Fanatic Review: Thigmotactic
“Thigmotactic” takes another path in Negativland’s many twists and turns throughout the musical wilderness, by going deep into song making territory with a project created mostly by one member of the group.
Moving in a very different direction than other recent Negativland releases, and with a decidedly surreal bent, “Thigmotactic” is the first entirely song-based project to emerge from the minds of Negativland. These eccentric toe-tapping electronic folk-pop noise songs are strung together to form a continuous and cohesive listening experience, with themes emerging around meat, feet, pants, milk, cows, trucks, Herb Alpert, Richard Nixon, and even love.
“Thigmotactic” continues in Negativland’s decades long collage and cut-up tradition, but while the trademark sound of found audio elements is heard through-out, the cutting up and collage is also in the lyrics, created by combining dream journals, bits of advertisements, found poems, automatic writings, stream of consciousness, old National Geographic articles, and more.
The fifteen songs and two instrumentals were written, composed and performed by Negativland’s Mark Hosler, with contributions from the rest of the group, and with well-known San Francisco noisemaker Thomas Dimuzio contributing lots of rather unexpectedly normal sounding instruments, arrangements and production.
The found ethic continues with the artwork that accompanies each track, created from found materials to illustrate each song. Many of these have been shown as part of Negativland’s traveling art show “Negativlandland”, and, in a creative experiment in financing this release, each one-of-a-kind work is for sale via this website. Look under VISUAL ART to find them (art prices coming soon!).
Negativland has always existed as an umbrella under which the group releases collaborative work in many mediums - music, noise, collage, film, design, animation, fine art, books, lectures, essays, sculpture, performance, radio, web sites, etc. - with the term “Negativland Presents” sometimes being used as a way to release work that might be mostly the product of one member’s brain, or uses members outside of the immediate collective. To learn more about Negativland’s unusual history, read their bio.