Hauntology In UK
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Hauntology In UK

“Hauntology” is one of those difficult philosophy words that seems designed to exist on the margins of our consciousness. The term originates in the work of the notorious Algerian-born French philosopher Jacques Derrida, and is first mentioned in his book Specters of Marx, which was originally delivered as a series of lectures at the University of California in 1993. In Derrida, the concept of hauntology is very much a political one. But the word "hauntology" has gained the currency it has today thanks to Mark Fisher, philosopher, cultural critic and blogger, who took his own life in 2017. Fisher has posthumously assumed the sort of legendary status reserved for thinkers considered to be among the most important or insightful of their time. In Fisher’s view, the 21st century is oppressed by a crushing sense of finitude and exhaustion”; the current cultural moment is “in the grip of a formal nostalgia”, in which ostensibly “new” things are produced only through the imitation and pastiche of old forms. It was originally as a way of understanding the “loss of the future” that Fisher – in correspondence with the music critic Simon Reynolds – began to invoke the concept of hauntology.

In Mark Fisher’s words:
“Let’s put it this way: “Things were great in the 70s, let’s go back to the 70s,” but I think the real issue is “What kind of future did we expect from the 70s?” I mean, there was a trajectory, and this trajectory was interrupted. And now we find ourselves haunted by this future that we vaguely expected at the time, and that was terminated somewhere during the 80s.”

“Invited to think of the futuristic, we will still come up with something like the music of Kraftwerk, even though this is now as antique as Glenn Miller’s big band jazz was when the German group began experimenting with synthesizers in the early 1970s.”

“The past keeps coming back because the present cannot be remembered.”

In “Ghosts of My Life”, Fisher says that “What should haunt us is not the no longer of actually existing social democracy, but the not yet of the futures that popular modernism trained us to expect, but which never materialised. Hauntology is not, therefore, primarily about nostalgia: it is about imagination. Any progressive politics worthy of the name is founded on our ability to imagine a world better than the one we presently have. If capitalist realism represents the attempt to take our political imagination away from us, then hauntology can do the work to get it back."

This project by Eighth Tower Records is dedicated to the memory of Mark Fisher. Special thanks to all musicians who joined it: Robin Storey (Rapoon), Gavin Morrow (Grey Frequency), Robin The Fog (Howlround), Raffaele Pezzella (Sonologyst), Michael Bonaventure, Ellen Southern (and the Dead Space Chamber Music band), Pascal Savy, Drew Carpenter (Foreseer). We all paid a tribute to Mark Fisher, to the past as well as to all the lost futures, but still we forward with hope in our eyes.

CD comes in a limited edition 6-panel digipak.
1. Rapoon & Sonologyst - Ghosts Of My Life 08:06
2. Howlround - A Slow Cancellation 03:10
3. Grey Frequency - Utopia Mist 06:00
4. Rapoon & Sonologyst - Illusions Of A Recent Past 04:45
5. Pascal Savy - After Dark 05:51
6. Howlround - A Failure Of Absence 03:15
7. Michael Bonaventure - Mavisbank 10:25
8. Foreseer - Creux es Faies 06:06
9. Dead Space Chamber Music - The Grail Carol 04:19