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I start by violating your rule (again). To show the range of a single voice, that of Elizabeth Fraser.

Cocteau Twins: Evangeline

This Mortal Coil: Song to the Siren



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 01:50:50 PM EST
Rosenstolz is a German duo that emerged from the gay scene into the mainstream. The music is not that special, but I find the voice of singer AnNa R (she's straight) captivating.

Rosenstolz: Liebe ist alles ( = love is everything)

(YouTube judges the original video too erotic for viewing under 18... hence this fan video)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 01:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of voices, female voices, no way I leave out the following.

Björk: All Is Full of Love

(Apparently, android lesbian love was not too erotic for YouTube.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw The Sugarcubes live at Reading back in the day.  For me, she has the same particularity as Thom Yorke from Radiohead: live there is some extra attenuation (not sure if that's the right word) in the ends of the notes that brings them fully into pitch whilst leaving all the microtones hanging.  Somehow (these are just my ears, mind you) the recordings don't manage to pick up those extra overtones.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be, no way for me to say: never saw either live. Also, for me, the opposite experience is more typical: that of singers unable to sing out in concert what they could in a studio.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 05:28:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way - what do you think about languages and song styles?

A Scandinavian singer (probably Nina Persson of The Cardigans) told once that she sings in English because the language of pop/rock is English, and it sounds funny/not alright in other languages.

I sure feel there is truth in that. Every language has a melody, and musical styles have to be 'fitted' to them to work together. German hip-hop doesn't sound like either US school, same for the French. I think AnNa R. had a great success building her singing style on German language.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 03:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a friend who says:

"They took the voices of french people, saying common phrases, and they put them into this machine and measured the waves, you know, evened it out, and then took some Debussy.  It was the same shape, same form, I'm telling you."

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have heard this. It is especially true of the stresses and rhythms -- as well as the melodic shape of the tones. Janacek and other Slavic composers, thinkers, had elaborate theories about this, I believe. This is one justification musical nationalists had for collecting folk music and using it as an inspiration for their art music.
by John Culpepper on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, for me this is a great theme.  For some reason in my head I have these two songs placed at the same point: maybe it's the simplicity of the instrumentation--but how would one sound in the language of the other?

English--passing through dutch (in my ears)--is a germanic language with an overlay of french (which, if I've understood right, is re-toned latin.)

Uralic languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Uralic languages (pronounced jʊˈrælɨk) constitute a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian. Countries that are home to a significant number of speakers of Uralic languages include Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia.

The name "Uralic" refers to the location of the family's suggested Urheimat (homeland), which is often placed in the vicinity of the Ural mountains.

My feeling is that to the extent tones are enlightened by new environments--there will be a changing of tones, and if the new environments contain tones there will be a mixing of tones.  What I would call french pop is by far my prefered version--

Hip Hop--I once asked a fan of Hip Hop what made it Hip Hop.  It's something to do with the beats, and then you rap your lyrics over the top (in my experience), so tonally and rhythmically very language based

Hey, I'm just rambling.  It's an intriguing subject!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hip Hop--I once asked a fan of Hip Hop what made it Hip Hop.  It's something to do with the beats, and then you rap your lyrics over the top (in my experience), so tonally and rhythmically very language based

how about hiphoprisy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My honest question: what (apart from the name of the band) makes hip hop different to rap?  It has to be the beats.  'Television' (great track!) for me has beats overlayed with american intonation.  French rap (or hip hop--maybe hip hop has more rhythmic bounce?) I like (some!)--maybe because I can't understand the words, but I've heard (can't remember the groups) rap (or hip hop) from Paris, Marseille, also Napoli (I once worked on a theory of new music growing in ports), different tones.  Maybe in american hiphop/rap there's a division between the 'white' tone (eminem?  I haven't heard much so this is a guess) and 'black' tone.  I would place the white tone (from what I've heard) in the 'fight, for your right, to paaaaaarty' area, there's maybe a nasal inflection, while 'black'--Public Enemy and back to 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', back through talking blues...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re colour: I'm pinky yellow and have been known to turn green, red, or brown depending on diet and sunlight.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My honest answer, I don't know. I became relatively disinterested as it became a celebration of fast cars, cool drugs and loose women.

Early days Public Enemy, NWA, and other more political stuff was more interesting. recently the only interesting RAP based music has been Mashups

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No no no no.

