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labrat
16-06-2005, 01:45 PM
suppose many on Dissensus will have heard Whitehouse by now.
If there's one thing i'm sure of it's that everone who has heard them will have an opinion.

I've never heard them described as ''okay''.

john eden
16-06-2005, 01:49 PM
It would be worth going through the Woebot, k-punk and uncarved blog archives on this topic...

but what do you think of them, labrat?

labrat
16-06-2005, 02:04 PM
like 'em
but the most violent gig I ever went to was a late 80's Whitehouse one .
the instant they went on loads of skins started seig heiling - it kicked off from there.
My fave album is New Britain-possibly their most self consiously ''experimental'' album.
Lots of bands/artists go all out to shock with pitiful results, Whitehouse temper this by their unremitting bleakness.
(at least in their early stages-latterly some humour... re;why you never became a dancer ,wriggle like an eel etc.)

Noah Baby Food
16-06-2005, 03:17 PM
I really like them, think they're very thought-provoking and damn good theatre. find them interesting sonically too. Saw them in Newcastle last year and it was as camp as a row of tents.

labrat
16-06-2005, 03:38 PM
i'd agree ,they are pretty camp.

Noah Baby Food
17-06-2005, 03:25 PM
I admire the fact that William Bennett has never had a full-time job as far as I know, and has supported himself, probably quite nicely, from the proceeds of Whitehouse since he was 18. Which makes you think, don't it?

I place Whitehouse in a similar place to the Savoy Books stuff, especially the Lord Horror material.

And I fucking LOVE Bennett's motto: "Force The Truth".

Noah Baby Food
17-06-2005, 03:28 PM
Seen that thing in The Wire btw, in the piece about "comedy in experimental music" or something, new issue? Interesting perspective, says the whole thing's been one big pisstake since the start. I don't agree, but I love the ambiguity.

Plus, Philip Best reminds me of an old cockney taxi driver.

john eden
17-06-2005, 03:46 PM
I admire the fact that William Bennett has never had a full-time job as far as I know, and has supported himself, probably quite nicely, from the proceeds of Whitehouse since he was 18. Which makes you think, don't it?


I thought he had an ok job whilst living in Spain for all those years?

Plus it would seem he has an interesting and possibly lucrative side-project going at the moment if recent rumours in a notorious blog are to be believed.

martin
17-06-2005, 04:07 PM
I thought he had an ok job whilst living in Spain for all those years?

Plus it would seem he has an interesting and possibly lucrative side-project going at the moment if recent rumours in a notorious blog are to be believed.

Well, we might as well put it here - after all, if Wavis O' Shave could find this forum after a few google searches, I'm sure anyone can - William Bennett uses an alias, 'William Benedict', co-ordinating a 'personal skills training' institute called the Relationship Academy. The Susan Lawly secretary, Florence Detaille, will fix you up with a personal makeover for some miniscule sum like £100, while 'Benedict' coaches you on subjects like 'How To Never Get Rejected!'

http://www.relacademy.freeuk.com/

http://www.relacademy.freeuk.com/metrofeature.htm

john eden
17-06-2005, 04:14 PM
Fair play to him, though. :D

martin
17-06-2005, 04:25 PM
Fair play to him, though. :D

Oh come on, Mr'Innocent', why don't you come clean about your Wedding Photos operations. Hang on, why is everyne at work pissed except me?

john eden
17-06-2005, 04:32 PM
Oh come on, Mr'Innocent', why don't you come clean about your Wedding Photos operations. Hang on, why is everyne at work pissed except me?

Because they went down the pub at lunch while you googled obscure power electronics groups? :p

Noah Baby Food
17-06-2005, 04:44 PM
hahaha...well there you go! The William Bennett relationship academy eh? i'll check those links... an eye-opener for sure. From the author of "A Cunt Like You"...hehehe

martin
17-06-2005, 04:46 PM
Sadly, I was googling something much more boring ; try 'hull coatings'.

Martin Dust
17-06-2005, 04:53 PM
hahaha...well there you go! The William Bennett relationship academy eh? i'll check those links... an eye-opener for sure. From the author of "A Cunt Like You"...hehehe

There's a book in it, perhaps "I'm A Cunt, You're A Cunt".

martin
17-06-2005, 04:53 PM
hahaha...well there you go! The William Bennett relationship academy eh? i'll check those links... an eye-opener for sure. From the author of "A Cunt Like You"...hehehe

They shat their pants when some kids threw a beercan, what are they gonna do when some married 49-year old accountant breaks down in tears and tells them his wife doesn't understand his need to dress as a baby

john eden
17-06-2005, 05:03 PM
There's a book in it, perhaps "I'm A Cunt, You're A Cunt".

LOL - good to see you back here, Mr Dust. :)

Noah Baby Food
17-06-2005, 05:04 PM
They shat their pants when some kids threw a beercan, what are they gonna do when some married 49-year old accountant breaks down in tears and tells them his wife doesn't understand his need to dress as a baby

hahaha....write an album about it probably...

What does anyone here think about Peter Sotos? Read bits of his stuff. It's a bit like being punched repeatedly in the face for hours until eventually you just can't feel anything.

(it was my pal Karl from Yorkshire Bone who had a fight with Sotos at their last gig in Leeds...Peter was "bringing the drama" out in the crowd and Karl brought the drama right back...he whispered in his ear "it's part of the show" so Karl got stuck in...Sotos wasn't impressed...hehe)

francesco
17-06-2005, 07:23 PM
William Benedict?

I also remember of reading somewhere that Bennet under the pseudonimum of DJ Benetti spins Italo Disco.
Really.

polystyle desu
18-06-2005, 05:44 PM
What to think of Whitehouse ?

Not that I really listened to the records' ,
but a unit of mine (Will To Power , metal perc and tapes) did two shows with them in NYC bk in April 1983.
First one was at this art loft on 320 W.37th street hired for the 'event' .
Second was @ The Mudd Club with Function Disorder.
It was all ok, some white and pink noise , white man posturing nothing evolutionary or revolutionary,
some part of the audience probably thinking 'well what do we do ? can't dance to this ...' .

We must have gotten the gigs through web of connection the previous year with ol' SPK after they came to NYC and stayed at my place on E 11th.
What we saw and heard of SPK '82 blew WH '83 into a corner .

mms
19-06-2005, 09:28 PM
William Benedict?

I also remember of reading somewhere that Bennet under the pseudonimum of DJ Benetti spins Italo Disco.
Really.

yes this is true he's a big italo guy, used to dj at optimo, djs at cocodisco sometimes.

i like them

he talked at this noise conference ages ago and it was clearly a ruse to pull attractive students, it was basically a lesson in stage hypnotisim and self help nonsense as a winning solution.

his comps of 'world noise' are good as well.

3underscore
19-06-2005, 09:51 PM
used to dj at optimo

With the absence of twitch, I would question that, unless it is a different optimo. I know for a fact that beyond the core two of the glasgow night, noone has scored more than one or two gigs. Maybe I am talking on crossed wavelengths and you mean another club.

mms
19-06-2005, 11:16 PM
With the absence of twitch, I would question that, unless it is a different optimo. I know for a fact that beyond the core two of the glasgow night, noone has scored more than one or two gigs. Maybe I am talking on crossed wavelengths and you mean another club.

no i mean optimo, in glasgow where they live.
it was long time ago, even had a sort of playlist interview type thing in musik when that was alive.
just google it or something before you professionally doubt it.
maybe it was only for a few times but it did happen.
but not to be pedantic or anything cos i really don't care at the end of the day.

martin
20-06-2005, 11:28 AM
What does anyone here think about Peter Sotos? Read bits of his stuff. It's a bit like being punched repeatedly in the face for hours until eventually you just can't feel anything.



I've read 'Index' and 'Total Abuse', with each I started off really shocked and disgusted, but about half-way through I was just like, "Here we go again, cunt cunt little girl's disabled maggot cunt, fuck her up the ass etc" and decided to go and do something else. I never really got where he was trying to go with it, which is probably the point, so he'd have you believe. Mind you, I did rip them up and throw them away cos I got paranoid about someone finding the books and reporting me ('Total Abuse' was that bad). I suppose it's worth a fortune now, knowing my luck...

Martin Dust
20-06-2005, 06:07 PM
LOL - good to see you back here, Mr Dust. :)

:) Been busy Jon, I like to dip in every now and then - see what's going down in the Grime world - not heard much that's tipping me boat at the moment.

Martin Dust
20-06-2005, 06:09 PM
I've read 'Index' and 'Total Abuse', with each I started off really shocked and disgusted, but about half-way through I was just like, "Here we go again, cunt cunt little girl's disabled maggot cunt, fuck her up the ass etc" and decided to go and do something else. I never really got where he was trying to go with it, which is probably the point, so he'd have you believe. Mind you, I did rip them up and throw them away cos I got paranoid about someone finding the books and reporting me ('Total Abuse' was that bad). I suppose it's worth a fortune now, knowing my luck...

Never been sure about this fella, Pure was a bit much for me - not because of the content but the lack of intelligence behind it. Must admit I don't like him but I don't know why, guess he's just a cunt!

phirnis
15-11-2005, 09:59 PM
Just read an article from Mute magazine in which William Bennett is quoted on talking quite candidly about growing up in a rather aggressive environment of "a lot of domestic violence behind closed doors" as he calls it. He seems to view Whitehouse as a way of "expressing these traumas" in an art form, adding the notion that he likes to think of himself as "a very non-violent person". Of course this may be not a big surprise for those who have been studying his work for quite a while, but it's still intriguing to see him talking about these issues in a way like that.

atomly
15-11-2005, 11:33 PM
I saw Whitehouse here (Chicago) a few weeks back and was a little surprised. Enjoyed it, but not what I was expecting.

Immryr
16-11-2005, 06:58 AM
I really like them, think they're very thought-provoking and damn good theatre. find them interesting sonically too. Saw them in Newcastle last year and it was as camp as a row of tents.


oooooh i was at that gig, the one with consumer electronics opening?? i thought it was a pretty amazing show.

labrat
16-11-2005, 11:29 AM
Just read an article from Mute magazine
Is this the article ? http://www.metamute.com/look/mfiles/tim_whitehouselong_mfiles.rtf
I'ts a great read; theory/fiction,interview,cut-up bizzle.

phirnis
16-11-2005, 06:22 PM
Yes, that's the one I was talking about. I found it to be a perfectly appropriate style in order to make a point concerning Whitehouse.

