thirdform

Well-known member
I feel like you're in some kind of imagined dialogue with events of the early rave years. It's interesting but also jarring at moments. For instance, what you diss as "Claires and Lauras" I experienced as an opening up on the class front. Prior to '88 the club scene was pretty small, exclusive, fashionable, centred on West End clubs like the Wag - in the mid-late 80s they were beginning to open up to suburban working class boys (like me) into soul and jazz funk etc but this was nothing like the mass democratisation that took off with raving and free parties. There were thousands of people going to raves who wouldn't have dreamed of going to West End clubs. And it wasn't middle class/bourgeoise at all at least in my experience. And there's absolutely a cheesy mass market "soft" element associated with this, cue Italo piano. Why it was interesting for me musically was this diversity.

It's similar to the pills - part of the excitement at the time was that sense of emotional opening up. "Peace and love" might be a hackneyed slogan (it was even back then) but the experience of a mass shift from pints to pills was very different.
But also it was our boys who played belgian techno and dark acid, our soul jazz funksters/boogie boys/hip hop heads. our beautiful london pirate geezers. it wasn't bloody trevor funk or oakenfold or junior boys was it. them lot were still mixing duran duran and simple minds into house. take pride in our culture son!
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Although Ex-El featured cameos from New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Björk, for the most part 808 State’s music was faceless, text-free, profoundly superficial. But belying their image as knob-twiddling technicians with nothing to say, 808 State in person were mouthy, vociferous, and in Martin Price’s case, almost pathologically opinionated. They had bags of personality – it just wasn’t a particularly agreeable personality. The first time I interviewed Price and Massey, circa 90, the duo were quick to define 808 State against the Cabaret Voltaire/A Certain Ratio/On U Sound tradition of avant-funk, despite Massey’s own background in that scene. Arguing that rave music had outflanked the egghead experimentalists, Massey declared: ‘Mainstream clubs are just so out there and futuristic in comparison. You get beer boys and Sharons ’n’ Tracies dancing to the weirdest crap going, at places like The Thunderdome, and they don’t know what’s hit ’em. Yer average Joe Bloggs is dancing to stuff that’s basically avant-garde.’

Seven months later, in the summer of 1990, Price railed against indie-rock/rave crossover bands like The Beloved, The Shamen and Primal Scream. ‘You’ve got totally non-credible acts cashing in on the sort of music 808 State have been doing for years.’ Deriding indie rock as ‘peer group stuff … just another stupid way to get girlfriends by going round with a big question mark over your head’, he ranted: ‘Now they’ve discovered that the better peer group is in the dance field and they want to change their whole fucking lives. But they don’t do it bravely, and say, “All right, I made a mistake, I’m now totally into dance.” They stay stuck between two stools.

‘Fucking Norman Cook on The Late Show saying, “It’s like punk rock,”’ frothed Price, referring to former Housemartins bassist Norman Cook, who’d recently got to Number One with his dubby-dance combo Beats International. ‘If somebody says [techno]’s like punk to my face, I’ll fucking smash ’em in the teeth. It’s nothing to do with punk. Nobody wants to see a load of idiots torturing themselves on stage with guitars any more. This is about machines, punk was about arm power. The muscles and sinews in dance music are when you’re sweating your bollocks off on the dancefloor.’
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I feel like you're in some kind of imagined dialogue with events of the early rave years. It's interesting but also jarring at moments. For instance, what you diss as "Claires and Lauras" I experienced as an opening up on the class front. Prior to '88 the club scene was pretty small, exclusive, fashionable, centred on West End clubs like the Wag - in the mid-late 80s they were beginning to open up to suburban working class boys (like me) into soul and jazz funk etc but this was nothing like the mass democratisation that took off with raving and free parties. There were thousands of people going to raves who wouldn't have dreamed of going to West End clubs. And it wasn't middle class/bourgeoise at all at least in my experience. And there's absolutely a cheesy mass market "soft" element associated with this, cue Italo piano. Why it was interesting for me musically was this diversity.

It's similar to the pills - part of the excitement at the time was that sense of emotional opening up. "Peace and love" might be a hackneyed slogan (it was even back then) but the experience of a mass shift from pints to pills was very different.

can you defend this though?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MG2J0CJnP4

or even this for 1988. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dON4i2M_PMw
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I don't especially like those tracks but am not sure about that characterisation of the Boys Own guys. Going from memory without double checking, Boys Own was a football related fanzine, inspired by a mag called The End which was put out I think by the guys from The Farm. West London so I assume all Chelsea fans but there is a working class thing in that fanzine DNA. I used to have a few issues and it was no NME, there were references in there to them being chippies and plumbers IIRC.

