HMOT - Jack StudiesLABEL: Gost Zvuk
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"In the beginning there was Jack... And Jack had a groove." We know this old tale pretty well. But what do these words really mean? And does this meaning even exist nowadays?
Our fellow musician and sound researcher Stas Sharifullin, known as HMOT, presents his report Jack Studies in the form of a release on the Instrument, Gost Zvuk sublabel. Formally, it is a reissue of his single Prolegomena to Home Music Ontology, released in 2017 on Cyland. But these old tracks have been expanded, remastered by Rupert Clervaux and complemented by the two new ones. HMOT originally prepared the tracks on Jack Studies for release on Gost Zvuk, so these instrumentations are finally coming home after a long journey. Context is everything - and in the new environment, this music speaks even louder.
Originally, house music was associated with HIV/AIDS activism and the fight against racial oppression, among other things - and this was completely lost in translation in Russia. House was stripped of its political and symbolic potential, and Jack Studies tries to show how the context is slowly fading from our memory. But it's not just an observation. It's a tool of light intrusion that the author has already tested in his DJ sets. Once, he says, he played Instrumentation IV (Encore) for eleven minutes at the Kantine am Berghain.
Now that we are finally talking about Western and Eastern ways of making it in music, Jack Studies is more relevant than ever. You can see it not only as a joke said louder this time, but also as a critique of modern house music. You can also see it as a reflection on our strangeness to house music and how we can interpret it in our own way; as Sharifullin astutely suggests, as home music. He sees no line between tragedy and comedy, citing the plays of Samuel Beckett as the root of Jack Studies' irony. "They are funny and somber at the same time. To me, this release is sad, but the music here is joyful." Home music is the paradox. But it is also the beginning of something new. And in the beginning there was... what? Jack Studies has an answer.