Radio Quarantine: eternal judge — Identity (2021)

Hard to say why it was a kind of downtempo, barber beats jam that caught the mood today, but Eternal Judge is it for right now. That could change at any point, but it’s good for now. Just like so many other mornings, it’s on because it works.

It just works.

My head hurts already from this Ukraine thing. It’s pretty clear where things are. Russia is on the move and their motives are transparent. They’re trying to take back part of what they gave up thirty years ago when the weight of the empire became unsustainable. It’s really not so different than what The United States is doing all over by supporting this regime over that regime and this leadership over the other. It’s all the same. That’s what’s so sad about it. We’re hearing all these heroic stories of Ukrainian resistance and it’s all well and good. It’s inspiring to me too! What’s lacking though is the global picture. The message is incomplete. Why is Ukraine heroic and Yemen barely mentioned in the news? Certainly there must be ballsy Yemenis that we can hold up the same way. Anyway… random notes there. The entire story is too complicated to get into this morning, after a night of broken sleep. Everything is always more complicated than it plays out in popular media and dialogue. So our hero of the day is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, who looks like a mini Gerard Butler, which is appropriate because the media portrayal parallels 300, where the king of Sparta leads his tiny force against the might of an invading empire. We have always loved these stories, right? And I’m really not being dismissive. He IS a hero in this story and Vladimir Putin is definitely a villain. That’s not all there is to the story though, as much as we would like it to be. We do love these scenarios though, The Mouse That Roared and all that. We all love the Underdog, even though nobody exactly wants to be the Underdog.

You’ll not be getting any big analysis on this story for me, so I almost feel guilty mentioning it, but it’s all so far above my paygrade. And to tell the story honestly one would have to include all the different angles and that gets cumbersome and lengthy. Who has time for that? I don’t know if I’d make the time if I were getting paid. That’s not how I want to spend my remaining time on this planet. There is no more fight left in me. I’m exhausted.

But this was supposed to be about the music, right? What can I say about Eternal Judge. It’s chill, in a way, but melancholic enough that it generates a low key anxious vibe. That resonates just enough that you’re not going to put off Identity as background music. It rests somewhere in a wide open space between the background and foreground. It’s just persistent enough to hold the attention. It digs deep in and tugs out the feels that you kind of knew were sweating you but weren’t quite ready to address. Ten minutes in and you may find yourself asking how exactly you came to be feeling a certain way… like low key and chill but you can no longer just sit there. Something needs to be attended to but you don’t remember what it is. You forgot something somewhere but can’t remember what it is you’re supposed to be looking for. You might find yourself thinking about something was left unresolved with you and… someone. Hell, but we’ve all left something like that behind with someone. Some conversation maybe that you should have had, or you feel like you should have had, to get real closure. And is there ever really real closure?

This is how I react to a lot of these barber beats, plunderphonics recordings. They’re reaching back in at feelings that I can never quite place. At unresolved things. Half-memories. Words left unspoken. Goodbyes made but never quite settled. Awkward moments that I wish I’d moved differently through. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

Or maybe not.

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