I'm sympathetic to anything that puts the boot into Norman Cook and his crimes against music but I don't think the good music/bad music associated with that time period breaks down along that simple class divide.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
Although Ex-El featured cameos from New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Björk, for the most part 808 State’s music was faceless, text-free, profoundly superficial. But belying their image as knob-twiddling technicians with nothing to say, 808 State in person were mouthy, vociferous, and in Martin Price’s case, almost pathologically opinionated. They had bags of personality – it just wasn’t a particularly agreeable personality. The first time I interviewed Price and Massey, circa 90, the duo were quick to define 808 State against the Cabaret Voltaire/A Certain Ratio/On U Sound tradition of avant-funk, despite Massey’s own background in that scene. Arguing that rave music had outflanked the egghead experimentalists, Massey declared: ‘Mainstream clubs are just so out there and futuristic in comparison. You get beer boys and Sharons ’n’ Tracies dancing to the weirdest crap going, at places like The Thunderdome, and they don’t know what’s hit ’em. Yer average Joe Bloggs is dancing to stuff that’s basically avant-garde.’
lol this passage was always a bit weird for me. what massey says is basically the thesis of the book right? but when he says it he's being obnoxious and overly opinionated. not a serious criticism just thought it was funny.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Not sure about that characterisation of 808 State's music either - New Build was a fucking brilliant album. I liked the later ones as well though I haven't listened to them in a thousand years.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I don't especially like those tracks but am not sure about that characterisation of the Boys Own guys. Going from memory without double checking, Boys Own was a football related fanzine, inspired by a mag called The End which was put out I think by the guys from The Farm. West London so I assume all Chelsea fans but there is a working class thing in that fanzine DNA. I used to have a few issues and it was no NME, there were references in there to them being chippies and plumbers IIRC.

I'm sympathetic to anything that puts the boot into Norman Cook and his crimes against music but I don't think the good music/bad music associated with that time period breaks down along that simple class divide.
what do you think the breakdown is based on? you might have a trenchant criticism of energy flash in the making. gwarn danny. you were there! even more than bliss.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Not sure about that characterisation of 808 State's music either - New Build was a fucking brilliant album. I liked the later ones as well though I haven't listened to them in a thousand years.
mate newbuild is best UK acid album circuits breaking and senses being overloaded and all. nowhere near balearic.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I'm absolutely no expert on dance music. I know fuck all. It's not something I could say I'm actively engaged in.

One thing though - I'm from Essex and am old enough to remember the tail end of Essex soul and jazz funk. And there's always been an aspirational edge to the culture there. Working class people who want money and the trappings that go with that. And that can come out in the smoothness of some of that music, it's a more dialectical thing. I've always thought of guitar music including punk as being basically middle class with the rougher sounding stuff being an attempt at downwards mobility, just like wearing ripped jeans. I know that doesn't scan for *every guitar band ever* but it came to mind with your punk comparisions.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I'm absolutely no expert on dance music. I know fuck all. It's not something I could say I'm actively engaged in.

One thing though - I'm from Essex and am old enough to remember the tail end of Essex soul and jazz funk. And there's always been an aspirational edge to the culture there. Working class people who want money and the trappings that go with that. And that can come out in the smoothness of some of that music, it's a more dialectical thing. I've always thought of guitar music including punk as being basically middle class with the rougher sounding stuff being an attempt at downwards mobility, just like wearing ripped jeans. I know that doesn't scan for *every guitar band ever* but it came to mind with your punk comparisions.
I've said this on this forum a lot you know. I mean we all came from that soul/jazz funk tradition otherwise they there wouldn't be loads of samples in hardcore/jungle. the jungle as punk doesn't really hold. 93 darkside hardcore has some post-punk elements but those come more from film soundtracks and techno.

but noone in london listens to like erasure or depech mode or yazoo apart from the balearic boys. we're mad for black american boogie/80s soul here. thats it. that's why my contention has always been that actually paradoxically enough the most faithful continuation of chicago/detroit was the nuum. however the detroit boys being mainly europhiles they perhaps didn't have that vantage point.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
was chatting to luke:

"but then again i still don't know who primal fucking scream are.

my problem is I'm craner soul rare groove head really don't have much truck with industrial and ebm until acid house comes around. then it's a reset year 0 no more sophistication.

this is the fucking problem when you're a brown whiteboy who feels spiritually black.

brown people don't like acid house. they really don't. I'm an anomaly. my brown skin sticks out like a sore thumb. good thing i can act like a whiteboy."

(act and not pass*)
 
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