Coil – L.A.Y.L.A.H Records – 1984

I have moved this October 2009 post forward to today’s date due to news of the passing on of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson who sadly died in his sleep last night.

The Guardian online news orbituary is at the foot of the original post…

How To Destroy Angels

Absolute Elsewhere (This track is  just one long beep – not to be played on the actual 12″)

The debut 12″ record by ex-Psychic TV members, Peter Christopherson and John Balance released on the wonderful L.A.Y.L.A.H record label from Belgium.

‘How To Destroy Angels’ subtitled ‘Ritual Music For The Accumulation Of Male Sexual Energy’ is a lovely chilled out soundscape lasting around seventeen minutes, most of the track is quiet but some louder parts come into the recording so do not turn your volume up too much…

The second side of this record has not got a Coil track on it as such, although the labels on the record do give this side a title. It is a continuous looped ‘bleep’ that runs for around fifteen minutes, similar to the noise (for those old enough to remember) that the TV made when all the three channels were shut down after the national anthem was played a little after  midnight every day of the week. Those were the days eh!

This track is not meant to be played. It was just a gimmick for the first pressing of this release. I recorded and uploaded it onto this site anyway just for archive purposes and so you can hear both sides of this record!

Text below via brainwash.com highlighting a chapter on Coil in the brilliant book from 1987 called ‘Tape Delay’. A book well worth getting. It was published by S.A.F. from Harrow and included in depth interviews with Cabaret Voltaire, Chris And Cosey, Nice Cave, Laibach, Lydia Lunch, Psychic TV, Rollins, Swans, Mark Stewart, Test Dept and David Tibet, Mark E Smith amongst many many more.

Coil was conceived by John Balance in 1982 as a concurrent project with Psychic TV, with whom he was working, playing bass guitar, vibes and various Tibetan instruments. In 1984 he began concentrating full time on Coil together with the co-founder of Psychic TV, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson. In addition to his role in TG and Psychic TV, Christopherson was also a member of the Hipgnosis design group who executed covers for many ‘supergroups’ of the seventies, including Led Zeppelin, Yes and Pink Floyd. John Balance has previously worked with David Tibet and Fritz Haaman in Current 93. On the Coil album Scatology, they are variously joined by Clint Ruin and Gavin Friday of Virgin Prunes. Coil have also written the soundtrack to the feature film The Angelic Conversation, directed by Derek Jarman, while the video for their version of Tainted Love is on permanent display at The Museum Of Modern Art in New York. In 1986, Coil released a mini-LP with Boyd Rice, and in 1987 an LP entitled Horse Rotorvator.

What is Coil?

Sleazy: Loosely, it’s what we do musically. We do other things apart from music but it is the term for our musical experiments. Although it’s basically me and John, we do get other people to help as well. In that way, I suppose it’s like Psychic TV regarding the set-up and collaborative aspects. Coil is also a code. A hidden universal. A key for which the whole does not exist, a spell, a spiral. A serpents SHt around a female cycle. A whirlwind in a double helix. Electricity and elementals, atonal noise and brutal poetry. A vehicle for obsessions. Kabbulah and Khaus. Thanatos and Thelema. Archangels and Antichrists. Truth and Deliberation. Traps and disorientation. Infantile, inbuilt disobedience.

Where is the term Coil derived from?

J Balance: I chose it on instinct and since then I’ve found that it actually means a noise. And there are things like the spiral, the electrical coil and contraception. The spiral is a repeating micro/macrocosmic form. From DNA to spiral galaxies. A primal symbol. lt’s a nice little word. The Black Sun that we use is a surrealist symbol from Maldoror by Isadore Ducasse. It has 10 rays (2×5). Coil are essentially a duo and five is the number of the aeon of Horus – the present time. We have a private mythology completely in tune with symbols and signs of the present aeon. We don’t believe that it should become an important part of our public image – as misinterpretation, and unnecessary and incorrect replication would possibly occur. Silence and secrecy. After all, the image of Horus most appropriate to the new aeon is of a ‘conquering child’ with his finger to his lips – the sign of silence.

What is the significance behind the title of the album Scatology?

Sleazy: Scatology in the medical sense is an obsession with human shit, or as the old fashioned dictionaries used to say, “An obsession with animal lusts and base instincts”. So it’s a combination of those two.

