Profile: Andrew Glassett (Nolens Volens, Data/Booty)

*Note: Maybe "profiles" is going to be a thing. Maybe it won't. The idea is to highlight a musician with a new release while spending a little time focusing on the "career" rather than a review per se. Who knows.

Ever since our interview with Captain Ahab I have been thinking a lot about irony. Irony, that glass shield we are able to hide behind whenever something becomes too real, too intense or too graphic. It is much easier to disconnect and shrug our shoulders in one of those "what are ya going to do?" smirks, than engage the truly visceral, ugly or beautiful with anything more a glut of responses dictated by pop culture icons. The "End of Irony", as advocated by Captain Ahab, promotes accepting and loving things because they make you happy, not because they make you look cool.  In many ways punk and electronic music share a commonality as they have become the bastard children of indie culture. There isn't a whole lot to "think" about. The BPM or intensity of hard house or hardcore demands interaction, demands response. Are you going to scratch your chin and look interested when some kid roundhouse kicks you in the face? Or when some nubile, day-glo honey bumps-and-grinds with you? No! You are going to kick back or unlock your feet. Right? The hope of our music depends on that response.

Nolens Volens' (Andrew Glassett) newest project Data/Booty engages those questions head on. For those who are unfamiliar with Glassett's work, Nolens Volens inhabits just about every pole on the spectrum of electronic music. Past releases have seen Glassett work in the field of hyper complex, minimal electronic music on his release N.//.N and hard house beats and clean breaks on |=|_|c|< 1|\/|0G3|\| |-|34P. His latest work with electronic musician // (Jonathan Higley) erases the easy binary distinction between high/low art. Data/Booty is ostensibly "high art" yet deals in the basest of human emotion and the backbone of every rap video. Girls shaking their booty is "Low art". The vulgarity, silliness and "so good its bad" overt sexuality behind the rediscovery of Booty House is supposed to be tongue in cheek right (no pun intended)? While Glassett can barely suppress a smile during the raunchiest call-and-responses, Data/Booty is dead serious. Yet, kinda hilarious.

The name itself is a delightful play on words. From an excellent feature article in SLUG magazine (my other writing gig), Glassett explains it like this, "The basis of this project is about 'data' and how personal information is promulgated across the Internet. We chose  'booty' because it is a perfect example of how people (mainly women) have used the Internet to display intimate information on a large scale." From here, things get weird. It would be easy to write Data/Booty off as either: a) exploitation in the guise of novelty or, b) two people thinking waaay to hard about girls in thongs. But neither really exists in the Nolens Volens universe. The "high/low" art distinction has never really mattered in Glassett's career. Releases have never tracked in each other in thematic succession, N.//.N and |=|_|c|< 1|\/|0G3|\| |-|34P work in completely different sound palates and BPMs, while Data/Booty is in a completely different planet. Nolens Volens seems more about personal expression and embrace of things that interest Glassett, even if that manifests itself in totally "uncool" 90's rave-up techno and booty house. This is the end of irony after all. 

The B-Sides to Data/Booty were released on April 4th. It is called "Backyard Booties".  You can download it here.

You can download Data/Booty from the Billy Goat Database  page here.

Ryan H. 

April 14th, 2011