Mark Fisher's blog, k-punk.org, has an intriguing guest post by British artist and writer Laura Oldfield Ford, who is known for her haunting paintings depicting the fringes of gentrified London. Ford's piece is at once a lyrical evocation of a dérive through London, and a review of the new album Dream a Garden by London electronic act Jam City:
These songs delineate the fracturing of melancholy chambers, the suffocating sadness of the atomised. They evoke the dissociative climb through walkways and landings but like a subterranean river the possibility of escape is always there.
The mesmerising atmosphere lets you melt into walls, push through fences; it ushers the flight from Barratt developments, Redrow bastions and guides you through a whorl of narrow lanes- satellite dishes, corrugated iron, mosques nestled in dilapidated terraces.
Sounds spill from car windows- Commercial Road, Cable street- languid grime pitch shifting in the traffic, traces of ’80s New Wave, glimmers of Prince-
The mercurial span of the Thames, Wapping to Limehouse. Possibilities emerging, sublime sequences.
In these tidal territories space is reordered, we move beyond the tropes of consumerism. We escape the hoardings, shop fronts, the endless online hectoring. We remember how we connected in the realm of the sublime, the celestial. Songs opening apertures to a brooding magic, articulating diffuse moments of bonding, elevating the city by reclaiming it.
Image by Laura Oldfield Ford, via People of Print