It is no giant leap of logic to put forth the notion that music is, at its roots, a ritualistic conception. Native peoples around the world developed sounds, rhythms and dances to commemorate or celebrate certain times, or certain events. These became rituals passed down through generations, each one transferring the meaning of the music to the next in a collective experience that nonetheless made its mark on the individual's memory in a way such as nothing else could have.
Perhaps a more modern example
Today, we experience music differently in one particular way. We still gather for concerts and parties and shows put on by professional musicians that resemble the collective creation of sound of our ancestors; but we also experience music individually, by ourselves, creating a different sort of memory. Perhaps, we're using this particular memory tool, this emotionally evocative exercise to connect to a different sort of experience, a more personal and private affair that we identify with as individuals, rather than as a society.
My taste in music is quite specific. I like most things, but I really only connect with very little of it. That said, once I've found an artist I like who has a sound that I find appealing, I tend to stick with them. Today, I want to share with you the artist who has left his mark on my memory, my personal favorite: Feed Me
Throughout the last 5 years of my life, I've followed one particular artist from the beginnings of his career with a 2 song EP on mau5trap all the way to now when he has his own label (Sotto Voce) and is playing shows around the world. I have bought every single release of his, along with everything released on his label, because I can't get enough. But before I get into any of that, we'll go back to where this all started:
Like many other young, impressionable kids caught up in the rise of dubstep, I followed the UKF Dubstep channel in the hopes that every once in a while, they'd post something actually worth listening to and I'd find a new track to listen to for a couple days and that would be that. One such day occurred in late 2010, when this track dropped. (I use the official one on Feed Me's Youtube account because it is higher quality)
To the large majority of you, it'll sound rather pedestrian, much like the majority of dubstep you may have heard. To me, however, this song's release marks the beginning of a five year love affair with one man and his ability to make the best music I've ever heard. I seriously cannot overstate how religiously I have kept up with John Gooch (Feed Me) and his creations. Each release of his has pushed my taste in music even farther out from the main stream. As he has left the realms of EDM and all of its fatal trappings, so too have I embarked upon my own journey in sound that has transformed how I look at music so drastically, I cringe at my own unworthy opinions of old.
The titles of his releases signify this shift in musical style for him:
Feed Me's Big Adventure
To The Stars
Feed Me's Escape from Electric Mountain
Feed Me's Psychedelic Journey
A Giant Warrior Descends on Tokyo
Just a cursory listen through many of those releases could easily identify a shift in style and an evolution in ability that marks Feed Me's growth as a musician. As someone who's listened to all of those releases many, many times, I can say I love every single one still to this day. All of them are so unique and complex that I find myself hearing new things every time hit play.
Perhaps the most striking thing to me now is that I still enjoy the ones I've heard hundreds of times. I never understood it before when my dad would play Rush's "Working Man" yet another time as we drove to his work, but now I think I'm beginning to follow the same road as I plug in my earphones and dive in. It's as if I'm ritualistically reliving the first time I heard these songs each and every time they grace my eardrums, still left floored by their effect on me.
I'll leave you with one last thing, for those interested but unwilling to delve into an entire discography. Feed Me did a mix for BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix, a two hour show where one artist is given free reign to play their own pre-edited set. Feed Me does not fail to deliver.