Reading in 2018.

Web administrator as a jester of doom.

Maybe it’s worth mentioning that I got acquainted with the art work of Dino Buzzati in 2018. That was a very nice discovery.

Although I rarely read non-fiction I can easily recommend three books which are not products of imagination entirely. All of them are about the future, more or less.

I’ll derail my thoughts once again and leave (bombastic) introduction to Nomeansno. (hopefully happily pensioned somewhere in Canada)

Nomeansno were premier foreign band on Zagreb’s punk-rock club circuit for more than 20 years, beloved by younger and respected by older generations interested in heritage (or evolution) of punk-rock music. I may be wrong but the first time the band ventured in this inflamed appendix of Europe was in 1988. They played at student campus of University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Then the next year it was again concert in Ljubljana, followed by their first concert in Zagreb in 1990. Nomeansno returned very soon after the war and started long-lasting friendly relationship with the most important independent music promoters in Zagreb: “Žedno uho”. Without “Žedno uho” enthusiasts the 1990s and the 2000s night-life and rock entertainment in Zagreb would have been less exciting.

Fatalism in modern / postmodern rock music is also present in work of two other great bands from West Coast of North America: Wipers & Unwound; both of them more inward-oriented and less resilient to outside world than very robust Nomeansno. (Who were the premiere fatalists then? Joy Division?)

New Dark Age” by James Bridle

The subjects that James Bridle covered in his scary collection of essays are familiar.  However, since the great acceleration there isn’t enough time left to think about, deal with, and adapt to… the consequences of technological development on present times and the future. Recommended.

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Mars by 1980” by David Stubbs

I love story telling and this is a story of electronic music. I enjoyed “Mars by 1980” very much. As much as Simon Reynolds’ “Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984”.  Recommended.

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All the way up to year 1980 (Part II and Part III) I can agree with Mr. Stubbs on the subject matter easily, but from the year 1980 onward we definitely hear things differently. After all, electronic music is field of his love and expertise. He was already on the electronic highway, full speed into digital domain when I barely started listening to pop and rock music. As a young listener I was quickly lured on the narrow path of seemingly dying rock music pushed back in the small clubs and garage spaces.

( The Membranes, unsung protagonists of the 1980s, hated trad rock so much they called their music noise pop)

Therefore, contemporary rock music was revealed to me with its ugliest apparition, during the final phase (raging dying animal) of the cycle, which was also its re-birth: noise rock of the 1980s.

White glitch
A white glitch there
Pluto interruptus
A sonorous flare

Black shape
A black shape
There are undeveloped holes
In returned glare

Thought we were looking at stars
When in fact we’re seeing noise
The sky scanner’s coffee marked panel
Gets the brunt of it again

Misread
Mistook that song
Gathered my facts
And read happily wrong

Screaming
Imperfectly bored
Reversing ejaculation like
“AAAAHHHHHH”

Thought we were looking at noise
When in fact we’re seeing the stars

Atop the coffee marked panel
(Thought we were looking at noise, when in fact…)
I’ll show you my endzone dance
(Thought we were looking at noise, when in fact…)
Turn up that stare I’ll take off my shoes & shake it
(Thought we were looking at noise, when in fact…)

Noise/Star (Sing the Troubled Beast, 1990) by Bastro

Then happened Nirvana. The mid-1990s were already beginning of  the post-rock age.

It’s obvious that I like or even love various types of pop music from the 1980s but I could never enjoy sound aesthetic of all those bombastic Frankie Goes to Hollywood steroid hits from Trevor Horn / Paul Morley POP manufacture or grasp importance of Scritti Politti II meta synth-pop (if I could not fancy repulsive sound gloss in the first place). There’s nothing there but the context, the essence fully subordinated to form. All the blood and phlegm from Suicide’s second studio album were washed down the drain by the middle of decade and pure synthetic universe opened up.

In the chapters over the closing part (Part IV) of the book I was reading about music I’ve had limited exposure to or never listened to consciously / intently (house, techno and other more recent club music variations which usually don’t move me one inch). I know very little about vanguard electronic music described in the opening chapters (Part I) as well.

Actually, I would like to hear all these pioneering works of electronic music that were recorded up to mid-1960s. I believe I could find moving music inside various strains of digital electronic music too but due to overflow there’s no space left for it.

Future Days” by David Stubbs

(Future in the Past)

The third book is an overview of “Krautrock” which I enjoyed great deal in the fall of this year.  It’s a perfect companion for superb rock and pop music from Germany. The themes from great European cities: München – Köln – Düsseldorf – Hamburg – Berlin. Recommended.

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In parallel with reading I was revisiting stuff accumulated over the years, following the chapters in the book. In the end the whole month of October ’18 was dedicated to German music.

While Krautrock bands were sound-tracking Modern Germany in the very late 1960s and 1970s, many a gastarbeiter parent from Yugoslavia, amongst other work seeking immigrants, were taking part in the building of Modern Germany. Indirectly they were modernizing Yugoslavia with shiny elaborate products of capitalism too. Kebabträume! The new wave of economical emigration is here again.

Stay home, read books.