(portishead – machine gun)
The other night I went to a release party for a queer zine (with the translated title of “fags and disaster”) at a squat in Athens. One reason that I’m not looking forward to going back to the USA: the anarchists in europe listen to good music. I’m well known for my disinterest in the current fad of US anarchists listening to mainstream pop and hiphop. Nothing against pop or hiphop… I’m quite fond of both. I’m disgusted that we set up countercultural spaces, occupying warehouses or at least finding a modicum of liberty in rented spaces, and then infuse those spaces with what mainstream culture would prefer us to listen to. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there is a higher instance of youth radicalism in Europe, where countercultural tendencies exist in more or less every music genre.
I got into this whole “anarchy” thing looking for a beautiful way to live my life and to question the fundamental assumptions put forth by our society. I didn’t get into it so I could dance with hipsters to songs with misogynist lyrics.
Anyhow, at this wonderful party in a giant abandoned apartment building in Athens, they played such good music: lots of dark wave, danceable noise, a bit of techno, a bit of gothic. Actually the above song was almost the mainstream thing I heard. I had never heard it before, though I listened to an awful lot of Portishead in the 90s. It’s so good. Industrial as hell but mixed with the kind of current dark pop sensibility one might find in The Knife or iamamiwhoami.