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Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded (1996)

February 2, 2017

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Everything ‘Bout the Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 510/1001]

A tremendous quote, from an excellent scene, in the tremendously excellent 2014 film, The Imitation Game:

“Of course machines can’t think as people do. A machine is different from a person. Hence, they think differently. The interesting question is, just because something, uh… thinks differently from you, does that mean it’s not thinking? Well, we allow for humans to have such divergences from one another. You like strawberries, I hate ice-skating, you cry at sad films, I am allergic to pollen. What is the point of… different tastes, different… preferences, if not, to say that our brains work differently, that we think differently? And if we can say that about one another, then why can’t we say the same thing for brains… built of copper and wire, steel?”

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A 2017 attempt at the review of Walking Wounded, a mid-90s electronica album by Everything But the Girl, that modifies the above quote:

Of course machines can’t play music as people do.

A machine is different from a person. Hence, they make music differently.

The interesting question is, just because something, uh… makes music differently from you, does that mean it’s not making music?

Well, we allow for humans to have such divergences from one another.

You like black metal, I hate when it sounds like a singer is ‘doing’ a voice, you cry at power ballads, I am allergic to ill-advised remixes.

What is the point of… different tastes, different… preferences, if not, to say that our brains work differently, that we appreciate musical artists differently?

And if we can say that about artists playing physical instruments, then why caneverything_but_the_girl-walking_wounded_album_cover‘t we say the same thing for artists making music on a machine…built of copper and wire, steel?”

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All of which is to say:

1. My wonderful, and very human, wife instantly enjoyed this electronica album, an album largely produced by machines.

2. I’ll happily acknowledge that this digitally-created music is in fact, music, but I’m still on the path to full enjoyment. Which, compared to my less than enlightened attitude towards this group as a teen, can be considered modest progress.

3. I’m currently reading a book, The Power of Off, which had a great line:

“If we understand that another person’s differing information and opinions can coexist with our information and opinions, without either of our personhoods being destroyed by the contradiction, then we can genuinely listen to and relax with what another knows and believes.”

Which is good to know we can coexist, despite not sharing identical levels of enthusiasm for mid-90s electronica.

4. We both love The Imitation Game, which I imagine can only help our chances of coexistence.

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate my aforementioned & awfully wonderful wife!

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From → 1990s

19 Comments
  1. For me, computerized instrumentation today don’t sound as powerful as the manuel synthesizers in say Jump by Van Halen or Subdivisions by Rush.
    But there’s no reason why advanced computers and AI shouldn’t be able to create melodies in collaboration with humans. Maybe that’s the next step in the history of music! I’m not sure if I went off track, but your post got me thinking.

    • It will be interesting to see how digital things go – things seem to ebb and flow.
      The ones you mentioned (both good ones!), seemed to signal the movement towards synth. But then loud guitars came back. Then this sort of electronica in the 90s. Then the return of guitars with all the ‘the’ bands in the early 2000s (Hives, Vines, White Stripes, Strokes…)
      And it’s always nice to hear when one of my posts leaves people thinking after reading, thanks Chris!

  2. Thats awesome that you both can share music together….Thats a great thing My wife Sue is no where near the big music buff that am but she likes going to shows and is always game.
    I think our next show may be Age Of Electric when they roll thru town….

    • Age of Electric is back???
      I just went to their site Deke – this is terrific news!
      Looks like they’re getting as close to Kingston as Oshawa, but it’s on a Saturday, I think I’d like to make the trip. Or I might have to tag along with you and Sue to the TBay show!

  3. You know the school in The Imitation Game? That’s where my dad went. True story.

  4. Nice one, Geoff. Particularly enjoyed your modifications to that quote (never seen the movie) and really like the quote from The Power Of Off. As for the album, I can’t comment on that one.

    • Cheers J!
      As you might have guessed, I highly recommend the film, the book’s been an interesting read, and the album’s not necessarily for me, but I can see why many enjoy. So I’d probably recommend film/book/CD in that order!

  5. This was wonderfully deep and a very compelling argument for electronic music. What I most like about electronic music is how accessible it is. Someone called it punk, and it really is, in the sense that anyone can do it, work more from feeling and less from theory and still come up with something simple or complex, depending on where they can go creatively. Machines don’t do the composing for you, it’s your creative decisions that tell them where to go, like a computer program. Or even a violin for that matter.

    • I like that punk = electronica theory Amrita. At first glance, it doesn’t seem right, but with your explanation, it seems quite apt!
      Thanks for both the kind words and neat new way of thinking about electronic music!

  6. Three cheers for wonderful wives!

  7. Good on ya for getting closer to this one, excellent work young man!

    Also, I love this whole post’s inclusion of Turing and extrapolation to music… brilliance.

  8. Aww, it was lovely reading what you said about your wife.

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