… which is perhaps one of the greatest subheads ever. Though at first I thought it was produced by machine. Entertaining to see Reynolds’ take on the micro-revival (surely more conceptual than real) of industrial leads with an extended paean to Cabaret Voltaire, whom Matt TWANBOC put in a Grey Area (sudden thought — perhaps this was actually an exceptionally erudite in-joke on Matt’s behalf? Shudder to think I didn’t get it first time round…).
I have to say that the idea of a TG reunion festival at a seaside Pontins interests me a lot less than, say, a Caister Soul Weekender. You won’t get Louie Vega doing a garage and soul 7″s set for a start. In fact I doubt you’ll get anyone playing anything you can dance to, still less sing along to. If they were smart they’d have Shaka playing, but I bet they won’t. (Big up Eden for the fabulous quote about why Shaka was industrial really. Sort of.)
In fact if they’re smart they’ll get me and Eden in to DJ so that people can get some relief from the unremitting onslaught of unlistenable bollocks. Will anyone play Supercat’s Boops? No? Well what kind of industrial festival is that then? (Note: I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about this festival and this is nothing but sheer prejiudice.)
Anyway. Reynolds is talking about archive releases of old Cabs stuff. Now, apart from Nag Nag Nag, did they do anything THAT good on record before Red Mecca? I always found Mussolini Headkick et al a bit art for art’s sake, but I wasn’t listening to them first time round, hearing that stuff a couple of years later. I got heavily involved when 2X45 came out and I still think this is the best jumping off point for the Cabs. I think their best stuff is probably CrackDown and Drinking Gasoline, which were their more deliberately poppy stuff for Virgin ferchrissakes, but to me it’s the stuff I most want to listen to. If this sounds like I’m judging the Cabs by the prism of today’s taste instead of taking all the Cabs stuff, like 3 Mantras, on its own merits, then I’m probably guilty as charged. Nevertheless, Drinking Gasoline really deserves to be re-mastered, and indeed remixed. The CD copy has awful sound, but the tracks are fantastic pulsing proto-techno, a dancefloor version of industrial psychedelia, and really do with a polish. Kino in particular is excellent,with hiccupping vocals and stuttering, muscular beats, quite 2 steppy but with a sophisticated acid feel. Sleepwalking is great too, really nervous pounding rhythms with great screeching synth lines. You’d like it.
Reynolds is quite right to slot Industrial into the psychedelia thread. IIRC, as far as Gen was concerned the sixties never ended and he was carrying right on with it. (This isn’t meant as a dig BTW — he used to talk about it, and at least by his own lights he was spot on). His use of Manson stuff was nothing to do with shock value IMO, it was more a way of examining how and why the sixties “went wrong”, just as his use of Holocaust stuff wasn’t about shock value, but of examining how twentieth century industrialisation “went wrong”: genocide as a perverted industrial process.