Friday, July 20, 2007

no escape from noise

i think i may have mentioned before that i used to make frequent trips to stay with my friends up in blackpool.
if i haven't then, um, i used to make frequent...you get the idea.

going up there was always eventful.
i used to stay in the home of ex membrane turned ceramic hob, stan batcow.
and he'd get me into adventures.
stuff i'd not think cool enough to do, but once in the middle of it thoroughly enjoyed.
like flying kites in the park.
learning to ride a unicycle.
teaching a drum class to local kids even though neither of us could play drums.

stuff like that.

all this fun was always peppered with music.
sometimes making it ourselves (with varying degrees of success - my violin playing is really pretty rotten), but more often than not listening to it.

negativland | escape from noise

one weekend stan played me negativland's "escape from noise".
i'd never heard anything like it.
it was electronic.
it used all sorts of bits and pieces from radio, records, tv shows and spliced them altogether into an early pop form of, i suppose, what latterly got called plunderphonics.

it was the funniest, most astonishing record i had heard for a long time.

i hunted down a copy - it was second hand but it still had the huge booket inside and i played it endlessly.

negativland | helter stupid

then i found a copy of "helter stupid".
it wasn't so immediate and i put it to one side.
a concept album, it commented on the music censorship debate by suggesting that one of negativland's records had prompted a young guy to kill his family.
this was at the height of the PMRC.

negativand | points

over the years i've kept returning to negativland.
in the early 90's i unearthed a copy of their first album in it's handmade box in a record store in manchester.
shortly afterwards i got hold of a copy of what has become my favourite negativland record, "points".
it's more relaxed than other negativland releases and sounds a lot like the krautrock of faust and early kraftwerk - after all they did name themselves after a neu! song.

i ought to say a bit about negativland's run-in with U2 but instead you can follow these links:

"some facts on the negativland/U2 lawsuit"
"intellectual property issues"
negativland on wikipedia

and once you've read all this, have a think about how negativland used to run a radio show that took live feeds from other radio stations and cut & pasted them together on air - it sheds a whole new light on U2's "zoo tv" thing.


  • At 1:46 AM, Blogger Curious Guy said…

    Hello Crayola, added a link to your blog. Eton Crop are way underrated. Probably 'cos they sound too British for being a Dutch band.

  • At 6:03 AM, Blogger crayola said…

    you're probably right, and the same can probably be said about buy off the bar too.

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger bookface said…

    haha, I also added a link to your blog, sir!

    I just got my blog started.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog like always!

  • At 8:21 PM, Anonymous mark fantino said…

    As far as I know the radio program, Over The Edge, is still going strong. I used to call them up and they'd put you on air and so long as you contributed to the program and weren't just a jerk or offensive they'd let you stay on for hours. In those days I used to try to do a bit of sound-scupltures on my own so I would press delay peddles and sound-effects up to the phone and just go nuts.

    The funny thing about Helter Stupid is that it was an elaborate hoax.

    I've seen them a few times as well, it's even more amazing to watch them pull this kind of thing off live, it's really rather interesting. I still have a really pristine original bootleg cassette of their U2 single right after the lawsuit hit, they were basically giving it away at their shows, asking something like $5 for it or something.


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