05.Jul.2014 Some Remarks on Half Lives’ Deep State EP

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The Deep State EP by Half Lives (aka artist/musician Steve Wright) is a composition in the truest sense. Sure, the word “composition” is regularly used to describe any number of artistic forms: visual, written, acoustic, gustatory, aromatic. It does not require sustained reflection to realize that every song is a composition, “an aggregate; a composite substance.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 207 (1916). But in the case of Deep State, the word, composition, is particularly appropriate. These songs are aggregates along several different axes. Along the first and most obvious axis, they constitute an exuberant and curated collection of sounds, samples, blips, beeps, and thumping beats. Along the second axis: the sounds are so pushed, pulled, layered, repeated, slowed down, and sped up that second order features start to emerge. But a third axis of aggregation: the revelry encoded in the generation of second axis. And a fourth axis of aggregation: temporal. Whereas in Country Bears and Hazerai, Wright’s guitar is draped over – complimenting perfectly – a hurtling chaotic engine, in Deep State, the structural roles are reversed!  Wright’s guitar parts still hover, but here they are more like the cables of a suspension bridge, the protective netting in a beehat, the nylon in a fish tank scooper. The sonic collection playing the part of the roadway, the beekeeper, the fish. This deeper structure only apparent with the advent of time and context.

ASW

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