John Maus Features in Guardian// CMU Approved// Art Review (Posted By Harry)

John Maus (Upset The Rhythm)

John Maus (Upset The Ryhthm)John Maus Guardian// CMU//Art Review Features

John Maus
‘We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves’
(Upset The Rhythm)

Busy times for John Maus, having features in The Guardian, CMU & Art Review. His ‘We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves’ has been described by Pitchfork as “walking the line between sincerity and surreality’ (8.4 review) and given Q as ‘sublime stuff, clever and blissfully unaware of the rule book.’
Here’s some extract from the features mentioned (The Guardian, CMU, Art Review.)

The Guardian

“A postgraduate student of political philosophy, his latest album, We Must Become Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves – one of 2011’s best – is titled after a quotation from leftist thinker Alain Badiou; amid a tide of apolitical, irony-drenched blog rock- his earnest zeal is refreshing. “We live in a world where information travels faster and is circulated more widely than ever before…yest all it delivers is inanities …what the album title means to me is: come on guys, we should struggle to interrupt that, we should pitilessly censor ourselves…the idea is that no art stands a chance unless we struggle, unless we make some effort to think.”
Maus attempts to convey his idealised vision of the future apply to his music as much as his lyrics, which is why he gets so frustrated when people hear the gloomy synths and immediately dismiss him as an 80s revivalist. “I don’t address my music in terms of nostalgia or retromania…I think synthesisers and waveforms allow for a sonic complexity that goes beyond the palette we’re used to with guitars. The palette was there in the 80s so why was it set aside and forgotten? That thread can be taken up again. All these timbres and sounds just afford so much colour and possibility, it seems to me, whereas the possibilities of guitars have been exhausted…when people say my record sounds 80s, what they are really homing in on is this harmonic backbone that comes from mid-Renaissance and medieval pieces. For whatever reason, the pioneers of electronic music that came out of Sheffield and Manchester in the 1980s became interested in these ecclesiastical modes that, historically, were associated with the divine. So in my mind, it’s not about the 80s, it’s an objective musical phenomenon.” (Written By Sam Richards)

CMU Approved Feature

“Pitiless Censors’ takes its name from a quotation by philosopher Alain Badiou, that Maus studied something clever in Switzerland, that his present musical methods stem from a mixture of medieval chord patterns and a mind-to-mind alliance with his one-time college contemporary Ariel Pink – does make for interesting reading. But none of that takes the fore when I’m appreciating the quiet beatitude of ‘Hey Moon’, the flickering sound silhouettes cast by ‘Street Light’, the ingenious waveform nudge of ‘Head To The Country’ or ‘Streetlight’, when Maus is just a sepulchral-voiced controller with his hands on all the dials.
On-stage, as I witnessed last night at London’s Heaven pre a headline slot by Washed Out, Maus is most definitely a hands-free entity. Clutching blindly at the abyss – the abyss being a pack of disorientated chillwave fans – he stalks about like the sole performer at a cracked karaoke bar; soaked in sweat, eyes screwed tight, self wholly sacrificed to the strain of bawling lyrics as backing music is blasted, ‘X-Factor’-style, from unseen speakers. The crowd seems split, swaying between awe and disbelief, reluctant to trust in the authenticity of what they’re seeing, waiting for Ernest Greene to restore calm.
If nothing else, Maus live is a spectacle unlike any other – part parody, part cop-out, part bold aesthetic experiment. But the music, I think, still sounds sublime.
You can see all this for yourself when John plays London’s Tuffnel Park Dome on 17 Nov. Failing that, let’s end on a hopeful note, with ‘Believer’.” [Read More] (Written By CMU)

Art Review Feature

“Dispensing with a band in favour of doomy, prerecorded, bass-heavy synth backing tracks, Maus sings through a reverb vocoder. His movement is constant, and while the immediate assumption that his anguished howls are those of cliché of rock angst, they arguably channel something much more interesting. The manic vocal noise (or suggestion of noise, Maus frequently shifts the microphone away from his mouth) is not just a funnel for pain – existential or otherwise, and ingrained into the collective imagination by Edvard Munch – but also an animalistic intonation of ecstasy. As much as he sings from a position of being crumpled on the floor, Maus also stands on the edge of the stage, exalting the audience. Watching this movement – watching him shake, bent double as he roars out under a dozen tracks – he becomes the personification of the evangelical pastors caught up in their hyperbolic rapture. The only difference being that where those religious men channel an awesome god, Maus seems to be physically expunging similarly sublime inner demons.” [Read More] (Written By Oliver Basciano)

Track List:

 01. Street Light
02. Quantum Leap
03. … And The Rain
04. Hey Moon
05. Keep Pushing On
06. The Crucifix
07. Head For The Country
08. Cop Killer
09. Matter Of Fact
10. We Can Breakthrough
11. Believer

One Response to “John Maus Features in Guardian// CMU Approved// Art Review (Posted By Harry)”
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  1. […] on their placings in this year’s chart to Nicolas Jaar and Circus Company label (#2) , John Maus and Upset The Rhythm (#8), Balam Acab and Tri Angle (#20), Unknown Mortal Orchestra and True Panther (#57) , The Field […]

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