Why do you feel that’s important to incorporate in the title?

Sleazy: In as much as Scatology is more to be listened to as entertainment the titles of those records normally try to attract people in a slightly outrageous way and at the same time, give some indication of the atmosphere of the record. I think it’s a good title, and a lot of the songs on the record refer, either in their lyric or in their moods, to the most base of man’s instincts. It seemed quite appropriate. It is what Dali in ‘The Unspeakable Confessions of Salvador Dali’ calls “The Humanism of the Arsehole”.

What do you see as the importance behind a ritual?

Sleazy: Most people’s lives are basically devoid of anything that adds meaning. That sounds so patronising to say, but I just think that the fulfilment I get from doing things that have no immediate everyday need while at the same time fulfilling other needs, certainly indicates to me that it would be interesting for other people to try them too. And you can only use yourself as an example for how you think other people should live – rather than saying in the way that religions do, “You must do this”, or whatever.

Is it important for the ritual to be designed by the person that practises it?

Sleazy: I don’t think so, millions of people benefit from catholic rituals.

J Balance: Or The Japanese Tea Rituals. It’s the Zen philosophy that every movement means something. I think that way of living is far richer and it gives them an awareness of what and where they are. But ritual in the West is monopolised by the church, especially in Europe and the United Kingdom. People carry out rituals all the time, the English parlour obsessions with table turning, clairvoyents and wishing wells. All these exist and are practiced, but people seem to be somehow ashamed of them and would rather be represented by the church. I suppose that’s because it’s a rich organisation with ostentatious shows of power and wealth.

How would something like the Japanese Tea Ritual differ from something that the church has organised?

Sleazy: They’re not at all different in what they achieve in the person. Where they differ is that the organised church has exploited its knowledge of ritual to control people and enhance their own political end. Certainly in this country in the last thousand years the church has been a political machine that has done what it has for profit and for the advancement of the people in control. And I think it’s a pity that the church leaders have exploited their position that way because it has fucked up a lot of people in Northern Ireland, the whole of South America, Spain and most of the Far East.

J Balance: To take a blatant example like the Aztecs, their whole society was controlled by priests who knew the language and knew the way to stop the sun from dying, and so they had complete control over every member of the population. If people didn’t do certain things, they believed they’d die. The system was highly developed, very brutal and based on human sacrifice. But they believed if the Gods didn’t get their blood, then the sun would not rise and the world would end. And it’s just the same here except it’s far more insidious and hidden.

Sleazy: All that you really need for your own rituals to be valid is a belief in their abilities. The only problem is that it’s easy to have self doubt about what you’re doing. And if you have a body of other people doing a ritual that somebody else has designed, then it’s more easy to believe that it might have some power.

Is it possible to use rituals for negative purposes, to bring out evil or destructive things?

J Balance: Oh yeah, but what’s the point really? The Tibetan Bon-Po shaman priests still do this. They’ve been called the most powerful and evil magickians that ever lived. I’ve got an LP of part of a malicious, destroying ritual. “The first low-keyed monk’s voice marks the beginning of the Mahakala prayer. The chant begins with an extended description of Mahakala as well as his different emanations. The chant continues, calling upon Mahakala in his various forms to come down to earth and receive the offerings of the participants and to devour marigpa”. `The Mahakala Prayer’ – Side 2 of Lyrichord Disc LLST 7270. They go on for days and cause plague in a whole village. The energy and powers exist to be able to do that sort of thing, but what’s the point?

Sleazy: The gutter press, National Enquirer sort of mentality, use basically the same argument when dealing with more or less anything, whether it’s a nuclear bomb or a ritual. Sexuality, for example, they frown on because it is a way of having a powerful experience. Not exploiting, but using the power of human nature to do something. And if it has a possible negative power, then they immediately say that the medium is at fault.

Does the energy of the ritual come from within the person or can it be drawn from other sources?

J Balance: It doesn’t really matter where it comes from. The point is it works, that power can be summoned, generated and you can harness, manipulate and channel it, so you never need to know where it comes from.

Why do most people view a ritual or magick as being evil?

Sleazy: It’s fear of the unknown. Basically it’s because the church saw other people who were doing rituals as a threat to their control.

