“It’s so easy to be confused.”
DJ Sprinkles (Terre Thaemlitz) has made it a mission to reclaim house music from the blandly hedonistic masses. As we’re reminded on the opening to 2009’s insanely perfect Midtown 120 Blues, “the house nation likes to pretend clubs are an oasis from suffering; but suffering is in here, with us.” His (Terre is “she” and Sprinkles is “he”) dreamlike house undulations evoke a distinct melancholy while oozing comfort and acceptance.
This track is a beating heart at the center of what people mean when they say emotional dance music. It can destroy anyone who’s paying attention, but it’s also incredibly addictive, a spiked dopamine drip at the center of my nervous system for 12 consecutive minutes.
“It’s so easy to be confused. It’s so hard to love ourselves and to find what’s good for our lives.”
There’s a moment in this pulsing cloud where these words pierce the veil, sending a thunder-drum to the pit of my stomach. In fades a brief spoken word passage, full of encouragement and gratitude and bravery. At the same moment, deep in the background we hear the word “faggots” emerging as part of a foggy repeated loop; it’s a knife stabbing through the narcotic cloud, upending any placid mood. turns out it’s a loose thread of this Gil Scott-Heron song that I’ll only link the lyrics to, that makes me cringe. This juxtaposition of deeply loving and open dialogue against the sharp and ugly surrounding voices is the most affecting and honest expression of how it feels to be tender in a hard world that I’ve heard in music in a long time.
It’s about a lot more than that kernel of feeling, but this is what disarms me quickest.
The bass throb and side chain melodies flare up and the words are dissolved quickly. Only feeling remains. It’s a slow but bumpy ride down as a cascade of wordless female vocals ease the song to an end. For a few fleeting seconds, the ghosts of the dialogue echo. In a weirdly fitting twist, we hear a house cat calling to the gauzy, disembodied voices in perfect clarity. This is a perfect track.
Seashore is actually a remix; as part of the two and a half hour Queerifications & Ruins compilation, DJ Sprinkles radically transformed Oh, Yoko‘s original song. I’ve shared it below. If the atmosphere is at all part of the draw for you, you’ll love this dreamlike torch song as it drifts into pure mist over the course of 7 minutes. Take heart, as the cat remains.
Please, check out Terre’s website, Comatonse Recordings, to purchase any of her works. They’re not cheap, but they’re better than the gouging you’ll receive elsewhere. Here’s a link to purchase Queerifications & Ruins, where this song resides at the very center.