(MP3 DOWNLOAD) –
To listen to ZULI’s We Are All Anemic mix is to be confronted by decay. Sliding across an arid terrain, its sounds move, but with a momentum that is staggered, labored. The force of entropy is taking hold. Rough trenches wound its territory, their depths unthinkable. In the air whorl clouds of sonic debris: old computers, satellite parts, strange alloys. Across an hour of sound, we toggle between depth and surface, contemplation and distraction interwoven in noise, bearing witness to a fading geography.
I first listened to ZULI’s mix on a train to Glasgow. In the city, I listened to Denise Ferreira da Silva talk quantum physics and Leibniz’s concept of the plenum. She wondered how we could come to perceive the world otherwise, how we could loosen the constraints of coloniality, its ways of knowing and being. I wondered: could listening — hearing — provide us with a way out? Does sound not move us away from the concept? When we listen to ZULI’s mix, do we need to know? Or can we not simply enter into its moods, inhabit its structures, and leave with our perceptions altered?
In Glasgow, I heard Fred Moten and Nathaniel Mackey talk about debris and decay as a way of getting out from what keeps us under. They wanted an aesthetic of breakage, against wholeness. They want to register history as the sounding of decay, or decay as the sound of history. No smooth lines, but jaggedness, wear and tear.