I think we can all agree that auditory Thoughtstream has been pretty meh so far in 3012. Post-BPM algorhythms, though perfect, are always in danger of diminishing neural returns, and there’s growing sentiment among certain youthnets that even cochlear interference has run its course as a reliable backloop from the Solipsistic Boredom Nexus. Enter Dork Moron, two humans who have devised a radical yet primitive solution to the Post-Thought jimbles: they perform physically, in the manner of a Pre-Thought band.
This “back to basics” approach yields upsetting results. Rather than entering user-guided innerspace for Thought-guided intervals, or even using the late Pre-Thought method of “bookmarking” sonic reference points, Dork Moron play songs to be experienced via atmosphere (dangerous!) aurally, without controls. The effect is as infuriating and unpleasant as it seems.
Get this: these weirdos don’t interface for interviews. Luckily I was curious enough to cash in my perambulatory travel chits and investigate. What follows is a weblog of an IRL talk-conversation I had with Jane and Wyatt, known better to some as Dork Moron.
VICE: You “play” this music manually. Is it strenuous?
Wyatt: It can be.
Jane: We have discovered that the physical exertion involved leads to unexpected outcomes.
Wyatt: Our music is terrible! (laughs)
Jane: (laughing) It is! I’m sorry, but it really is.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s thrilling how terrible you guys are. How do you achieve this?
Jane: Often we’ll ideate something we’ll be physically incapable of producing, and the result is usually terrible, often with up to five degrees of derivation.
Wyatt: Recently we’ve been doing something simple and then building as many new elements as we can imagine onto it just to lend it some additional… seriousness. This makes everything even more terrible, with as many as SEVEN degrees of derivation!
How wonderfully counterintuitive. What inspired you to attempt this primitive form of execution?
Wyatt: I entered Thought-production I guess like 18 months ago, and it generated Wilhelm Rohm…
(Pausing for uplink) The 28th century geneticist?
Wyatt: Yes, and I became fascinated with one of his barely-noted failures. Neckbone. The blues-based lifeform.
What about Neckbone doorwayed you?
Wyatt: He couldn’t even interface! I was completely doorwayed by this. This was well after Thought.
Jane: Thought has almost nothing about him.
Wyatt: Just empirical descriptions. He breathed whiskey and sang out of his penis. Rohm was only able to keep him alive for 19 years. There was some sort of mysterious biomechanical failure to process synthetic vaginal excretion. That’s what he [Neckbone] ate. Apparently his blues-based gastrointestinal system knew it wasn’t the real thing. Incredible! Those formulations were nano-built! Thought was feeding me all of this and something just clicked into place inside of me, and it was “I’ve got to go Pre-Thought.” I looked up and saw Jane running some whimsical materials computation analysis, and I just said “let’s copulate.”
Jane: We do.
Doesn’t it ruin everything?
Wyatt: About as much as you’d think.
Jane: It’s so messy! In every way!
Let’s talk about your songs. I hate them.
Wyatt: I love it when people say that!
Jane: It is so crazy to think about how people in Pre-Thought used to just sit around and listen to these songs all the way through without even a rudimentary degree of responsive augmentation…
Wyatt: …They would go on and on for MINUTES…
Jane: …Right, and when we first attempted physical music we were… we HATED it.
Wyatt: I was like, “Okay, wow! This is something.”
But how do you sit through a whole song? They make me want to throw something.
Wyatt: Exactly. [Laughs] Listening to a whole song is excruciating. It’s like shopping with your ears next to a Thought-factory! Just totally pointless.
Jane: Honestly, I think the copulation helps. It imbues you with superhuman patience, which is probably why it’s illegal.
Is that the message of your music? Copulate?
Wyatt: I’m not sure that our music has a message.
Jane: If it does it’s not an intentional message, it’s more on a subconscious level. Like in the way that all art is political. We think the decision to copulate should be up to the individual, which I guess is a political stance that probably makes its way into the music by osmosis.
Wyatt: But we’re not saying “copulate” like that’s the only way. I still use my jizzmilker.
Jane: You do?
Wyatt: Not as often, but yeah, every once in a while.
Wyatt: Not all the time.
What about your tools? How did you get those together?
Wyatt: That was not easy. They’re based on Pre-Thought schematics. We had to have them bot-built.
Jane: Just deciding which tools to use was a nightmare. There were schematics that called for wood and elephant teeth!
Wyatt: And cat intestines! Can you imagine? Organics? The cost alone!
Jane: We ran diagnostics and settled on the two most practical Pre-Thought mechanisms for the bots to build. They are called “microKORG” and “Roland 808.”
Wyatt: Even those were so expensive we ate grey slurry for a year.
How do they work?
Jane: microKORG converts manual-entry into mechanical sound reproductions. You use your fingers on these parts here, one or two or however many at a time. These white pieces used to be made from elephant teeth before plastics. This is synthetic plastic, of course, but the output is electrical in any case.
Wyatt: Roland 808 has to be programmed! I almost had a nervous breakdown when it didn’t auto-uplink. Just retrofitting was the biggest hassle I’ve ever put myself through. I had to set my jizzmilker to full serotonin for two straight days just to clear my neural pathways enough to ideate a fix.
The sounds they make are so annoying. Why do you make them sound like that?
Jane: There was an abortive musical movement called “Electroclash” at the turn of the last millennium—
Wyatt: Even back then they got tired of it almost right away!
Jane: Right. It’s extremely annoying. I can imagine even back then people would want to not listen to it, and that’s back when they were still listening to entire songs of music. So in a way Electroclash was very ahead of its time, maybe even a thousand years ahead of its time, because it was so annoying it only made sense in a world like the one we have today, where forcing others to be annoyed for the duration of entire songs…
…it’s the most radical thing you could possibly do.
Jane: Well, you know the Crest of Humankind: “Necessity, Efficiency, Survival.” Electroclash is probably the least necessary and therefore most inefficient music in history, and it didn’t survive for longer than about eight months.
Wyatt: It was also perfect for us. Because we had no frame of reference for physical music, we pretty much had to start by reproducing whatever placed the least emphasis on having talent.
Jane: The irritating tastelessness was just kind of a lucky bonus.
Well I am impressed. I hate you guys.
Wyatt: Thank you.