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July 4, 2020

by Andy Cowling

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United States of America
At night

(in order of appearance)
a dog
a train
an amplifier
an electric guitar
a stun grenade
a truck
a thunderstorm
a click
a bug zapper

We who aim to abolish the dog have a thousand regrets over the vision of its dead body. Our tears crystallize a twofold rebellion: against the status of this world and against our fate, the necessity to destroy it. We are sorry for everything – we apologize for nothing.

A dog barking into the night is unaware that it forms part of the property that it protects. The dog attacks anyone who seemingly threatens its master’s property as a de facto self-defence. This relationship could never be explained to the dog. As tragic as it may seem, the dog must die if these relations are to be permanently changed. An agreement is impossible. The fight can only be won, lost, or momentarily suspended. Fiat iustitia et pereat mundus.

The persistence of e-minor determines the guitar’s fate. “Fuck it.” A few deviant notes rise up against this fatal key. For a moment, they form a monophonic united front but fail at the sea change, the change of keys. All we seem to achieve are spectral distortions, tempestuous winds emanating from our throats. Yet the saddening tonality remains unmoved when each cycle of outrage comes to an end. After every clearing of the sky, it reaffirms the total enclosure of our sight.

The click of repression is clocked. In musical notation, measures look like cuts in a waveform: vertical. Equality is horizontal and every revolutionary struggle is an attempt to redefine the horizontal line. If the raised voices repeatedly fail to be sustained, the hoarseness which defines the vacuum after a parole is our only possible dignity. “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Waiting as if, after the seventh blow of the trumpet, the walls of Jericho would collapse.

However distorted through the digital conversion and the artistic formatting, the voices’ uproar can by them be amplified. As of yet, it has not been proven whether in amplification diffusion or dissemination outweigh one another. To distort a guitar sound can add a significant sustain to it. But the longer sustained, the more our perception is accustomed to the sound’s strength and its impact is lost. If there remains any hope in July 4, 2020 by Andy Cowling, it is that our ears might burst.

John-Robin Bold, July 2020


released August 5, 2020
sonic object by Andy Cowling
text by John-Robin Bold
cover artwork by Merve Cowling


all rights reserved



Force Inc. / Mille Plateaux Frankfurt, Germany

Anonymous, dark, black, hidden, concealed, encrypted, opaque, undercover, incomprehensible: Ultrablack of Music dares the exodus and listens to those forces and sounds that tell of the unheard in music. Sound is the vibration, resonance and diffraction of waves in the black cosmos. ... more

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