29 November 2003

About 12 years ago I was hunting through the bargain bin of Plastic Wax Records when I came across a couple of odd looking albums. One was called "Walt Rockman and his Synthesizer Band" and the other was called "Modern Mixture" from the Conroy Recorded Music Library. Both looked pretty beaten-up but I was curious enough to part with £1.00 for the pleasure of listening to them.
Walt Rockman featured jolly synth-cheese instrumentals and the Conroy one was a variety of synthy moods and had quite a melancholy feel to it. There were even a couple of prepared-piano pieces that wouldn't sound too out of place on Aphex Twin's "Druqks" album. Not exactly what I'd been expecting (but then again, I didn't know what to expect), but nevertheless I was pleased with my purchases. I would occasionally give them a spin, usually when entertaining friends, who would often delight at the naive melodies and easy vibes. This was before the trend for retro '60s/'70s-inspired electronica had fully developed.

Of course, since then I've learned that these were Sound Llibrary LP's, originally not for sale to the public , featuring music for use in the media. There's been an explosion of interest in these sorts of albums in recent years, no doubt fueled by compilations by Luke Vibert and Barry 7 among others.

So anyway, I decided it was time to send them to new homes and make a little cash for Xmas, so I put them on e-bay last week. The auctions ended last night, and both sold over their reserve price. We're not talking huge figures, as I said they're both in distinctly average condition, but I've certainly made a healthy profit on my original investment. Interestingly, both were bought by bidders in Tokyo. I guess this indicates that the Japanese have a particular thirst for Library LP's. So I'll be saying a fond farewelll to them. No doubt I'll miss them terribly now that they're leaving me. At least I'll always have the CD-R copies.

Bon Voyage my beauties. Enjoy your new lives in the Land of the Rising Sun....

27 November 2003


Q1. What do electronic acts Al Jabr, Biochemical Dread, Blacworld, Citrus, Cold Warrior, Dark Magus, Digital Terrestrial, Electronic Eye, International Organisation, Multiple Transmission, Nitrogen, Orchestra Terrestrial, Papadoctrine, Robots & Humanoids, Sandoz, and Trafficante have in common?

A: They're all Richard H. Kirk solo projects since the early '90s.

Q2. How many albums of new material has Kirk recorded in the last 10 years?

A: About 22

Q3. How old is he?

A: Not sure. If anyone can tell me, please do. I guess he must be pushing 50 by now.

Q4. So you're trying to tell me this old fart is still relevant?
A: Abso-fucking-lutely. If anything, Kirk is getting more relevant now than ever. One of his latest albums, this year's Bush Doctrine, is just as in tune with the times as Red Mecca was back in 1981. If only it was released on a more high-profile label, instead of the chronically unknown Cocosolidc1t1, then maybe more people would know about it.


26 November 2003

In the interests of scientific curiousity, I'm considering subjecting my infant son to Raymond Scott's "Soothing Sounds For Baby" albums. Will report any interesting developments or side-effects.
Ever get one of those chain letter e-mails, that tell you you'll have bad luck if you don't pass it on to another 10 people? I completely ignored one this week and my luck's been great ever since, so there!

final touchdown...

Further to my post about Concorde recently, I was one of the lucky winners of tickets to see the final landing at Filton Airport today. An excellent experience.....

23 November 2003

Richard H. Kirk - the second prelude....

So why does Richard H. Kirk mean so much to me? I mean, most reasonably informed electronica fans are aware of his work, and maybe even like the odd record. But what makes me follow his 'career' so slavishly, buying all these obscure CDs on obscure labels under obscure aliases? Why have I bought just about every Kirk or Cabs product on the first day of release for nearly the past 20 years?