Just recently I've stumbled upon a WH community site on which someone explained some of the references in their lyrics and I have to say that at times this stuff is even grosser than I'd thought it to be.
http://www.livejournal.com/community/qualitytime/?skip=20

That said, I'm really curious about their upcoming record Asceticists as this has to be the most promising of any of their album titles yet.

labrat
30-01-2006, 03:38 PM
http://hodmandod3.blogspot.com/2006/01/cheap-night-out.html

labrat
19-07-2007, 09:55 AM
Big interview with Whitehouse in this months copy of The Wire- a photograph of Philip Best looking absolutely beautiful (from 1983) However the ravages of time are
Apparent in the contemporary photos (William Bennett is wearing AWFUL trousers, thus I’m reassessing my liking)

Noah Baby Food
19-07-2007, 12:14 PM
I love these guys. Saw them for the second time last week, at the Brudenell in Leeds. It was by far the loudest thing I've ever heard, very powerful indeed. The new stuff is good, uses a lot of African instruments and is kinda rhythmic - a definite departure from their early screechy feedback sound. Their campness and over-the-top stage schtick has reached new levels - Philip Best was tweaking his own nipples in a highly dodgy manner. The nicest, most well-mannered blokes you'll ever meet as well. True English eccentrics, I suppose.

Kate Mossad
19-07-2007, 04:34 PM
Massively underrated and misunderstood in my opinion. I'd previously dismissed them as unlistenable clowns but finally "got it" when I saw them live last year after hearing Wriggle Like a Fucking Eel.
I once interviewed William Bennett and found him to be one of the most polite and intelligent people I've ever met. However... I know he's involved in NLP and was aware of being manipulated somewhat.
I'd be really interested in what people have to say about Whitehouse here.

mistersloane
19-07-2007, 04:49 PM
I love Whitehouse, I think they're the best rock n roll band the UK has ever produced.

vimothy
19-07-2007, 05:23 PM
Good band - and their new album is supposed to be brilliant as well (not heard it yet though).

Martin Dust
19-07-2007, 06:29 PM
Best panto I've ever seen.

swears
19-07-2007, 06:36 PM
How do you tell one song from the next? Never really got into this sort of stuff.

Martin Dust
19-07-2007, 06:43 PM
How do you tell one song from the next? Never really got into this sort of stuff.

Never mind the rockisms, feel the pink noise :)

swears
19-07-2007, 07:00 PM
Noise/industrial is very rockist. Experimentation, seriousness, long term careers, a history going back as far as the 70s...

I wouldn't knock it, I just don't see the appeal.

mistersloane
19-07-2007, 07:01 PM
How do you tell one song from the next? Never really got into this sort of stuff.

one goes 'wriggle like a fuckin eel' and the next one goes 'i'm comin up your arse'. Simple, really.

nomadologist
19-07-2007, 07:09 PM
why have i never heard whitehouse??

martin
19-07-2007, 07:09 PM
The main differerence is their fans used to yell "Right on! Kill the whores! Burn children!". Now they say "William, I find your lyrics deeply profound and wholesomely convincing, you're right, 'The Wire' is shit, Genesis P-orridge is a hypocrite, the 'that' is really inspirational - the bores don't get it". It's just holding down synth keys (or pre-programming them on laptops), with a bit of fuck-youism chucked in. Having seen them flee from a bottle and 2 beercans, bring back Jerry Sadowitz

martin
19-07-2007, 07:10 PM
why have i never heard whitehouse??

Cos you're a degenerate piece of female trash?

nomadologist
19-07-2007, 07:14 PM
i mean reasons other than the obvious

Mr. Tea
19-07-2007, 07:22 PM
You probably did see them once but were too high to remember.

nomadologist
19-07-2007, 07:25 PM
there's no such thing. are there any youtube videos of whitehouse? i am lazy.

Mr. Tea
19-07-2007, 07:30 PM
If you just search for 'whitehouse' you'll probably get clips of The Mary Whitehouse Experience.
Which'll probably be better.

nomadologist
19-07-2007, 07:38 PM
my god, that was the scariest set of youtube results i've ever waded through

gek-opel
19-07-2007, 08:12 PM
The Wire is hilarious this month as regards Whitehouse. A long ring-licker of a puff piece, but also a total take-down review of the tired peurility of their newest album in the reviews section... Whitehouse just seems really really tiresome to me, the few bits I've heard. The Simon Reynolds' criticism of noise music (that it never functions as "noise"- as only the kind of people who are unoffended will ever bother to listen to it) stands- specifically with reference to stuff like this which touts the same worn out "shocking" nonsense... if only it DID appall or surprise in any way, but it remains merely utterly, bafflingly banal.

Martin Dust
19-07-2007, 08:12 PM
Genesis P-orridge is a hypocrite,

Yes but he was the best greedy gutter guru we had :)

Kate Mossad
19-07-2007, 09:20 PM
...stuff like this which touts the same worn out "shocking" nonsense... if only it DID appall or surprise in any way, but it remains merely utterly, bafflingly banal.
Haven't seen the Wire but I have heard the album. How is it touting shock exactly? I can believe that it might be meant to surprise... But appall? Can you clarify please?

mistersloane
19-07-2007, 09:21 PM
The Wire is hilarious this month as regards Whitehouse. A long ring-licker of a puff piece, but also a total take-down review of the tired peurility of their newest album in the reviews section... Whitehouse just seems really really tiresome to me, the few bits I've heard. The Simon Reynolds' criticism of noise music (that it never functions as "noise"- as only the kind of people who are unoffended will ever bother to listen to it) stands- specifically with reference to stuff like this which touts the same worn out "shocking" nonsense... if only it DID appall or surprise in any way, but it remains merely utterly, bafflingly banal.

I'm really surprised you don't like em given your taste gek, I just think they rock, it's kinda quite simple. Nothing shocks me so I'm not after that in them, I just like the tones they put together on record. Live they're very funny - Martin's right about the panto stuff. I loved it when they got together with Albini and did all that stuff, even down to the cover artwork which I never normally give a toss about, it was just rock.

nomad they came outta the same scene as Coil and Current 93 over here, but went down a pure noise route rather than the apocalyptic folk angle. They were surrounded by dodgy politics for a while. Peter Sotos was in them for their best period. Check out 'wriggle like an eel' if you can find it, if not I'll send it to yer. Big Andrea Dworkin fans.

Slothrop
19-07-2007, 09:30 PM
Well, we might as well put it here - after all, if Wavis O' Shave could find this forum after a few google searches, I'm sure anyone can - William Bennett uses an alias, 'William Benedict', co-ordinating a 'personal skills training' institute called the Relationship Academy. The Susan Lawly secretary, Florence Detaille, will fix you up with a personal makeover for some miniscule sum like £100, while 'Benedict' coaches you on subjects like 'How To Never Get Rejected!'

http://www.relacademy.freeuk.com/

http://www.relacademy.freeuk.com/metrofeature.htm

Damn, I thought someone was going to say he was Burial or The Tuss or something..

Kate Mossad
19-07-2007, 09:35 PM
Damn, I thought someone was going to say he was Burial or The Tuss or something..

:D

Noah Baby Food
19-07-2007, 10:30 PM
I find Whitehouse very interesting on a lot of levels - sonically, lyrically, philosophically. They make you think. They are genuinely enigmatic. Don't think they've ever been about cheap shock value to be honest, and they're certainly not now. The new album is really good. They make genuinely powerful music. If you can appreciate Surgeon. or John Coltrane, or 70s Miles Davis, I can't see why you wouldn't appreciate Whitehouse. I've seen Merzbow play live and that was 'hmmmm...', kinda washed over you, but seeing WH is physically the closest thing I've experienced to doing loads of pills - tight chest, euphoria, butterflies in stomach. Honestly.

mms
20-07-2007, 11:18 AM
i really like their new album, music wise it's good, i like the vortex of noise they get, the best thing lately they did was wriggle like an eel which was immense, like some kinda hyper biker anthem, I do agree though about the lyrics, right now i'd rather the new album didn't have them on. But that whole djembe attack is really really good.

i like the pictures of them in that new wire, it looks like an old 60's rock album where the band members are expressing their character through actions, 'philip best with microphone on electronics and on drums it's william bennet.'

subvert47
20-07-2007, 01:25 PM
from The Wire, Bennett talking:


Throbbing Gristle were certainly the main inspiration for me at first. But it was more to do with what they didn't do, what they didn't achieve, than what they actually did. It was like, why are they trying to move into the mainstream? Why are they trying to make music? It was because they finally learned how to play their instruments that they got to that stage. But I was moving in the opposite direction. I could already play. I was a classically trained guitarist but I was deliberately moving away from that.

That's so absolutely right.

I recently went through TG24 and as the gigs get later (1979-80) they get less and less interesting. TG now play "songs" with little spontaneity; Porridge shouts and postures; the lyrics are 'meaningful' (i.e. meaningless); the tapes are derivative and obvious; the relationship between performer and audience is politely appreciative rather than confrontational. Basically TG turn into a rock band. It's not surprising they packed in the following year.

They were so much better when they couldn't play.

As for Whitehouse: the noise is grand, and the lyrics... some guy yelling at the top of his voice to get down on your knees and say please... personally I just find this funny :)

Noah Baby Food
20-07-2007, 07:08 PM
All that 'get down on your knees, worship my cock' etc S & M chat, minimal lyrics, is the old stuff...they've been off that for quite a while now. Recent stuff has been VERY lyrically dense, alluding to Scientology questioning, NLP and all sorts of stuff...there's a lot to take in, really.

Noah Baby Food
20-07-2007, 07:10 PM
but you're right though, all that stuff is WELL funny...I love it. Whitehouse make me crack a big smile. I have apparently got a 'sick sense of humour' though.

MankyFiver
20-07-2007, 11:58 PM
i so wanna like them but it just hasnt clicked yet, i just laugh at their song titles and always feel like i dont have the intellectual or perv energy to invest

but yes they looked beautiful when they were young
yum

hurricane run
23-07-2007, 08:44 PM
Bennett djed at optimo years ago. played 'nice' records. not what i expected. sharply dressed.

whitehouse played live there not that long ago. went down a storm.

Noah Baby Food
23-07-2007, 10:02 PM
he's a big fan of Italo Disco, and has no truck with the 'noise scene'. I like that. I like the clean-cut, nice clothes image too.

MankyFiver
24-07-2007, 12:57 PM
he's a big fan of Italo Disco, and has no truck with the 'noise scene'. I like that. I like the clean-cut, nice clothes image too.

love the fact that he's an italo disco fan, be good for him to release a mix

but must admit i did not like the clothes they were wearing in the feature

tate
25-07-2007, 07:46 AM
I love these guys. Saw them for the second time last week, at the Brudenell in Leeds. It was by far the loudest thing I've ever heard, very powerful indeed. The new stuff is good, uses a lot of African instruments and is kinda rhythmic - a definite departure from their early screechy feedback sound.
Bennett has a blog called "Afro Noise." On it he recently mentioned a track made by norman william long, a good friend of mine who is an extraordinary sound artist and with whom I've been collaborating and playing shows lately doing live electronics as a duo. Norm's also a fascinating turtablist and DJ, we've DJ'd the same venue off and on for a couple of years, anyway,

http://afronoise.blogspot.com/2007/06/audition-2.html

subvert47
28-08-2007, 04:27 PM
All that 'get down on your knees, worship my cock' etc S & M chat, minimal lyrics, is the old stuff...they've been off that for quite a while now. Recent stuff has been VERY lyrically dense, alluding to Scientology questioning, NLP and all sorts of stuff...there's a lot to take in, really.

personally I prefer straightforward SM to dense Scientological allusion ;)

Octopus?
28-08-2007, 06:08 PM
I have been absolutely LOVING "Ascetics" and "Racket" recently. Such great and extremely listenable discs...while I appreciate what Peter Sotos' intent may have been, it seems that cutting loose from his obsessions (and no longer including 14 minute sound collages of tearful rape victims and sobbing mothers of pedophilia victims) has really tightened up their sound while infinitely expanding their horizons. The djembe mixed with jackhammer distortion on "Racket" is incredible and both these discs are hugely invigorating. This is pretty much how I imagined Whitehouse would sound after reading descriptions of them, so I'm very pleased that they now sound exactly like my imaginary teenage conception of them.

