I was listening back to Kodwo Eshun’s Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture one night back in January, not long after getting back from Dublin, and it made me miss the atmosphere at Goldsmiths back in the 2017.
Though it was marred by tragedy, following the death of Mark Fisher, the prevailing legacy of that time was — for me at least — a deep immersion in another world: a world of defiant black modernism and ever-accelerating breaks, both sonic and political. (Everyone was reading Fred Moten, of course.)
Following the uncanniversary of Mark’s death on January 13th, I set about collecting together a bunch of tracks, old and new, that evoked that time in my mind — classic dubstep, footwork, silly edits and jarring breaks — all of which come together with distinct but overlapping time signatures: the accelerations and decelerations of the present.
The result is this month’s Slack’s mix. It’s pretty sharp, angular, rough around the edges. All hard cuts and finger jabs. But putting it together was cathartic. It embodies, for me at least, a mournful fury that is unabated six years on.
So much still resonates with that brief and rickety conjuncture. Reflecting on it every year, it makes me want to hurl myself over the present and into the future, coagulating with winter blues and spring desires. In many ways, 2017 feels a lot like 2022. Both years were awful, in so many ways, but I can’t help but look back on their spring and summer with heartfelt wonder. And that’s always down to friends and music and dancing.
Where does spring hide its joy? In sound.
Kodwo Eshun — Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture, 2017
Kali Malone, Stephen O’Malley & Lucy Railton — Does Spring Hide Its Joy v2.1
Pat Benjamin — January 11
Stray — Pushed
Roscoe Mitchell — Bells for the South Side
DJ Hank — Lift Gate
DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn — Brighter Dayz
DJ Rashad — Drums Please
Zebra Katz — Ima Read ft. Njena Reddd Foxxx (Slick Shoota Remix)
EQ Why — Jukelicious
Itoa — Oh No ft. なかむらみなみ (extended mix)
Flore — Primary Material
El-B — Buck & Bury
Burial — Rough Sleeper
Burial — Untitled
Burial — Homeless
Blawan — Potchla Vee
Horsepower Productions — When You Hold Me (Version)