Basically, it's because this is where it all began for me. Most people's first taste of alternative music usually begins with the usual reference points - Velvet Underground, Smiths, Fall. Me, I went straight from Smash Hits to The Crackdown. Cabaret Voltaire were my gateway to the underground. I discovered them by chance when the videos for "Just Fascination" and "Sensoria" were played on the Max Headroom show. Remember Max? That pseudo-computer generated personality played by Matt Frewer? 'Course you do! Everybody remembers Max and his mad stuttering dialogue. The pop videos broadcast on his show varied from total pop-fluff to obscure hair-metal to even more obscure indie-experimenters. Every episode was some sort of learning experience for me. But it was those Cabs promos that really got under my skin, particularly Just Fascination which I taped and watched over and over again. I felt the change a-comin'. The realisation that maybe there was more to music beyond Queen, Billy Joel and Nik Kershaw. Something about Mal's freaky staring eyes, or maybe Richard's spectral presence...perhaps Peter Care's superb video direction and visual techniques..Definitely something about those hard rhythms. Quite accessible yet very un-pop with none of the usual hooklines. That ominous synthetic groove was the hook. The lyrics... more like a mantra, "This private... Fascination, just fascination, just fascination", looping, hypnotic, mesmerising. It's also quite possible that Peter Care's voyeuristic close-ups of the mysterious female in the black stilleto's and fishnets had some kind of profound effect on my still-developing psyche, introducing me to a particular adult pasttime known as sexual fetishism. (Even now, I'm still turned-on by a nice pair of ankles in high heels - thanks for that, Pete). Overall I was getting the impression that here was something with bit more depth than the usual chart-fodder. Something that took a little time and effort to assimilate and form opinions about. Something that perhaps had a message within the message. Something that had something important to say, but wasn't gonna say it directly. It wanted the listener/viewer to draw their own conclusions; there was a veil of mystery, an aura of subversivness, that just clicked with me.

At that point I could've gone either way. Maybe if I hadn't taped that video, it wouldn't have had the chance to really work it's way under my skin through repeated exposure. If I hadn't been infected with the Cabs virus back then, maybe I'd be listening to fucking Sting albums today. Who knows?

Eventually I went to my local record shop - Kays Records and Tapes (still there, kids)- and had a cautious flick through the 'C' section. Perhaps surprisingly, there was a Cabs album in there. It was called The Crackdown. The sleeve looked slick but kinda surreal too. Two guys with video camera equipment looking straight back at me impassively, their image somehow processed, like a negative but not quite. Check the rear sleeve for some track titles..."Why Kill Time (When You Can Kill Yourself)", hmmmmm....not the kind of song title you'd find on a Go West album. The music was...really fucking different. I must admit I had a real struggle getting into it at first. Without the visual accompaniment, it was hard for me to wade through 45 minutes of music that had so little melody and so little conventional verse-chorus pop structure. It was so linear, groove-based and repetitive. I admit it took maybe a couple of months to really warm to it. I remember playing it as background music when revising for my 'O' levels...it seemed to promote concentration rather than a distraction. Over time, The Crackdown gradually re-programmed my brain to accept and appreciate new kinds of audio stimuli. Before too long I began to listen specifically to percussion sounds and other non-melodic sources - synthetic textures, snippets of dialogue from unknown origins, subliminal audio artifacts. I began to realise that up until that point I'd only been listening to foreground, now I was digesting all that stuff in the background, the building-blocks of sound. Nothing short of a revelation.

Perhaps of equal importance, I'd discovered something all on my own. Something that none of my friends or family had heard of or could appreciate. As far as I was concerned, I was the only person in the world who was into this album. Therefore a sort of "bonding" occurred. I developed a strong emotional attachment to the name Cabaret Voltaire and to their particular methods of composition, to the point where I became quite militant about them, scorning other music, preferring to seek out and familiarize myself with the sonic boundaries mapped-out in their back catalogue. I guess I must've spent the next couple of years just soaking up "The Voice Of America", "2x45", "Microphonies" etc. I'm sure it was this grounding in the Cabs' music that made me so instantly receptive to Hip-Hop, House and Techno. They seemed perfectly natural developments of the Cabs methodology. It also lead me to discover other stuff that I'd missed first time, like the early Mute & Factory Records releases, Suicide, 'Industrial Music', and to appreciate aspects of The Human League, Soft Cell and other left-of-centre chart acts that I'd not noticed before. Later on, it lead me to krautrock, psychedelia and (eventually) the Velvets. Miles Davis, George Clinton, William Burroughs and J G Ballard. Basically, if Kirk and co. mentioned some influence in an interview, I'd go and check it out.

Cabaret Voltaire opened my very own personal Doors Of Perception. Even though there were three members of the group (and yes I also follow Mal and Chris Watson's careers), Kirk always seemed to embody the values and beliefs of the group most fervently. That's why I owe it to Kirk to stick with him all the way. Even now, he's still developing as an artist. It's just unfortunate that, despite the current high-profile of the Cabs' recorded legacy, Kirk the contemporary solo artist is an increasingly marginalised figure. I'll be talking about his recent work shortly....