Anybody heard the "Extreme Noise From Africa" compilation? As far as I have heard, it's supposed to be William Bennett experimenting with the Afro-noise they've recently adapted under a number of pseudonyms and if it's anything like the last two discs, I'm completely sold. </GUSHING>

gek-opel
28-08-2007, 09:14 PM
I'm really surprised you don't like em given your taste gek, I just think they rock, it's kinda quite simple. Nothing shocks me so I'm not after that in them, I just like the tones they put together on record. Live they're very funny - Martin's right about the panto stuff. I loved it when they got together with Albini and did all that stuff, even down to the cover artwork which I never normally give a toss about, it was just rock.

Well fair enough. I actually liked some of their rhetoric in the Wire interview but find their lyrics nowadays just as banal but in a different way to before, a new flavour of banal perhaps... the afri-noise angle is cute, but I'm uncertain as to how well they actually execute it. I also think their outright dismissal of the rest of the noise scene is pure posturing nonsense. Indeed to reprise the Reynolds idea perhaps noise becomes interesting only when it takes for granted the idea of pleasing an audience, rather than in some real or imagined sense offending some "other". But the whole having cake/eating it seems to be pure po-mo- something which I'm sure they would deny... or it rests at the level of audience response which indeed makes them bizarre bedfellows of R Kelly to that extent (Trapped in the Closet etc)...

William Bennett also amusingly has a sideline in delivering relationship counselling (apparently).

tate
28-08-2007, 09:37 PM
Indeed to reprise the Reynolds idea perhaps noise becomes interesting only when it takes for granted the idea of pleasing an audience, rather than in some real or imagined sense offending some "other".
You referred to this idea before and I was wondering where Simon says/writes this? I'm not doubting it, just curious. Personally, I don't know much at all about the meaning of "noise" in a UK context (and I've not seen the Wire issue with WH in it) but the suggestion that noise must "offend" doesn't really seem to square with music currently being made under the name "noise" in the northeast US

EDIT: thanks for the reference

gek-opel
28-08-2007, 09:38 PM
No exactly I agree- (as regards the current noise scene). I'm trying to track down the Reynolds quote... but the basic idea is that part of the enjoyent of noise (and probably other genres like metal too I imagine) stems from the idea of the imagined displeasure of the other... Ah I've located it, or at least the reference to it (from Keith Moline's Noise round up in the Wire from January 2007)


In "Blissed Out"... Simon Reynolds made the pertinent point that the notion of noise music as being somehow subversive or disturbing was pretty ludicrous when one considered how few listeners would actually stick around to be disturbed...

Also if the idea of noise in its purest sense is the breakdown of signal, or signal you don't want to or indeed can't receive or interpret, then the idea of noise music itself becomes absurd. Its just noisy music based in abstract sound. "Noise" to a noise-fan might then be smooth jazz or the like... but perhaps then this might revive the notion of "noise" and the other- it is not that the audience receives it as noise, or that the non-noise-initiated would "stick around" for the displeasure of hearing it, but that to a large number of people it would be signal they couldn't understand as music. The enjoyment then could come not merely in part from the imagined horror of the other, but as a part of a radical (but slow and continuing) project to force the musical situation to take account of what previously had been deemed "unspeakable" or "noise" (to put it in a vaguely Badiouian context). This is of course to put to one side the innate aesthetic sensual qualities which can be enjoyed of good noise...

labrat
19-11-2007, 01:40 PM
what's with the silent track on Birthdeath Experience?*

*Birthdeath Experience is the title of the track too

straight
19-11-2007, 04:37 PM
theyve done that on quite a few albums apparently, not sure which ones as ive only a couple of early ones. they go into it in that wire article that everyone loved earlier in the thread

martin
19-11-2007, 04:58 PM
what's with the silent track on Birthdeath Experience?*

*Birthdeath Experience is the title of the track too

It's supposed to be a tribute to John Cage (but incorrectly attributed to Stockhausen on the original sleevenotes). It's called 'fucking around' and 'art'

john eden
19-11-2007, 07:52 PM
theyve done that on quite a few albums apparently, not sure which ones as ive only a couple of early ones. they go into it in that wire article that everyone loved earlier in the thread

"Politics" was another silent track, I think.

mistersloane
20-11-2007, 12:34 AM
Sotos is playing on Friday in London, I can't go though.

Martin Dust
20-11-2007, 09:00 AM
Sotos is playing on Friday in London, I can't go though.

Really, wonder what he'll be doing?

martin
20-11-2007, 09:12 AM
Really, wonder what he'll be doing?

He's performing the entire 'Right to Kill' LP with Sutcliffe Jugend

Martin Dust
20-11-2007, 09:55 PM
He's performing the entire 'Right to Kill' LP with Sutcliffe Jugend

Wouldn't mind seeing that.

mms
11-03-2008, 09:09 PM
http://williambennett.blogspot.com/2008/02/act-final_14.html

whitehouse are SPLITTING

viktorvaughn
12-03-2008, 10:15 AM
They are playing in London soon at Electrowerkz. 5 April. I am a bit too scared to go I think.

Should I go? Will it be horrible screaming and fascist chanting etc? I know little about them but am somewhat curious I must admit.

Martin Dust
12-03-2008, 10:45 AM
They'll carry on, people always come and go with Whitehouse.

straight
12-03-2008, 10:58 AM
They are playing in London soon at Electrowerkz. I am a bit too scared to go I think.

i think theyve mellowed a lot with age, new stuffs all african influenced percussion and much less murderous pederastry.

noel emits
12-03-2008, 11:20 AM
I imagine it's the potential audience he's more concerned about.

martin
12-03-2008, 11:21 AM
They are playing in London soon at Electrowerkz. 5 April. I am a bit too scared to go I think.

Should I go? Will it be horrible screaming and fascist chanting etc? I know little about them but am somewhat curious I must admit.

Be really careful. Someone might throw a can at them and they'll scarper.

Phil Best leaving used to be a monthly event back around '99-2002

mms
12-03-2008, 07:51 PM
They are playing in London soon at Electrowerkz. 5 April. I am a bit too scared to go I think.

Should I go? Will it be horrible screaming and fascist chanting etc? I know little about them but am somewhat curious I must admit.

no the worst that might happen is someone might stand on your shoe and not apologize.
They're weirdly more spectator sport than activity nowdays.

IdleRich
18-09-2009, 04:37 PM
Anyone heard (of) this band? Can this really be true?


Blackhouse are an oddity in the Industrial scene, because their music features Christian themes and lyrics! The duo of Ivo Cutler & Sterling Cross come from the heart of Mormon country, Salt Lake City, and have baffled the scene since they began opposing the libertine power electronics of Whitehouse with their Bible-obsessed messages. Unlike bland Xtian pop, Blackhouse preach the good word over the wicked sounds of raw beats and harsh electronix. They see no contradiction in their art, because as they say: "There is no war more holy than the fight for peace."

http://www.popsike.com/BLACKHOUSE-Hope-LP-1985-RRRecords-rare-XIAN-INDUSTRIAL/200036780217.html

john eden
18-09-2009, 05:01 PM
blackhouse certainly exist, but I always assumed they were a spoof. Can't remember hearing any of their stuff.

martin
18-09-2009, 05:06 PM
Blackhouse are crap, completely pointless. The best Whitehouse pastiche was The Gerogerigegege's "William Bennett Is My Dick" 7", which only makes a sliver of sense if you've ever been exposed to Whitehouse, and does make me laugh when he bursts into giggles. So yeah, it's pointless too, but better than Blackhouse.

philblackpool
18-09-2009, 07:14 PM
I LOVE that Gerogeri 7" (although I THINK I heard it wasn't them?! Its on Stomach Ache, the legendary spoof label). Theres tons of Whitehouse pastiches & lame wannabes. Dominator are kinda risible, but then they also employ some of those outrageously tough-going high-end whistly sounds that make me freak like out a cat in a microwave, so I guess they're not all that lightweight!

A friend played me half of the new Consumer Electronics (Best) LP last week - pretty damn good....

thenationalacrobat
19-09-2009, 12:54 AM
a close friend of mine has one of the most complete gero collections around and i have been lucky to hear some of the gems (and to see the artwork / packaging) from his haul... the octopus tentacle glued to the inside of an empty cassette being a particular favourite!

yeah gero and hanatarash, he's a fiend for those fellas.

i love whitehouse for a bunch of reasons but more so nowadays its a timbral thing, total sex, erector and dedicated to peter kurten have just got that gorgeous thin where it should be fat total no-payoff feel to the synths. as with most music i listen to i find the vocals hard to decipher so that content has always kinda passed me by and now its just another layer, but a spiky one admittedly. but yeah... cunts and john leslie and that...

first heard whitehouse on a terrorizer magazine CD. :cool:

i saw them in newcastle a few years back as well and well... it wasn't the morden tower gig. proper lager-top feel to the night. crushing sounds at points but i preferred the consumer electronics set. would love to see them again sometime but not gonna happen anytime soon i don't think.

IdleRich
20-09-2009, 03:14 PM
"Blackhouse certainly exist, but I always assumed they were a spoof. Can't remember hearing any of their stuff."
So, are they really christians using the power of noise to fight Whitehouse? Seems weird.

massrock
20-09-2009, 04:08 PM
Rich are you having a lark?

Ivo Cutler and Sterling Cross? :D

Martin Dust
20-09-2009, 08:28 PM
blackhouse certainly exist, but I always assumed they were a spoof. Can't remember hearing any of their stuff.

Not sure about that, they have at least 6 albums available, may be a long joke tho.

martin
21-09-2009, 10:56 AM
I LOVE that Gerogeri 7" (although I THINK I heard it wasn't them?! Its on Stomach Ache, the legendary spoof label).

