Blissed Psychedelic Freaks Bequeath Skykissing Guitars to Industrial Autopsy Aesthetes

… 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.

To this list must be added Z’ev
Oh yeah, cracking stuff. I’ve shared cigars with Z’ev.

> I got messed up last night and ending up in a really rambling ranty conversation about Wilhelm Reich getting his books burned by
> the US government.

Yeah. Now, don’t forget, he was in the Communist Party too John — and THEY turned him against him too. Which is one of the top two or three reasons I’ll never be a full on Communist.

> I was basically trying to say that just because he had his books burnt didn’t automatically mean his ideas were all alright

Errr, ditto! I presume John’s not throwing the orgone baby out with the reichian bathwater. Hopefully not.

Either way, being labelled “the book burning guy” has to be the most wry of ironies for our John.

> Oh and people always mention “Tools You Can Trust” but I have no idea about them, possibly because they were rubbish.

They were OK-ish. They did a couple of Peel sessions that were fairly good. After hearing them, I remember there was a TV documentary about How We Record Radio One Sessions (And How to Build A Career Therefrom) which was a small eye-opener. Two speccy slapheads who couldn’t quite believe their luck and were totally winging it. The producer — I think it might have been John Leckie — politely described them as “under-rehearsed”. I thought it was kind of cool at the time, and I think it’s kind of cool today. But only kind of.

john eden on who’s a goth and who’s not: This is a bollocks argument because we were talking about genres which very rarely emanate from the band itself, but are given to it by journalists, fans, the mysterious people who decide where things go in record racks, etc.

I suspect my argument isn’t bollocks cos it’s identical to the one you’re putting forward here.

However, yesterday’s blogging was done late at night, and there seems to be a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels on my desk, so who am I to argue.

So anyway, it’s perfectly valid to call Killing Joke goths

Nope, that still sounds a bit silly to me. I just don’t think Killing Joke can be called, definitively, goths — I don’t think it’s factual to say that they ARE goths, either as individuals or as a group. I don’t think that they went for them whole eyeliner, black vampiric clothes, Nosferatu poster life style. (Jaz Coleman’s face paint doesn’t count.) I didn’t meet them til much later but one of my cousins knew Killing Joke quite well in the early eighties and went out with Youth for a bit. Reports did not indicate any gothique tendencies.

Of course, John’s point is that your genre is defined by the judgement of the audience and of critics, which is a good variation of the “death-of-the-author” theme. But that still doesn’t work for me in the case of Killing Joke. I don’t remember people calling them goths then, probably for fear of how they’d react, and they just plain don’t feel goth. Anyway, the death of the author argument only applies to records made after 1986, so their first three albums are safe.

> It’s only closet because I got bored of wearing black clothes all the time,

I hadn’t noticed the sartorial development, but I never had John down as a goth, more of a crusty hippy with new romantic tendencies. We once turned up at the Wag club both wearing the same Coco the Clown shoes — quelle surprise!

> but I have no problem lining up with people who are into daaaaaaaaark music

And… this is kinda the “problem”, if there still is one, with Goth. It’s not about “daaaaaaaaark music”. It’s about a safe little pastiche of “daaaaaaaaark music”. If it’s fake dark — the Mission, the Nephilim, the Specimen, 99% of the Sisters, Look Mummy Clowns — then it’s Goth. If it’s real dark — Killing Joke, Coil, Soft Cell, the Wurzels — then it’s not Goth, it’s something else. That’s why the more entertaining, less embarassing end of Goth mutated into a modern version of Glam and merged into the more poodle-y end of the metal scene. When fake dark is a knowing pastiche it can be camp fun. When fake dark is posturing vacuity it’s embarassing, like a punk version of The Enid. Bauhaus doing Ziggy Stardust is arguably more fun than them doing Dark Entries, or certainly Antonin Artaud, though the jury’s out on Bela Lugosi, which is probably still a fine record, just with shit lyrics. Or possibly they’re just camp…

Oh, and reading blogs purely for the information contained in the ads is a bit too Camille Paglia for me, darling ;-).