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Thread: K-Punk

  1. #31
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    Desperately sad news.

    I was at secondary school in Loughborough (the one he hated) one year below Mark and remember him clearly. Many of us decorated our ruck sacks with our current music allegiances - his were The Fall and Bauhaus... as I didn't know any better (literally) mine were a number of neo-prog clowns... I think that meant I wasn't someone worth significant time (he was right) but he would say hello at least. I also remember his band covering a Joy Division song (Warsaw) at our school assembly. After I left school I got to know him a little via a mutual friend - enough to stop in the street and chat briefly, usually about our mutual appreciation of Nottingham Forest - and even then, in spite of my previous musical crimes, it was clear he was a lovely bloke. I didn't see him often or chat to him for very long when I did see him but I also worked at the local engineering firm (where I think Mark worked briefly as well) and got to know his father. After Mark left Loughborough to go to university his father would proudly keep me up to date with his accomplishments; I bought the D-Generation 12" from Mr. Fisher and he also gave me a copy of one of Mark's first professional published pieces - on Darkside for The New Statesmen if I remember correctly. I think the last time I saw Mark was either in the early nineties in Loughborough with his brother or at a Tackhead gig in Manchester around the same time.

    I remember periodically looking for his name on the Internet in the late nineties/early noughties wondering what he was up to and being amazed and pleased when I finally realised that K-Punk was Mark. I remember devouring his blog, including his appreciation of David Peace and Red Riding, and his (surprising) repping for Dido as well as so many other different tangents. His blog was a portal to another world for me and although our music tastes didn't always overlap, when he wrote something about a band I liked such as Neubauten, it usually hit home. Since those early days I've continued to follow his work and buy his books and ended up here entirely because of him. It is over twenty five years since we last communicated - I thought a few times of emailing him an appreciation but of course like an idiot I never did - and I'm not a musician or a blogger/critic in any way but I will miss the thrill of reading one of his new articles and having the thoughts he inspired fizzing around my head. I was pleased to see his blog return in 2015 and worried that it had been so quiet since then.

    Sorry if that was a bit self-indulgent but I am surprised how much his passing has affected me. My heart goes out to his family and friends and everyone who knew him or read his work. Rest in piece Mark.
    Last edited by BSquires; 16-01-2017 at 08:10 AM.

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  3. #32
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    RIP Mark, you will be missed. It is good to read such personal and heartfelt memories on this thread.

    It might be an idea to raise some money, either to support his family or for a mental health charity in his honour. The most practical thing to do would be an online whip-round, maybe through a crowd-funding website.
    I think that would be a great idea, and I'm sure the charity idea would be one deeply appreciated by his family.

  4. #33
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    I'd chip in or offer a hand, but it would need to be organised by a trusted friend or acquaintance.

  5. #34
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    such sad news, condolences to the family. i remember reading mark's posts and usually struggling to keep up with his thinking, and certainly too intimidated to participate in a dialogue. i'll be forever grateful to him for being one of the driving forces behind creation of this forum, where i've learned much about music and so much more.
    Last edited by Leo; 16-01-2017 at 12:43 AM.

  6. #35
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    RIP. A really great writer, and as Leo and others have said, he had such a profound impact upon everyone here (including me) whether they knew him personally or not. Maybe more so than he knew. Condolences to all who did know him. I feel very sorry for his children in particular, just an awful, awful thing to happen.

  7. #36
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    I would very much like to contribute to any fund. I didn't know he'd been integral to the setting up of this place and this place has been my lifeline at points so keep us posted guys.

  8. #37
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    Goodnight to your cavaliers of the dead, internet.

    Good night to your obituaries.
    Goodnight to your once was.
    It had been fun.
    It had been fun.
    Good night to not being able to format my own work.
    Goodnight to that.
    Goodnight to the inversion.


    Oh good night.
    Oh good night, a life do you remember
    I can scarecely
    A night of
    God I can barely remeber
    When resistance was a force
    Should I google it
    Or try to rememeber


    When taz was such a force.
    That it would rememememember.

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  10. #38
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    for people asking about a fund, folk at repeater are in the process of setting something up

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO over easy View Post
    for people asking about a fund, folk at repeater are in the process of setting something up
    That's good to hear and the ideal people to do it. Will definitely spread the word about that.

  13. #40
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    Another long-time exile here breaking their silence.