Really? Sounds like when Smell & Quim did that Whitehouse 7" and tried to pretend Merzbow was behind it. Simon Reynolds should concentrate his next book on exploring the secret underground of power electronics jokers creating Whitehouse spoofs and blaming them on the Japs.

philblackpool
21-09-2009, 06:32 PM
My friend Simon is involved in Smell & Quim and did this literary pastiche of the power electronics scene a few years back: http://bangoutoforder.blogspot.com/2005/06/one.html ...start on this one & then go back to the root to find the other episodes... Quite funny, I thought at the time. The last post on here is his potted history of the genre. I think he ought to do the book, but I'm sure theres someone more earnest who is more likely to at some point...

john eden
21-09-2009, 06:38 PM
My friend Simon is involved in Smell & Quim and did this literary pastiche of the power electronics scene a few years back: http://bangoutoforder.blogspot.com/2005/06/one.html ...start on this one & then go back to the root to find the other episodes... Quite funny, I thought at the time. The last post on here is his potted history of the genre. I think he ought to do the book, but I'm sure theres someone more earnest who is more likely to at some point...

simon's take on it all is great I think. top bloke, should write more about this for definite.

david keenan said he was working on a book on ramleh, skullflower etc when I met him.

martin
21-09-2009, 09:47 PM
I'm not sure if this should go in the 'Nature' folder, but here's my personal favourite Gerogeri 7" release. All 100+ tracks of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B_mFAv7XwE

Suffice to say, in 2025, there'll be a global media blitz when the GGG's stuff gets reissued in highest quality digital format, and 'Gander Fuck' and 'Glans' make it onto the latest PS version of 'Rock Band'

Martin Dust
22-09-2009, 01:32 PM
My friend Simon is involved in Smell & Quim and did this literary pastiche of the power electronics scene a few years back: http://bangoutoforder.blogspot.com/2005/06/one.html ...start on this one & then go back to the root to find the other episodes... Quite funny, I thought at the time. The last post on here is his potted history of the genre. I think he ought to do the book, but I'm sure theres someone more earnest who is more likely to at some point...

That's very funny, reminds me of the noise guy that knocks all his gear off the table as he gives it the large one :)

bassbeyondreason
22-09-2009, 02:00 PM
david keenan said he was working on a book on ramleh, skullflower etc when I met him.

:eek:

philblackpool
22-09-2009, 06:17 PM
I think that Keenan book is gonna focus a little more on the looser, improv-heavy side of the UK experimental scene, from what I've heard...so Skullflower in their extended jam mode more than Skullflower in their angular noise rock mode & Ramleh more in their noise rock mode than their power electronics mode! I know the A Band bit from the Wire website will be extended into a chapter for it.

"Yellow Trash Bazooka" is my favourite Gerogeri too :-)

labrat
08-12-2009, 02:57 PM
http://www.ubu.com/sound/whitehouse.html

bassbeyondreason
08-12-2009, 04:33 PM
I know DJing secrets are to be kept and hoarded and shit, but "Dumping More Fucking Rubbish" mixes amazingly with DJ Nate-style juke stuff.

Leo
12-06-2011, 05:13 PM
Anyone heard the Cut Hands cd "Afro Noise 1"? The samples on boomkat are interesting, not extreme sounding but kind of cool.

BSquires
16-06-2011, 11:26 AM
Anyone heard the Cut Hands cd "Afro Noise 1"? The samples on boomkat are interesting, not extreme sounding but kind of cool.

I've got a copy. It's pretty good - although at this stage I still prefer Whitehouse - it certainly isn't so 'extreme'. It works quite well as an album though - maybe a couple of the tracks might go on a little too long... some of the the percussion reminds me of early Photek - very tightly programmed tracks of nothing but drums. I think there is some doubt how much is played and how much is programmed, but what would I know... overall though I've been enjoying it.

I am the worst music critic in the world - sorry. I am fairly renowned amongst my few friends for making terrible comparisons no one else gets so approach the above with caution. :D

mistersloane
16-06-2011, 03:46 PM
I really like it, but I'm a fanboy of them. It's a really, really good release. I want a T-shirt. Can't wait to see what Best does.

Leo
16-06-2011, 05:59 PM
ok, you guys have convinced me, just ordered it. thanks!

grizzleb
16-06-2011, 06:13 PM
New Cut Hands is absolutely buck wild. Fucking loving it. I find it quite intense even compared to the Whitehouse stuff.

Mr. Tea
16-06-2011, 08:13 PM
Just listening now - pretty great stuff! Makes me think of a more tribal-sounding Neubauten.

mistersloane
17-06-2011, 12:03 AM
New Cut Hands is absolutely buck wild. Fucking loving it. I find it quite intense even compared to the Whitehouse stuff.

Lol I was working to it today and thinking it was quite mellow. Eek.

I like the fact that he's tried to do 'funky' rhythms and epically failed - the Photek comparison is otm, it's that clunky but much simpler. It sounds like he's just banged away in a session room and then put some delay on it in Garageband lol.

It's not a million miles away from the programming on Asceticists - but just without them screaming over the top, or without the ridiculously amazing production. Kinda a bit Zoviet France-y, bit Controlled Bleeding. I always wanted them/him to do something like this. I think it's gonna be one of my favourites from this year.

Get Asceticists if you haven't heard it Ollie, it's amazing.

Martin D
25-08-2011, 07:31 PM
From doing White Power music to Afro Noise, oh the irony.

john eden
18-01-2012, 09:53 AM
I got the Afro Noise CD for xmas and I like it, it's not as amazing as I'd hoped but it is intense and I'd like to play it more.

Still a bit clinical, rather than "wild" I would say...

I see from Twitter that Martin Dust has run his copy through the shredder, lol.

DannyL
18-01-2012, 10:33 AM
I heard this round a friend's house late last year, on a visit oop North. Interesting enough musically, at first, but the aesthetic makes my skin crawl. To quote from the Fact review:

As crucial to the afro noise aesthetic as the percussion and the electronics is an almost salacious preoccupation with the continent’s intense polarities of beauty and horror – to quote Bennett’s notes for Extreme Music From Africa, “the tyrants, the beautiful girls, the bizarre rituals, the tropical fruits, the pygmies, the guns, the mercenaries, the tribal wars, the unusual diseases, the abject poverty, the sumptuous riches, the widespread executions, the praetorian colonialists, the exotic wildlife.”

Isn't this really fucking horrible? To project some weird Joesph Conrad fantasies onto the continent? You read the above and wonder why he didn't just stick a picture of fucking Idi Amin on the cover.

I find it disappointing this bullshit is getting a free pass in the "alternative " music press.

mistersloane
18-01-2012, 11:12 AM
I heard this round a friend's house late last year, on a visit oop North. Interesting enough musically, at first, but the aesthetic makes my skin crawl. To quote from the Fact review:

As crucial to the afro noise aesthetic as the percussion and the electronics is an almost salacious preoccupation with the continent’s intense polarities of beauty and horror – to quote Bennett’s notes for Extreme Music From Africa, “the tyrants, the beautiful girls, the bizarre rituals, the tropical fruits, the pygmies, the guns, the mercenaries, the tribal wars, the unusual diseases, the abject poverty, the sumptuous riches, the widespread executions, the praetorian colonialists, the exotic wildlife.”

Isn't this really fucking horrible? To project some weird Joesph Conrad fantasies onto the continent? You read the above and wonder why he didn't just stick a picture of fucking Idi Amin on the cover.

I find it disappointing this bullshit is getting a free pass in the "alternative " music press.

It was kinda his raison d'etre to wind people up, or was then, he's gone straight now. I wouldnt read anything into it, or I don't anyway.

DannyL
18-01-2012, 11:31 AM
It was kinda his raison d'etre to wind people up, or was then, he's gone straight now. I wouldnt read anything into it, or I don't anyway.

When I heard the CD, I felt you could hear this in the music. His kind of fucked-up fantasy of dark Africa, rather than any deeper engagement, which was why I didn't like it. Didn't sound like there was much engagement with African music beyond picking up the polyrhythms. I can't help but "read into" something that is so completely loaded as a text.

From doing White Power music to Afro Noise, oh the irony.

I don't think he's progressed that far at all, really.

DannyL
18-01-2012, 11:36 AM
Sorry man, but "don't read anything into it" really gets up my fucking nose, with regard to this. Maybe it's just the hangover talking but the uncritical reaction to this really irks me.

DannyL
18-01-2012, 11:45 AM
Didn't sound like there was much engagement with African music beyond picking up the polyrhythms

I might be wrong on this. I recognise one of those tracks from the Fact Mix - the whispered song on the Burundi one is brillant. I've been listening to a lot of ethnographic recordings over the past year, and it makes you very conscious of issues around race, colonisation etc., the problematics of recording tribal cultures who might be dying out in part because of your presence there etc. Bennet seems to be totally ignoring all of this boring "context". What a tool.

mistersloane
18-01-2012, 01:04 PM
Sorry should explain myself a bit better, in my experience all of the whitehouse gang are erudite, free thinking people, whose engagement with having to 'market' or even produce work - if you believe it's a calling - engages reactions in them of cynicism and disgust. It's this i think bennett is talking about, he's a very bright boy. It's a very full on way of saying he hates how africa is portrayed, i think. I dont have any doubts about his genuine interest in the music.

When i said dont think about it too much, its just cis i've talked this one to death with people. They're just clever, cynical guys.

john eden
18-01-2012, 01:06 PM
Great stuff Danny.

I think it's wrong to say Bennett is on a wind up, or rather it's wrong to feel bad about being wound up by it all.

I'll have to check the sleevenotes for the album but it does seem like quite a cold update to previous "exotica" currents in industrial or whatever. Or happy clappy "world music".

mistersloane
19-01-2012, 01:23 AM
Great stuff Danny.

I think it's wrong to say Bennett is on a wind up, or rather it's wrong to feel bad about being wound up by it all.

I'll have to check the sleevenotes for the album but it does seem like quite a cold update to previous "exotica" currents in industrial or whatever. Or happy clappy "world music".

I don't think it's wrong to be wound up by it, or to feel bad about being wound up about it. I just think it's a waste of time. There are better targets, and arguments.

I said I wouldn't read anything into it, I don't think it's worth the time. There are better targets - at that time I think you're right in him directly targeting the exotica trends, which are more pernicious, in my opinion.

Trevor Lunch
19-01-2012, 02:05 AM
When did Whitehouse ever do White Power material? That never happened at all mate.

zhao
19-01-2012, 05:43 AM
haven't heard the whole album but all the youtubes i've seen are interesting.
true it feels more clinical than wild...
but a bit less polite than say, what Jaki Liebezeit is doing with Burnt Friedman - saw them recently, Jaki's drumming increasingly more Afro sounding, and together with Friedman's pensive melancholic tones it was lovely... but of course very polite. no rough edges.

Cut Hands playing in Berlin soon, might try to go see it.

vimothy
19-01-2012, 07:22 AM
Whitehouse finally made a Brum techno record.

Martin D
20-01-2012, 11:18 AM
When did Whitehouse ever do White Power material? That never happened at all mate.

