Monthly Archives: October 2006

Some more music

Some more music by one of the more dependable sources in New York: beatsinspace, the peeps behind the famous AllDisco parties. Girish, for you, here are their playlists with all the streams, and here is an excellent (really) eighties mix by crazy rhythms, which sadly appears to be sold out.

The latest show by beats in space:

October 17th (part 1 with Headman ) :: [stream] [download]
October 17th (part 2 with Tim Sweeney) :: [stream] [download]

A Year In The Mix : 1987

A Year In The Mix : 1987 : Part 1


This mix focuses purely on house tracks from 1987,
including classics from M/A/R/R/S, Rhythim Is Rhythim, The Beatmasters and more.


A Year In The Mix : 1987 : Part 2


This mix focuses on club tracks from 1987,
including classics from Janet Jackson, Alexander O’Neal, New Order and more.



From :

See also: 1987 music –  eighties groove (music)

Exploitation culture by region

Hank Janson pulp cover

American exploitation culture is well-known throughout the world, European exploitation culture less so.

The previous posts on Stewart Home and Richard Allen led me to Hank Janson [Google Gallery] and Reginald Heade [Google gallery], the latter two examples of 1950s British exploitation culture.

Exploitation by region: By region: American exploitationBritish exploitationEuropean exploitationFrench exploitationGerman exploitationItalian exploitationJapanese exploitation

My interest in regional pulp culture is what it tells about the region where it is produced. In search of national stereotypes by way of their exploitation culture; regional stereotypes deduced from regional fears and desires (horror and eroticism).

Richard Allen and punk pulp

The Complete Richard Allen, Vol. 1 (1992) – Richard Allen
[FR] [DE] [UK]

James Moffat, who wrote under the pen name Richard Allen, produced several pulp novels for the UK publishing house New English Library during the 1970s.

Many of his stories featured the often violent and sensationalist exploits of a fictional skinhead character, Joe Hawkins. Allen’s skinhead-related works include: Skinhead, Skinhead Escapes, Trouble for skinhead, Skinhead Farewell and Dragon Skins (about Kung Fu-fighting skinheads). He also wrote a number of other titles aimed at exploiting various youth subcultures, including Punk Rock, Teeny Bop Idol, Suedehead (a longer-haired offshoot of skinheads) , Smoothies (an even longer-haired offshoot of skinheads), Sorts (female versions of Smoothies), and Glam. The collected works of Richard Allen have been reissued in a six volume set by ST Publishing.

A BBC TV documentary about his life, “Skinhead Farewell”, aired in 1996. Allen’s formulaic and sensationalist writing style has been frequently mimicked by Neoist writer Stewart Home. — [Oct 2006]

See also: British literature

The Assault on Culture (1988) – Stewart Home

The Assault on Culture: Utopian Currents from Lettrisme to Class War (1988) – Stewart Home
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Stewart Home (born 1962) is a British fiction writer, subcultural pamphleteer, underground art historian, and activist. His mother, Julia Callan-Thompson, was a model and hostess who was associated with the radical arts scene in Notting Hill Gate. She knew such people as the writer and situationist Alexander Trocchi. Stewart was put up for adoption soon after his birth.

The Assault on Culture, originally written but rejected as a B.A. thesis, is an underground art history sketching Stewart Home’s ultimately personal history of ideas and influences in post-World War II fringe radical art and political currents, and including – for the first time in a book – a tactically manipulated history of Neoism (including character assassinations of individual Neoist) that was continued in the later book Neoism, Plagiarism and Praxis. Despite its highly personal perspective and agenda, The Assault on Culture: Utopian currents from Lettrisme to Class War (Aporia Press and Unpopular Books, London, 1988) is considered a useful art-history work, providing an introduction to a range of cultural currents which had, at that time at least, been under-documented. Like Home’s other publications of that time, it played an influential part in renewing interest in the Situationist International. —

See also: LettrismSituationismassaultculture1988

Punk Rock: So What? (1999) – Roger Sabin

Punk Rock: So What? (1999) – Roger Sabin
[FR] [DE] [UK]

From the publisher

It’s now over twenty years since punk first pogoed its way into our consciousness. Punk Rock: So What? brings together a new generation of writers, journalists and scholars to provide the first comprehensive assessment of punk and its place in popular music history, culture and myth. Combining new research, methodologies and exclusive interviews, Punk Rock: So What? brings a fresh perspective to the analysis of punk culture, and kicks over many of the established beliefs about the meaning of punk.

