Friday, November 7, 2008

More Blistering Identitätkampf: IAMX's New Single



I've been waiting for this for over a year. IAMX has just released a new single today, Think of England, and it's available for free download. It is the first new material since 2006's sophomore album The Alternative. With the introduction of the single, there has come a new colour scheme and style for the MySpace page - gone are the yellow and black, replaced with red and muted grey. The single itself is a shift in mood - gone is the dark cabaret, instead there is a rather insistent, urgent sense of wild escape.

If anything, it is a natural progression. The debut album Kiss + Swallow was generally a slower, seedy affair, oozing sexual deviance and desire. Then The Alternative came with its cabaret image and feel, but with an extra punch of raspy, vicious need that pervaded most tracks, including the incredible title track. Now, the energy has continued to escalate with syncopated rhythm and high-pitched, brain-searing synths, pushing both speed and sonic limits. Additionally, Corner's vocals continue to careen between delicate vulnerability and desperate power, but paired with the intensity of the music, they have become even more frenzied than in previous material. As for the content of Thinking of England, Chris Corner has always been rather vocal about why he left England, and more specifically London, for Berlin. I feel like this song is part of that declaration and that necessary separation from older identities and lifestyles. IAMX continues to be an identity project.

According to IAMX's blog (with its idiosyncratic use of the caps lock), Chris Corner has been in the process of choosing which direction this project should go in and has solicited feedback from his fans (of which there is a rather intense cultish following). As vocal as he has been about moving to Germany, he has been equally outspoken about staying independent and DIY. He has mused over the dilemma of the independent artist:

HOW DO YOU SELL YOURSELF TO SUPPORT YOURSELF WITHOUT WHORING YOURSELF? IT HAUNTS ME. IF ART WAS INDULGED AND FUNDED MORE THEN MONEY WOULD'NT HAVE TO TAINT IT (IN SOME NAIVE UTOPIA) I SEE ONLY A HORRIBLE STEW OF BUSINESS, FAME AND CELEBRITY IN THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY. I CANT THINK OF A MORE REVOLTING MIX. WE MUST STICK TO THE PATH. AND YOU MUST STAY WITH US. SOMETIMES IAMX FEELS LIKE A SMALL RELIGION.

And ideas of a new Web site:

I WANT TO CREATE SOMETHING EXCLUSIVE. A LITTLE WORLD FOR THE FANS TO EXPLORE AND BECOME A PART OF. I WANT TO RAISE THE VALUE OF THE ART. TO SURVIVE AS A FLEXIBLE GIVING, INDEPENDENT PROJECT WE MUST OFFER SOMETHING UNIQUE BUT WE ALSO NEED THE INPUT AND SACRIFICE OF THE FANS. BASICALLY FUCK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND CREATE OUR OWN. WE ALL NEED TO GET ON THIS. FAN AND ARTIST IF WE WANT THE GYPSY TROUP TO CONTINUE. I WANT FEEDBACK. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME. I ALSO WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT I NEED FROM YOU. IN THESE COLD , RISKY TIMES THIS COULD BE THE LONG AWAITED BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP.

Judging by the responses (myself included), there will always be conflicts of opinion, and by opening himself up to the floodgates of input, Corner will have many things to think about and consider. My only hope is that he remains as honest as he can within a framework that represents all he wishes to be. The fact he wants to create such a symbiosis between fan and artist is inspiring - he is definitely a pioneer in this brave new world of major label collapse.

If you're lucky enough to live or be in Europe within the next four months, you'll be able to see IAMX on tour, where more new material will be unveiled. Also, if you are the consummate IAMX fan, get yourself here to pre-order the Live in Warsaw album, which will only be released in Poland on November 14. I eagerly await a third album. Until then I will keep listening to this new anthem to Identitätkampf. All of us IAMX fans will be basking in the pyre of the past and dancing on the grave of the music industry. You are not alone at the frontline.


Think of England - IAMX

i-Polaroids - IAMX

4 comments:

rickdog said...

You have a great music blog here! I've added you to my mp3blog list and custom search, check it out.

Rickdog's collected 6,000 mpa3blog links, accessible from the alpha menu at page top. You can open frames on these blogs to view them directly on my site, and you can also view the feeds in a frame.

The newest mp3blogs
http://chewbone.blogspot.com/2008/01/alphanew.html

You can search your blog and all the others in my custom google search:

Chewbone MP3blog search
http://chewbone.blogspot.com/2008/03/mp3-blog-search-results.html

I add new blogs to the alpha lists once a week, but your site is immediately added to the custom google search engine.

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