This is part one of an edited extract from 1996 and the End of History by David Stubbs, published last year by Repeater. Part two coming next week. “For the future, not the past. For the many, not the few. For
by Tariq Goddard for the Quietus I came to extreme metal, or at least post-metal, sludge rock, or whatever experts in branding would describe Neurosis’s music as, late in life. I had been listening to music which sounded a bit like
Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of bombast in the new Oasis documentary Supersonic. Everybody’s busy going mad for it and making history and being the biggest and the best. In a lot of the interview footage there’s a kind of coked-up
Inspired by Matmos' brilliant new album and live show, Ultimate Care II—made entirely from sounds created by and with their Whirlpool washing machine—we made a mini playlist of songs using or inspired by all things laundry-related. (Hear all the tracks plus excellent
Neil Kulkarni"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear" - C.S.Lewis, A Grief Observed Of course, what you mourn at first, is yourself. Too soon to reassure myself by recounting Prince's importance, or his place in the canon, too soon to contextualise something that feels like a personal attack, by death, upon your reason. Right now, things are a little too raw because what you recount when you hear this kind of news isn't just the person you never met, who you've lost - you recall the people who you've been with, the nights when he saved you and the mornings he woke you, that first flush of first love when Around The World In A Day tangled you to sleep nightly for a year, the kids you lullabied with those songs, the person you were when those songs first kept you intact and kept you alive. This isn't about adding up marks, checking the legacy, nailing anything - rather you apprehend just how concretely and spectrally someone's art can inhabit your life, your everyday - not just soundtracking it but dwelling with you, in your kitchen and your bedroom and your living room, colouring things, taking your hand, lifting you up. You recall, with the habitual focus of an adult, times and places and specifics but more evocatively you remember how your senses flared, your synapses sparked, how prior to your current deadening you were still so up for grabs, there to be made. You recall hope seen through tears, pictures you played on a constant mind-reel, sounds that are now cellular, inside you, part of your own unique visceral balance between idealism and despair. What you're mourning is yourself. Because you wouldn't be yourself without him. From the off, he was too much to simply apportion affection to. He was a burning bright filament of your animus that has now been extinguished. This isn't over-reaction. This is what music can do.
Guest post by David Stubbs. His next book, 1996 and the End of History, will be published by Repeater in 2016. The first time I didn’t meet David Bowie was at a junior school village hall disco at Barwick-in-Elmet, the small
When future historians come to make sense of our peculiarly disappointed moment (and good luck to them), some will no doubt wonder where the anger was. Every decade of the 20th century had its Marx-quoting middle classes and placard-bearers hailing