So I peeped the Bunker last night

March 9, 2008


The elegant universe … When I first saw the above-pictured dude last night, he wasn’t yet crouched over an electron cloud of patch cables; no epic-ly epic ping-ponging had overtaken all semblance of the beat. (Full disclosure: Spinoza, the Bunker resident and, so I’m told, former WNYU kingpin [holler], hadn’t exactly brought a beat to the table in his excellent opening set.) Rather, he was sitting a few seats over from my friends and me in the back of the back room, trying his god damndest not to get noticed. I don’t know if this is some kind of Finnish thing (I’m not in an English department anymore, so I totally have free reign to be essentialist), and maybe it’s some freak of cellphone screen light, but Mssr. Ripatti — mnml chunky hooded sweater in full force — looked pretty angelic. He seemed to be hidden from just about everyone around but me, though I a) read the Wire, whose cover he recently graced, and b) I’m way more shameless than most techno fans. So yeah, fuck you I was staring and fuck you I don’t give shit. How many glitch celebs do you see on a day-to-day basis?

But Vladislav’s set was the product of a hidden mind, of headspace that is not your headspace. His music is mnml in that it’s quantum. So stripped, the usual rules governing musics are overridden by far stranger rules: reverb and delay affix themselves unpredictably; 4/4 is postulated and summarily disproved. I took two, maybe three bathroom trips throughout the hour, but don’t let that be some testament to my boredom. (My bathroom breaks during Kate Simko’s live pa, however, were certainly due to extreme boredom.) Walking back in the room after a brief absence, I found myself thrust into an environment entirely different from the one I left. Had I really been gone long enough for that to decay into this? Do I now have grandchildren, or am I younger than I was before taking that piss? Only Lee “Scratch” Perry and Columbia superprofessor Brian Greene — perhaps on Charlie Rose for a conversation on the merits of Sibelius — could properly answer that question.

seth-troxler.jpegThe rest is noise … Meanwhile, Seth Troxler, the Spectral DJ/guy who came on later, didn’t raise nearly as many stoner-philosophical questions. (Thanks to him, though, I also have now heard “Enfants” played out and also found myself pleasantly moved despite also not being that excited about said prospect. Also.) I must hand it to him, though: guy’s got some serious balls. Unless I’m mistaken, he played “Revolution 909” in a party-techno set at a time when Daft Punk allegiance seems to mean blog house allegiance, and I truly appreciated it. Like — and I risk being hackneyed in my argument, though I haven’t up until this point put it in writing — someone’s gotta call these Ed Banger mofos out on their weak misreading, and even if a protest to this prevailing ascendancy happens only in a back room in Brooklyn, it’s the right thing to do nevertheless. So thanks for the context, buddy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have like five missed connections to draft.

The Bunker
Vladislav Delay
Seth Troxler

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