Toilet Guppies Presents…

We here at Toilet Guppies have been unhealthily obsessed with music far longer than our undernourished brains are able to recall. It occurs to us that to fail to share all the accumulated obscurity to be found in our ludicrously (and quite unnecessarily) extensive mp3 collection would be the paragon of selfishness. We have decreed, therefore, to make available little surprise packages on this here blog every now and again, for your downloading convenience. Every time an acquaintance of ours requests a collection of some sort—be it based on an artist, a genre or subject matter—we will upload it to this blog, so that all you other trusted followers, too, may enjoy it.

The copyright adherence we strive to maintain may not always be strictly observed, so the tracklistings won't be published in the blog post. We may write a blurb about the artist/genre/subject, but without mentioning the relevant names. This to keep multitudes of random Google surfers from happening upon this site and downloading, I mean freeloading on artists that deserve to live off their work. (If you like what you hear, the mp3s are tagged with the artist name as well as the song and original album titles, so you can go buy the record.)

By downloading, you'll never know what you're going to get: an introduction to an artist, an era, a movement, a style, or just a motley crew of tracks somehow flimsily connected in the confused minds of Toilet Guppies' resident DJs… This Toilet bowl is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get. Consider the collections surprise presents to the few people who bother returning to this blog. (Or an attempt at educating you people.)

In fact, if any of you Toilet Guppies followers desires a compilation, simply ask for it in the comments section. We take requests/challenges.

To start off, here's not one but two compilations, both showcasing music that is intellectual, after a fashion and in different ways. The first one is cerebral and funky (really!), the other just devoid of sentimentality:

There's something cold and true that art sometimes expresses, provided the artist is uncompromising and intellectual enough, unmoved by sentimentality yet not impervious to the almost impossibly uncomfortable conclusions that come with never sugaring the pill, even unconsciously, tightening the screws of determined and lucid reasoning until nothing superfluous or false slips in between the cracks to provide false comfort. Stanley Kubrick and Le Corbusier were such singular artists, never positing what we might like to think, only what we're justified in thinking, letting everything else—all those easy comforts—fall by the wayside. A life without sweetness, but also without bitterness: Always remaining calm in the face of what drives
many people to neurosis, illusion, delusion or insanity, never giving in to the temptation of lies, nor losing the composure of reason (so infuriating).

You know that Old Testament God Job struggled with, dishing out constant, relentless and undeserved misfortune? This God is no God or anthropomorphic being—or even the vague something-or-other «force».This pointlessly, ungratefully testing Old Testament «God» is simply reality—the way life goes and is. Which is why «God» didn't intervene on Job's behalf. Couldn't intervene. And like Job, you realise there's no point asking why or in fighting the facts. The uncomforting «God» Job had to contend with is the truth we all would have to contend with, if we weren't such good liars.

Artists, of course, make for some of the best liars; only a very few of them aren't in the business of telling you what you (and they, too) want to hear, but what good, solid sense and undeniable reality dictate. And the best instrument to see through all the wishful thinking is—if you don't mind me saying so—the rational mind, ridiculed by so many artistic minds.

The Morning's Small, the Evening Tall illustrates just how devastating art can be when completely emptied of sentimentality or wishful thinking, taking you to a very fundamental and absolute place not visited by many artists (nor by the public, for that matter). What's more, it becomes perfectly clear that rationality isn't opposed to emotions, thought to feeling, but that once reason has peeled away all the excess sentiments we indulge in for our distraction and escape, the feelings that remain are the most fundamental, important, confronting, difficult and truthful ones. Not to use hyperbole, but in our irrelevant opinion these are some of the most impressive works in the history of recorded music, by an artist not nearly given their due, mostly reduced to iconography and celebrity gossip, artistic achievements ignored.

Intellectual art may often have an appearance of harsh coldness, or feel yawn-inducingly irrelevant. Often it doesn't seem to really plunge into the deep end of the pool. Yet sometimes an artifact can be so cerebral it breaks through its own barrier and comes out the other end, an expression of something that's unique to the animal that is, after all, a rational being. (Among all the other things it is.) That is, a being that can explore its own irrationality rationally. Living Turned Inside Out shows how cerebrally contrived art can become so weird it ends up speaking to something beyond the rational mind, using reason like a fire—to fight fire. The carefully constructed, intellectually contrived art of a pretentious avantnik somehow results in emotionally fundamental art, against all the odds, if you just listen closely enough.

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