parodies by nacrowe
i was first introduced to the ETHEREAL EXPANSIVENESS that is the decidedly INTROSPECTIVE music of revered BRITISH SHOEGAZE band SLOWDIVE my senior year of high school when i discovered TRANSGRESSIVE NEW QUEER CINEMA GREGG ARAKI-directed films like NOWHERE (FINE LINE, 1997) and THE DOOM GENERATION (TRIMARK, 1995) of which the group's music is prominently featured. those 90s CULT films showcased characterizations of teenagers trapped outside of society in EXTREME situations and their BULLETPROOF soundtracks included PROMINENT INDUSTRIAL, SHOEGAZE and ALTERNATIVE BANDS acts ranging from SKINNY PUPPY, FRONT 242, COIL, NINE INCH NAILS, MINISTRY, ELASTICA, PORNO FOR PYROS, LUSH, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, APHEX TWIN and RIDE to LOVE AND ROCKETS, PIZZICATO FIVE, 311, MASSIVE ATTACK, THE CATHERINE WHEEL and SUEDE among many others.
all this to say that the specific context from which i first appreciated the work of SLOWDIVE was a highly charged one in which the music was utilized to engender and describe a CRUSHING sense of ALIENATION and DISENCHANTMENT with AMERICAN culture writ large. such is the power of cinema that it can transform the meaning of all other vehicles of ARTISTIC EXPRESSION (PHOTOGRAPHY / CINEMATOGRAPHY, SET DESIGN, SET DESIGN, COSTUME DESIGN, ACTING, SPECIAL EFFECTS, etc.) that contribute to such, with music being no different. but when you separate SLOWDIVE from that specific use case by a particularly IDIOSYNCRATIC film director, what i hear is not a band attempting to describe a feeling of OVERPOWERING DISLOCATION from the outside world, but rather a unit attempting to aurally represent the SUBLIME. thats how i took it at least when first listening to spellbindingly TRANSCENDENT SOUVLAKI (CREATION, 1993) tracks "DAGGER," "40 DAYS," "HERE SHE COMES," "ALISON" and especially "SOUVLAKI SPACE STATION" and "WHEN THE SUN HITS." there is just the sense with these MERCURIAL, reverb-drenched AMBIENT tracks of a deep emotion springing forth into being from the recesses of one's consciousness, as if as a listening you are taking joint part in this PROFOUND CONNECTION. and that is kind of my point. when i listen to SLOWDIVE, not unlike similar groups in JOY DIVISION, BAUHAUS or MY BLOODY VALENTINE, i dont feel isolated from my COMMUNITY, but part of a greater SHARED HUMANITY. their music to me (some of it created during SIGNIFICANT interpersonal strife including unrequited love) is the aural equivalent of attempting to establish a CONNECTION. an interconnection with what is up for debate, but it feels like there is a sense of deep INTENTION to something emotionally resonate outside of oneself. being a part of a COMMUNITY.
the music of SLOWDIVE, even the more recent reunion material, is some of the most emotionally POWERFUL music i have ever come across and definitely feel it should be appreciated by a bigger audience, well outside of SHOEGAZE or CREATION RECORDS aficionados. the radio show i did on them was a gesture, however small, at such.