Disquiet Junto Project 0307: Black and White and Punk All Over

Disquiet Junto Project 0307: Black and White and Punk All Over
Pay tribute to the Sex Pistols on the 40th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks.

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ 1977 album Never Mind the Bollocks, a punk origin point if ever there were one. Of course, punk can be traced both forward and further back, not just back to the prior urtexts of the Ramones, but further still to Dada, to the Situationist International. To explore punk continuity, and borrowing from Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces, we’re going to use a classic Situationist film, Hurlements en faveur de Sade, as a starting point. The whole thing is streamable here:

Note that Hurlements has no visual component outside of a white and black screen: when the screen is white, people speak; when it is black, there is silence.

Major thanks to Zero Meaning, Toaster, and Jason Wehmhoener for leading the way in developing this prompt.

Step 1: Think about what “punk” means to you. The word has mutated over time, and can embody something as specific as instrumentation and recording, and as broad as a spirit, an approach, a philosophy. It’s both a source of inspiration and a nexus of conflicted debate. Keep your sense of punk in mind as you follow the remaining steps.

Step 2: Choose a length for your project. Somewhere under 5 minutes should do fine.

Step 3: Using chance methods, divide that length into segments. A minimum of one segment per minute should keep things interesting, though certainly feel free to use more or fewer segments.

Step 4: Label your first segment “white” and your second “black” and your third “white” and, per Hurlement, continue to alternate labels until all the segments are labeled.

Step 5: Choose two sets of instruments (or, more broadly defined, sound sources). If you don’t have access to more than one instrument, then vary the playing approach (plucking vs. bowing, chords vs. single notes, different patches on a single synth, etc.). Label one set “white” and the other “black.” Do not use any of the same instruments/methods in the “white” sections that you use in the “black” sections. The amount of cohesion between the segments is up to you, but keep the instrumentation the same in each.

Step 6: Now, jam econo. Record an original piece of music in the simplest way possible, using only white instruments in the white segments and black instruments in the black segments. Consider something more lo-fi than you might normally use.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If your hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0307” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, November 20, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Length: Somewhere under 5 minutes seems about right, but it’s up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0307" in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 307th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Black and White and Punk All Over: Pay tribute to the Sex Pistols on the 40th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks.) at:

https://disquiet.com/0307/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0307-black-and-white-and-punk-all-over/

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Photo associated with this project is a detail of an image by Koen Suyk used via Wikipedia thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://goo.gl/RVqKBY

1 Like

The project is now live. Major thanks to @ZeroMeaning + @Toaster + @jasonw22 for leading the way on this prompt.

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https://soundcloud.com/wilfried-hanrath/wil-highnlowdisquiet0307

I created 4 segments, of which two are identical. The first and third are fairly similiar - wild drumming, a fierce synth-bass, some horns playing, and on top of it a distorted guitar with tons of delay. I am not sure about punk - but when I play free jazz/ avantgarde music in of the improvisation orchestra I feel that this comes close to a punkish attitude. I´ve listened to punk, of course, but I would not know how to play it.
Segment two and four are identical, as I mentioned, manipulated strings from my synthesizer, with some percussive sweet little tones on top like the icing on a cake.
I hope I got the task properly. I enjoyed playing. Now, as always, I am very curious on how others will solve their task. Have a nice weekend and lots of fun with this disquiet everyone here

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The playlist is now rolling:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0307

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https://soundcloud.com/total_energy/your-denial-aka-god-save-the-keefdisquiet0307

So basically I was thinking of a familiar punk guitar blast alternating with a keyboard passage. I had the idea of playing with the Hail to the Chief theme and that ended up being the basis of the song. On one side (white) is the guitar drums bass combo with a hard rock organ signifying defiance, and on the other side (black) is a live piano and synth chords, which represents obedience. Yay!

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love both ideas. great job.

