Steve Albini's Anti-Dance Music Rant Becomes XL Billboard
Published Sep 29, 2015Move over, Morrissey — music's most entertaining curmudgeon is actually producer and noise rock performer Steve Albini. After sticking it to Tidal earlier this year, he's now written an email so grumpy that its recipient opted to turn it into a billboard.
Oscar Powell runs the label Diagonal and is also currently preparing a new single for XL Recordings under the name Powell. The song is called "Insomniac" and features a Steve Albini vocal sample from his band Big Black.
Powell reached out to Albini to explain just how much Big Black means to him, hoping to gain the approval for the sample use. Albini did grant him approval, but not before taking a verbose dump all over dance music in general. Here's Albini's reply in full:
I am absolutely the wrong audience for this kind of music. I've always detested mechanized dance music, its stupid simplicity, the clubs where it was played, the people who went to those clubs, the drugs they took, the shit they liked to talk about, the clothes they wore, the battles they fought amongst each other...
Basically all of it: 100 percent hated every scrap.
The electronic music I liked was radical and different, shit like the White Noise, Xenakis, Suicide, Kraftwerk, and the earliest stuff form Cabaret Voltaire, SPK and DAF. When that scene and those people got co-opted by dance/club music I felt like we'd lost a war. I detest club culture as deeply as I detest anything on earth. So I am against what you're into, and an enemy of where you come from but I have no problem with what you're doing... In other words, you're welcome to do whatever you like with whatever of mine you've gotten your hands on. Don't care. Enjoy yourself.
Upon receiving the email, the folks at XL opted to turn it into a billboard. If you're in the UK, you'll find it on Commercial Street in London. Otherwise, a photo of the billboard is available above.
Thanks to Pitchfork for the tip.