I’m a dilettante, a sneak, a cuckoo in the nest. I mean, I love the stuff, but I don’t love it any more than any number of other people who have more records, more depth of knowledge and more skills than me.

Shit, that’s true of most reggae fans — there’s always somebody out there who knows loads more than you. And it’s such a huge subject. Anyone who hasn’t been steeped in it for decades can only properly understand a small part of reggae I reckon. Matt TWANBOC knows maybe ten times as much about reggae as I do. There are people on the Blood and Fire board who probably know ten times more than he does. And there’ll be people in Jamaica who know more than they do.

Everyone’s a dilletante.

Cracking piece from K-Punk on the industrial debate.

Great analysis of the typology of industrial music.

On Whitehouse:
“As for whether they are a joke group, it seems to me that they are and they aren’t. And it’s a particularly disturbing joke…”

This gave me pause. I’ve never given any thought to the idea that Whitehouse should be taken seriously. K-Punk seems to be suggesting that there’s actually some real content in Whitehouse. Good god. Does this mean I can’t take the piss out of them at random any more? Shit.

> ‘Power Electronics’ strikes me as a better label than industrial for them.

I’ve always loved the term Power Electronics. Trips really nicely off the tongue. It would be a really great combination of Tackhead’s Housebuilding, Orbital’s Impact USA and Psychick TV’s Unclean. I wonder if anyone’s done anything like that?

Paul is just as guilty, however, for refusing to accept the gothic elements of Killing Joke, Joy Division and Coil

John as ever cannot distinguish between product and consumer. Much of Killing Joke’s audience were goths. Some of Coil’s audience were goths. None of Joy Division’s audience were goths, at least until the record was over. But Killing Joke weren’t goths. They were a speedfreak heavy metal band without the guitar solos and better taste. Neither were Coil or Joy Division goths. They both had a certain dark glamour, but they weren’t Sex Gang Children, or The Nephilim.

John is of course a closet goth and is deeply embarassed about it.

Acid Strength Industrial

I’d put the On-U project under some other heading.

Granted, I’m pushing things a bit here. But among all the industrial people I ever knew, On-U was crucial.

> And Neubauten.

Eh? They were on some bizarre. They were the weirder, Berlin counter-part to Test Dept. They dressed in overalls and took bnuildings apart with drills. They used to clock on and off and call each other “mate”. You don’t get any more industrial than that.

There’s a sort of industrial sub-genre of power-tool-weilding non-musicians — Test Dept, SPK, almost no-one else. There was a piece on the Tube about them and everything.

> And 23 Skidoo.

On Fetish records, same as TG later on. Part of the industrial funk sub-genre, with 400 Blows, Chakk, Hula, and the Ohio Players. No, I’m pretty sure they’re industrial, especially early on, before the went really good when Sketch from Imagination joined.

It was Imagination, wasn’t it? Someone correct me.

It wasn’t Freez was it? Christ, I hope not. Good single and all that but nothing compared to the lush electro-soul-dub brilliance of Imagination.

> And Joy Division.

Ah. Now this is tenuous, I have to admit. There IS a link but Joy Division are a genre unto themselves really.

> And Colourbox.

Now, I’m convinced ColourBox are intimately connected with all things industrial. But for the life of me I can’t remember why. Maybe it’s just my imagination. Just an Illusion. (Wow, that Imagination riff is really beginning to hit hard now…)

> And Cabaret Voltaire.

No way are the Cabs NOT industrial. They were mates with Gen right from the early days (1975 or thereabouts) and I’m pretty sure he put out an early tape album by them.

I saw Steven Mallinder at the Moloko gig here a couple of months ago and he did say, “Do tell anyone you know online that we were actually an industrial band”. Actually, he didn’t, we talked about Sheffield nightclubs instead.

> As for Lee Perry and Miles Davis!

Errrr yeah. It’s a conceptual link, rather than anything the, errr, artists themselves would have been aware of.

> it becomes a “greyer area”, greyer still with Killing Joke

Yeah, what genre are Killing Joke?* They’re not really industrial. They’re sort of post-punk aren’t they? Except, like the Stranglers, who I also like, they’re more prog-punk. Concept albums with short songs and distortion. Without sounding that much like Hawkwind.

* Are groups singular or plural? I’d have thought that, like companies, they should be singular, but no-one does it that way, not even the quality broadsheets. And what is the noun for whether a noun is singluar or plural?

If I was being naughty I’d ascribe this to another of those “Ha Ha look who else is claiming to have invented Techno” asides.

Oh, you’re right, there were lots of roads into acid house and ecstasy, and the industrial one is just the one I think about most. But there’s a big lineage there between industrial and acid — so far as I can tell the early Clink Street raves had a healthy contingent of people who had been into industrial / electronics, Onu-U, and dub. (I spoke at the funeral of one of them and talked about what he’d told me about it, FWIW.) And the Clink Street scene was important in fuelling the interesting, dark side of acid and what came after.

> there are similar moments when a whole range of interlocking factors suddenly click into position and
> produce a monumental reorganisation. “The Great Vowel shift” for one. It’d be a really cool project to
> do a “Pre-Energy Flash” tome, kind of like the Star Wars prequel, to Reynolds’s dance music book

That’s a really cool concept. I’d be interested in that kind of book.

How much common ground was created through ecstacy!

Reynolds on nu-dancehall:
dancehall’s kind of the default desperation option for the mainstream and hipsterati alike, isn’ t it? It bubbles on pretty much same level of greatness year in year in out, and folks tune into when they’ve got no other options and the springs of vibe have run dry…

Well, yeah. It makes MTV more listenable down the gym. It’s nice to have some OK dancehall rhythms in the charts. But of course we “real reggae fans” (why does this remind me of recidivist Neil Young fans?) are weary and wary of the chart’s suck ’em in and spit ’em out production line recuperation.

So what? It’s just a sign of dance music’s shrinking market, driven by changing demographics if I remember my Monitor report correctly. First dance got mixed up with r’n’b to expand its market, now its dancehall. You can tell how desperate the dance music industry is by how good Trevor Nelson’s show sounds. No more is Soul Nation wall to wall sugar-pop faux-soul; now he can mix in rougher sounds (he’s been championing “the reggae sound” all this year) and grab more audience on the back of dance’s increasing ecumenism. The house and techno audiences are shrinking and being mixed with the r’n’b audience and Nelson’s a winner in this situation. (Did you know he used to be a door to door salesman, or should that be in-home representative, for pensions and financial services? The boy knows how to grab an opportunity.)

What next? Country?