ART: Mental-enhancing music

Kathryn Aegis (
Sat, 1 Aug 1998 11:28:10 -0700 (PDT)

I have been thinking about recent postings relating to music--which music enhances mental processes, which music might be considered 'extropian', technical processes for predicting what sort of music an individual might want...and I agree that any listing of 'extropian' music would have to include the tastes of many individuals. I myself would have to nominate punk and post-punk for inclusion, that explosion of intelligent rage that burst across the Atlantic to find homes in squalid little clubs in various cities. ('squalid' meaning you had to carry a baseball bat to go downstairs to the bathroom...) If you avoided the skinheads, you could find a collection of hypersmart freaks who found little value in the limitations of mainstream culture, who valued 'interesting' over 'pretty'. The aethestic survives today in industrial, grunge, hardcore techno, cyberpunk literature and the Doc Martens in Nieman Marcus.

If someone were actually writing a program to produce the 'perfect' music, I would have to tell that person: don't give me what I want, don't play the notes I expect to hear--give me something to blow away the flabbier neurons, knife-edged to cut away complacency, trash my assumptions and leave me floundering in the deep end of the pool....


Kathryn Aegis

'Don't try to help me, I can save myself...If I'm incomplete, don't fill the gaps....Save me from the people who would save me from my sin, they've got muscle for brains!' Andy Gill, Gang of Four, _Songs of the Free_