how much longer must we tolerate mass culture?

Monday, January 19, 2004

it was getting a bit drab and underpowered round here. Olive can do that to a boy...

well, displacement activity or not, i've moved here!

Monday, November 24, 2003

i'm getting grief for never updating this damned thing, so in place of anything useful to say, i bought some new records on friday and perhaps i should just share my joy:

timeblind the rastabomba remixes
the bug feat wayne lonesome slew dem
keith hudson satan side
rhythm and sound with cornell campbell king in my empire
the two new shockout releases from Kid 606's label, one from DJ Rupture with Wayne Lonesome and i forget the other one !
gina x no gdm remixes (it's like my goth past is ok again!)
outkast hey ya! (single of the year?)
missy pass the dutch
primal scream some velvet morning (there's a good version on the b-side, trust me )
dub pistols six million ways to live (which is a lot better than you think it is, in a festival band genre-collision kind of way)

and some others. but i'm drunk..

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

you'd have thought that now i have broadband at home, this blog would be crammed.

but i did my back in for my birthday so i've been mostly lying down. i'll get there, i promise (if only to make disparaging comments about john "silver machine" eden and his Hawkwind blog.

by the way, if anybody would like to hear the aforementioned 'Bela Lugosi's Dread' by Dubversion Meets The Batcave Uptown, it's now kicking around on soulseek and kazaa so go to it !

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

10 days on the wagon.

it's crap.

can't sleep, don't feel any better.

whazza point?

by the way, Matt TWANBOC is now slagging off Gang Of Four's Entertainment.

this is beyond the pale and I may have to set the dogs on him.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

since Matt takes great pleasure in teasing us with interminable lists of all his new records, i'm going to do the same. my lists will be shorter and much, MUCH less credible. but i don't care!

whilst waiting for a bus in Brixton on Sunday morning, i somehow ended up in the Virgin store (never a place for stocking up on the latest Stock Hausen & Walkman 3" CD in a plywood sleeve) and ended up with this bizarre fucking selection:

The Rapture - House Of Jealous Lovers (hardly the most important record of the decade, as some would argue, but it's one of the two or three best tracks to emerge from whatever we're calling this post-punk retread at the moment)

The Soledad Brothers - Voice Of Treason

Bill Withers - Greatest Hits (trust me on this, it's great)

KRS1/Boogie Down Productions - A Retrospective

Breach - Connect (really fucking crunchy swedish hardcore on Burning Hearts Records)

Gene Clarke - No Other (reissued at last, bought it for Strength of Strings as much as anything, which the art students among you will remember This Mortal Coil covering)

Tiga - Hot In Herre. (utterly pointless cover. why did i believe the hype?)

do i need an excuse for any of that? well, there's the People's Republic Of Disco, we've got to keep folks happy.


so the 'industrial music is pooh!' debate rages on, with Matt TWANBOC still taking a snook-cocking stance at the whole thing, and John Eden and Paul Meme mounting sound defences.

with reference to what Meme said:

".... I think the link from industrial to acid house is seminal, as much because of the crowd as the musicians. My memory is that much of the industrial scene formed part of initial audience for acid. "

i'd agree with that, and also i'd wonder how nobody seems (i may have missed it) to have mentioned Meat Beat Manifesto yet. certainly, my initial exposure to that end of dance music came from hearing stuff like Storm The Studio from my more industrialist friends, and then them playing me tunes like Egyptian Horn Track straight after. MBM ended up being very much an act of dimishing returns, but for me they were perhaps the most important collision - at least at that early stage - between dance and industry.

in fact thinking about it, Bournemouth seemed to miss out on acid and house entirely, at least from what I could see and all the people I knew who abandoned their goth/industrial tendencies initially and got into it were definitely those who'd previously been into MBM, Ministry and the like, and even Depeche Mode et al. very few seemed to come from the other, dancier end. but maybe that's because all my friends were po-faced wankers !

