When I was young(er), I was really into Ministry.
Though the above is quite a misstatement. Really, I was only into their album Psalm 69. I don’t think I ever owned it, but I know that I was introduced to it through my friend David and that, yes, he probably made me a copy.
(Sidenote: The most popular song off this album – at least the one that seemed to get the most airplay – is “Jesus Built My Hotrod”. It’s my least favorite song on the album, perhaps because it’s sound is farthest away from what draws/drew me to the band.)
(Sidesidenote: Until just finding a video of Ministry playing live on YouTube, I thought of the band as mainly electronica – all the sound produced through keyboards and synthesizers etc. Now, there is a synthesizer in play, but if you check out this video you’ll find that guitars are the instrument of choice, supported by a massive drum set. That this knowledge is new to me just goes to show how false my opening statement was.)
What attracted me to Ministry was the regimentation in their music. The band is a carrier of sound much like a train – driving forward, unstoppable, predictable, and hypnotizing.
I suppose when I hear “wall of sound” that’s what I think of. A sound has to be predictable in order to be a wall. It has to have regular elements in order to be assembled into a single structure.
But dancing inbetween those regular elements (thudding bass, chorus-like guitar refrains) is the layering that truly holds my interest. My ears and my brain find so much to keep themselves occupied that I feel truly engaged. There is so much to focus on that I feel like I’m always missing something.
Neither Ministry’s Psalm 69 or what I’m about to show you are perfect examples of what I mean, but they provide a taste. Someday, I’ll provide a manifesto that explores and explains my preference for layered/complicated/confusing art over that which is pure/straightforward.
For now, I’ll just show you Cyriak’s animation mix (one of many videos of his. His music – though much closer to the sound of Octopus Project than Ministry – provides a similar rigid structure for his animations, which are also all based around a seamless, layered repetition.
So I now present, your eye-feast for the day. Though, frankly, that sounds unappetizing.