Pluck, House, and Float

A playlist by Jace Clayton

Covers, clockwise from left: Laminators Fofana’s Blues (Black Studies, 2020); Glia & Matthewdavid’s Gliamd (self-released, 2020); Sofia Kourtesis’s Fresia Magdalena (Technicolour, 2021); Geneva Skeen’s Double Blind (Touch Music/Fairwood Music, 2020); A. Kostis’s The Jail's a Fine School (Olvido/Mississippi, 2015); Colleen’s Captain of None (Thrill Jockey, 2015).

For this playlist, I decided to focus on the three fundamentals of music: Pluck, House, and Float.

Pluck: A spiky attack followed by a slow decay. Nearly all that we understand as the character of any given sound happens in its first milliseconds. And the noises that stay with us keep reverberating long after they're no longer heard. Chiweshe's mbira, guitars of The Ex and A. Kostis, Colleen's viola da gamba, Sudan Archives' violin.

House: Sweat stains the difference between repeatability and desire. Clubs resist abstraction: Every night is the only night. Octo Octa's blush, Ngly's mumble, Sofia Kourtesis' snares and Spanish.

Float: gravity’s underbelly. AKA The World Has No Visible Order And All I Have Is the Order of My Breath (Geneva Skeen). Aka And All the Birds Sing Bass (Lamin Fofana).

Jace Clayton is an artist and writer based in New York City, and the author of Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).