22 November 2003

Woebot's latest concept piece - "Homes of the Bloggers" - a visual extravaganza of curious abodes. It amazes me the amount of thought and effort Matt puts into his posts. True commitment, that. Gutterbreakz seems to be the only one that doesn't live in a construction of some kind. Apparently I'm a mole-like creature who prefers to live in a hole surrounded by dense foliage. Or maybe it's just a visual metaphor for anally-retarded. Any outsiders browsing through this surreal collection of sheds, mud-huts and campervans would probably think we were a strange bunch. Probably right....

19 November 2003

There's some fresh Richard H. Kirk product on the horizon, which is Big News here at Gutterbreakz. In anticipation of some major critical appreciation of the Kirkster's work, here's a reprint of my review of Kirk's appearance at 93 Feet East last year. This was originally posted at the Cabaret Voltaire Yahoo Group (love to Pat and the rest of the Cabs crew).

Hi all,

Here's a report on Richard's gig at the Mute Irregular night last night. I'm posting it now while my memory's still fairly clear.

Everything was conspiring to ruin the evening for me: I got delayed leaving home, got stuck in tailbacks on the M4 and had to face some truly horrendous grid-lock traffic shit in central London (I'd heard that the traffic thing had been getting really bad in London recently, but was totally unprepared for the sheer magnitude). Not knowing my way around too well, and with no navigator, I eventually got near Liverpool Street station, ditched the car and started running, as by this time it was gone 9 o'clock. Then there was the queue at the door to deal with. Eventually I got in, grabbed a bottle of Sol at the bar and went into the venue. Appliance were on stage and they sounded great, but my main concern was to establish whether or not I'd missed RHK. I approached a lady stood behind the mixing desk:
Me: Has Richard Kirk been on yet?
Lady: Oh he's playing upstairs
Me: UPSTAIRS?! There's an upstairs too?
Lady: Yeah. And he's due on stage (looks at watch) uh....NOW!
Me: Shit! Okay thanks. (begin moving away)
Lady: NO! It's over THAT way (pointing)
Me: Oh right. Thanks!

So I rush through a door and up a flight of stairs. As I ascend them I can hear a nasty drone noise emanating from above. That's Richard, I thought.
I enter the upstairs room, in which a respectable crowd has gathered. Over the tops of the silhouetted heads, I see mangled, grainy video images projected against the wall behind the stage. I work my way near the front and find a decent spot near the speaker to the right of the stage. The guy next to me confirms that Richard's show has only just started. Talk about split second timing!

So now I can concentrate on enjoying myself. This is what I saw and heard...

Richard was stood there over his machines, looking like an ancient techno Yoda, staring intently at his equipment, seemingly oblivious to all around him. The music was basically strange noises at this point: vast echoing torrents of white noise and radioactive static. Eventually a muffled tribal rhythm begins to emerge from the chaos then gets loader...then the hi-hats come in...then the snare and suddenly bang! the groove kicks in. I noticed that a few die-hards down the front were actually dancing and then I noticed that I was sort of moving around a bit too. Despite the fact that there were no melodies or riffs to speak of, Kirk has a way of tapping into those primal rhythms, like an electronic shaman drawing us into a 21st century mantric ritual. The sound was incredibly dense by this point: fresh waves of searing noise joining the beat in unholy matrimony. Occasionally Kirk would step back, light a fag or take a quick slug from what looked like half a pint of bitter (1). Just once I saw him furtively glance up at the crowd...possibly to check if we were still there.
Now the beat is joined by fresh cross-rhythms and a few ethnic vocal samples. Occasionally Kirk plays his trusty Juno 106 synth - but only as an additional noise-generator. For the gear-heads out there, Kirk had a little box which I recognised as an Electrix Filter Queen which he was using to mangle the music to amazing effect. He'd use it to sweep through the frequencies of the hi-hats for some totally out-there sounds.
After about 20 minutes of this, Kirk goes into an uptempo thing which was a little different to the usual stuff. Hard to describe it, but I remember thinking "Wouldn't it be great if he picked up a mic and started singing 'Martyrs Of Palestine' (2) over this", which maybe gives you some idea of the vibe.
Then he looked at his watch, rummaged through his box of floppies, loaded up one more track...which started out like Suicide: a jackhammer amphetamine kick drum. Then more noise/echo/static etc. This was totally uncompromising stuff, industrial dub I guess you'd call it.
And then, after half an hour it was over...as the last shards of sound decayed into the night the crowd cheered their approval. I felt compelled to shout "MORE NOISE!!" a couple of times, but alas my plea went unheeded. Kirk seemed a little self-conscience as he stood back to receive applause. Then he went and sat down on the side of the stage....about 3 feet from me! Before I knew what I was doing, I leaned forward to shake his hand. Below is a rough transciption of the brief conversation that followed:

