SHOEDRIFT / SIFIR on Mille Plateaux

I always had a deep enthusiasm for the bands like My Bloody Valentine, Seefeel, Slowdive, Lush, you name it … bands defined in many different ways the genre known as SHOEGAZE. What gravitated me towards this genre was basically the sense of drift achieved quite often by whining guitar layers shifting over each other, hypnotically repetetive rhythms, dreamy vocals as if echoing in depthless gothic sound chambers. This approach to music production, the outstanding examples of which were achieved especially by Seefeel, was a way of pointing to what is known as “rhuthmos” in Ancient Greece. The latter meant “a particular way of flowing where shape is in variation”. The reason why the ancients preferred to call it “shape” instead of “form” was hidden in the belief that while the latter signified a pre-given determination, the former denied such a determination and foregrounded a sense of flow which preceeds our sense of rhythm understood as repetetive intervals of time, fixed, immobile forms. Such an approach, without doubt, put at stake the audability of rhuthmos which at the same time opened it to the question of experience … whether “rhuthmos” can be experienced as such? Experimental or experiential? What guided me in my music production as far as my theorisation and practice of what I defined as “desonance” is concerned was actually this way of understanding rhuthmos, that is, as something which can only be sensed (not understood) and therefore as that which can be put at work only in experiential ways. Although it seems like I am opposing experiential and experimental, such an opposition counts only when the latter stops short at presenting itself as a cognitive exercise defying the richness of sensual activity.

Now if we go back to SHOEDRIFT, what I aimed at in this album – in quasi contrast to what I’ve done until now – was to remix what are known as shoegaze, rock, punk and classical and many different forms of music with dreams, sleepwalking, somnambulism and nightmarish lyrics so as to invent a novel way of pointing to “rhuthmos” which is not audible but which can be opened up to experientiality.

All the tracks in the album were decomposed, recorded, mixed and mastered by me during those dire times of the pandemic when we were locked down in our homes. Sleepwalking or somnambulism in my opinon was not only one of the few ways of survival which I re-realised during those times but also a radical way of dissidence and emancipation by way of re-enacting “rhuthmos” in face of the rising tide of social and economic repressions and utter exploitation on a global scale. Without doubt SHOEDRIFT as an experiential album cannot respond to all the maladies and suffering of contemporary life yet it can at least point to what may come next without immersing into its black hole – floating aloof.

Zafer Aracagök

you can order the album here

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