Really?

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2011/06/480825.jpg
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2011/06/480827.jpg
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2011/06/480824.jpg.indyscaled.jpg

mistersloane
20-01-2012, 11:51 AM
Ramleh talks about that one here :

http://www.korperschwache.com/skull/shock92.html

john eden
20-01-2012, 12:02 PM
The full text of that Bennett "negroid" quote:

“It should be noted before continuing this article that in this work I turn not to strangers, but to those followers of the movement whose hearts belong to it and who wish to further its cause and study it more deeply. Less people are won ever by written matter than by what they see or hear. However, this will serve as a foundation and reference for new disciples.

Come Organisation is concerned with the struggle against the unhealthy negroid influences in all popular music today. These primitive forms have corrupted many generations of youth, in music and in word. The slogans of ‘peace and love’ and international friendship in the songs of the 60s and the 70′s are nothing but the disguised voice of pseudo-Marxists. the cancer of this type of music has made such inroads that it sill take a supreme effort to destroy it forever.

Nevertheless, its destruction is not enough – it must be replaced. In classical music we have the great works of Wagner and Richard Strauss, but nothing for young people who like ‘Pop’ and ‘Rock’. No! – The future must be embraced with both arms and a new form of power will be created which will win over the Anglo-Saxon youth for a New Britain.

We must blame the corruption of the negroid music and the Jewish exploitation for the reprehensible movements today like Anti-nuclear, Amnesty International, and feminist groups, to name a few.

The countries with strongest right-wing and nationalist forces in Europe are those countries where ‘Rock’ has made the least impression, I am thinking of Spain and Italy now, but there are other notable examples of the phenomenon. The political climate of young people today is moving away from us ; I hold the ‘Rock’ culture to blame.

The music of Come Organisation artists fulfills a twin purpose – firstly, to crush the disease we have discussed and secondly, to express the new movement in terms of power and strength of will. It is almost totally electronic in nature, extremely uncompromising and sometimes violent in expression. But brutality is respected. People need something that will give them a thrill of attack and make them shudderingly submissive. Why babble about brutality and get indignant about violence?

A recent released record ‘Leibstandarte SS MB’ ‘Triumph of the will’ juxtaposes a speech by Adolf Hitler with a powerful electronic piece by Maurizio Bianchi from Italy. This record has proved to be very popular especially in Britain and Germany. Other records will be released along similar lines.

If we have the will, we will have the victories.”

Page 9 Issue 1 of ‘Force Mental’ (1982)

Bennett subsequently said that the text was a parody and that he had also submitted a liberterian text and a left wing one, iirc. But only the fascist one got published, and indeed the magazine's editors denied receiving the other two texts.

(I've not seen the original magazine, this was posted as part of a comment on my blog a while back).

Obviously this was some time ago...

john eden
20-01-2012, 12:05 PM
Gary from Ramleh has been a lot more forthcoming about his use of imagery in the eighties than Bennett has:

“There was no right-wing viewpoint to any of the stuff – we made an error in judgment in testing out the bounds of offensiveness.” (interview in Grim Humour)

“The lyrics I write tend to come from a more miserable, sad place, I think. It’s not particularly violent. Although it’s noisy, it’s not a real in-your-face attacking kind of thing. [...] Someone once said – and I hadn’t really thought about it before – that our music is more from the viewpoint of the victim, rather than the aggressor.” (interview in Niche Homo)

“My personal outlook at the time was a kind of weird amalgam of anarchism, libertarianism and a warped kind of socialism. I sympathised with some of what was being done at the time but it was all so negative and humourless, and a lot of people involved with these left-wing organisations were such wankers, it was difficult to to want to associate with them.” (interview in As Loud As Possible)

Martin D
20-01-2012, 01:03 PM
Bennett hides depend the excuse of never having to explain anything and just follows the money, he's a total fake.

Martin D
20-01-2012, 01:07 PM
The full text of that Bennett "negroid" quote:
Bennett subsequently said that the text was a parody and that he had also submitted a liberterian text and a left wing one, iirc. But only the fascist one got published, and indeed the magazine's editors denied receiving the other two texts.

(I've not seen the original magazine, this was posted as part of a comment on my blog a while back).

Obviously this was some time ago...

That made me laugh a lot, course he did but he seems to forget people he met at the time and who he hung out with, what a bell end.

mistersloane
19-03-2013, 07:49 PM
William comes out (from Facebook) :

Sadly, there's someone unknown out there using anonymous scare tactics to try and get my shows cancelled, typically with threats made to arts venues that attempts will be made to cut off their funding, which seems to me especially cowardly. They are also trolling YouTube, Wikipedia, Fact Magazine, and other sites posting nasty comments. This is all done under the accusation that I have been a covert 'nazi/fascist' for the last 30 years and that Cut Hands etc is some kind of elaborate cover up for that.

I am not, never have been, nor ever will be, a nazi/fascist/racist.
I think and hope that would be without question obvious to most people that know me even just a little bit.

The evidence for the accusation seems to be based on an entirely satirical text I wrote around 1982 for an art magazine, Force Mental. It was written deliberately in a particular linguistic style because their requested theme of that particular issue of the art magazine was 'the New Right'. I had an interest at the time in the stylistic idiom of different political persuasions. It was not supposed to be taken seriously, and looking back, it was stupid of me to think that it wouldn't when taken out of context. My bad.

Likewise, the very name of the music group, Whitehouse, was not coined out of any admiration or respect to nasty moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse, it was also ironic and satirical, as was a hell of a lot of my musical output in the early 80s, in addition to the content in the label fanzine Kata. Like many other industrial and experimental projects of the time, a lot of wildly varying areas of human transgression were explored, there was much artistic immersion in taboo areas of human expression.

Not that I wish to emphasise great weight to my personal beliefs any more than the next person's, but just to clarify matters, these are a few examples of where I've stood and continue to stand since very young, even when they caused me trouble.

I am entirely non-religious.
I am anti-war, anti-military.
I am anti-capital punishment.
I am anti-corporal punishment.
I am anti-racism/xenophobia.
I am anti-nationalist/anti-colonialist.
I am pro-internationalist.
I am pro-animal rights/welfare.
I am pro-gay/lesbian.
I am pro-choice (re. abortion).
I am anti-censorship, pro-freedom of artistic expression.

If you feel you can help in any way, even by just showing support, it'll really mean a lot. Feel free to also ask me any question on anything mentioned, I'll do my best to answer. Huge thanks for reading this.

Warm regards, William

CrowleyHead
19-03-2013, 08:57 PM
If he was racist, he'd probably go into industrial folk and be absolutely redundant. Just saying.

It just reminds me about how Steve Albini's assumed to be a racist (not saying he is or isn't) based on lyrics that 9/10 times are fictional characters that are supposed to be very unsympathetic.

Martin D
24-03-2013, 01:24 PM
If he was racist, he'd probably go into industrial folk and be absolutely redundant. Just saying.

Why? He's friends with a lot of the neo-folk anyway.



It just reminds me about how Steve Albini's assumed to be a racist (not saying he is or isn't) based on lyrics that 9/10 times are fictional characters that are supposed to be very unsympathetic.

The thing is, this isn't an isolated incident, it went on for years.

CrowleyHead
24-03-2013, 07:36 PM
The thing is, this isn't an isolated incident, it went on for years.

I'm aware of that. But if his whole project was a constant attack on conservative England, by the means of constantly parodying their behavior... Forgive me for my bit of Naivete, but it wouldn't ever STOP being a relevant issue for him to pantomime into even now. Though I think he halted that because of people who took him at face value, and then proceeded to both A) Think he justified their own possible feelings of latent racism or B) Think he was someone who had to be stopped.

As to the racism, that stuff always tends to override their musical interests. I mean, I'm a Burzum listener (not so much fan), so watching him commit commercial suicide by abandoning guitars because "It was too tainted by 'negro legacy'." only for him to return once he got out of jail to the guitar in order to make money was pure hijinx.

With Bennett, if he really was racist, then why make music so overtly indebted to non-Caucasian culture/music?

Martin D
24-03-2013, 08:03 PM
I'm aware of that. But if his whole project was a constant attack on conservative England, by the means of constantly parodying their behavior... Forgive me for my bit of Naivete, but it wouldn't ever STOP being a relevant issue for him to pantomime into even now. Though I think he halted that because of people who took him at face value, and then proceeded to both A) Think he justified their own possible feelings of latent racism or B) Think he was someone who had to be stopped.

Always the case when you choose not to explain things and hang about for three decades with people who love Himmler, think Triumph Of Will is the best film ever and release records by right wing bands. See, the thing is some people may make the odd mistake but racists and nazis tend to keep repeating the same shit and following the same path forever, which is why people struggle with people like Bennett and Wakeford.


As to the racism, that stuff always tends to override their musical interests. I mean, I'm a Burzum listener (not so much fan), so watching him commit commercial suicide by abandoning guitars because "It was too tainted by 'negro legacy'." only for him to return once he got out of jail to the guitar in order to make money was pure hijinx.

With Bennett, if he really was racist, then why make music so overtly indebted to non-Caucasian culture/music?

There's a lot of people who feel what he's doing now is still racist or at the very least colonial.

john eden
04-04-2014, 09:47 AM
This is pretty good I think:

Fascism and colonialism in the work of Cut Hands and Blackest Ever Black

http://joshhall.net/post/81578386910/fascism-and-colonialism-in-the-work-of-cut-hands-and

droid
04-04-2014, 10:20 AM
Yeah, bit OTT in places but mostly on the money. Didnt know that 'extreme music from africa' LP was (probably) fake.

padraig (u.s.)
04-04-2014, 12:17 PM
this is nail on the head for me, especially for him but in general for the milieu

"Instead, he skips perilously between two roles: that of the attention-starved teenager desperately trying to get a rise, and that of the carefully considered adult happily reproducing fascist and misogynist iconograph"

I now it's dated particularly badly but I have a hard time believing that the kind of "transgression" Whitehouse and etc power electronics were pushing didn't seem endlessly fucking puerile even 30 years ago. even, or especially, when it's passed off as satire.

the guy's bullshit...I read the interview that was linked from the piece John linked and it's unsurprising his antipathy for "rationality" and corresponding interest in pseudo-scientific irrationality like neurolinguistic programming, hypnotheraphy, EST and so on. one of the defining characteristics of much pioneering late 70s/early 80s industrial is fascination of the anti-rational (magick and rituals and etc esoteric bullshit - I'm sure John knows the details of this far better than I) in fusion, or in tension, with the technological rhythms of rationally-derived modernism from Marinetti and stuff like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq_7w9RHvpQ&index=37) all the way down, a tension which gives it, I think, much more power than this childish transgression to draw gasps from bourgeois art audiences. of course Marinetti and certain other futurists were drawn to fascism, and it's not hard to see a reflection in the affinities of certain industrial, p.e., neofolk etc strands with fascism in a tragedy/farce historical recycling. and it's not surprising that Cabaret Voltaire, much more affiliated to surrealism and (of course) Dada than esoteric futurism, comes out significantly better in this department and in its relation to black music.

