Left-handed Blows: Writing on Sound 1993-2009

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9780958298148: Left-handed Blows: Writing on Sound 1993-2009
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Is writing about sound like dancing about architecture? Not when it's done by New Zealand's Bruce Russell, one of the world's pre-eminent sound artists, who works in sound under his own name and as a member of The Dead C. A past member of A Handful of Dust, Russell is also known for curating the internationally noted record labels XPRESSWAY and Corpus Hermeticum. This collection of essays written over the last 16 years reflects on sound, its role in culture, and Russell's thoughts toward a technique of incognito. Includes online essays, dialogs, liner notes, catalog contributions and most of the previously published contents of Logopandocy: the journal of vain erudition. Listen, read, learn.

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Bruce Russell's lucid, provocative and invigorating book takes its epigraph from a killer quote from Walter Benjamin's Reflections. 'Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.' Russell - a member of The Dead C and A Handful of Dust and founder of the labels Corpus Hermeticum and Xpressway, as well as contributor to The Wire keeps fidelity with the wisdom of a certain 20th century avant-garde. For the thinkers that self-confessed theory-addict Russell refers to (Benjamin, Lukacs, Debord), the central problem of culture was reification: the way in which commodities assume an autonomous power, independent of human will. Russell's view is that 'music' is itself a form of reification. The subtitle of the book is therefore crucial: these are writings on sound, not music. --Mark Fisher, The Wire, April 2010

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