J Balance: They try to keep a monopoly so anything else is bad or evil and you get thrown i to hell for it. It s Christian propaganda basically. England has strong pagan roots and the church has always attempted to stamp these out. Originally by neutralising pagan temple sites and then building churches on the same sites, then by burning witches and religious persecutions. If they couldn’t kill them, they used ridicule and fear tactics to deter people from the pagan heritage. The devil is only a Christian adaptation of a neutral nature deity; Pan, Cernos, the horned gods – which are phallic. The Christian church has never been very sexual, except where the pagan undercurrent has been allowed to emerge because it was too strong to suppress completely. The devil is a representation of pagan sexuality, which is why people are attracted to it even when seen as a Christian invention.

Sleazy: At the moment we’re sort of going through a right-wing backlash against the freedom of the sixties and seventies, certainly in terms of sex. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years time there was a religious resurgence of interest in the church.

Were the angels symbolic of a larger concept on ‘How to Destroy Angels’?

Sleazy: All of what we do is symbolic on several different levels at once, so you can interpret angels as being a number of things, whether it’s the controlling influence of the church, or whether it’s an unnecessary desire to retain virginity.

J Balance: When I thought of the title, all these things went through me. It was a record to accumulate enough power to destroy theoretical angels – Christian gossamer angels don’t seem hard to destroy. It was a curious matter of fact title, almost like a manual a handbook you’d come across which could be the key to immense power and change.

Do you think that Coil will vary to a large extent from TG live?

Sleazy: Yeah, the trouble with playing live is that everything has to be done on the spot more or less. And nobody in TG was a particularly great musician. Basically that narrows down your options as to what you can do live. You can rely very heavily on backing tapes, you can just do your best or you can bring in other musicians. And none of those options are very acceptable to me. Just doing your best and trying to work out sounds that one could reproduce competently and that sounded interesting was really what TG were doing. It got to the point where we couldn’t go any further and that’s one of the reasons why we split up. And the Psychic TV dates that we did in the Summer and Autumn of 1983 didn’t really go any further than TG had. We had Alex playing, who is a good musician in that he can play proper guitar, but jams even with good musicians tend to sound like what their influences are. And so a lot of Psychic TV stuff ended up sounding like The Velvet Underground, which didn’t seem to me like it was advancing anything.

J Balance: Although the ideas were interesting live, it became more brutal and relied on the noise element while the ideas got swamped. I mean it’s alright for people who had heard the records before and knew what we were about and they got energy off it, but it wasn’t much more than a sort of controlled noise with a cause behind it. Which on reflection seems pretty reasonable, but something wasn’t right. Genesis would probably say it was our attitude.

Sleazy: Well that’s alright, but the reason why we haven’t really done any live dates is because we haven’t actually solved this problem of what to do. Certainly we could rely more on backing tapes in the way that a lot of groups do, but people really want that sort of dense atmosphere and rely on that adrenalin rush and I don’t know if you can get that from backing tapes.

What did you see as the function or purpose behind Throbbing Gristle?

Sleazy: To see if it was actually possible to get people to react physically. And also we were just trying to advance our intellectual and artistic aspirations in a new way, because prior to that we hadn’t been doing music at all. And also to have fun and attract young people who we could fuck. All the reasons people normally have groups. (laughs)

Is there such a thing as inaudible sound?

Sleazy: Pardon? (laughs) The theory of all that stuff is that if you actually play something at a lower level or backwards or in flashes on the screen it’s absorbed by the subconscious mind which acts upon it immediately. But I’ve never had any information or evidence that it works. People say The Rolling Stones album `Their Satanic Majesty’s Request’ has reverse masking and it says, “Come to Satan”, or something. I mean it’s all bullshit, it doesn’t work in my view.

J Balance: Records are very crude as far as recording and playback quality goes and there is no way that scientific experiments can be done in this medium. I think holophonics are far more interesting anyway. Stevo gets accused of doing a big hoax and so does Zuccarelli who developed the system. With holophonics we were able to get atmospheric subliminals and record a particular feeling including the spatial limits of a room or a cave and the movements of people in it. But I remain very dubious about back masking and inaudible sounds having profound but subtle effects.