Me: Hi Richard, that was great.
RHK: (taken aback as he shakes my hand) Oh Hi! How're you?
Me: Fine thanks....I'm a massive fan of yours.
RHK: Oh, right...
Me:I didn't recognise any of that stuff.
RHK: No, you wouldn't. It's all new.
Me:So...when's the new album coming out then?
RHK: When I can find a label to put it out!
Me: Oh...I thought maybe you'd been too busy remastering old Cabs tunes..
RHK: Well yeah, I've been doing a lot of that too.
Me: There's another box-set coming out soon, right?
RHK: That's right..
Me: ..with some really early stuff on...
RHK: Yeah, going right back to 1974. I've sneeked in a few of my own tracks too.
Me: Wow...Is "The Single" gonna be on it?
RHK: Yeah! Definitely...
Me: Great. I love that track, it cracks me up.
RHK: Yeah.. (laughing)
Me: Anyway, it's great to meet you. See you later...
RHK: Yeah, cheers...

I know you're all thinking "Why didn't you ask this or this blah blah blah...." and there's loads of things I wanted to say to him but it's kinda crazy in that situation with people all around you and being completely star-struck. I'm just glad I didn't outstay my welcome. So I slumped on a stool by the bar and watched him pack his gear up. Then he wondered off carrying a couple of flight cases and I didn't see him again. Then I just felt incredibly exhausted. After all the tension of getting there, having my senses assaulted by the awesome sound of RHK live and then actually meeting him I was just physically and emotionally drained. So I had a Red Bull which sorted me out a little, lit a fag and wandered downstairs to watch Echoboy. After a while I realised that I was standing next to Mute supremo Daniel Miller (I'd missed his DJ set unfortunately and Chris & Cosey's too). So I got to have a little chat with him too.

That's about it really. I quite enjoyed Debasser's live set. I'd never heard of the guy, but I found his brand of stripped-down dubby techno quite appealing (though compared to Kirk, it was like watching Top Of The Pops). One to watch out for, maybe...

I didn't bump into any other Cabs Group members, unfortunately. Hope you had a good time too Clive and others(?)

Hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. But Christ, I hate London. It'll take a Cabs reunion to get me down there again!(3)


(1) Other reports suggest he was drinking red wine.
(2) 'Martyrs Of Palestine' is a bizarre electro-punk track from Kirk's 1986 album Black Jesus Voice, containing the lyric "Martyrs Of Palestine/High On Amphetamine". The track that I was comparing to it is called "I Got Weapons", which subsequently appeared on Kirk's Bush Doctrine album, released earlier this year under the pseudonym BCD/Biochemical Dread. This track sees Kirk bringing back a little of that punkoid-guitar-thrash mentality that prevailed during the Cabs' early Rough Trade period. He's also done some remixes of the Cabs classic "Nag Nag Nag", which follow a similar path....

(3) In fact, I was in London again quite soon after, to see Suicide. This time I got wheel-clamped. Christ, I really fucking hate London!!

15 November 2003

Christ, I must apologise for my pathetically self-pitying piece-of-shit post about 'dignified silences' just now. I'd delete it, but hey that's not the way it works. Blogging is like running naked through the streets, you gotta let it all out for everyone to see. I've really gotta get my head together, though. I'm an emotional wreck at the moment. True, things will probably be a bit quieter at Gutterbreakz for a while, but fuck the hiatus. I'll be wrenching stuff from my guts whenever inspiration strikes and time permits. I've resolved to stop hiding behind the music comments and try and get a bit more soul into this blog. I might write about other stuff that's happening to me (though no stuff about babies, I promise) and try and get some emotion in there, which will be difficult because I tend to hide my feelings from just about everyone, even those closest to me. Just typing all this stuff now is making me uncomfortable. I don't know where the fuck this is all gonna lead to, possibly nowhere, but one must strive for greater things.