"Rap" only describes the singing style (e.g. no tonal singing just rhythmic chanting). "Hip hop" is a term for general music style, which includes rapping, scratching, beats, sampling, and the dance too.

As for sub-genres. In 'pure' hip-hop (later there was much mixing, see f.e. nu-metal), as I understand it, the main sub-genre distinction was East Coast vs. West Coast. Gangsta rap (which developed into the commercialised guns-fast cars-drugs-lewd women thing I find as attractive as ceebs does) was a variation that more or less pushed out other hip-hop within both.

I don't think we can speak of a "white" sub-genre in any sense, even in tone. I think we can speak of a minority of US white rappers, neither of whom fits easily into the previous two genres. Notably, Vanilla Ice, whom I'd call Mr. Wannabee; Beastie Boys (you know them for 'fight, for your right, to paaaaaarty'; I think 'Sabotage', below, is their best, also as video), who AFAIK are East Coast-inspired but built on punk and funk; and Eminem, who definitely grew out from 'black' hip hop, but in Detroit -- thus neither East Coast nor West Coast. (I see on Wikipedia that some now call it Midwest style.) That both Beastie Boys and Eminem sing in high nasal tones is accidental, less known white rappers and crossover style singers aren't like that. (Also, what about female rappers?)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 06:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or a bit further out



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, tonight I think its nasal: This voice reminds me of William Burroughs (but I hear tones of Woody Guthrie, up in the nose, okay it's laid back compared to my version of english, but...what is it?  Singing/talking through the nasal cavity rather than the chest?  Another intriguing track, you and DoDo will have to let me know who the artists are!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Glad it does because it is Wiliam Burroughs. Theres an albumn of his recorded speech put to music done by the  same band that did Teevision, above

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm-m! For my ears, in your examples, what's similar is the instrumental music and a sense of melancholy. But the singing is all different, just what I was talking about!

It's hard for me to describe it in (English) words, but let's give a try... listen for example to the end of words and sentences! English: drawn out, German: snappy, cuts it short. The English feels as 'lazy' phlegm. The German feels as if the closing words are making the point. Both seem to have some provocativeness in it, but, er, the English is laid-back, the German in-your-face. I hope what I wrote makes some sense...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It certainly does.  This is a huge subject--I'm intrigued by the crossover aspect--where music (including voice intonation--detonation--you said it better!) won't fit in the box, maybe in spite of the desires of the composer(s); or even vice versa: where an individual or group strenuously try to break out of the box, but the wider culture-gravity...I mean, from outside a certain culture it's clear that these attempts are culture-locked...see, I'm worse at describing it than you, for sure!  You made me think of Tchaikovsky composing self-consciously nationalistic music; and Bartok hunting out old folk tunes--they were trying to find some cultural or national or folk soul--this is the kind of conversation I was having when I heard about french music (no words) following the intonations of spoken french.  I think it was immediately following that that we listened to Janacek, Along an Overgrown Path and pondered...what the music expressed of the culture embodied in the language that was being expressed through the music...one of those evenings!

I'm sure this widens out into any cultural divisions--ach, I can't explain it!  I was thinking female/male, now imperial/regional, .  But then--heh!--in the diary I was also pondering the connection of music to mimicry, where (ponder ponder!) you need a certain size of culture (the cities?  The birth of cities always reminds me of margouillat!) before it naturally treats itself as the object(s) rather than assuming human ears as the subject and the non-human sounds as the objects to be mimicked or....I'm sure there's a word...brought somehow into the world of human...expression?

Yes, a huge subject!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 06:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm intrigued by the crossover aspect--where music (including voice intonation--detonation--you said it better!) won't fit in the box, maybe in spite of the desires of the composer(s); or even vice versa: where an individual or group strenuously try to break out of the box, but the wider culture-gravity...

