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Swans

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“我活在这黑暗的世界上已有数万年,然而从来没有人知道我在这。”   “唤来永恒黑暗的天籁正是我”──盖诺斯提教 (Gnostic) 颂诗。
  就像是一个谜,引诱纯真善良的听者推落坠入人性罪孽的深渊,面对皮肉面相之后的残肉骨血而惊骇。美丽的天鹅一生悠游于静湖上,传说无法发声的它却会在临终之际唱出自己的挽歌。反讽的是,这只黑天鹅唱出的却是宛若古代异端组织—盖诺斯提教的幽冥思想.古盖诺斯提哲学视人生与地球的生命为注定失败的作品, 唯有经”折磨”使自己解脱于现实的陷阱与幻象时, 才能寻回因逃离这个世界诅咒而失落的本源,重新发现存在遥远的星辰,原子核甚至是细胞中的原初统一.这便是天鹅在其悖德音乐背后的源动力.

  天鹅是在纽约绝对是拥有煽动听众成狂热信徒本领的顶尖地下乐团(cult Band) ,音乐界形容其为八十年间最恶贯满盈的家伙。曾经有人形容过“用慢一半的速度来播 Velvet Underground 的 ’ Sister Ray ’ 再从得到的古怪结果中拿掉幽默感,之后剩下的就是天鹅”。天鹅的音乐一向阴森冷硬,以极沉重的高度精神压力施予听众骨胳嘎扎碎裂和剧烈的头痛。所有的节拍拖拉式地以让人坐立难安的 2/2 拍进行 ,低音频率加强到像半失速飞行的失重无力程度。听每一张天鹅的专辑都会像是梦靥时心悸的感受──再溺水的池中,以超慢速之姿被主唱 Gira 的僵尸般哀嚎强迫以头撞墙。就是这种违反人类生理听觉的催眠式咒语,天鹅让人纷纷于无意识的状态上染上了抑郁孤僻的气息,走入地狱炼火。

  自八十年代的某一个黎明,纽约市的丑陋子宫精一番痛苦惊峦生出浴血的天鹅开始,天鹅在地下乐界叱咤将近十五年之久,但却在 96 年宣告解散。如今再记述天鹅的点点滴滴, 无非是为其恶迹留下见证吧。一付人格乖张无神论调的 Michael Gira 原先在洛杉矶自主发行地下刊物「No Mag」,后移至纽约组织了一个短命的虚无后叛客( post-punk) 乐团,“Circus Mort”。1982 年天鹅出了首张同名 E.P 专辑,Gira 担任贝斯手,其余团员一直不固定,迄今至少有 30 人受不了 Gira 而离开,唯有吉他手 Norman Westberg,女键盘主唱 Jarboe 二人维持了长期的合作关系。早期的天鹅作品好比有着幽闭症患者的恐惧妄想,歌词耸动人心, 像是:“他们正谈论着如何利用你的弱点设计你….” 等o 第一张正式专辑 (Filth) 描述人类基于满足欲望而违悖道德。混乱,无调的声响加上 Gira 如野兽般的呻吟唱腔为往后的风格奠下基础。「Cop」(1984)中 Gira 开始发展出散文叙事般的风格,像歌曲“Raping the Slave”即着重于生理与心理遭受折磨的快感描写。「Greed」(1985)与「Holy Money」(1986)两张专辑风格大致相同,前者故意以钢琴伴奏,加上首次使用“唱歌”的方式,乍听之下的都会休闲小品乐曲其实文字是在噎愚讽刺中产阶级的拜金教条。

  「Children of God」(86/87)是天鹅的经典之作,充满原始赤裸的情感。Gira 的声音试图控制着听者的心灵,另一方面 Jarboe 则唱出属于女声美感的叙事歌曲 (ballads) 。以探讨宗教的盲点为主,充满摇滚乐独特的离经叛道魅力与震撼力。

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  • DonJuanHG

    The seer is the shit, I listen to this all day I can't get enough. New swans fan, they are playing in Glasgow tonight can't believe I'm missing them.

    10 小时前 回复
  • ImSoDarkOmg

    The Seer is shit, TBK has moments,but easy forgetable, My Father is good, though feels like an EP, Soundtracks and Annihilator are Godlike.

