Wednesday, March 07, 2007

more from the metal mailbag

Provocative thoughts from Carl the Impostume on the New Solemnity


Neil who does the great night life/clubbing culture blog History is Made at Night (look for the recent post on trad jazz) mentions the gabba/metal nexus in re. the 90s Brixton club Dead By Dawn, which was part of that whole Praxis/Alien Underground speedcore under-underground:

“I remember the last night at Dead by Dawn (1996) featured the satanic speedcore The Disciples of Belial complete with black hoods whose whole vibe was very black metal”.

And of course Earache had that whole little moment there of putting out gabber records, I went to a really punishing gabber night in London that was the launch for that first big gabba comp they put out....

Neil also wonders about the gender question:

“is there an overlap between bloggers, dubsteppers and metallists as primarily (but not exclusively) fraternities?”

Hmmm, well it's true, 'blog' is uncomfortably close to the word 'bloke' but… there’s always girls who are attracted by these harder sounds, who get involved as fans, but also musicians and deejays.. Actually the last time I went to Dub War, the NYC dubsteppa nite, I was pleasantly surprised how many women there were there.


Bruce Levenstein notes there’s even more of a KLF/extreme metal connection:

“That mention of the KLF/Extreme Noise Terror performance reminded me that KLF attempted to release a metal album tof follow-up The White Room: "


Robin Carmody contributes to the periodisation of “hipster metal,” noting that as late as March 1984 NME devoted an entire issue to heavy metal that was “overwhelmingly negative and critical in tone”, centered around a piece by Charles Shaar Murray that slagged it off for its gross exaggeration of blues machismo and hyperphallic sexism. I’m pretty sure Barney Hoskyns metal-appreciative remarks predated that issue by a year or so, but then (in his typical renegade style) they would have been totally against the general grain, that lingering postpunk mindset which treated metal as degenerate culture, even proto-fascist. The first time I can recall any one in postpunk culture saying anything remotely positive about metal is Mark E. Smith (actually in an NME profile by Hoskyns, circa Slates). Smith spoke appreciatively of the robustly Teutonic way metal kids carried themselves and described the scene as “healthy", because metal kids got all the typical postpunk/NME-reader bollocks of analyzing and over-thinking and discoursing out of the way and didn't make such a big thing about music. Presumably most Fall fans would have filed this pro-metal comment along with Smith's other loopy opinions of the era like the idea that the nuclear bomb was a good thing because it mean that conscription was no longer required.

A fellow rejoicing in the name Vas Djifrens declares:

“there iss only one way to true metal knowledge of the scene and scratchening of its surface: "




Matthew Moore from down under with an Australian perspective on the Goth/metal nexus. He observes that while there is a black metal record store in Newtown (“Sydney’s rock central) there are three stores “selling Goth couture”:

“We seem to be big on Goth (& Emo also) and we have the big hairy slices of Trad Rock (as Aussie as meat pies) such as Grinspoon, Powderfinger & You Am I - but little Metal per se. And I think part of this is due to gender. Put bluntly, chicks gravitate more towards the Goth scene than the Metal. And if they are into Metal then their signifiers are often Goth (bondage gear, flouncy dresses, make-up). And the dudes follow the chicks. Or make a definite decision not to. In a sense, Goth is Speed Garage to Metal's Techstep. What strikes me about most post-blues Metal is the extent to which recognisable human emotion is eliminated. The Will To Posthumanity (to be free of these messy, horrible bodies) can be found in Techno AND Metal. Except that one chooses The Plateau and one The Abyss. Or summat. Whereas Goth takes body mortification and amplifies it into exhibitionism. "This Horrible Body" becomes "This Horrible Beautiful Body". And emotion in the music leaks back in (or refuses to dissipate) through this drama of display. That said the extent to which Goth remains a style culture more than a music culture here in Sydney is debatable.”

Phinally, p H i n n with a spelling correction:

'Finland is in Finnish "Suomi", not "Soumi".'

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