Sleazy: Coil are interested in subliminals of another kind – delirium subliminals. Avatistic glimpses of a grand chaos – surfacing in flashes of black light – in darkest Dali, Jarry, the Moomintrolls, The Virgin Prunes, in the face of Edith Sitwell, Boyd Rice’s humour – emotional subliminals. Psychic information, partly deliberate, mostly instinctive.

Do you think that ghost images in a visual picture have an effect on people?

J Balance: I think they possibly have more effect. Apparently ‘The Exorcist’ originally had dead animals subliminally put in and they had to take them out. I mean there s,as a huge reaction about people being sick because it was the first high class splatter movie. It has more chance of having an effect if you see adverts many times – and they’re not subliminal. If you see adverts for ice cream, next time you’re in the shop, you go, “I’ll have one of them”, because you’ve seen it on telly. It just works on a crass level like that.

Sleazy: But there are lots of things that happen with films that could be exploited more, just things that you see in the background that you don’t notice but are actually there.

J Balance: All of these subjects – subliminals, back-masking, cut-ups, the Industrial group’s subjects – culled from Burroughs’ ‘The Job’ and ‘The Electronic Revolution’, have been done to death… And not very well. Sonic research is very hard to do properly on a Rough Trade advance or whatever. It maintains a pseudo-science, it has a wishy-washy quality that I don’t particularly want to be associated with. I’d rather been seen as a perverse noise unit with decidedly dubious musical leanings. I admire the intentions of all these groups, but the purity or scope of the possibilities are diminished by huge amounts in the translation to vinyl. Z’ev and NON seem to remain pure – as do Sonic Youth, but they’re coming from a different area as far as I can tell. In the end, the intentions alone can be appreciated – golden conceptualists and dull records type of situation.

Do you think that music is the best medium to get your ideas across to people?

Sleazy: No, I think film and television is by far the strongest because it’s a way of really affecting all of us. If you could affect the senses of smell and touch as well, it would be stronger still.

Is there a difference between chance and fate?

Sleazy: I don’t think there’s such a thing as fate really. I don’t think there’s such a thing as chance either, but that’s different. Fate implies that a certain thing is bound to happen, but I don’t think that’s the case. To rely on logic, then obviously whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. But at the same time, the implication that it’s out of your control is obviously rubbish. At any point you have a myriad of choices, whether it’s running and jumping out of the window or not Obviously things happen as a result of circumstances that one could not possible foresee and that is what one calls chance.

In the studio, does the recording process differ much with how you’ve worked previously?

J Balance: With Coil we lay down the backbone ourselves, and if we want to we collaborate with other people. With PTV it was more of a jam, things spontaneously arose out of rehearsals.

Sleazy: But all the PTV records that we were involved in were fundamentally done in the same way that we do now, which is to set down a rhythm and just lay things on top of it as they seem appropriate.

Do you think that you can change society through music?

Sleazy: No, I don’t think you can change anything with music particularly?

J Balance: But then again, a group like Crass might say it’s not necessarily their music, but the message that’s coupled with it. We’re very cautious about having one heavy message, but we do have a life style and I do want to change a lot of things. We’re obviously not like Ultravox where their album and the way they view life may be quite separate.

Sleazy: I actually don’t know any members of Ultravox personally, but my suspicion is that the content of their lyrics actually isn’t very deep and doesn’t concern very many of the things that I’m interested in. So that’s one of the reasons I don’t buy Ultravox records. Music is just an expression of the taste of the person that’s doing it, and that is ultimately why you buy a record – whether it’s Johnny Rotten or Captain Beefheart.

J Balance: If you hear a record you like and you suddenly find out that the people responsible do something that you’re really against, then you probably won’t listen to the record in the same light.

But shouldn’t music be judged on its own merit?

J Balance: I don’t think it should just by the song. They should have a sense of realisation that people do tie the two things together.

Sleazy: That’s a very difficult question because having been around the ‘business’ for a long while, I’ve met people whose music I’ve respected but whom I discovered 1 didn’t respect as people. And certainly that changed my perception of their music and their work.

Do you think that is elitist in some ways?