(but don't get me started or i'll veer off into my stock rant about how Pop Will Eat Itself invented breakbeat and they'd be taken a lot more seriously if only they'd taken themselves seriously. and trust me, we don't need that)
yeh, yeh....

i've been busy, okay? should have more blogging time now since i appear to be on the wagon. one brush with alcohol poisoning is enough for me, for now at least, so i'm off EVERYTHING until my birthday in 3 weeks.

of course, this all started at Riddim!, and i blame that Eden fella.

or something

to be honest, i was a bit disappointed with Riddim! everybody else seemed happy - we had 50 or 60 people come, which is great for a first night which was also up against carnival and the Reading Festival and the usual August Bank Holiday flight from the capital - but i thought it just lacked atmosphere somehow.

but these things take time to build i guess, and hopefully some of our live acts/special guests should come through for subsequent ones. which is in no way to diminish what was a storming set from Eden and DJ Badly. as usual, i panicked a bit when nobody was dancing during my set and instead of keeping it to the nice pure 70s roots set i'd promised myself (and anybody else who'd listen) i veered into populism by the end, something I compounded by going back on the decks (by this point barely able to stand!) and spinning all the usual ska and digidub and bashment crowd-pleasers I always drop at times of stress.....

but all in all, it was a decent night and just makes me determined to make the next one even better. or something

Thursday, July 24, 2003


People think I’m taking the piss when I talk about my fear of helicopters, or assume I’m just desperate to appear interesting or weird or deep.

Trust me, I’m not.

I guess ‘phobia’ might be overstating the case a little – I don’t collapse in a sweating, hive-covered heap when I see them. But they bother me, unsettle me, give me the creeps, make me anxious.

When I was a kid I found them slightly disturbing – they didn’t appear to abide by the kind of physical laws I was taking for granted – but not worrying really.

I suppose it started at Stonehenge. Tripping as the sun came out, being chased across fields by the best (i.e. most psychotic) that the combined constabularies of Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and the Met could throw at us. It was bad enough that my then girlfriend had been caught beneath a scrum of panicking hippies as the police baton charged us, bad enough that I’d tried to fight my way back to her against the flow, seeing the barbed wire in her legs (she still bears the scars apparently).

But when they brought on the helicopters, when the windowpane acid was making things really twisted, that’s when I lost it. Running blind across the fields on the other side of the road from the stones, searchlights strafing us, a metallic, Robocop voice intoning the whole ’20 seconds to comply’ Silver Bullet routine. Then seeing a family – 2 parents, 2 kids, concerned Guardian reader types, not even hippies really – coming to the conclusion that this wasn’t their battle, they weren’t the people the police wanted and surely if they just stopped and stood still the police would realise that.

Then seeing the police – and I know it was the Met despite the fact they were all free of numbers and insignia, because you just don’t get this level of brutality in provincial forces – club all of them to the ground, kids and mother and father. I know we didn’t throw rocks at the police because there weren’t any to throw. Trust me, I looked. I wanted to see a policeman’s face erupt in blood the way that kid’s had.

All of this to a soundtrack of barked instructions from the helicopter and the constant thrum of the rotors.

Haven’t been able to handle helicopters since.

Started noticing the effortless menace they could add to any film – from Apocalypse Now to Capricorn One, from Thelma & Louise to Goodfellas – with the way they could appear from behind trees or cliffs, or hang malevolently in mid-air.

And then the demos – the CJB riot, Reclaim The Streets, all the greats – knowing that the helicopters were tracking us and identifying us and triangulating us, all the better to pen us in and break our skulls.

And the one ludicrous significant drug deal I ever tried to pull off – whilst on a paranoid coke comedown, looking like what I was - outside a Brixton pub, as a police helicopter (in truth probably hunting down another escapee from Brixton Prison) seemed to be circling nearer and nearer.

I bolted home, abandoned the deal, lost a month’s rent.

So no, not a phobia, and not truly debilitating.

But real and uneasy and enough to add some twin-rotored spice to some of my nightmares.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

blogworld is weird world

it's ceased to be a source of amazement just how many blogs there are using up bandwidth much better employed on much more worthwhile stuff like Joan Bakewell porn sites and 5 million word attacks on 'Why American Beauty was a fucking lie', for example. But since starting this blog, due as i've mentioned before to John Eden's blog i've found myself engrossed in what seems to be a fairly hermetically sealed subgroup of blogs, often riddled with arcane knowledge, impenetrable arguments, heated disagreements about matters of import to as many as 4 or 5 people and often protracted post-modern namecalling.

None of this, I hasten to add, is an insult. The ongoing debate about industrial music being fought between the three headed beast that is John Eden, Matt Molotov and Paul Meme (whoever he may be) is instructive, funny as fuck and veers from careful reasoning to thinly veiled abuse.

My relationship with industrial music and culture is a fairly slight one, I guess, so I’m definitely not going to get involved in the argument because I’d be way out my depth and because it seems to be coming to a close anyway. But while I do understand some of Matt’s concerns – the often rather infantile attempt at shock tactics for their own sake, some of the more suspect imagery and references – he does seem to be taking an absurdly absolutist, ‘black and white’ (literally) view of the whole thing, as John has pointed out:

“Coming back to the religion thing, I think the precise point that Matt was making was not that Whitehouse were “anti-religious’ (which I would take to mean a completely materialist, rationalist, atheistic worldview) but that they represented an “evil” form of spirituality – an inversion of the white light of xtianity.”

