciations in the comments, and don’t forget to like an subscribe.

Sigh, you’re all still thinking about Shawn, aren’t you? Well, I’ll tell you what I told that County Court judge: Shawn deserves precisely no sympathy after what he did to my Fried Calamari Bruschetta, so keep your fat nose out of my fucking business, you old cunt. I bet you’re wondering about how much I pay him, aren’t you? That’s an extremely outdated view of capitalism, Shawn and my working relationship isn’t based on something as gauche as money, but time. In savage pre-industrial days, there wasn’t really a concept of basing your work around time – the sun shone, the cocks cocked, and the seasons ravaged. In the early 14th century, in textile manufacturing towns like Ypres (in current day Belgium, as textile work wasn’t really dictated by changes of seasons, days etc, these workers were instead managed by a town bell which simply went off at the beginning and end of each shift. Nobody knew what time of the day that bell went off at, because we hadn’t really bothered with a concept of time yet. They just Believed in the Bell, and shouldn’t we all? Around 200 years later, in the 16th century, we were able to measure time by minutes and seconds, and soon everything was shaped around this recently abstract idea. When Spain conquered the Americas, disgusted buy the sight of these lazy savages who hadn’t yet submitted themselves to capitalism’s wage labour, and decadently saw no reason to work themselves to death, they immediately introduced the system of policing time, which is essential to capitalism’s ecology. By 1553, the Spanish crown insisted that at least one public clock were installed in every colonial city. This governance of time follows a particular logic, as social historian EP Thompson wrote “In mature capitalist society all time must be consumed, marketed put to use; it is offensive for the labour force merely to ‘pass the time’. The connection of specific activities to larger productive goals didn’t allow for time theft, and the discipline of the clock was enforced by violence across the globe”.

Does that answer your question? I pay Shawn in time rather than money. And then he uses that time to work for me. Did you forget about the Fried Calamari Bruschetta?

Anyway, great album.


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