Negativland's 'The Answer Is' puts an avant-garde spin on elevator music | Bleader

Negativland's 'The Answer Is' puts an avant-garde spin on elevator music

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On its 1981 album, Points, San Francisco-born experimental-music group Negativland doesn't care to jive with traditional songwriting. Shocking, I know. Instead much of the record represents a crash course in sound art, via, among other examples, the layering of chilling, ambient soundscapes or the distortion and warping of crowd noise till certain voices possess themselves (basically). Still, my favorite track from the outfit's sophomore effort is the one that features the most distinct structure. Today's 12 O'Clock Track, "The Answer Is," is as haunting as some of Negativland's compositions—but instead of an avant-garde sound collage that writhes and spews itself all over the place, the track has more carnival corn dog in it. Girded by a rising-and-dipping wavelength of electronic blips, the core of "The Answer Is" is prodded by Atari-ready zaps and I'm guessing what teleportation will probably sound like. In short, it's Negativland's spin on elevator music—with more than a couple paranoia-inducing flourishes added in for good measure.

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