Terre Thaemlitz

Love for Sale: Taking Stock in Our Pride

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Love for Sale: Taking Stock in Our Pride Review

by Jason Birchmeier

Terre Thaemiltz's Love for Sale album attempts to integrate an element of social commentary into his primarily instrumental style of digitally processed abstract music. One look at the cover of the album should clue the listener into the topic of discussion; subtitled Taking Stock in Our Pride, the first release in the Mille Plateaux Queer Media Series centers its ideology on the way the media has begun to commodify homosexuality into a marketable identity. The opening track of the album uses a three-minute montage of audio segments taken from various media sources to compound this message while smaller audio commentary appears for brief moments during the remainder of the album. Yet even though the message seems intriguing to anyone possibly interested in this topic, there are some problems with this album. First of all, most heterosexual listeners will probably care little about the underlying ideology and may not want to associate themselves -- or perhaps even feel uncomfortable -- with a CD that so blatantly advertises itself as pro-queer. In fact, it almost seems as though Mille Plateaux is ironically practicing the very practice they critique by so openly advocating the pro-queer attributes of this album. Secondly, outside of the underlying message, the enclosed music is rather lackluster. Thaemiltz blends highly unnatural digitally processed sounds with the sampled remnants of acoustic instruments such as harps and pianos. Unfortunately, this non-rhythmic blend doesn't blend at all and forms an undeniable juxtaposition between the digital and recycled acoustic sounds, bringing together two sounds that come nowhere near complimenting one another.

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