Punk Rock: So What? re-situates punk in its historical context, analyzing the possible origins of punk in the New York art scene and Manchester clubs as well as in Malcolm McClaren’s brain. The contributors question whether punk deserves its reputation as an anti-fascist, anti-sexist movement, challenging standard views of punk prevalent since the 1970s, and discussing the role played by such key figures as Johnny Rotten, Richard Hell, Malcolm McLaren.

Tracing punk’s legacy in comics, literature, art and cinema as well as music and fashion–from films such as Sid and Nancy and The Great Rock `n’ Roll Swindle to the work of contemporary artists such as Gavin Turk and Sarah Lucas–the contributors establish that, if anything, punk was more culturally significant than anyone has yet suggested.

Contributors: Frank Cartledge, Paul Cobley, Robert Garnett, David Huxley, David Kerekes, Guy Lawley, George McKay, Andy Medhurst, Suzanne Moore, Lucy O’Brien, Bill Osgerby, Miriam Rivett, Roger Sabin, Mark Sinker. Roger Sabin is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Roger Sabin also edited Below Critical Radar : Fanzines and Alternative Comics from 1976 to Now (2001) – Roger Sabin [] [FR] [DE] [UK] and Adult Comics: An Introduction (1993) – Roger Sabin [] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: punk rock1999

Sonic Alchemy (2004) – David N. Howard

Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings (2004) – David N. Howard
[FR] [DE] [UK]

I read the chapter on Lee Perry and King Tubby and liked it. Howard compares Bunny Lee’s ‘flying cymbal’ sound with the ‘Philly Bump’ American soul beat.

From the publisher

You may not have heard of them, but you have certainly heard their songs! From the lo-fidelity origins of early pioneers to today’s dazzling technocrats, the role of the music producer is as murkily undefined as it is wholly essential. Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings is an exploration of the influence of the often colorful, idiosyncratic and visionary music producers through popular music and the fascinatingly crucial role they have played in shaping the way we hear pop music today. Sonic Alchemy is nothing short of the secret history of the music producer.

See also: music production2004

Critical Theory is dead

Peter Sloterdijk’s texts read as a thriller, his philosophy has the potency of sending shivers down your spine, much like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Deleuze before him.

The rationale for this post is Sloterdijk’s audacity of his 1999 declaration that critical theory is dead.

Rules For the Human Zoo is a speech delivered by Peter Sloterdijk on July 20 1999 on the occasion of a symposium dedicated to the philosophy of Heidegger. He had held that same speech two years before but nobody had taken offense. The speech is on biogenetics and its implications (think Gattaca).

I lent the Rules article today at my local library in a Dutch version called Regels voor het Mensenpark, Kroniek van een Debat. The subtitle translates as history of a debate. The debate is between Peter Sloterdijk and Jürgen Habermas. Sloterdijk accuses Habermas of intentionally misreading him and calling upon Assheuer as a proxy to attack Sloterdijk. The attacks basically called Sloterdijk a fascist:

In the eyes of Professor Habermas, a left-wing philosopher, this secret agenda makes his fellow academic a “fascist.” Professor Sloterdijk, also a left-wing philosopher who once travelled to Poona to seek enlightenment from the Bhagwan, thinks his critic is resorting to “fascist” tactics to discredit him. — [Oct 2006]

In the 37th issue of 9 Sept 1999 of Die Zeit, Sloterdijk replied to his adversaries Habermas and Assheuer with Die Kritische Theorie ist tot (EN: Critical Theory is Dead).

