Thoughts on Music #13 (My Bloody Valentine)

“All of “Loveless” is suffused with an apocalyptic, pre-orgasmic glow, the sound of an annihilating intimacy. My Bloody Valentine music is a smelting, melding, crucible of love in which every borderline (inside/outside, you/me, lover/beloved) is abolished. Instead of the normal perspective of rock production (bass here, guitar there, voice there, with the listener mastering the field of hearing), My Bloody Valentine are here, there, everywhere. They permeate, irradiate, subsume and consume you."
-Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker review, 1991.

The above paragraph just came to mind because I'm in the midst of preparing an exam presentation on none other than My Bloody Valentine (due later this week). It's the final exam of a music analysis course called "Popular Music Phonograph Production: Analysis of Recorded Sound" (it's a course in Danish so this is my translation). The wording of my assignment goes - also my translation:

"Please provide a description of the spatial staging of My Bloody Valentine (1991): 'Soon', Loveless. Discuss in this context how we can talk about, respectively, an experienced performance space or an ambient space on the track?"

Really interesting and also really difficult stuff. Love it! I'm making charts and graphs and everything. I've also lived with this record for over a decade. You never tire of it. It keeps revealing itself and if you're patient you're likely to end up attaching some rather emotional and complex narratives to it. Which is why it's refreshingly weird to take an analytical approach to working with a Loveless track.

What got me hooked on analyzing 'Soon' in particular was a quote by Brian Eno: "It's the vaguest piece of music ever to become a hit" (Rolling Stone, april 1991). Another variant of the quote goes "...to get in the charts." (Melody Maker, Dec. 1990). What it all means? Ask me again after the exam! Meanwhile let me refer you once again to the above paragraph by Mr. Reynolds - he's on to something - and to the two embedded videos below.

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