but really, Bennett - always this two-faced vacillation. like he's actually confronting people's sexism or whatever, but Buchenwald is just a word. he also has a bit in the midst of complaining about rationalization about how Caravaggio didn't have to explain his art in interviews which, while true in the sense he means it, ignores the the fact that artists of his time still had to answer to the Church and/or secular authorities and of course their patrons. artists have never been able to just use loaded symbols at will and go totally unquestioned about it.

anyway, fuck him. it makes perfect sense he has another career doing self-help seminars, which epitomize snake oil hacks pushing pseudo-scientific solutions to the problems modernity imposes on the individual. I think the best thing would be if he'd fuse his italo disco DJ persona with his transgression and Africa ripoffs. like a Cecil Rhodes meets Ernst Rohm meets Moroder kind of thing. but with vodou drums, natch. fasicst colonial tribal cosmic disco. I bet Blackest Ever Black would still put out his records.

padraig (u.s.)
04-04-2014, 12:28 PM
also about piece John linked. I generally agree but, maybe what droid was referring to as OTT, some things - "women can do this. men cannot". and "if we want to create a truly liberatory music". to categorically deny anyone anything is where PC censorship crosses the line for me. if a man uses a misogynist symbol (or a white person a racist symbol, etc) he must be much more ready to explain his intentions with it than a woman would be, but banning people from anything I'm against. and what is this liberatory music? who is it liberating? from what? to what? I just find nebulous shit like that, which rests on an assumed sharing of unstated values, to be ridiculous, like just b/c I agree w/the writer about Bennett we're together in some project to facilitate "liberatory music". but this is a different topic I guess. I just wanted to mention.

also, if it's unclear I'm not postulating above rationality as infallible or even superior, just elucidating some thoughts provoked by Bennett's focused antipathy on rationalization.

Leo
04-04-2014, 01:48 PM
tend to agree, padraig, well said. makes me feel like a bit of a hypocrite, though: if someone else were making the same sort of raw, pummeling percussive tracks, i'd gladly listen to them instead of cut hands. but no one else is.

similar to muslimgauze, bennett is really just a lot of talk and posturing, isn't he? i mean, did either one of them ever actually DO anything subversive/oppressive/dangerous in the real world?

which could lead to the next question: is it ok to listen to/like vybz kartel?

droid
04-04-2014, 02:09 PM
Yeah, I just thought that some of the comments wrt to appropriation and 'erasing black artists' smacked of identity politics dogma, in that sense I thought he overreached though it was good otherwise.

Slothrop
04-04-2014, 02:17 PM
I keep thinking there's an interesting thread to be had about appropriation and when and how it's acceptable to be influenced by other music and culture and when it isn't, but I never quite have time to start it....

paolo
04-04-2014, 03:07 PM
Isn't BEB run by an Asian guy?

Martin D
07-04-2014, 09:21 AM
Isn't BEB run by an Asian guy?

He is but not sure that matters, Nicky Crane was gay, Tony Wakefield's wife is jewish etc. You can still be a dick regardless.

The article is an OK "cut and shut" job but surely someone should focus and check all the bollocks he talks about Afro Noise. We all know he wrote the whole album under false names, which completely changes the context but all he has to say it seems is "I met a voodoo priest" and he gets a way with it. Even the bollocks about how complex his music is, it's not, I could show you how to program that in 30 minutes. It surprising how easy his back story is to pick a part that no-one has really done it yet.

Leo
07-04-2014, 03:16 PM
He is but not sure that matters, Nicky Crane was gay, Tony Wakefield's wife is jewish etc. You can still be a dick regardless.

The article is an OK "cut and shut" job but surely someone should focus and check all the bollocks he talks about Afro Noise. We all know he wrote the whole album under false names, which completely changes the context but all he has to say it seems is "I met a voodoo priest" and he gets a way with it. Even the bollocks about how complex his music is, it's not, I could show you how to program that in 30 minutes. It surprising how easy his back story is to pick a part that no-one has really done it yet.

not defending bennett per se but is that really so unusual in music? psychic tv put out two "jack the tab" acid house "compilations" that were both just them using made up names, and there are plenty of singer/songwriters living in brooklyn who act like they're sheltered away in some rural Appalachian mountain backwater. brian jones "met" the Master Musicians of Jajouka and the beatles "met" the Maharishi, and both proceeded to "borrow" from those cultures.

and as easy as cut hands tracks might be to replicate, i still think it sounds pretty original.

Slothrop
07-04-2014, 03:35 PM
John Fahey / Blind Joe Death springs to mind as well.

I might be being thick, but I don't see how clearly Bennett writing the stuff himself and then crediting it to invented African musicians (rather than doing the opposite) constitutes "erasing" African musicians. There's plenty here that's problematic in terms of exoticism and "othering", but I'm not sure that that's the best way of putting it.

Also, that article maybe goes in a bit heavily for guilt by association when he tries to tar Regis and BEB / Kiran Sande with the same brush - wouldn't it be natural to assume that they're just industrial fans and are being a bit naive or irresponsible about some of the dodgier politics in that scene rather than jumping to the conclusion that they're actually fascist sympathizers?

john eden
07-04-2014, 04:03 PM
John Fahey / Blind Joe Death springs to mind as well.

I might be being thick, but I don't see how clearly Bennett writing the stuff himself and then crediting it to invented African musicians (rather than doing the opposite) constitutes "erasing" African musicians. There's plenty here that's problematic in terms of exoticism and "othering", but I'm not sure that that's the best way of putting it.

Also, that article maybe goes in a bit heavily for guilt by association when he tries to tar Regis and BEB / Kiran Sande with the same brush - wouldn't it be natural to assume that they're just industrial fans and are being a bit naive or irresponsible about some of the dodgier politics in that scene rather than jumping to the conclusion that they're actually fascist sympathizers?

I think a white guy inventing an entire afro noise scene, which is what the Extreme Music From African album seems to amount to, is well dodgy. I didn't like the identity politics stuff in the piece either but there is an argument that Bennett's Afro-Noise project has gained ground when actual african noise musicians have not (elements of Konono #1, for example). I wouldn't personally call that "erasure" tho.

I think there's enough material out there about Sol Invictus and Death In June now for people to make up their own minds. If people sell their records or include their tracks on mixtapes then it is fair enough to have a go at them about it.

Whether they are naive or active sympathisers we will never know (in the same way that we will never know if Doug P "is" a Nazi).

padraig (u.s.)
09-04-2014, 09:47 PM
surprising how easy his back story is to pick a part that no-one has really done it yet

Carlos Castañeda got away with it for more than a decade to the tune of millions of books sold and a literal cult of devotees. never underestimate the confluence of ignorance, gullibility and hero-worship. especially in a field like music criticism where most people have little if any contextual knowledge and the line between journalism and promotion is extremely hazy.


really just a lot of talk…did either one of them ever actually DO anything subversive/oppressive/dangerous in the real world

when I said tragedy/farce above I specifically meant that all this fascist coyness, compared to the literal life and death choices artists were making their art and politics in the interwar period, seems like a stupid, inconsequential game. and in Western Europe/the U.S., it mostly is. But it can become real very quickly – look no further than Greece, where an anti-fascist rapper was murdered by a Golden Dawn member last September. or to Eastern Europe with its long history of violent anti-fa/fascist confrontation. I mean, there's certainly many, many more important things in the world than Bennett's nonsense, but talk itself is important, both in that it influences action and in its perpetuation of culture and ideas.

I also have no sympathy here for Regis, BEB, etc. not only are these things well established, but they're not 15-year old kids hearing this shit for the 1st time. these guys are heads who run super hip labels and are serious industrial fans. I find it inconceivable they'd be totally unaware. which, whatever, just they can't complain when someone calls them on it.

CrowleyHead
09-04-2014, 10:27 PM
If it's truly the case though, where's the PC-dance leaders? If in the 90s, you could have an Alec Empire type serve as a somewhat reactionary to the teutonic tendency in his dance scene, why is there not anti-racist reactionary music to "industrial" people who play with these fascist themes/imagery? Why isn't there an industrial policing?

Martin D
11-04-2014, 09:58 AM
Carlos Castañeda got away with it for more than a decade to the tune of millions of books sold and a literal cult of devotees. never underestimate the confluence of ignorance, gullibility and hero-worship. especially in a field like music criticism where most people have little if any contextual knowledge and the line between journalism and promotion is extremely hazy.

That's a fair point, I guess until someone starts asking some serious questions and pulling his story apart there will be threads like this until he goes under a bus.

CrowleyHead
11-04-2014, 02:07 PM
I should point out though I've actually just gotten back from seeing him, as he opened for the Godflesh Reunion.

I enjoyed the set, as it was a break between Godflesh and Pharmakon, but it was surprisingly basic at times. Didn't hurt me being one of the four people dancing to it (metal crowds x_x), but all of the complaints about it definitely registered... THAT BEING SAID, I feel like this was absolutely necessary for just how stupidly dull the audience for it has become; not so much on the Downwards/Blackest Ever Black side of things, but in the case of "EXTREME MUSIC" culture.

zhao
11-04-2014, 05:45 PM
(official version of article at Ngoma Sound (http://ngomasound.com/2014/04/17/silence-violence/))


i'm sure he was aware of King Leopold's favorite punishment for Congolese rubber plantation workers when he chose the name Cut Hands.

http://tintinology.poosk.com/files/2009/08/congo-hands.png

There are fundamental differences between Bennett's particular exploration of "human transgression" and "artistic immersion in taboo areas of human expression" and someone like Hermann Nitsch, whose obsession with ritualistic sacrifice is not specifically related to current events or power imbalances in the real world, or entangled in actual dynamics and history of racism and international conflict.

William Bennett is a European working from a position of privilege afforded by the colonial spoils of his country, who makes exclusive use of the culture of the victims of colonialism. Cut Hands almost entirely consists of direct transcriptions of rhythm patterns from cultures and people formerly enslaved by Europeans, yet the context of a European using these beats is not addressed. The meaning of a white man directly appropriating the creative labor of people previously enslaved, and currently still economically exploited by white men, is not even touched on, at all, in or around the work.

Further, with the name of the project he references the widespread colonial practice in not only Africa, but S. America and Caribbean, like Haiti, where a lot of the rhythms he uses comes from, of punishing slaves by cutting their hands off. Elsewhere William's work makes use of explicit images of violence suffered by Africans, while actual violence from the legacy of colonialism and enabled/sustained by current western economic imperialism has been, and still is taking place, on a massive scale, in Africa. The safe non-transparency, the alleged neutrality of "leaving the work open to interpretation", where the artist refuses to answer any questions, reveal political motives or position, or take any kind of moral stance, in a case like this, is not only not enough, but is problematic.

