Terre Thaemlitz Lovebomb

Lovebomb may leave the listener with a sense of unease as we are invited to examine the mistakenly self-evident emotion and act called love. Part social document, as expounded in the text-heavy liner notes, and an emotionally evocative, brilliant abstract electro acoustic CD elaborating on the destruction caused, on all levels of society, in its name. A lively intellectual in the electronic music community, Thaemlitz’s material has always been more about "tripping-in” to awareness, rather than "tripping-out.” "In Lovebomb, I tried to formalise some thoughts on the interconnection between social structures and emotions — for example, how notions of love are integral to the promotion or destruction of cultural agendas,” he explains. "This was based on the simple observation that rhetoric about love is usually integral to situations with ongoing violence, yet love is typically interpreted as a response or solution to such violence. For example, the presumption of love in a family or love relationship allows for domestic violence and other extreme actions that would be unacceptable in other social spheres. The presumption of love keeps family members silent, and neighbours from intervening. Similarly, a terrorist can be seen as acting out of a love for one's cause. The Bush administration wants U.S. military actions to be seen as stemming from a love for freedom. In this way love is not an emotion, but a cultural signifier through which we mediate our identities (individually, communally, nationally, etc.). As a cultural signifier, love is quite radically distinct from our subjective feelings... but we internalise these signifiers, and get cloudy on this distinction.” Terre tackles his thesis in a sonically elegant, sample-happy if not sometimes abrasive way. Somewhere between abstract and ambient, between academic text and poetry dwells the material of Lovebomb. One may further add, in a saturated music market where it seems just about every permutation has been tried, it is refreshing to encounter a unique yet exceptional album. (Mille Plateaux)