I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

I think this culture-style thing is fuzzier than that, and fuzzier than I first made it. Even if say French hip-hop is not like US-American English hip-hop, it's still different from what was there. The combination (language+style) has to work, meaning changes to both, and I would even say there will be a change (enhancement, addition, new variant) the 'entire' language. In the example, I mean both English in which it grew originally and French into it it was transplanted and then grew on on its own. I think "self-consciously nationalist music" is a somewhat different thing; not in practice: it also involves creative adaptation of styles from outside; but in its ideology: the focus is not in the mixing and fitting but on the creation of categoric separation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

(These are my muddled thoughts):

In the attempt to break out of limited (in this context musical) cultural environments, it's hard not to end up tinkering within, making superficial changes without being able to hear (because we're using music as context)--in some way--the wider structural impositions.  My simple example is the four beat: it's ubiquity is recent (here's my guess: before the advent of television the most common beats were threes and twos, the folk music steps, foxtrot, polka, mazurka, tango, waltz, etc.)  The four beat of, say, Johnny B. Goode, with its chugginess is--if we think of dancing to music--more a ONE an TWO an ONE an TWO an... oompa choompa, which (my knowledge of folk dances is very limited)...is sorta polka-like (?) but with an added hip kick...

Anyways, (I may have that all wrong!) groups and individuals will experiment with guitar sounds, vocal sounds, verse-chorus structure--but...move away from the four beat?  (And I'd go a bit further and say its actually a sub-element of the four beat that is to the fore--but I haven't listened to much contemporary music recently--so I'm throwing a few stereotypes around--trying to make my point, badly!)

Ach: how about this non-musical example?  I don't know how true it is now, but in the late eighties, early nineties, the japanese who came over to england had a uniquely japanese approach to western fashions: what they'd do (this was my experience) is, they'd dress from head to toe (from hair cut to shoes) in the fashions they'd seen in magazines.  Thing is, very few people here actually dressed like that.  There'd be one item or two from the fashion rails maybe, but there was actually a term (fashion victim) for a person who bedecked themselves is bought-fashion.  The idea was (as I say I'm way out of the loop now) that you'd have to invent a bit yourself--

So within the UK culture there were limits imposed--to break out of that might be an urge, but the wider culture (you have to invent a bit yourself and...I dunno....people have to notice and give you the positive nod in some way) was unseen--but it was clearly there because the japanese, who didn't know these rules, loved the fashion culture but they couldn't quite get...that they had absorbed it in their own way.

Of course, from all these mixings and matchings and clashings and contrastings new forms arise.  I don't know much about all the nineteenth century nationalistic movements in music, but I'd guess that the very idea of trying to create a national sound using modern techniques (e.g. full orchestra) must have bent whatever Tchaikovsky chose to use as source material (whether musical, ideological, or other(s))

Is all that confusing?  The compare and contrast in the context of this diary would be to find musicians stepping wide outside their cultural situation, but in an enlightened away, using synthesis because they can, for some reason (my guess: their upbringing in the home) see within and without and rather than passing value judgments they can synthesise such that the new sound(s)...is and are traceable but the package is very much in a (I want to say higher, but only because I'm using the thesis-antithesis-synthesis model--how about 'more encompassing'?) way.  The best example in this diary (for me) is Yat Kha, though I think some of the nordic material you've posted has that element (and northern germany?)  An alternative comparison is with Einstürzende Neubauten who (again, for my ears) turned the other way and attempted to decontsruct western music by pointing to its industrial structure...or maybe not--!  ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 10:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lou Reed has a very American voice, but that girl to the left was, of course, German.

Here's some more of that minimalism

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 11:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I got "Sunday Morning" muddled up with "I'll be your mirror"--then I liked that Nico was in the pic with Lou in the video.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<yaw drops>

Singing in English as if she's singing German, just the end-of-words thing I mentioned, indeed. Hehe, now I know the similarity rg meant. (And must admit I barely know The Velvet Underground: only the first of the three songs.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 01:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's "I'll be your mirror" (2:06).



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 02:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back when vinyl was the music format, I had a 45 rpm of Song to the Siren.  For some reason I played it at 33 rpm--very strange but it keeps the same overall space--even more space!--

For a while, 45 rpm sounded too fast.  Even now I remember it in my head in the slow version.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
btw, I like the idea of the back to back videos if they have some link between them (e.g. "And that....sounds nothing like...this!" ;)  My only worry is that a well-considered comment with lots of videos risks....not being considered on its full musical merits.  I could be wrong on that, of course!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually agree. No more than two, and even two only in exceptional cases.