Oi Oi Oi, Punk is a many splendored thing and I would not pretend to consider myself an expert about it but I am a big fan of a number of bands that might be loosely classified as Punk . Anger at the state of things is definitely a part of it but I think the best thing about punk was the DIY ethos. The black part was my newest addition a Korg dw8000 run through a stomp box with a beat with me singing the poem. The white part is just feedback and sounds of my mouse and me with gunshots over it.

https://soundcloud.com/detritus-tabu3/punk-half-panther-by-juan-felipe-herrera-disquiet0307

Fuck Off! Hugh

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https://soundcloud.com/user-643238087/instant-infinity-disquiet0307

i lobbed some random cello, bass clarinet, guitar samples into protoplasm and pressed the lazy button. then played any old shit on my pc keyboard.
then paulstretched it til it sounded intentional.
ignored the black white stuff; that didnt appeal to me at all.

that’s pretty much an amplification of how i work anyway. i think experimental stuff is quite close to the spirit of punk, of doing something different, subversive, reactionary but without the desperate need to be cool or (ironically) that thatcherite individualism
also there’s that element of feeling free and in the moment, and of course not bothering to learn any instruments, that appeals to me.

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white - treated voices
black - machine noises

signal split into three tracks, left & right delay at slightly different settings on each
center track - glitched with hysteresis, auto-tune to Bmin, Stereo Expansion

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https://soundcloud.com/user-186751886/11-17-17-disquiet0307

White parts are Guitar pitched down and stretched to sound extra… t̶e̶r̶r̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ punk?
Black parts are a toy piano and a Korg Minilogue.

There is also a recording of a bit of my dog walk from yesterday and a bit of drums.

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https://soundcloud.com/cboulter/november-16th-2017-disquiet0307

Woo-hoo. this took me out of my comfort zone somewhat.

I retrieved my bass guitar, ran it through the SansAmp and into an emulation in Logic, making sure to get lots of decent string noise in there. Added some generic drum loops. This was Black.

Then made some reasonably aggressive beats in the modular, ran them through a wave folder (yay!) and played about with a looper as a send effect. That’s white.

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A never ending rumination around a riff in black and white.
Disclaimer: I participated on this one because I love the idea of black/white contrasts in music, I do like the “Hurlements…’ concept, and can have a dose of punk, particularly when it allows me to kick myself out of any comfort zone.
But, FWIW, I won’t pay tribute to “Nevermind the bullocks” cause I never liked that album at all! Back then I just couldn’t’ get that people were putting the Pistols in the same league as The Clash, how dare them my goodness!
I never spent so much time in a junto track before. I started recording a simple riff, and wanted to repeat that all over with many subtle variations, alternating between Black and White versions of it.
Thought about White=Acoustic/Black=Electric, didn’t work, then White=Bass/Black=Guitars, that was worst.
In the end I had 20 tracks of the same riff performed with variations and interpolations, on
Stratocaster guitars (crunch & overdrive versions, different octaves) 4 tracks
Epiphone Casino Guitar (clean and crunch) 2 tracks
Bass harmonics
Fretless Bass
Electric bass 1 (low B)
Electric bass 2 ( jazz bass, pick and mute)
Electric Bass 3 (crunch tenor bass) 2 tracks
Upright Bass pizz
Upright Bass bowed
Ukulele
Classical Guitar

Processing: decided to use almost no reverb, just some delays here and there, modulation and distortion pedals.
Took one Epiphone chord and passed it thought PaulStrech to have that “pad” sound that gets in/out the mix sometimes.
In the end the black/white idea didn’t work, just couldn’t make it sound right. SO I made a pastiche/collage using all the tracks, and the real punk attitude is putting everything in and just delivery the whole thing with no artistic-censorship.
There’s still Black and White sections, mind, even if most of the time you get shades of grey:
0:00 Black
2:00 White
2:48 Black
3:54 White
4:18 Black

This is the most over-long, never ending, (boring?) and self-indulgent piece of music I ever did. So that’s punk in my book, like “you don’t like it? f**k yuou!”
Sorry.
DD 18/NOV/2017

Photo by Frida Bredesen

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https://soundcloud.com/suss-musik/oeufnoir

With respect, Suss Müsik considers the Sex Pistols to be merely a cultural bookmark. The group, assembled as a marketing vehicle to promote Malcolm McLaren’s bondage shop in West London, was in some ways no more a “proper” band than the Monkees. Their musical significance is dubious at best; their influence on the DIY aesthetic that followed was incalculable.

That said, Never Mind the Bollocks was something of a accidental watershed. By the time the album saw its 1977 release, the trend known as “punk” (which was really an update of what the MC5 and the Stooges were doing five years prior) had already collapsed as a musical genre. Within a year, John Lydon was endorsing the virtues of Peter Hammill, Can and dub reggae in a new outfit called Public Image Ltd. Thus was born the post-punk movement.

