from the personalidriven the rest of the music press, lead to certain cultural and po problems, one of which is mi importanceof sexulaity in Simon Reynoldsand Joy otherwise brilliant TheWRe managesto write queers p m r e altogether is infinitely preferable . threatened sneers of
Dark mutterings l l slidingsteadily into intel boys-only 'Isolationism' Ambienr snobs at Virgi partiesor l i n to the asks,rhetorically.Any
(Although DavidToop I
and severii of certai weigh much heavier the meditative, the carnal the psychedelic, the s t a t i c and -of course -the groove. Believe me, the vast majority of listeners -perhaps especially the female half -do not share this view. When music is most sublime, it is indeed ineffable. It speaks directly, without reference to theory or history, and it is unafraidto appeal to the soul and the pussy and the cock as well as the mind. Anyone who can't realise something as basic as that deserves a life of listeningto droning pointless Vulpn gibberish like Scorn, Laswellor recentAphex.
The last time iDJed at the Electronic ListeningLounge at [Tokyo's] Odyssey, one clubber came up to me during a particularly trance-inducing (in the classic sense) rhythm and said, 'This music makes me feel like I'm coming continuously." Now there's a critic. I must admit, I've never heard anyone - in 12 years of DJing both radio and clubs make a comment as ridiculous as -if I may paraphrase-"As my body becomes increasingly obsolete, mwic's sensation of release is being replaced by the dread of self-containment," or, "I truly enjoy the simultaneous Technoprimitivism and organic Murism of this music you're playing." Maybe if I play more Main and Scanner, the otaku wallflowers will emerge spewingsuch comments, but I doubt it; in the past, whenever I've played such music, the chill-room has generally tended to empty out in favour of the dance floor.
Not that I mean to dis those amts, whose music I love. The point is that their music is monochromatic, and not suited to many occasions.The 'dark' is but one part of a well-balanced sonic diet, and not a major one, at that; could you try to find a few more critics like Stump who can deal with that? Wovannl Fazb Tdyo, Japan
In writing about Zappa (The Wire 1371, lan Penman raises some very interesting general questions about attitudes to art, artists and audiences. Should I dismiss an artist's complete output becausesome of it is dreadfql, or because I disapprove of the artisrs general attitude or perhaps because I don't like the fans of this art? There are innumerable examples of these dilemmas: Martin Archer on your letters page in the same issue was forced to flush his ISCN after getting to know the artists better. Mr Twin sneered at me (The Wire 134)for listening to hi music and I wondered why I should give him the satisfaction by playingit again. What about Morrissey's attitude? Was Wagner a proto-nazi? Just what is Zorn's problem? Should Idiscard Fripp's output becauseof his awful (ex-Izitty Prog following? Orff had some distasteful fans, too. If you look hard enough, almost all art can be regarded as suspect
However, Zappa's is the strangest case. I've never met anyone (who expressed an opinion) that wasn't polarisedone way or another -you're either l 0 0 per cent Zapped or you find him so repellent that his work becomes unapproachable. Clearly the case against is strong and Zappoids are the worst enemies of the pro-cause; a lot of what Penmansays about these strange people is woefully accurate. I remember being mortified with embarassment when a guest, on noticing a few Zappa CDs, mked if that hideous "Bobby Brown" song was in there.
But, sorry, I still like some of this stuff. I can't help it, won't deny it and won't apologise for it Istill like "How Soon Is Now?"even if Morrisseywas a Smith; I still like my lYlN although I tried hard to hate it after that lnv~sibleJukebox fiasco (The Wlre 136).What can I do? Become an ideologue? Then I have to junk most , ' of my collection No I use that most fabulous CD feature the facility to sk~p all the bad bits
I, like anybody else, can name cases where the artist or fans have, for me, I-, Invalidated the whole of the art But ' : :.
these are essentially personal emotional reactions and are therefore . rather arbitrary. 1 sympathise with ' , C
Penman's Zappa problem - ~tis a toughie, but I can't accept ha pos1tior7.,
that ha problem with Zappa fans and.; Zappa's stance invalidate all his output generally and for everybody This is the sort of preposterous stance that is A
. , ' . <
typical of Zappa-related discourse, l ; .
almost as unacceptable as that of the . .: Zappalytes themselves I would be I
interested if any of The Wire's . Y
contributors would take part in open "
discussion of these dilemmas In a , ' more general vein, maybe looking at h
other interesting cases As for Penman, he's clearly guilty of the
same weaknesses he condemns Zappa and ha worshippers for - blindness due to some mysterious mind-block. '+ ' As for me, I'll zap my CD player and , , give up trying to justify my likes and , dislikes F
Tom w o r d ' . Tom W o n t e ~ l s r e m e n s d e . -
' ,o l , $
The meanlng of the term 'hamhirt
lmprovisor' seems a bit unclear to me 9;;;4 ,, Having come across this dexriptron ;I , many hmes in your magazine, I feel I '" t . have an idea as to what it implies Does ' ~tin some way coincide with the Rock In V
Opposition movement of the 70s? If '
someone could clarify this fo would be a great help Clslismllneham cm,gmwQ?eenetscn fwedu