~ MrDougDoug, Semantic Satiation, and The Reptilian Elite ~

The Reptilian Elite conspiracy theory is one of my favorites. It revolves around reptilian overlords who wear human suits, infiltrate political parties and powerful corporations, and subsequently hold clandestine dominion over the world as we know it.

Honestly, based on Western civilization’s current trajectory, I am poised to believe anything at this point. Why not this? At least this way the enemy is easily identifiable. 

It’s my humble opinion that David “Son of the Godhead” Icke’s conjectures should be inspiring way more concept albums than they have been. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough. 

The other day, I received another delivery in the mail from Hausu Mountain – because I, of course, had ordered their newest releases around Christmas time. Included with my order was a complimentary cassette containing the music of Hausu co-owner Doug Kaplan’s solo project MrDougDoug. 

The album’s name: These Magical Numbers. 

The album’s release date: November 8th, 2016 (the day Donald Trump was elected President of the United States).

The album’s (loose) concept: You guessed it – The Son of the Godhead’s prophecies. 

The music is not what you’d expect. In fact, the album is composed entirely (I believe) of YouTube samples. Side A’s single track is entitled “69 Starspangled 420” and consists of countless renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” being played on top of one another in different browser tabs. Side B’s single track is entitled “182 In Reptiles We Trust 666” and consists of Donald Trump’s ramblings being layered in a similar fashion. 

It reminds me of those moments in film when a main character becomes overwhelmed with a situation that usually involves multiple people wanting something from them simultaneously and can’t deal with the stress born of the conflicting requests. The supporting characters’ heads detach from their bodies and begin to swirl around the main character as the background becomes nothing more than a cloud or possibly a black and white spiral. The voices blend together and scramble the main character’s brain to the point of a breakdown and/or drastic action. It’s all too much.

Well, maybe it’s too much for the character. Not for me. I think it’s one of the more original approaches to noise music I’ve heard in a while. 

I’m also reminded of semantic satiation when I listen to this album – the psychological phenomenon in which words fail to retain meaning after being repeated so many times. I can’t help but think that’s what Kaplan is truly getting at with These Magical Numbers: a lot of us these days are so bombarded by blind patriotism and endless bipartisan babble that we sometimes begin to wonder (through the noise) if it’s all even worth attempting to sift through, untangle and understand.

These days, the chances are there’s nothing there at all.

Whatever Kaplan truly intends with These Magical Numbers, I commend him regardless. He’s produced an album that may not provide clarity for our reeling world, but nonetheless supplies the listener with a nameless clarity of feeling: the feeling that though we live in a world controlled by powerful others (perhaps The Reptilian Elite, perhaps just the rich), we acknowledge it as one and battle it in ways that no such bombastic overlord could ever hope to understand. 

Such is the overarching mission statement of underground music.

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