While re-building my Last Chance Saloon clothing site at the end of 2006 I kept a bit of a "what I am listening to diary".

This is that.



BLACK STROBE:

Mr Stephen Prince Esquire is currently rather enjoying Black Strobe's music. Having grown up listening to Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb, Black Strobe's contemporary take on industrial, a kind of dark side of disco, gay biker house, heavy electronica and soft-goth rather appeals to him.

Hurrah to monsieurs Rebotini and Smagge!

Steve
31st October 2006



MARC ALMOND:

...ah and now Mr Marc Almond is playing. I have such a soft spot for that chap. This is actually Monoculture, the kind of comeback Soft Cell single, which I rather like, one of the highlights of their newer material.

Marc Almond feels like somebody who's lead me to all kinds of things and/or connected a lot of things up for me.

From sleazy electro to Jean Genet, Coil to Antony and the Johnsons. As Antony said, it was like he dropped a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.
I have a real fascination for a kind of elegantly beautiful, dark beauty... bruised and beautiful gutterwhores I guess.

Gutterwhores, now there's a good phrase. I'd forgotten that. Somebody I worked with many years ago near when I was first making clothes used it... hmmm, one to remember... 



Steve
31st October 2006

 

FRONT 242:

I'm writing this and rebuilding the site while listening to Front 242's Front by Front album. Recently found it in a charity shop, hadn't listened to it for years, used to have it on both tape (remember those?) and vinyl (got melted next to an electric radiatior).

I really remember listening to it as loud as I could on my personal stereo on the coach on the way home from a university interview. It still sounds good today.

Occassionally I find it a bit humorous where I'm sure it's not meant to be but recommended as a bit of a classic of dance influenced EBM/industrial. Quite contemporary sounding I think and a lesson in remembering to put variety and space into such music.



Steve

5th December 2006

 

DJ HELL:

...and now I'm listening to DJ Hell's ElectronicBodyHouseMusic compilation, which is a quite a curious mix album from around 2002, towards the end of the first wave of what became known as Electroclash.

In case you don't know, DJ Hell's International Deejay Gigolos label was one of the things that introduced Fischerspooner and Miss Kittin to the world, so definitely an originator and a major player in such things.

...

…then he brought out this album and everybody expected more '80s tinged electropop-ness but this is actually a compilation of kind of techy-house on one disc and new and old EBM on the other, from a brief point when the trendier end of the dance world was interested in such things (happens every so often).

Now, to my ear it ventures a bit too much into standard dance-beat-ness through the mixing and technical jiggery pokery of songs but is still quite good'n'interesting and it has this particularly mutated cover of Bela Lugosi that I've not seen or heard anywhere else.



Steve

5th December 2006

PS Other Gigolos things I'd recommend... DJ Hell's NY Muscle album, some of the videos on the Gigolos Freakshow DVD (particularly Crossover and Atomizer's)... oh and maybe their toilet roll (believe it or not) and their use of Amanda Lepore as their logo-person. 


 

THROBBING GRISTLE: I'VE GOT A LITTLE BISCUIT TIN;

Just of late I've been discovering and rediscovering Throbbing Gristle and the various things that sprung from it...

…so Psychic TV, Coil, Chris and Cosey and the like.

I've always had a soft spot for Coil's Horse Rotorvator and Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats ("I've got a little biscuit tin to keep your panties in" must be one of the great lines of song-smithery), so it's always been there but I've been having a bit more of a look at it all.

Went to see Genesis P and Psychic TV just recently and was mightily impressed.

If at 56 you can still be producing culture that feels that vital and enjoyable then I'm impressed.

A chap in a PTV camouflage mini-skirt, blouse and red knickers ensemble, who's decided to become the same person as his female partner... that is commitment to one's beliefs and culture.



It's kind of curious in these days when most everything is allowed culturally, everything is just another niche market and even body modification as extreme as sex change has become just more celebrity tv fodder to see something that in some ways could be seen as just a freak show extension of all that but because it's done with a deeper philosophy it means so much more...

…and again it's indefinable.



Read Wreckers of Civilisation (the story of COUM transmissions and Throbbing Gristle) recently, which was a good read though I thought it concentrated too much on essentially analysing track listings, making sure the historical facts were there and not enough on the personal relations and motivations behind it all... plus it didn't really get over fully a true sense of just how outside of the bounds of the norm their activities were, just how shocking to social norms that it all was, so not quite as inspirational as it could be.

Still a good read though.

...

….actually, while we're on the subject, I'd recommend the interview Andrew Weatherall did with Throbbing Gristle when they reformed two or three years ago. There's a link and a connection between what he does and what they did, his last Two Lone Swordsmen album went off into dark electronic dub and rock'n'roll areas and was quite up my strasse, if maybe actually a little more commercial and accessible than is actually my tastes.



Anyway, time for dinner, maybe I'm rambling through being over hungry!

Steve
6th December 2006

 

MR JOHN BALANCE

For some reason it's only quite recently that I properly realised that John Balance of Coil had died. I'd read about it but it hadn't gone in.

Coil's Horse Rotorvator album has probably been one of the defining, most long standing albums of my life.

I couldn't even fully tell you why, it's partly just hearing it at a young age when things are really important to you, partly and a lot just that there's something indefinable going on with their work.

 I often find myself humming their Leonard Cohen cover from that album. 


I recently bought their Ape of Naples album, which feels like both a collection, a celebration and a joyful requiem. The final song has the rather beautifully sung lyrics to '70s BBC sitcom Are You Being Served, which again, for some indefinable reason is rather moving but also makes me smile and laugh and shows Coil's sense of humour.



Mr Balance, wherever you are, here's a nod and a salute to you. 



Steve

6th December 2006

 

MICHAEL GIRA AND SOMETHING TO LEAN AGAINST:

I'm listening to a radio show called Spinning that features Mr Michael Gira (once upon a time Swans and currently Angels of Light and Young God Records). Very fine it is.

There's something about Michael Gira, a kind of quiet dignity, a way that you can still retain your fury as you grow older but it growing and maturing with you. 


I guess he's a one man lesson in intensely felt music that's sometimes so beautiful it makes me feel angry but not angsty... and alive and... oh, I don't know, makes me feel like going out and just doing stuff.



V'impressive.



For a good while it was the only music that genuinely touched me. There's something about the timbre of his voice that makes me feel like it's a wise, older uncle talking to me and the hairs stand up on my arms. Lovely packaging to.



Saw him in London a year and half or so ago and I just stood and stared in awe, open mouthed, it's not often that things just move and grab you like that. 


The gent presenting the radio show has just said: "there's beauty, there's danger, there's an uncompromising quality to the music that's very powerful. I feel there's something to lean against in your music and I'm grateful for that."

I can't really say more than that. That says it all. There's something to lean against. 


Mr Gira, thankyou sir. 



Steve



10th December 2006

PS Also, I'm still gutted that I didn't just up and hop on a train to see him live at the Supersonic festival in Birmingham earlier this year. All the money that sometimes just goes on nick nacks and fripperies and I was having one of those weekends where I thought I should be well behaved about music.