    I didn't know Mark, and if we'd met I don't if we'd have agreed on much in truth. But discovering K-Punk and the network of blogs around it in 2003 was a lightning bolt for me. I didn't know writing like that existed, that blogging could be like that, that music criticism could be like that. I was hooked instantly and set up my own little voice, within just a few days I think, desperate to join in. Mark was the first person to notice what I was doing, and the first person to write something nice about it and post a link to one of my posts. 2003/4/5 were thrilling years for online writing, when blogs were experimental, underground, strange and violent. I stopped reading K-Punk, just as I stopped visiting here, some years ago - just too many competing demands on my time to take part properly - but in that small way Mark set me on the course that I am still following today, and for that I will be forever grateful. If I ever write anything as powerful as what he seemed to be able to crank out at will, I will be amazed.

  14. #41
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    Could people share any articles or blogposts by Mark that have been particularly influential on them, or just that they simply enjoyed reading?

    This is one I thought was excellent and guided me in how I write and think about rap music, pop music, and culture in general, actually.

    http://www.electronicbeats.net/start...-was-the-same/

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  16. #42

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    Exiting the Vampire Castle: https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkin...vampire-castle

    That's a more recent one, but relevant to a lot of stuff we've been discussing here recently.
    Last edited by vimothy; 17-01-2017 at 04:02 PM.

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  18. #43

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    I have a similar story to Rambler. I started a blog in 2003, having been inspired by Reynolds initially, then Mark and Luke, and at a creative and emotional loose end. I spent a few days writing a batch of posts about various things that caught my imagination and then tentatively emailed a link to Mark’s blog, not really expecting all that much to happen. I was surprised and delighted, then, to be given extravagant praise almost immediately, followed by consistent and not always warranted raves for the next year or so. As others who received this attention and were not used to it can attest, this was a massive boost for the confidence and inspired an unprecedented burst of activity. It could also be a bit mortifying: in his enthusiasm, his will to create a vibrant milieu out of whatever raw materials happened to be at hand, Mark had a tendency to overpraise and overrate. But the more I think about, the more I realise how much I owe him.

    During 2003-5 I made a lot of new friends, some of whom I have kept, and had an exhilarating and productive time in ways that changed me completely. This all happened because of that initial contact with Mark. I regret that we didn’t stay on better terms after 2005, although he was always perfectly polite when we did bump into each other around London (which happened almost as commonly, and comically, as these sorts of things do in Anthony Powell novels). My favourite memory is from his birthday party in 2004, which he hosted superbly in his Bromley flat, surrounded by verdant greenery, having cooked a decent spread, intellectual and blogging peers (Reynolds, Kodwo and Matt among them) mingling with work colleagues and the odd piss-artist like myself. He was in his element at this moment; brimming with bonhomie, working the room, throwing words and ideas around, and still free of the slightly Messianic tinge that began to cling to him rather too soon afterwards. One of the things I liked so much about that evening was the healthy contrast it presented to the intense, cold world conjured up on the blog; in fact, if you read his stuff every day, in those days, you know that it was teeming, often inconsistent, not as disciplined as he would have maybe liked it to be (and eventually became), and more attractive and exciting because of it.

    Simon Reynolds summed up the early years of K-Punk perfectly (in a quote I saw in the last couple of days, possibly on this thread) when he described it as “being like a one-man magazine, but better than any actual magazines.”

    It was a miraculous feat.

    RIP, Mark.

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  20. #44
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    Well said mate. As I was saying to craner and stelfox mark really did do the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of forging and maintaining what was, for a time, a genuine community, one that changed everyone involved with it, at one level or another and there's no doubt we owe him a debt of gratitude

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  22. #45
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    Nice tribute from David Stubbs here http://thequietus.com/articles/21572...uary-interview

    I especially like this bit that he quotes from his recent book;

    “The feeling of the eerie is very different from that of the weird. The simplest way to get to this difference is by thinking about the (highly metaphysically freighted) opposition — perhaps it is the most fundamental opposition of all — between presence and absence. As we have seen, the weird is constituted by a presence — the presence of that which does not belong. In some cases of the weird (those with which Lovecraft was obsessed) the weird is marked by an exorbitant presence, a teeming which exceeds our capacity to represent it. The eerie, by contrast, is constituted by a failure of absence or by a failure of presence. The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there is nothing present when there should be something.”
    So much of his blog would go over my head, but I still used to check it quite often and get stuff out of it. I was having a period of listening to the fall a lot before xmas, so I went back and read some of k-punk's blog posts about them - probably the best writing I've ever seen on that band. When he was good he was really good.

    RIP and commiserations to all the people on here who knew him personally

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