New Jack Swing (AD021)

2004
Seth Price

This album is the fourth in Seth Price's Distributed History project, which uses the mix-tape form to examine the just-past, putting pop's cast-offs to work in order to sketch a redemptive cultural history.

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Mix Tapes Poem
Appropriation as the excretory phase of consumption,
The will to catgorize all cultural artifacts into discrete fields.
Three fields marking shifts in production technologies,
Fetishism of commercial obsolescence.
Music organized by personality disorder:
Neurotic, Perverse, and Psychotic...
Well, then, mustn't shit where you eat.


Other tapes in Price's Distributed History project include Industrial Fist (free103point9 AD 013, 2002), a reappraisal of industrial music, and Game Heaven (2001), a collection of early video game soundtracks which debuted at the Whitney Museum store during the 2002 Whitney Biennial, in which Price participated. With each mix-tape, Price publishes an essay outlining the genre in question and placing it in historical perspective (an essay on Industrial Synth music appears in Sound Collector Audio Review #4, from December 2003.

"It may be that [New Jack Swing] is deeply reactionary, but there's something interesting about the low regard in which it's now held. You can trace a cyclical pattern: every ten years or so, up rises a dumb, catchy mode that will eventually come to sound like death." (from "Journalistic Approach to New Jack Swing," 2002. Published in Sound Collector Audio Review, 2003)