I think John is onto something (he really is going to start thinking I want to fuck him soon!) with his references (relating to Whitehouse, I think, who I have no time for at all incidentally) to the difference between ‘shocking’ and ‘disturbing’.

Having lived with someone heavily involved in the OTO and all the sword-waving, borderline fascist crap that entails, and I suppose being of a pretty sceptical, materialist bent, I’m curious about John’s background in TOPY et al*, and I’ve read around the subject (was a time when I couldn’t pick up a book, magazine or record sleeve without hitting the same esoteric wall, a line connecting John Dee, Stewart Home, Crowley, Alan Moore, Iain Sinclair, The KLF and the TOPYs) but it simultaneously fascinates me, perplexes me and ultimately leaves me feeling like I can’t be bothered to go the extra yard to explore something I suspect I’d probably find wholly empty.

In the same way, the importance of some of Coil’s music for gay sex magick or whatever is of little consequence to me, and I’ll stick to the more ‘musical’ (ahem) releases. But it would be stupid of me to deny that whatever the key players in this scene (if it even is a scene anymore) are into obviously informs and adds texture to the work they make – you absolutely cannot ignore the ideas behind it and just listen to the tunes (like you have to with late Van Morrison for example, and I’d have put an ‘ironic’ emoticon here if I knew how to post one!).

So maybe I’m being an industrial/chaos magic dilettante, another post-goth (and yes, there was a point where I would have to deny myself the ‘post’ get out clause, I’m afraid) geek looking for leftover cheap thrills from other people’s dirty work.

Or maybe – and I hope – it’s because extremism or experimentation can still give me a real hard-on. Not the relentless harder > faster > louder machismo/endurance tests of speedcore and gabba, because that’s just not extreme anymore. But I still seek out, time and money permitting, music which will give me the fucking creeps or challenge me the way Hamburger Lady did the first time I heard it

And Matt’s lumping together of ‘industrial’ music into some homogenised and loathsome whole is ridiculous. He knows as well as anyone that there’s a world of difference (in sound, intent, worth and sense) between Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, Merzbow and Coil, Neubaten and Whitehouse and he’s just being obtuse.

Anyway, I said I wasn’t getting involved so I’m going to shut the fuck up and look forward to RE:TG, as much as a curiosity as a cultural event.

* not for a minute intended to imply that the OTO and TOPY were about the same thing at all, save – from my very limited understanding – a belief in the importance of ritual etc.

well, the below posts regarding my reggae-related self-doubt notwithstanding, i'm doing it all over again anyway.

inspired by a gap in the People's Republic of Disco schedule (which could become a permanent one if my meeting with my (ex?) partner tonight goes badly), i'm launching Riddim at the Windmill, helped by landlord, flatmate, reggae mainstay and lovable nutjob alex 'dj badly' holland.

i guess it's not a million miles away from the idea behind Dubhammer (but hey, that was my idea too, and don't let any fucker tell you otherwise! :) ) - in that we're planning to cover a lot of ground - roots, dub, digidub, ska, dancehall...

hopefully i'll manage to squeeze in some Bug records and some really clicky Euro stuff (Fenin, Rhythm & Sound and the like) amongst the more obvious tunes.

i have a few decent connections, and DJ Badly has scores, so we should be able to get some cool guests, Johnno and Neil from Zion Train both seem up for doing something and our friend at Westbury Music has promised to lend us any of her old stars who happen to be in from JA. and we're kicking off with John Eden, who judging by his Shake The Foundations mix should be storming, and cover a gap in mine and Badly's reggae knowledge - newer conscious stuff seems to pass me by, much as i like it.

and what is DAMN FUCKING SURE is that we'll be steering well clear of cod-rasta business, partly out of respect and partly out of disdain (i'll save that for another post!).

No lions, no HiM, no red gold n green and no fucking patois on the flyers *

in fact, i reckon there could be a big frog motif ("riddim") to make sure that nobody takes us seriously, ourselves included.

august 23rd, the windmill, 8-late, £3, if you must know!

* the use of the word 'riddim' avoids the patois pitfall, i reckon, because i believe it's used more broadly now and has a meaning that stands on its own merits and isn't just a crass co-option. or something. i'm sure matt molotov could write something far more erudite, but then he smells of pooh

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