From the web:

According to a recent article in The Observer (10 October 1999) the fashionable dinner tables of German society are buzzing with controversy over `the death of critical theory and the future of metaphysics’. The article refers to a debate provoked by a conference address given at Elmau in Bavaria last July by Peter Sloterdijk. His paper, `Regeln fur den Menschenpark : Ein Antwortschreiben zum Brief ber den Humanismus’ (Rules for the Human Theme-Park: A Reply to the Letter on Humanism), was addressed to an international conference on `Philosophy after Heidegger’. Copies of the address began circulating among academics shortly after the conference. Subsequently, two heavily critical articles were published in the national press. Sloterdijk’s bad-tempered response to these articles (Die Zeit, 9 September 1999) has generated an animated quarrel, whose participants have included Manfred Frank, Ernst Tugendhat, Ronald Dworkin and Slavoj Zizek, among others. — [Oct 2006]

In [the open letter], Sloterdijk wonders if Assheuer has the same text as he does at all, since they read it so differently – Assheuer thinks he’s a Nietzschean, where he explicitly said that Nietzsche’s concept of the overman can have no meaning for us any more. The press is once again alarming people for alarming’s sake. The second part of his letter is addressed to Habermas, because Sloterdijk has heard that Habermas has spoken about him to many people (!) but not spoken with him. He claims that Habermas has mobilized an international attack against him, making photocopies of his lecture and sending them everywhere. Sloterdijk goes on at length how Habermas has thus reified him – it’s a hilarious read. With Habermas, critical theory has become a sinister Jacobinism that liquidates its opponents through mass media. Its claims are based on the “forceless force of the quicker denunciation (and worse reading)” instead of what Habermas calls the “forceless force of the better argument”. Critical theory was the answer for the children of the Nazi era. With this debate it has shown itself to be unsuitable for our needs: critical theory is dead. —

Heidegger’s Letter on Humanism (1947)

The Letter on Humanism, written in 1947 in response to questions circulating about the relationship of Heidegger’s philosophy of Being to humanism, Christianity, Marxism, and the new “philosophy of existence” expounded by Sartre, Jaspers, and others, has been called Heidegger’s “greatest effort.” It was written at a time of great personal struggle for Heidegger: he had just been indefinitely banned from teaching following the Nazi war-crimes hearings, and he had undergone a kind of emotional breakdown as a result. Nevertheless, the Letter on Humanism virtually catalogues the most important strands of Heidegger’s entire later philosophy – the meaning of the history of Being, the way Heidegger sees to the re-awakening of that history, its relation to the philosophical tradition, the meaning of action, the role of technology, art, and language in the historical destiny of Being, and above all the need of a new thinking to prepare that destiny. The essay contains some of Heidegger’s most memorable language. In it, we can see especially clearly the role of reflection about language in preparing a new consideration of Being that will make the leap outside the tradition of metaphysics, which has hitherto determined all of our language. The quest for a new language will be so important to Heidegger that he will even spell important words, like Being, in antiquated and strange ways, to show that he uses them outside the closure of metaphysics. — [Oct 2006]

See also: 1999German philosophyPeter SloterdijkCritical Theory

8 Women (2002) – François Ozon

8 Women (2002) – François Ozon
[FR] [DE] [UK]

I saw this on Belgian TV yesterday evening, for about 20 minutes before I fell asleep (not out of boredom). I liked what I saw (but I like nearly everything by Ozon) and it reminded me of Agatha Christie (see quote below) and Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven (the clothes and general fifties styling).

As for the influences of the movie, they are numerous. Of course, this film is an adaptation from a play that evokes the Agatha Christie universe but Ozon felt like scattering his movie with all kinds of allusions: Vincente Minelli, Douglas Sirk (the deer in the garden). These allusions are especially linked to French culture: the French TV program “au théâtre ce soir” but also Jacques Demy (the bright colors, the songs) and French cinema before the “new wave”. More than allusions, they are tributes from a director who once said “I don’t care about new-wave”. –dbdumonteil via [Oct 2006]


See also: Ozonfilm2002 filmsFrench cinema