    昨天 22:07 回复
  • foda-se-

    who reads pitchfork after the ratings they gave to shit in 2012

    昨天 03:00 回复
  • vittuviladunaa

    find it funny that Pitchfork present themselves as long-time Swans worshippers and yet you can't find a single Swans song or album on their top 90's songs/albums.

    5月 21日 11:36 回复
  • CriticalSwitch

    I think this album is a good example of the face of 10s music. It's very trendy these days to seem as "avant-garde" and "obscure" as possible, if you fit into these descriptions then you can be sure that you'll be critically acclaimed by popular media. And I want you to get it straight, I have nothing against real "experimental" music, I myself am a fan of many artists which are often described as "experimental". But there's one important condition that formulates quality of music for me: music should stay genuine. It should represent actual feelings of an artist. I think 10s music is dead by nature because it exchanged genuineness for pretentiousness during this race for experimentalism. That's why I wish I'd live in the 90s when people didn't reject simple beauty of honest and straightforward music like, for example, the Offspring.

    5月 20日 11:16 回复
  • CriticalSwitch

    Heh, seems like yet another discussion is turning out to be like me fighting the crowds. Talking about the last Swans album, there are some particular reasons why I don't like it. The main is that this record sounds like the band tried to incorporate as much "cool" genres as possible in one album (people like to describe it as post-punk, drone, math rock, no wave, noise rock, experimental etc.), but failed to be good enough if you look at the album as a whole. Yeah, it sounds like a mishmash of some elements of the listed genres, but that's exactly the reason why the album doesn't have personality and core.

    5月 20日 11:13 回复
  • tenrapid

    any comparison of To Be Kind to Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead and Kanye West is clearly either highly confused or just plain trolling. sure Swans have wider appeal now compared to 1997, but that's due to how we access and are exposed to music now and not because they're pandering to some Pitchfork aesthetic.

    5月 20日 7:52 回复
  • uglytongue

    you cringe.

    5月 20日 3:14 回复
  • cadavreflex

    What happens if I decide not to fight.

    5月 20日 1:04 回复
  • uglytongue

    @cadavreflex: sry to hear about your friend but i've just listened to the album you mentioned and quite frankly all those songs were meaningless shit. fight me.

    5月 19日 23:49 回复
  • uglytongue

    v- sure, and describing another's thought as being the gangrened testicularity of youth is certainly something far more fucking worthy.

    5月 19日 23:47 回复
  • sunheadbowed

    "The people who dislike the new stuff are dumb, The Seer and To Be Kind are very true to what Swans was before. People just don't like it because they now have "pitchfork recognition" oh noes." This is juvenile bollocks.

    5月 19日 23:23 回复
  • cadavreflex

    The meaning of life is to be kind.

    5月 19日 22:40 回复
  • CodeDVA

    CriticalSwitch is special

    5月 19日 18:44 回复
  • thenearestdoor

    its all good

    5月 19日 0:32 回复
  • MotelBird

    Their best are Filth, Cop and Young God, no doubt

    5月 18日 22:07 回复
  • cadavreflex

    Well, I've yet to listen to Swans' latest album so I can't really see where you're coming from. How about Soundtracks For The Blind. Do you find that album lacking sense as well? I Love You This Much + The Sound are my 2 of favourite tracks, along with Mellothumb & Minus Something because the narrator reminds me of an old friend who was very close, but ended up abusing thorazine to such an extent that he's currently deceased, lodged as ash within a niche I'll often visit during winter. As for Offspring, I just played a few tracks and Self-Esteem is the one I used to ride my friend's half-pipe to! He'd play it a lot and I had forgotten all about that memory... I always thought the song was by Weezer for some reason. hmm, I've changed my mind about all Offspring fans being in need of castrations, because I see I've always been one of them.

    5月 18日 20:10 回复
  • CriticalSwitch

    Hipsters complaining about the Offspring, nice. And both of them have Radiohead and Neutral Milk Hotel in their charts, which is also predictable. The truth, however, is that one random song by the Offspring makes more sense and has more value than the whole last Swans album.

    5月 18日 17:27 回复
  • superanus

    Happy 20th anniversary, Great Annihilator!

    5月 18日 16:06 回复
  • Danomagico

    Their live performance yesterday was insane

    5月 18日 10:54 回复
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