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1/16/2006

Nobody Gets Out of Here Until This Gets Settled


This is Not Factrix, a Ghost, or Dr. Giggles; It's a Pup We Met On Top Of the Pyramids at Teotihuacan

Hooray for finally getting ahold of Fatrix's Artifact to encounter "Phantom Pain" amidst thoughts of ghosts and ghost limbs in particular. (It's fantastic, by the way, like Suicide crawling through tar cut with cough syrup minus the 1950's/Wolf Eyes' more spare dirges minus the machismo.)

It has been reported that as many as 80% of amputees experience the ghost limb phenomenon: an arm where an arm once was; even stranger, a watch or bracelet; disturbingly, pains.

I guess it seemed most applicable to dub, a genre where each iteration is essentially an amputee. Maybe it gives dub its haunted quality: gritty remnants, spaces, and passages under erasure all representing a grand ache for their former appendages. Keith Hudson was a dentist after all, and Lee Perry once characterized dub as "the ghost in me coming out." Poor Ken Boothe, his guts all over the floor. There was that horror movie, Dr. Giggles, which was also the name of a bong that this kid I knew in high school had. Once I accidentally cut myself whilst stoned and felt nothing. Wild times in the operating room. Studio real kinda cloudy. Anyway.

Along with the The Focus Group, it approaches coveted hybrid monster status: ghost (spectral, shifting, between worlds), zombies (undead/resurrected; that's another road entirely, though), and Frankensteins. Do amputated limbs miss their old bodies? Do samples miss their homes? Maybe I'm freaked out not because I'm hearing ghosts, but because I'm disturbed by the suggestion of profound loneliness; loose elements drifting in dub space purgatory, or even Ariel Pink's decay. Come to think, Ariel's The Doldrums first caught me because it was deeply melancholy without sounding like a 2D depresso in need of a fucking nap and a good go kart ride.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ian said...

You've read Merleau-Ponty on phantom limbs, right? If not, look that up immediately - it's great (Phenomenology Of Perception has the stuff I've read).

10:57 AM  
Blogger Mike Powell said...

No, but I'll check it out (figuratively and library-wise). Thanks Ian!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Any time - it's a big book, so if you want/need I can dig out my old notes and find the relevant sections. But (a) they're nearish the beginning and (b) the whole book is flat-out amazing, so I doubt you will.

6:34 PM  

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