Is silence not consent?

When does art collude, by virtue of its silence, with the structures which sustain systematic injustice? Does the combination of depicting violence and refusal to take a position in relation to it, not reenforce structural relationships which perpetuate violence? Relationships which, for example, is indirectly but surely responsible for the violent killing of 8 million people in the Congo during past decade alone.

If one doesn't speak out against violence and injustice perpetrated by one's own culture, by a violent and unjust global economic system from which one benefits, while reveling in images of that violence and injustice, does it not mean pardoning or even giving tacit approval?

When does poetic license become, at best unethical shirking of responsibility, and at worst complicit in crimes against humanity?

http://www.susanlawly.freeuk.com/africa/sticky.jpg

Whether he is a paid member of the BNP or not is besides the point, which is reproducing colonial attitudes as well as cynically exploiting images of wide spread suffering caused by colonialism and exploitation, in a pornographic sense. And it's not about if his interest or love of the music is genuine or not, it is the way he is largely presenting African music as his own, and the meanings which accrue around the context of him doing so.

If he is, as the statement on his blog says, an "anti-racist" and "anti-colonialist" and "anti-fascist", maybe he should directly address and confront these issues in his work, and with text or images position the work in unmistakeable solidarity with the global south. The work may have the potential to raise awareness of how multi-nationals have kept the Congo in conflict, for instance. He is articulate and intelligent, why not get directly involved politically and stand with the people, against injustice? (or does this even make sense at all? Here I am reminded of a part in a recent documentary film in which a Native American answers a white woman who asks "what can i do to help?" with: "don't march with us. just stop consuming so much.")

In the end he is using the awesome power of African rhythms for self aggrandizement, which amounts to nothing more than bullshit art-school libertarianism, garden-variety-Satanism, and "will to power" for sad, emasculated white men. To these people, like Boyd Rice, "Do What Thou Wilt" means doing evil, and "Beyond Good and Evil" means freedom for the privileged to exploit the powerless, with zero accountability.

CrowleyHead
12-04-2014, 04:20 PM
I want to argue that there is something in his exposure. Look, Dissensus is one thing, but the general range of people at least in my age generation and a bit younger and older who gather to something like a Whitehouse are generally very racially 'numb'. They don't relate or find any common human thread in the great racial abuses of European White Males in the history of mankind, they get boxed into their privileged in a way that they isolate themselves from the humanity of other people unless the other establishes a willingness to conduct themselves in accordance to what they deem proper.

When I was on the floor to Cut Hands, and watching Bennett do several comical 'shimmying' movement in reaction to the music, I recognized that the energy in this sort of music was lost on the audience, who were a typically metal-leaning crowd of white males who are socially self-castrated babies who place great comfort in the notion that their lives mean so much because of their 'struggle' and for whom the notion of privilege is too far gone from them to observe. They lacked the abandon to do something like dance, or to absorb the information in the presentation in their rigidity. This experience was so far out of their scope, it meant nothing. But it is probably the ONLY TIME they're going to come close to grasping that concept, and I'd like to dream that just maybe one of those overgrown dorks left it scratching his head and wondering what all that was about, and looked up Cut Hands and Bennett and didn't just fall into the Power Electronics rut.

I'm not pretending that Bennett and his approach isn't appropriating or overly colonial at a minimum. But if Bennett maybe spent more time going out of his way to be aggressively more vocal about the material's influence and subject matter (if it's truly pertaining), and how it pertains to him in a way beyond 'sonic impact on humans' it would have redemptive elements in the exposure to something outside of his original audience's scopes (because after all, it's only fairly recent in his career he's been viewed in the 'dance' field). Unfortunately, most interviews I see gleam over the material and his relationship, and focus on "So, what's the label like" and "Dude, you were in Whitehouse!" I think if someone aggressively made him state the intent in a interview without putting him on the defensive (because the guy definitely seems a bit 'precious'.), we could finally determine just HOW hes trying to use this.

Of course, that could also be really disheartening for me as I enjoyed the work, but better an answer than this waffling.

Martin D
12-04-2014, 07:01 PM
Good post Zhao, will read that again and give it some thought.

zhao
12-04-2014, 09:02 PM
Ripley on the subject:


Bennet's response about racism relies on assuming racism is an attitude or an identity rather than something you do. If his work relies on and reinforces racist assumptions and attitudes, if it replicates and reinforces social relationships that are unequal and based in racialized lines of power... then it doesn't matter how many times he says "I am not racist" he is doing racist things. And the name "cut hands" that alone, it seems to me, relies on evoking a response in the reader that is going to be disproportionately horrible for people who identify with the Congolese, and will likely feel less awful for people who don't. The idea that you can choose not to be hurt by demeaning acts or by reminders of systematic brutality towards you and people who look like you... that is based in an assumption of emotional historical and physical removal from suffering which is inescapably structured by race and power.

john eden
14-04-2014, 12:38 PM
Your post is great, Zhao - big up.

Where is the Ripley thing from? Facebook?

zhao
15-04-2014, 09:40 AM
yeah facebook

Martin D
16-04-2014, 09:50 PM
From Twitter:

@cuthands
absolutely wrong, it's from my 2003 song 'Cut Hands Has The Solution'

This is in reply to the above picture and link, asked him prove otherwise but I think like all racists I've ever met, he like they keep making the same statements over and over, surely Bennett has made enough statements now for people not to trust anything he says, pretty much like his excuse that Buchenwald is just a word. Jump in on the timeline if you wish.

tttku
18-04-2014, 06:41 AM
I just find out the artist who did art work for the cut hand albums. Here is the link http://mimsydeblois.tumblr.com/ (http://mimsydeblois.tumblr.com/) Just appalling. Not even the level of colonialism / orientalism. Oh well...

Leo
18-04-2014, 02:20 PM
I just find out the artist who did art work for the cut hand albums. Here is the link http://mimsydeblois.tumblr.com/ (http://mimsydeblois.tumblr.com/) Just appalling. Not even the level of colonialism / orientalism. Oh well...

this strikes me as veering a bit close to being the PC police. a million artists have used related types of imagery, should we also banish tribal tattoos? (ok, maybe that but...)

IDK. i get where you're coming from and agree with 95% of what's been said on this thread but it makes me uncomfortable when either side starts to take things to an extreme of intolerance.

CrowleyHead
18-04-2014, 05:17 PM
Unfortunately "Goth" colonialism is like... second nature? One million bad attempts at tribal (racist) warbling by Dead Can Dance or Jarboe are springing to mind at a fast pace.

I know it's hypocritical after was so lenient to Bennett earlier in the month, but I guess it's different woes with differing subcultures.

zhao
21-04-2014, 12:58 PM
^^ Nonsense. it is not automatically "racist" when a european artist borrows ideas from or even outright makes art in the style of African or other cultures of the global South.

Pablo Picasso was not "racist":

http://www.artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/art_movements/art-movements/cubism/head_of_a_woman.jpg

Neither was Dead Can Dance.

CrowleyHead
21-04-2014, 01:46 PM
Oh, so nonsensical tribal warbling vocalese isn't inherently racist when used for 'exoticism'?

Leo
21-04-2014, 02:54 PM
There can be some great, legitimate things that come out of an artist from one culture interpreting the sounds of another, no? Like how Villalobos and Luciano bring a Chilean influence to German techno, Japanese guitar bands do their take on crazy 60s US garage or psyche bands, Adrian Sherwood/Mark Stewart/the Slits/various white artists from Bristol bring a different UK take on dub, a million UK producers doing their versions of Chicago house, etc. All of those borrow from cultures other than their own, and none of them are racist.

zhao
22-04-2014, 12:28 AM
Oh, so nonsensical tribal warbling vocalese isn't inherently racist when used for 'exoticism'?

bad taste maybe, but not automatically racist. it depends on specific context.

Terry Riley and La Monte Young using Indian Classical scales, tuning, and ideas certainly wasn't the least problematic: no one has ever even thought of exoticism because it was done in such a respectful and simply amazing way.

zhao
22-04-2014, 08:55 AM
No, exoticism is not necessarily racism. appropriation is not necessarily racism. neither is borrowing or stealing ideas to make your own version of anothers' music, even if you are from the global North and the original made in the South.

What Cut Hands is doing, however, is the equivalent of a German putting harsh noise over stripped down Jewish music, using images of tortured and slaughtered Jews on the album cover, under the name Gas Oven.

(and refuses to say anything about it other than "i'm not racist", because, you know, it's "art")

CrowleyHead
22-04-2014, 12:04 PM
I think offering up impersonations of third-world vocal stylings, no matter what the mentality behind it is, in order to provide some sort of color for your music is automatically racist by default. If you have Native American style chanting and tribal drumming, but you have no claim to it nor do you have a context for using it with true value, it's at the least tasteless and offensive.

Though I think nobody'd accuse these groups because unlike Bennett, they're far too precious and not trying deliberately to agitate; though it's hard to see if he is agitating with this project either (though the ambiguities of his motives and actions often get called to task)

And as I stated earlier, I think a key difference is intent, which he hasn't stated. In somewhere like the American Hardcore scene you would show vicious examples of brutality like that, not as torture porn, but as a source of 'jarring' education. If my hold out for Bennett is right and he has the capability to mean it in this regard, it's still exploitative, but the intent changes radically. If not, all the accusations in this group are still valid, but if some German did make a bunch of screaming noise over pictures of the Holocaust? As someone who's half-Jewish I'd obviously feel at odds, but I know of bands who'd use imagery like that to define part of their mental outlook. In at least one case, because they were Jewish. So I'd at the least need to gauge intent and perspective before determining the mechanics behind the logic.

Ultimately though, Bennett's attitude of refusing to take responsibility for it leaves it in limbo. Maybe his attitude is something dull like "Oh, they've NEVER gotten me", or maybe he really is aware of how stupid he can come across.

zhao
24-04-2014, 05:04 AM
intent matters... exactly about... zero, zilch, fuck all.

it is, has always been, and ever will be, about how something FUNCTIONS in the world.

CrowleyHead
24-04-2014, 07:00 PM
You should see the rest of the Trevor Brown output, including the stuff he's done for Bennett. :confused:

zhao
24-04-2014, 08:23 PM
http://s.pixogs.com/image/R-114499-1199143839.jpeg

jesus fucking christ. how can anyone defend this shit?

mistersloane
26-04-2014, 06:56 PM
Does people feel that Adam Ant, specifically on this track, is being wrong?

http://youtu.be/5hEn_rEDzp0

CrowleyHead
26-04-2014, 11:31 PM
Maybe? I don't but it's obviously doing things in a 'wrong' way.

Despite Zhao's disagreement, I believe intent plays a drastic part of the game. We don't know why Bennett is even doing something so based in African music, what his obsessions with Africa are (I know he blogged about it significantly, and had really strong words accusing Paul McCartney of racist remarks about Africa. Ironic considering the current debate!) and how he's trying to angle this.

