25 September 2005


I have this obsessive streak when it comes to my music collecting habits. Detroit Techno, Chicago Acid, Krautrock, Hip Hop, '70's funk, Industrial, '60s Psychedelia, Moog-kitch, Belgian Hardcore, 70's roots/dub reggae...just some of the genres that have held me in their grip for months (or even years) at a time, to the detriment of all other styles. True, I go through phases where I'm listening to all kinds of stuff, but that's usually during an aimless period where I'm waiting for the next big lightening strike that'll take me down a whole new avenue of intense single-genre exploration. At the tail end of last year, the thunder clap hit me once more and since then I've been pretty much absorbed in the whole Grime/Dubstep/Sublow scene, blind to so many other potentially exciting possibilities. Although initially facilitated by downloading MP3s, my grimey epiphany ultimately led me to shun P2P networks simply because I lost the curiosity to listen to other styles and artists that were outside that scene. I started buying 12" vinyl again, started following key innovative artists and labels closely...really investing in it. I now prefer to spend fifty quid a month on a small selection of vinyl releases and really get into the details of the sound, even though my broadband connection gives me the capability to download an almost limitless amount of music for free. In this age of information overload, the genre-ist, tunnel vision stance is the only sane response left. Combined with my belief that dubstep is the true champion of the sonic values that I hold so dear, my standpoint equates to cultural and mental survival. I'm deep in this sound, and I don't need to hear much else in my life right now.

Sometimes I worry that it's affected my blog for the worse. I started out quite generalised and writing about lots of different (mainly electronic) music from the past and present. Now maybe Gutterbreakz has become a bit one dimensional, to the point where it gets referred to as a 'Grime blog'. But the fact is I've got to write about what I'm feeling in my heart and everything else can go to hell. This isn't a catch-all magazine, it's simply a personal viewpoint.

Which brings me to this. A 'reprinted' article originally written by the Blissblogger in 1995. I would ask you all to read it, because whether or not you approve of my standpoint, Simon's words just explain it all so perfectly. But if you haven't the time, let me just leave you with the final sentence:

"...if you're lucky enough to get obsessed with something, go with flow, forget about the rest. Music should be precious, not something you channel-surf through."

Then check out Nick Southhall's recent article for Stylus, which inspired Simon to revisit his earlier writing in the first place. The similarities with my own downloading experiences are uncanny, as is the failure to 'get' "Astral Weeks".