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Rhythm & Views

Fuck Buttons

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If an art object makes you uncomfortable, there's probably some kind of underlying cultural or personal expectation not being met, and the uncomfortable feeling is you questioning that expectation. Most of the music I listen to does not make me uncomfortable; most music is actually created to do the opposite.

British duo Fuck Buttons' Street Horrrsing, though, makes me uncomfortable. It's not a visceral sort of uncomfortable--it's more of an irritation. Perhaps my irritation from the repetitive rhythms and textures of Street Horrrsing is simply a result of my inexperience with trance or house music. Perhaps it's just plain irritating.

But that seems too dismissive. I'd rather believe that the irritation Street Horrrsing induces has a deeper purpose: making me confront my expectations about music. The distorted screaming on "Sweet Love for Planet Earth" was not the sort of progression I expected: What kind of sweet love is screaming? The tribal and monkey-like sounds of "Ribs Out" and "Colours Move" are terrifying and hard to listen to, yet hypnotic. "Bright Tomorrow" sticks to prettier realms for the first four minutes, and then explodes into noise.

I'm irritated because the songs aren't meeting expectations they themselves set up, and they aren't meeting expectations I have about them. As an art object, then, Street Horrrsing is successful. As an album I'd want to listen to again, it is not. But maybe that's the point.

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