The fact of the matter though is when you're attempting to utilize racial elements in your music, what you're thinking and doing puts in a great amount of impact. I can't help but feel severe disgust at persons like DCD/Jarboe using Third World Otherness, the same way I don't like white pop artists doing it. The key difference though, is I expect sloppy, ugly novelty from pop artists, it's part of the trade. How am I supposed to take you seriously as an 'intellectual' artist if you're trying to grant yourself 'otherness' in such an obnoxious way as trying to deny your privilege in society? The constant grasping amongst goths at esotericism via the culture of others because they reject their own...

zhao
28-04-2014, 06:46 PM
Does people feel that Adam Ant, specifically on this track, is being wrong?

http://youtu.be/5hEn_rEDzp0

are you equating this Adam Ant video with straight appropriation of African music under a name which references colonial torture of Africans?

mistersloane
29-04-2014, 06:06 AM
are you equating this Adam Ant video with straight appropriation of African music under a name which references colonial torture of Africans?

No, not equating it. Just wondered what people thought. I always thought it was an amazing song.

I think you can read the name "Cut Hands" as referencing colonial torture, but I think in its original reference and song, it's about killing oneself as being a solution to a problem, not the meaning that you're putting on it, which is valid, but just saying.

padraig (u.s.)
01-05-2014, 12:07 AM
Ultimately, this evasive, self-serving d-bag isn’t worth talking about beyond the general principle of always calling this bullshit out for what it is

But I would like to explain the difference between Cut Hands and Adam Ant, because it's illustrative of what's so wrong with Cut Hands

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" is pure noble savage. The noble savage is dehumanizing, it's an other. It’s a human you define in terms of yourself rather than as their own complete being. It makes native people an idealized relic of the past rather than very much alive and still dealing with racism and often, crippling poverty. The song also, by making the noble savage an ideal for the uptight, civilized white person (its own stereotype) to ease his own suffering, erases the actual, physical suffering of natives. So, none of that is great. However, it’s also relatively benign as these things go. It can even be positive, in a misguided way, in its admiration.

Cut Hands is calling yourself Smallpox Blanket, presenting American Indians in a lurid, sensational way that denies their fullness of being and then hiding behind a dubious claim of anti-colonialism. Cutting Hands is calling yourself Hutu Power and making “extreme noise from Rwanda”. It’s not noble, it’s just savage. Brown-brown, vodou, pidgin. Cut Hands Africa is a place of dark wonder, child soldiers, primitive religion. It’s a place of people getting their hands cut off. It’s not a place of functional human societies with schools and businesses and families. There’s nothing to admire but much to gape at; the horror, the horror.

It's not just one thing, but the entire presentation.

It’s totally possible to use negative, painful symbols in positive or at least nonnegative ways, but because their default meaning is painful and negative, you have to be very clear about what you mean by them. And Cut Hands is the opposite of that.

To quote the famous Achebe essay on The Heart of Darkness


Africa as setting and backdrop which eliminates the African as human factor. Africa as a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognizable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril. Can nobody see the preposterous and perverse arrogance in thus reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind?

replace “break-up of one petty European mind” with “self-promotion of one petty European producer”

And Conrad at least had a clear view of the suffering caused by colonialism, if not the ability to empathize with the sufferers as fully human. Cut Hands has neither.

Conrad was also a product of racist times, which shouldn't excuse him, but Bennett, working 100+ years later, should have far less excuse still.

(And of course Conrad was a genius, whereas Bennett is a mediocrity. Just that I wouldn't want to be accused of equating their talents. Only their views of Africa.)

padraig (u.s.)
01-05-2014, 12:20 AM
4 other things I want to mention shortly

1. The "jarring education" defense is so, absurdly stupid. It was embarrassing in 1980 and it's 100 times worse now. You know what’s jarring? Starvation and mass rape enabled by an endless state of war. You know what’s not jarring? A fifty-something British dissimulator making a buck off peddling the Dark Continent to ignorant noise scenesters. I'm certainly not on a soapbox but there’s a million ways to engage with this stuff in a real, non-terrible way if you want to.

2. Can the PC talk. No one said ban. Defining something isn’t censorship. Even Achebe said, I believe, he was never against teaching Conrad, just that it should be taught in context.

3. Haiti is one of the poorest countries on Earth, for very identifiable if complex reasons (http://www2.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/leftover/whypoor.htm) (the linked essay is 30 years old but highly relevant; I’m no expert but I think, especially with the earthquake, if anything it's probably worse now). Vodou, mischaracterized as devil worship, has long been claimed by the Pat Robertsons of the world as a reason for divine punishment of Haiti and the true cause of its problems, and there’s a general notion of that in the culture. Cut Hands is awash in vodou imagery; loas, Damballah, Erzulie. I'm not demanding a detailed breakdown of the issues but, you know, some acknowledgement that it’s not just a spooky, mysterious backdrop for beats would be nice.

4. "West" and "white man" are every bit as much unclear constructs as "Africa" and "black". History and its relation to the present (i.e., any picture of current economic imperialism in Africa that leaves out China is hugely lacking) are not illuminated by such constructs. I'm not singling Zhao (and Achebe) out; this is a widespread phenomenon in academia. Starting with justified anger at legitimate causes even people who should know better slip into creating their own black/white duality of the evil European and the good native (a more positive noble savage). But this is very much a side issue (and different discussion), I just wanted to mention.

zhao
01-05-2014, 06:53 AM
good stuff bro.

take your point about white people. but it's just that they all look the same... i keed i keeeeeeed

Martin D
01-05-2014, 01:13 PM
I think you can read the name "Cut Hands" as referencing colonial torture, but I think in its original reference and song, it's about killing oneself as being a solution to a problem, not the meaning that you're putting on it, which is valid, but just saying.

He said that to me when I asked.

zhao
03-05-2014, 07:58 PM
He said that to me when I asked.

doesn't really matter does it.

Again, it's like a German putting harsh noise on top of Jewish music and calling himself Gas Oven, and then say:

"NO! It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the holocaust!!! It's a reference to my grand mother's kitchen!!!"

:rolleyes:

blacktulip
05-05-2014, 06:09 AM
Adam & The Ants had the best clothes of any band ever, but listening to this for the first time in ages it sounds like someone reconstructed music from the brief descriptive section of a contemporary NME review alone.

padraig (u.s.)
10-05-2014, 02:19 AM
I don't want to belabor a dead horse, but something topical

in today's NYT there is an editorial by David Brooks about the media around the Nigerian kidnappings and Bring Back Our Girls. Brooks is a card-carrying member of American punditry, usually by far the most parasitic and worthless branch of the American political classes, but this particular editorial has many good about non-African portrayals of Africa vs. actual modern Africa and how those things clash. It also quotes the great "How to Write About Africa" (http://www.granta.com/Archive/92/How-to-Write-about-Africa/Page-1) by Binyavanga Wainaina, which immediately put me in mind of Cut Hands. I encourage everyone to read it, because it is very good, but I will quote some relevant excerpts here.


Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’...

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these.

Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls.

Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances.

You’ll also need a nightclub called Tropicana, where mercenaries, evil nouveau riche Africans and prostitutes and guerrillas and expats hang out.

Extreme Music from Africa liner notes

Africa - the dark continent of the tyrants, the beautiful girls, the bizarre rituals, the tropical fruits, the pygmies, the guns, the mercenaries, the tribal wars, the unusual diseases, the abject poverty, the sumptuous riches, the widespread executions, the praetorian colonialists, the exotic wildlife - and the music

You may say, but Bennett says he's against racism and colonialism and all that bad stuff.

What say you, Mr. Wainaina?


Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can’t live without her.

alright, now I'm truly done with this topic

mistersloane
14-05-2014, 05:05 PM
Thanks Padraig and Blacktulip for the stuff re :Adam. I always found that song IMMENSELY helpful growing up and realising I was mixed race.

Immryr
03-08-2014, 01:59 AM
Zhao etc.... what do you think of shackleton's colonialist pillaging of middle eastern music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVPAmOU9D1s etc

zhao
03-08-2014, 11:25 PM
Zhao etc.... what do you think of shackleton's colonialist pillaging of middle eastern music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVPAmOU9D1s etc

that's not what it is. that's just appropriation. with which there is nothing wrong what so ever.

HMGovt
25-10-2014, 01:22 PM
Phil Best's latest vehicle, Consumer Electronics, supported Sleaford Mods at the 100 Club last night and also on Thursday, when I went.

Here's part of what I heard and saw with mine own eyes and ears

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElSJY7YtBrg

There was autoerotic nipple tweaking, inchoate screeching, baleful droning (Russell Haswell working an eventually lager-soaked box festooned with plug-in leads), pink noise, a fucked up photo album, a wrestle over an audience members mobile phone, violent snogging and tit slapping. Quite a show. Funny. The shouts of "you fat bastard" and "get off the stage you fat cunt" didn't phase him, the James Whale of power electronics, at all. Towards the end there were three 100 Club staff to the side of the stage making desperate throat cut gestures which were totally ignored.

I'm glad they're not supporting at Brighton tonight, though I expect I'll still have to endure Mark Wynn who supported Sleaford Mods no-show in Brighton last Spring.

Sudden Infant, the first support act on Thursday, were great, their Joke Lanz is a showman.

Immryr
19-11-2014, 01:36 AM
it would almost worth paying to see Sleaford mods to see that. I suppose you could always leave before they come on.

JWoulf
19-11-2014, 09:41 AM
Phil Best's latest vehicle, Consumer Electronics, supported Sleaford Mods at the 100 Club last night and also on Thursday, when I went.


Consumer Electronics are as old as dads, occasionally great though.

Just read this on Phil's wiki "In 1998 Best published his doctoral thesis at Durham University entitled "Apocalypticism in the Fiction of William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Thomas Pynchon" and later received a doctorate in English literature." Figures

john eden
19-11-2014, 02:29 PM
I was at the 2nd night at the 100 Club where CM did a slightly different set and Best kept his clothes on.

I think they are a lot more interesting now they have Russell Haswell with them. He isn't "as old as Dads" and neither is Sarah as far as I can tell. Not my Dad anyway.

Their set finished with Best doing solo spoken word: "I hate men, and their violence, and their weak, murderous minds".

I thought Mark Wynn and Sleaford Mods were great but Sudden Infant were a bit too normal. Top night out though.

CrowleyHead
19-11-2014, 03:31 PM
Christ, Russell really needs to change up his outfits, I never realized how much that useless prick Pete Swanson tries to look like him. Scared me away from this stuff more than Best ever could.

HMGovt
19-11-2014, 03:45 PM
I was at the 2nd night at the 100 Club where CM did a slightly different set and Best kept his clothes on.

I must have pulled the shorter straw with the first night, it was a much better Sleaford Mods performance at the Haunt in Brighton the following Saturday too.

Was surprised to learn that Russell Haswell is married to Amanda Donohoe.