WTM #1120: Traincendentral

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

18.01.11 // 17.00-18.30

“And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity, which is after all where this train is going.”
Bruce Catton, historian

“And in my dreams each evenin’ / I heard that ole train whistle blow.”
• Tex Morton

Listen to Wreck Traincendentral 

Freedom Wreck Marfa > b/art vs Stephen Vitiello
Prisoner Train > Dub Ratz vs DJ NSD
Train No 1 + Trains Hit Cars > Dusty Kid + Damage Trax
5:15 [sample] > Who
Far Away Trains Passing By + Union Pacific > Ulrich Schnauss 
Trancendental Train > Hyperborea
Station + Omroep + Elektrische Trein > Frans Peters [Stereo Geluiden / Fontana]
All Aboard Little Axe > B/art
LIRR + Different Trains + Dutch Railway > Steve Reich 
DC Metro 08 04 02-1 > B/art
nyc goof to dobbs 2001 > B/art
UrbanCuts > Ned Bouhalassa, Delphine Measroch, Christian Olsen
Overweg + Trein + Aankomst Elektrische Trein  > Frans Peters [Stereo Geluiden /Fontana]
5:15 > The Who [Quadrophenia / MCA]
Train Stn Alexanderplatz > Ned Bouhalassa, Delphine Measroch, Christian Olsen
Prose du Transsiberien > Blaise Cendrars [Prose du Transsiberien et de la Petite Jeanne de France / Folkways]
Train-Trac.1 (1993) > F.U.S.E.
Caboose > Biosphere [Patashnick / Apollo]
Train Dub > Sean Peoples
Union Pacific Rock Train Racine WI > Anonymous
Departing Train > Lesonzero [100 Effets Sonores / MU]
Prose du Transsiberien > Blaise Cendrars [Prose du Transsiberien et de la Petite Jeanne de France / Folkways]
Been To Georgia on a Fast Train > Johnny Cash
The Little Black Train > Mike & Peggy Seeger [American Folksongs for Children / Rounder]
Yonder Comes a Freight Train > Laura Cantrell [When the Roses Bloom Again / Spit & Polish]
Blue Railroad Train > Delmore Brothers [Classic Cuts / JSP]
Freight Train Blues [Tex Morton]
Telemann > Klangwart
Train Of Thoughts > Quantec
Choo Choo Train > Trio Schmeed
End of Marvelous Night Outro 1996* > B/art
Railroad Gamelan > Ellen Band [90% Post Consumer Sound / XI]

The train represented power, symbolized mobility, Jacques Attali talked about a new class of “liberated nomads bound by nothing but desire and imagination, greed and ambition.”  whereby the unfixed, the hobo of the past, becomes the dodgy life insurance adjuster, the wall street trader, the junk bond trader,  and movement, no longer the refuge of the dispossessed becomes the tax haven of the dispossessor.

The train is a great source of inspiring sound – the hypnotizing mechanical clakclak of metal wheels on the track, the wooshwoosh of the steam engine – meditative, mesmerizing, driving, thrusting, yearning, representing both the muscular assertion of progress [Futurists] and ruthless robber baron colonization / exploitation with a total disregard for natives, for land, natural resources, community, environment and for those who built the railroads – this is the ruthless logic of profit as the natural impulse of human nature.

Trains also represent narrative; trains transport people from point A to point Z in the company of those traveling from point B to point T or beyond. The narrative works on many levels: the physiological as the train transports the human through space, place and time, creating a story like a movie viewed through the window. The train’s sonic narrative is the mesmerizing, hypnotic beat that transports us to a dreamlike state as metal drums with metal with melancholy train whistle blowing for emphasis, for blues, for loneliness…

As Robert Farris Thompson noted “ By the 1940s, if your ear were culturally prepared, you could hear a lonesome train whistle in the night and immediately think of black people, on the move.”

The narrative is a story of geography as the train traverses the characteristics of the space pursuing a linear destination plus all of the sub-narratives being told during this grand narrative as people meet people in the train carriages and tell each other their narratives.

And electronic music is especially inspired by train sounds – see Kraftwerk for starters. As Wilfred Mellers notes “that the future evolution of electronic music will steer this product of highly sophisticated technology towards a manifestation of precisely those ‘mystical’ and numinous ranges of experience which science was to have obliterated.”

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