Admittedly, the Sex Pistols are among a cabal of punk bands who can hold claim to birthing a new era of musical exploration. Without punk there would be no Wire, no Gang of Four, no PiL. We also wouldn’t have The Pop Group, Magazine, Joy Division, The Sound, A Certain Ratio, 23 Skidoo, Minutemen, Liquid Liquid, Killing Joke or The Fall. These bands drove punk’s angry nihilism into a new, exciting terrain of avant-garde dissonance and sonic experimentation. A few are still performing today, shredding alongside protégés young enough to be their grandchildren.

It’s interesting that many album covers from the post-punk era are rendered in stark black & white. Perhaps this was due to the relatively cheap cost of 1-color printing at the time, or perhaps it was an artistic statement of angular minimalism. Suss Müsik is reminded that Don Van Vliet titled his final Captain Beefheart album Ice Cream for Crow as a sort of homage to contrasts, similar to watching Hurlements en faveur de Sade.

For this weird piece, Suss Müsik took a leaf from Colin Newman’s Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish. This little-known Dada masterpiece from the former Wire frontman marked his creative transition from post-punk chunka-chunk to queasy ambience. A simple three-bar riff was played on a black Danelectro through a Vox amp. The same triad was converted to a dorian chord progression on strings and prepared piano, played live while twiddling various knobs. The “black” side breaks down as the “white” side builds before reaching a point of convergence.

The piece is titled Oeufnoir, which means “black egg” in French. It’s based on a line from a 1920 poem written by the Dada artist Jean Arp.

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Don’t sell yourself short. This is wonderful.

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https://soundcloud.com/half-unusual/half-debord-disquiet0307-free-download

I noticed that when close to my DAB radio it started breaking up and squeaking at me in sync with movements. I was interested in how the piano was originally played, which was recorded and played over the airwaves - then ‘reimagined’ by my DAB radio :slight_smile: This is that phenomenon recorded and interleaved with a regular 1 second 50Hz sine tone burst.

Have a lovely week!

H U :slight_smile:

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Careering in a New Town

https://soundcloud.com/neurogami/disquiet0307-careering-in-a-new-town

Voice is taken from a John Lydon interview at the time of the release of Metal Box.

Music is samples from PiL’s “Careering” and David Bowie’s “A New Career in a New Town”.

There’s some additional kick and high-hat to solidify the beat.

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Totally agreed, as you might read from our post this week. The Sex Pistols were nowhere in the league of The Clash, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Saints, etc.

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https://soundcloud.com/vgmrmojo/all-punked-up-disquiet0307

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Cheers everyone!

Two and a Kick(In the Teeth)-[disquiet0307]
Clear and edited version:
Play two chords and drums, stretch and effect them twice, gently layer the resulting three tracks, bounce and Eq the whole mess for some semblance of music?!

Unclear and longwinded version:
The iOS ratholes strike again! If something works, ten other things won’t…its enough to drive the insane to sanity :-/ Wanted a piece this week keeping with my friends punk rock creedo, “Two chords in two minutes”, and I almost made it. Hooked up the guitar to the Steinberg UR-22 and forgot how stupid iOS is about inputs, mics, and headphones with mics, (why I can’t just disable/enable various sources is beyond me…sorry). The guitar’s distorted and ready, so I just record without monitoring. Add some suitably aggressive drums and now I have my black and white punk sections. The linked movie wasn’t as expected for inspiration, possibly bandwidth issues at my end, but Marc’s words on origin, evolution, revolution and change of punk over time did. I wanted the same two chords and drums to evolve, yet keep some familiarity with their beginnings. In Cubasis, I bounced and stretched them twice as long and then I bounced that and did the same. The two stretched tracks each received different effects, the first got a tape delay and RoomWorks verb and the second got Eq, Stereo Delay, longer RoomWorks verb, compressor and Enhancer. Then all of this was bounced from Cubasis to Audioshare where SilQ Equalizer rounded out the final sound. The usual procedure would be export to dropbox, compress and add artwork for upload, but that doesn’t seem to working anymore, so, googledrive it is. And after three attempts, it just works :wink: I am seriously considering an entirely analog approach to my life, wadda ya think? Of course then all of my Juntos would only be available live or on tape…wait a minute, I think I’ve passed this same street before…oh, and I didn’t even keep it 2 minutes or less :frowning:

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Second Annual Report was also released November 1977.

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