14 November 2003

Wow, just saw Arthur Lee and his new Love line-up on Later with Jools Holland, performing "Alone Again Or". A curiously uplifting and slightly surreal experience, like seeing a ghost of a loved-one. I haven't played "Forever Changes" for ages, must give it a spin soon....
Oh and one more thing, Marty Rev liked my review of his new album:

One of the most in-depth reviews I've ever seen and
definately one of the most informed.

Nice writing, Nick.

All the best,


Sometimes it all seems worthwhile......
Check Matt and John's Rephlex experiences. I had intended to go to the Bristol date, but my wife decided to go into premature labour (just after my last post), which kinda put paid to that idea.

Gutterbreakz has gone a bit shit recently. You know it, I know it. I've just got too much other grown-up stuff going on at the moment, sucking away at my energies. Not least getting acquainted with my new son, James. This blog was always supposed to be an amateur endeavour, but if it's not even vaguely interesting or at least humorous, then really what's the point? The only solution at present is to maintain a dignified silence. Gutterbreakz is now on hiatus for an unspecified period. Hopefully I'll be back for an end of year roundup, which will probably just be me banging on about what a great year Warp have had. There may also be a moving tribute to my late father on 8th December, but then again....?

Love to all my bloggaz, keep up the good work- your culture needs you. Special thanks to Somedisco for poo-pooing my theory that electronica is a spent force. Enjoy the extended drinking session my friend and keep those News items coming.


12 November 2003

On a more positive note, I've been loving this new collection from Rephlex, called appropriately enough "Rephlexions! - An Album Of Braindance!". As I don't keep up with everything that Messrs James and Wilson-Claridge deem fit to release, I find such compilations most informative.

This is a much more satisfying selection than 2001's "The Braindance Coincidence", which didn't seem to gel, possibly due to the varying vintages of the recordings. For instance, u-ziq's "Swan Vesta", although still a perfectly enjoyable example of class-of-94 home-brewed techno in isolation, seems somewhat dull and simplistic when sandwiched between AFX's remix of Baby Ford's "Normal" and Vulva's "Happy Birdie! Sad Birdie!".
"Rephlexions" hangs together much better and obviously some care and attention has gone into the track selection and running order. All the artists featured display their own (however subtly) distinctive approach whilst forming an overall cohesive philosophy of sound that goes someway to explaining the ethos behind Rephlex's release schedule. As Grant Wilson-Claridge states in this months interview with David Stubbs for The Wire, "if you compare one of our compilations with one of (Warp's) , you'll see the difference between us". Certainly, there's a playfulness and subversive humour running through Rephlex's roster that provides a nice counterpoint Warp's often more ernest worldview. I couldn't imagine the gloriously unselfconscious '80s electropop of DMX Krew on Warp for starters, and with "I'm All Alone", Ed DMX serves up another delightfully angst-ridden ditty that just manages to stay the right side of outright pastiche. Speaking of pastiche, I have mixed views on the Gentle People's retro-exotica, but here they convince with "Emotion Heater (Tiki Mix)" that sits somewhere between Martin Denny and the Beach Boys' "Diamond Head".

Glitchy drill 'n' bass is still very much in evidence, although the work of Yee-King and D'Arcangelo reveals a more emotional and pastoral side, seemingly following the blueprint of Aphex's "Richard D. James Album", whilst Aphex himself provides possibly the least charming track, "Mangle 11", which sounds like a "Druqks" outtake. Hard, fast, noisy... but ultimately unlovable. I'm waiting for some more of those beautiful piano experiments, Richard.

Cylob and Bogdan Raczynski provide more topnotch home-brewed madness and Luke Vibert fucks everyone over with his brilliant "Remember This", recorded under his Amen Andrews moniker. It's an absolute thrill from start to finish, that choon. Me love Luke. If I was a girl, I'd definitely shag 'im, regardless of his eating habits and facial hair.

