The Future From The Past: “The Sound OF Progress” and ’80s Underground Music…

23 May

In the Reykjavik Library, music section, there’s a fine book by Charles Neal titled “Tape Delay: Confessions From The eighties Underground”. It’s a very intriguing book that contains a lot of Q&A stlye interviews people involved in the Undergroun music scenes in the US and the UK.

The roll call is really impressive. Genesis P.Orridge, Lydia Lunch, Boyd Rice, Coil. The Hafler Trio, Current 93, Laibach, Psychic TV (When HÖH was a member), Nick Cave, Clint Ruin, etc, etc, etc, as well as written piece and poetry from the likes of Michael Gira and Henry Rollins.

Of course if you’re in Reykjaivk, you can loan the book. If not the It all on Google book right HERE:

Needless to say this book came to mind instantly when i found this VERY intriguing video that was posted on YouTube recently. Bits of it have been posted before, but never in its entirity.

Titled “The Sound Of Progress,” it was a documentary produced for Dutch TV and the Rotterdam Film Festival sometime in the late ’80s. Containing interviews and live footage from David Tibet, Coil, Test Dept, and JG Thirwell.

What’s also intriguing is the whole watching experience. You’ve got Test Dept, looking as if they’re extra from a  film about a Scottish regiment in the First World War. Then there’s David Tibet, looking and sounding thoroughly pissed of with the whole of Western culture (can blame him to be honest). And then there Coil. While there’s humdrum stuff of sleazy working and programming the synthesizer to produce drum sounds, you’ve got the likes of John Balance looking very young and impressionable (even though he was 26 at the time). The real highlight though is their discussion segment, where they talk about their music over dinner that descends into a Le Grand Bouffe style sleaze-fest. Balance spends his time sucking the juices of sleazy’s fingers! Eww!

The video itself, an old VHS rip, the warping audio and twisting visuals only adds to the general unease and queasiness, as if it was some kind of transmission from the past that has a grave warning aobut what western pop culture was becoming.

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in music, Uncategorized, Video


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