Miles Davis
Get Up with It


4.5
superb


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist


Absurdism is one of the most thought-provoking philosophical movements of the 20th-century. Generally speaking, it relies on the notion of deriving fulfillment out of a chaotic, meaningless world in which the absolute remains impossible. The philosophy’s father, Albert Camus, used the myth of Sisyphus to explain how man searches for meaning according to absurdist perspectives on “The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.” Sisyphus, a man cursed by the gods for all eternity, is punished by being forced to push a boulder atop a mountain to have it inevitably fall down again as he is about to reach the top, keeping his futile odyssey from ever ending. Camus concludes by stating that we should derive happiness from the struggle itself, as an all-encompassing state of being and purpose is impossible, but its impossibility is precisely what makes it worthwhile; “[s]eeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.” He further states that “[t]he struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.” and that “[o]ne must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

Take it or leave it, Camus’ interpretation of the myth of Sisyphus bears a palpable resemblance to Miles Davis’ “Get Up With It;” much like the boulder Sisyphus is forced to carry upward, the album is a massive entity. Spanning over two hours in length, half of which is used in two songs, it stands as a considerable part of Miles’ fusion-era material. What’s more, the pieces are often chaotic and with little direction. Granted, this proves to be worthwhile as the pieces are quite innovative; most notably, “He Loved Him Madly” is an atmospheric tour-de-force in which Miles’ large group of musicians explores a musical subgenre that years later would come to be known as “ambient.” The other half-hour long piece on the album, “Calypso Frelimo,” is a dark, atmospheric exploration of the avant-garde using funk tendencies to give the piece groove and prolong its forward propulsion. As a matter of fact, this is what encompasses most of the record; brooding funk based avant-garde experiments by some of the best in the business. As a whole, the album feels discernibly murky, as if deeply contemplative in character yet impactful in presence. Eventually, extensive samples of experimentation like those previously mentioned stack to build a monstrous outing in which bizarre trances of sound barrage the listener continuously; the heavier, funkier, nastier cousin of Bitches Brew.

“Get Up With It” is not a stroll in the park. It’s unapologetically dirty, extensive, ugly, and chaotic - but undeniably innovative, ethereal, and rich. It may not be an easy time, but it’s absolutely worth it for those willing to carry the boulder up the mountain to derive happiness, or maybe even meaning, out of the chaos. If there is meaning, that is. Not that it would change anything.



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user ratings (119)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0CFS3jvFwutIt5ewGIa7Sq

Special thanks to CalculatingInfinity for proofreading this review and Albert Camus for the nice books.

Also, damn. This needed a review bad.

Digging: Iannis Xenakis - Metastasis, Pithoprakta, Eonta

Zig
March 10th 2019


1836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He Loved Him Madly is one the best things Miles ever did.

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed ahrd bro

granitenotebook
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


937 Comments


really good review. please keep writing

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


"Generally speaking, it relies on the notion of deriving meaning out of a chaotic, meaningless world"

i didn't get this at all when reading Myth. To me, Camus was saying to live in the absurd is to live in and be aware of the paradox of existence insofar as meaning cannot be derived despite our nature to discover and extract it. he used struggle and menial labor and shit as good instances of where that paradox is most palpable. Camus was a champion of things ordinary because i think it was a stark reminder of this very paradox and of the human condition. and to live in this paradox happily, aware of its meaninglessness, is probably the purest and most incredible form of it. which is why sisyphus smiling on his way down the hill is so remarkable, not because he is deriving some sort of meaning from his task but in spite of his inability to do so

sweet review though. i fucks with the camus

Sinternet
March 10th 2019


19927 Comments


i need to read more camus, only read the outsider but it's noe of my all-time faves. nice review

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@hal I agree; precisely, to me the meaninglessness is the chaos. We do what we can before the absurd, which is often nothing at all, but merely trying is enough to fill a man's heart. That's my takeaway. Thank you for the comment

@sint/granite thanks fellas! By all means, his books are essential reading material.

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@hal tbh you explained it better than I. Just changed the phrasing a bit to hopefully get the message through.

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


have you read any kierkegaard yet? i know camus felt like, although he did well to recognize the absurd, he made the mistake of trying to use faith as some sort of nostrum for dealing with the paradox... but i always enjoyed his works. fear and trembling is super interesting. to me it never felt like an escape hatch as much as just an added layer to the absurdity of it all... check it if u haven't yet.

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


and yesss deriving feeling fulfilled over meaningfulness is more accurate verbiage i'd say

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've wanted to give Either/Or a try, but I've been busy with sci-fi, Dostoevsky, and national literature. I'll put him even higher on my priorities though, thanks!

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


also i think it's 'fulfillment'

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes it is, thanks. I'll edit rn

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


hmm i have either//or but haven't read it yet. i've only read fear and trembling, from sickness unto death and the concept of anxiety. actually reading the rebel by camus currently and it's awesome. that dude can do no wrong

sixdegrees
March 10th 2019


6643 Comments


review Doo Bop

Digging: Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah man, I'm reading The Fall over the weekend and it's great, much like basically all of his stuff. Read the Plague earlier too, which was absolutely fantastic.

50iL
March 10th 2019


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, I'LL GET TO DOO BOP SOON. Maybe next week. Yeah.

J() Alexander
March 10th 2019


7883 Comments


Doo Bop is the musical personification of Absurdism.

Digging: Caroline K - Now Wait for Last Year

sixdegrees
March 10th 2019


6643 Comments


Let's kick a verse for my man called Miles
'Cause seems to me he's gonna be 'round for a long while
'Cause he's a multi-talented and gifted musician
Who can play any position
It's no mystery that you're no risk to me
'Cause I'm the lover and tell your girl to throw a kiss to me
And hop in bed and have a fight with the pillow
Turn off the lights and let the J give it to ya
And let the trumpet blow as I kick this
'Cause rap is fundamental and Miles sounds so wicked
A little taste of bebop sound with the backdrop of doo-hop
And this is why we can call it the doo-bop

hal1ax
March 10th 2019


13880 Comments


doo bop is the pinnacle



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