Even posting 'em separately, maybe I carried myself away already with female voices, so I'll wait with my selection of male voices until Saturday.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh!  Now you've got me thinking...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 07:05:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hre's a singer who seems intent on killing her vocal chords - Sandra Nasić, ex lead singer of heavy metal band Guano Apes, here featured by Apocalyptica in: Path:

(I wanted to put up what made Guano Apes famous, the snowboarder anthem Lords of the Boards, but YouTube only has crap versions)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:11:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This Mortal Coil was a project uniting a range of alternative musicians under the same label. Of these, my love is not Cocteau Twins, but Australian band (ultimately duo) Dead Can Dance. There is no lead singer, in the next, Lisa Gerrard sings in her etheral voice.

Dead Can Dance: Persephone



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uhm... I mean, Dead Can Dance: The Host Of Seraphim.

But having mentioned it, Persephone is another great song, again with Lisa Gerrard singing:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another In Wales track--starts with bass, then a voice and slight backing of keyboard--a deeper tone.  In Wales, if you've been listening, how are you getting on with the various pitches--(the singing in Wada Na Tod is very high pitched!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello!  Haven't had a chance to listen so far.  That's what the weekends are for!  I'll get to it today hopefully.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 04:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very bulgarian overtones!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really lovely scenes from bicycle to motorbike about four minutes in.  Lovely voice--excellent arrangement for the voice.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you'd like this, but wow, could it be you haven't heard of Dead Can Dance before??? If I understood that right, then I highly recommend that you get at least one full album, one from the eighties, say Within The Realm of a Dying Sun.

The video BTW is a sequence from the film Baraka.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, now listen to a REAL female vocalist (:

Marie Galante singing Youkali-tango by Kurt Weill.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 12:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some (other) country singing. This girl has a very clear voice. She does get some overtones when she sings out loud. But they are absolutely lovely.

Tift Merritt - Another Country (04:52)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 06:41:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've made me wonder how related the yodel is to the overtone.  I think the overtone is the simulatneous production of different pitched tones, while the yodel is a sudden break up the register.

The country and western yodel, Dolly Parton style (2:33):

(I love this recording, great space, sounds really fresh.  Really lovely leap at 2:05, no pics just the music.)

(btw, as I understand it overtones are created by most instruments--including the voice.  The flute (metallic) doesn't create overtones which gives it that piercing sound and makes it hard to...er...well, apparently Mozart hated composing for it.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:06:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always heard that the yodel is a relatively "pure" tone -- in the sense of open-throated, relaxed and uncovered (opera singing is "covered"). All human voices have overtones -- does covering produce more of them? Then there are the "harmonics" that give such pleasure in music. Are they the same as overtones?  
by John Culpepper on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:42:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know--I understand the basics of overtones, but I'd never heard of covered and uncovered singing before.    As I understand it, harmonics are created by multiple voices sounding different tones, while overtones are created around the single voice, but I suppose overtones are a kind of harmonic on the single voice.

A quick check on wikipedia tells me I've got it wrong:

Overtone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An overtone is a natural resonance or vibration frequency of a system. Systems described by overtones are often sound systems, for example, blown pipes or plucked strings. Approximate harmonic overtones on a string

If such a system is excited, a number of sound frequencies may be produced. These frequencies, are usually, but not always, a close approximation to an integer multiple of a lowest resonance frequency. Thus, overtones and harmonics should not be confused or interchanged. By definition a harmonic is an exact integer multiple of a fundamental frequency, whereas in most systems, overtones are never exact integer multiples of a root frequency. For example, the first overtone of a circular drum is approximately 2.4 times its fundamental resonance frequency.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I think I understand the difference now. I think opera singing is relatively open and relaxed, it has to be for the musculature to produce rapid and virtuosic effects, but covering (voluntarily partially tightening parts of it to alter it) produces distinctive overtones. (This is true for all voices, not just female).

Music, vocal and instrumental that is electronically processed and amplified loses a lot of harmonics/and/or overtones, that is why aficionadoes don't care for it. But you can get used to anything.

by John Culpepper on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Going from one side to the other, I also greatly enjoy female singers with husky voices. Like Dusty. It's good on slow, relaxed sonday morning music, as well as dark and atmospheric sunday evening songs.

Here's a contemporary example:

Cat Power - Lived in Bars (03:54)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo has a point that music has a different sound across languages. Fun things happen, though, when you bring the intonations of one language to another (like in Nico's singing).

Some music has lent itself better to borrowing. New wave was also quite cool in French, and in German.

To mix up as much as possible, here's a rendering of a Neue Welle song by a French bossa nova-ish covers band:

Nouvelle Vague - Eisbaer (03:52)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 08:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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