reading matters #4
Owen on the historically aberrant nature of the "lost epoch" of postwar/pre-thatcher Great Britain whence ghostbox et al draw such nourishment
incidentally re. gek-opel's trope of the “nostalgia death-trap”... while that's very much the sort of thing I might have uttered as a Young Gods/Beltram/____ believer against what ever brand of non-futurism stood in the way at that particular juncture , I would at least have had something futuristic in my hands to brandish! The metaphor is off in another sense, in so far as nostalgia, being a response to the inevitability of loss, could be seen as an attempt to escape the trap-jaws of death... Nostalgia is a complex, rich, and inescapable human emotion (if you haven’t succumbed to it yet, prepare for a shock... mind you i can remember being nostalgic at the age of six for the lost golden age of being four!), an inspiration for all kinds of great writers (Nabokov and Proust being just the first that spring to mind), so why not an inspiration for music? Also as Kpunk shows in his phonograph blues riffage, nostalgia and retro-culture (a/k/a fredric jameson’s “nostalgia mode”) are not, actually, the same thing at all...
Talking of non-futurism...
"Remember, though: in the dark days of 1991-93, it looked like the guitar really was extinct, but rock bit back and eventually won. Who now listens to such rave milestones as the Prodigy's 1992 hit Charly, the entire oeuvre of Altern 8 (two blokes who essentially released the same record over and over again - what cards!) and Shaft's 1992 smash Roobarb and Custard? Only very strange people." -- John Harris, on the new rave, sideswiping the old rave
I’m obviously one of those very strange people--but you know that. In fact I was listening to ‘Charly’ just the other day. And cos of ‘Papua New Guinea’ I was thinking about those guys' Other Moment, Humanoid's ‘Stakker Humanoid’ --a real Moment hearing that track for the first time, I remember driving in a car with Stubbs, it must have been 1989, and a tape of this being on, ‘what’s THIS????’... and perhaps the being in motion, at night, through the streets of South London, really brought the techno alive for me, whereas Network’s first Detroit techno compilation had really kinda underwhelmed, like a lot of non-acid house, it seemed slight to a Young Gods fans ear... and what do you know An Idiot’s Guide To Dreaming’s Loki pinpoints exactly what was vanguard about the tune, the way it stripped away the humanity in house like nothing else at the time except the most deranged acid tunes. And actually I was thinking of "Stakker" only a few weeks ago, cos there's moments on the Mordant Music record that have that early UK tekkno feel
A cache of Carmody.
And he's also pretty active at his other place, trawling through ancient Top 40s.
it is coming out in the US in december and flicking through the missus' promo, it looks like a right rich read, although seems like there's surprisingly little on popular culture and zilch on music. my pulse raced when i saw a chapter titled “Spectral Rappers” , but it turns out not to be a study of Gothick hip hop, ghostface killah, tricky etc but about séances--the spirits indicating their presence by knocking or rapping, see