Paul Lester reviews 808 90 by 808 State, 9th December 1989

Paul Lester reviews 808:90 by 808 State, 9th December 1989.

What a brilliant record this is. And then the stopped taking drugs and the music stopped being brilliant. But really if you’ve not heard this record you should. Not on Spotify annoyingly. Will come back to this post and upload a track.

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ben-turner-interviews-darren-emerson-and-charlie-hall-19th-february-1994

Ben Turner interviews Darren Emerson and Charlie Hall, 19th February 1994. Photo Steve Gullick, club pics Pat Pope

It’s been a busy week as the lack of regular posts attests so I’ve not read through this, however I suspect it is very much of its time.

Regular readers might notice I’ve got a cute little indie ‘amp’ button badge up. My friend littlepixel has kindly worked it up for me. Please do visit his blog where he’s currently in the middle of ‘reimaginitizing’ a series of classic record covers in the mode of 1950/60’s Pelican book covers. Here’s just one of them. Leave him comments and love and I’m sure he’ll pixel more for you. G’wan he lives for this sort of thing.

Primal Scream: Screamadelica

Oh and Simon from the most excellent Sweeping the Nation has added the 432 available tracks from Garry Mulholland’s splendid “500 Greatest Singles Since Punk And Disco”, as a Spotify playlist here: http://www.sharemyplaylists.com/this-is-uncool-the-500-greatest-singles-since-punk-and-disco/

The Boiler by Special AKA is just finishing up. Harrowing and still shocking. Listen if you’ve not heard it before.

Right I’m off to stick my new badge on to my charity shop cardy now so I can do some of my famed, doomed Morrissey dancing this weekend.

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Simon Reynolds interviews Loop, 12th November 1988

Simon Reynolds interviews Loop - part two, 12th November 1988

So while I listen to Suede B-sides and O2 try to flog me Jackson tickets via txt here’s Simon Reynolds interviewing Loop, 12th November 1988. Photo Tom Sheehan (bet those pimples would be zapped in Photoshop these days eh Tom?)

Cos I know a lot more people visit these pages than actually click through to read the interviews I’d like to urge you to read this, even if you’ve never heard of Loop – remembering all the while, that this is an interview about a rock group. Reynolds presents us with a delicate entrée of Pynchon and flowery adjectives before the main course begins.

Reynolds (in reference to Robert’s aims for musical repetition and a ‘trance-like effect’): It sounds like you ought to be in sympathy with the Acid House scene

Robert: Oh no, that stuff’s just nonsense. Sure it’s repetitive but in a bland way. We like to think we build on our repetitiveness. With Acid House, they just sit on a synthesizer for half an hour and make squiddley-diddley noises. [and then it gets really embarrassing]

All of which makes me wonder about the quality of drugs Loop were actually taking to be left so cold by acid house, kinda reinforced by Robert later when he says “The drugs thing has been totally overblown though: you don’t have to be out of your face to get into repetitive music”. No Robert but it helps doesn’t it? It really, really helps.

Then Reich, Cale and Satie get name checked in a rather academic discourse about the schizoid experience before the conversation seques into a mediation on death in its myriad, vividly romantic forms, before ending with some conventional stuff about what the next record might be like and an apology from Reynolds for being “unable to simulate in words what Loop do”! For thickies like me this stuff’s still as dense today as it ever was.

sarah-champion-on-manchesters-acid-scene-22nd-october-1988

Sarah Champion on Manchester’s Acid scene, 22nd October 1988.

The other 2 pages of the NME feature on the acid scene for everyone joining from Faith Fanzine forum. Do you want more of this stuff?

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Paolo Hewitt interviews Paul Oakenfold about Acid Culture, 22nd October 1988.

You could sum up this whole piece with “Take drugs kids, they’re amazing and everyone is doing them”. Of course, the NME couldn’t come out and say this directly, especially when they’ve started the piece by accusing the media of being out to kill the acid scene because of the drugs the media assume are involved. So you get quotes from Oakenfold like this,

“Obviously, drugs are involved but I don’t know to what extent. It’s impossible to say”.

Er, yeah…sure Paul. Maybe it’s impossible to say because you’ve already taken so much Ecstasy your brain resembles swiss cheese.

He continues with this gem, where if you replace the cipher word ‘fun’ with ‘drugs’ does actually sum up the scene perfectly.

“The key,” he [Oakenfold] explains, “the secret to the whole thing is fun. People have never had so much fun. People thought they would never be able to dance again. I’m 26 and I thought I’d never dance again. Now I go to clubs and dance. When you’ve got something that is so much fun everyone wants a piece of it.”

Haha! Who did they think they were kidding? Drugs have always been at the heart of every vibrant music scene. With the Acid/Rave scene they were at the heart, lungs, eyes, feet and every other part of the body. The real reason why so much modern music sucks so badly is because society sorely lacks for a new drug to kickstart it.

One of the brilliant things about the web is how so many of these records are being archived and made available on themed mp3 blogs. Audio.Out is particularly good, especially for the rarer stuff. Indeed it’s just posted Balearic Beats Volume 1, Part 1 which ties in nicely with this interview.

Oh and if you fancy saying hello to Paolo Hewitt he’s just launched his own blog

Who watches The Watchmen? The Daily Mail of course.

Live Reviews featuring Back to the Phuture at Brixton Fridge

Various live reviews taken from NME, 29th October 1988.

Simon Williams reviews All About Eve at The Marquee and The Blue Aeroplanes at Dingwalls.

Sam Crowe reviews Christy Moore at London Dominion Theatre

This taken quickly and in recognition of the fact that this site has finally made it to the N.M.E. forums as grist to the mill for the old “Was the music press better in the old days?” Answer: Yes. Thanks boneyboy.

With the Watchmen trailer breaking this bit of old Acid House / rave culture caught my eye. I’m sure I’ve got some old Shoom reviews too but there’ll have to wait for another time. The poor old smilee face….once a symbol to strike fear into the establishment and now so passée the tweenies don’t even want to use it in MSN chats. I went to The Fridge late 2006 and it was like the band playing on whilst The Titanic sank. And I bet the film’s shit too.

Other than that my new favourite waste of time is http://blip.fm/ It’s a little like The Hype Machine but simpler and better for it. Oh and Edward Aczel was probably the most unassumingly good thing I saw in Edinburgh even though I did ask for a jigsaw towards the end. Great BBC Four doc on Stiff records, If it Ain’t Stiff, a few days ago too. Unfortunately it seems it’s not available on iPlayer. Shame.

That’ll have to be it for now. I can’t exactly say it’s nice to be back – the break has only made me realise how much time this thing has started to take, but it’s nice to know people still surfed through without having anything new to look at. This is afterall what this site exists for, as a repository for fans of the music, the papers and pop culture generally.

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