Leila makes an appearance with the wondrous "A"; a dark, twisted nightmare of a track. There's something about her work that makes me think it's by a bloke. It's not that women can't be experimental electronic artists - people like Delia Derbyshire and Pauline Oliveros set that precedent decades ago - but Leila's anal production techniques and cloying atmospherics feel sort of masculine to me. But who am I to discuss sexual stereotypes? I hate football but my wife's a rabid Everton fan. Go figure....

Perhaps the biggest surprises are the 'classical avant-garde' pieces by Robert Normandeau and Ensemble, which perhaps hint at James and Wilson-Claridge's desire to be seen as part of a lineage from Cage, Stockhausen and the like. These tracks work well in the framework of 'Braindance' music, providing suitably abstract interludes to the more percussion-obsessed styles that Rephlex has always thrived on.

Here's to Braindance. Long may it reign....
Popped in to see Andy at Emis Music yesterday. For years he's been making a living selling electronic instruments and studio gear. Everything from home organs, vintage analogue synths, mixing desks and signal processors. It used to be an Alladin's Cave for techno-fetishists like myself. That's where I bought my Minimoog. Yet it seems the rumours are true. No, he's not going out of business. For the first time he's started stocking guitars, drums and all the other parphenalia of the rock musician.

Andy explained that the main reason for the change of emphasis was due to the rise in 'soft synths' and other software-based audio tools. Anyone looking to make hi-tec music these days invests in virtual studios, he reckons. The market for hardware samplers and synths is dying out pretty rapidly. Perhaps more pertinently, we also discussed the general change in tastes of 'the kids' today. Nobody wants to be a DJ anymore, says Andy. They want to be lead guitarists again. This is a trend I'd been picking-up on for some time. Could it be that the Dance Revolution (approx 15 years old now) is finally starting to dwindle? Will the next generation look to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and The Darkness for inspiration? Will they know or care who Derrick May, Marshall Jefferson or Richard James are? Will techno, jungle and all the other micro-genres become just some outdated genre that only 'old people' (ie over 30) listen to?

I left Emis slightly depressed and feeling very old all of a sudden. And then in Anthony Thornton's review of Underworld's new Best Of CD for this week's NME, I see the first use of the term "dance dinosours". Shit, this really is the beginning of the end. Now I know how prog fans felt in 1977.

03 November 2003

In the BBC sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, Craig Charles' character, Dave Lister, likes listening to a type of music called "Rastabilly-skank". I reckon that's the coolest-sounding musical genre of all time. I wish someone would hurry up and invent it for real.
Will we ever see a full-on '50's revival act in the singles charts again? I think not.

It occurred to me that, having grown up in the '70s and '80's, I was actually exposed to an awful lot of '50s-style music and imagery during that period. In the same way that we're now looking back 20 years for inspiration, so it was in the '70s that teddyboy-glam groups like Shawaddywaddy and Mud were updating the '50s, and very successfully too. As those kinds of groups faded out, the doo-wop sound of Darts took the late-70's by storm, with cuts like "Duke Of Earl" and "Daddy Cool" outselling most 'cutting edge' punk and new wave groups of the time. And of course one of the biggest films of that era was Grease, an unashamedly nostalgic musical hit-machine.

Everyone remembers the early '80s as the 'electric', New Romantic era, yet the '50s were still making a big noise in the charts, this time with the sanitized rockabilly of Shakin' Stevens, the slightly edgier Stray Cats, Bucks Fizz winning the Eurovision Song Contest with a pure streak of '50s pop and who could forget Coast To Coast's hi-octane hit "(Do) The Hucklebuck" (bizarrely, around the same time, Suicide's Alan Vega was enjoying chart success in France with his own uniquely skewed rockabilly mutations).

By the mid-80's, the 50's revival groups were just about finished , but that didn't stop Jackie Wilson topping the charts in Xmas '86 with a 30- year- old- tune (perhaps partially helped by that mad animated video). Even the hip-hop/DJ revolution of the late '80's was briefly infected by '50s madness, with a string of massive hits by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers, which was probably the '50s last gasp at hijacking the record-buying public's tastes.

Now, apart from the occasional outbreak of Grease-mania, the '50s is a spent force in terms of big selling chart acts. Can you imagine the kids today going for Shakey's "Green Door"? And all the people old enough to remember the '50s don't buy singles now anyway. Good fucking riddance? Well yes, in principle. But it's strange that I seem to have developed a certain nostalgic affection for music that was itself a nostalgic view of a period that I never knew first time around. Weird....