Sleazy: I think we are elitist. I know that I am a bit of a snob in some ways. I mean we’re talking about politics now and that is about how much self respect you have and whether you think your opinion is actually better than somebody else’s. And the important thing Go remember is that one’s own opinion is the best there is for you but not necessarily somebody else. It has got to do with whether you are big headed enough to think that -our own opinions are the ones other people should hold. And I think that’s very dangerous. I have certain very strong views about particular things that other people would certainly think were elitist, unusual or unacceptable. But I only hold those views for myself and I wouldn’t necessarily expect other people to enjoy the things that I enjoy. And likewise, I would expect them not to force me to live in the way that they do. Coincidentally we have touched upon a very common misconception – which is that elitism is a bad thing. It’s also an old misconception that it’s important to do a particular kind of music at a particular time. I mean you can look back on certain songs as being ‘classic’ or completely different from anything else at the time, but it’s all temporary. I think it’s worse in America where people tend to accept commercial dogmas more readily. In England, the eccentric is part of the history of the country. There has always been the village idiot.

J Balance: Does that make us the village idiots?

Sleazy: No, but there’s the whole tradition, Oscar Wilde or Quentin Crisp or whatever, as being acceptable as the local weirdo in a sense. And the people that do that in America are far more out on a limb until they get some commercial success. I mean New York is a cultural island relative to the midwest – where the people that do weird records have a difficult time. At least in England people are prepared to listen to something new with an open mind, so it’s that much easier. It may be crazy, but I still have an optimistic hope that free thinkers will be allowed to continue to do so because most of them are not threatening to society even though society might feel that they are. That is why we’re lucky in Britain in that we accept eccentrics and people that do things out of the ordinary as being a healthy and contributory part of society’s existence.

J Balance: But you make it sound like it’s idealistic and that all these things are allowed to happen. There are huge backlashes all the time against those who appear to deviate. But society needs the deviants in order to change. There’s this thing, “Let them grow up so far and perpetuate some sort of change and then beat them down again”. It’s as if society, like an organism, allows mutation in order to improve itself but keeps a tight rein on how much actually occurs.

Sword imagery creeps into several Coil tracks. Is that simply a phallic symbol?

J Balance: We didn’t mean it as a phallic symbol. If you get Freudian then it’s definitely a phallic symbol, but in magick it’s not. The sound of the swords on ‘How To Destroy Angels’ represents Mars, as in martial, the God of Spring and War, who cabalistically represents dynamic, positive change. The sword is a symbol of willpower.

Sleazy: Although I certainly wouldn’t describe us as militaristic, we recognise that man has an aggressive streak. I don’t think the peace movement, for example, has got any real hope of succeeding. You have to recognise the nature of man, accept it and use it.

J Balance: It’s the way things happen isn’t it? Its created force is what we’re aiming at, rather than militaristic, crass and obviously masculine, sexist type things. Rough Trade actually said that the cover notes to `How To Destroy Angels’ were misogynist, which I find ridiculous just because it dealt with masculine qualities.

Sleazy: They stocked the record and it sold out, but I don’t think they were too happy about it. And they didn’t put the poster up either because it was too extreme for them. In man – ways the people that are supposed to be spearheading the libertarian view are just as limited in their view as the gutter press and the more conservative elements.

J Balance: Their ideals often disagree with the practical way they work. They’ll say, “Oh yes, we support free thinking and things”, but when you actually bring a copy of it into the shop, they’ll smash it if it disagrees with their personal sensibilities.

Sleazy: You’re bound to come into contact with hypocrisy when you step out the door really. The only thing you can do is to try and make sure it doesn’t take place in your own home.

What inspired ‘The Sewage Workers Birthday Party’?

Sleazy: It came from a story of the same name in a magazine called Mr S&M, a Scandinavian publication which is basically fetishistic in its content. It’s an area I’m interested in anyway. We wanted to try and express it in musical form, and I’m personally quite pleased with the way it turned out. It’s an interesting piece of music even if you don’t know the original story and where it came from. I’d have liked to print it, but I don’t think the people doing the covers would have actually accepted it.

Does it seem strange doing dance music now?

J Balance: Are we doing dance music?

Sleazy: When Throbbing Gristle did ‘Twenty Jazz Funk Greats’, it was the intention to do something that was more conventional in that form, but it wasn’t totally successful because we didn’t really know how to do it. We still don’t know how to do it, it’s just that we wanted to make some of the music a little more up tempo, aggressive and rhythmic. But it’s certainly not a considered attempt to do a dance record, because I think if we tried to do that it would be a disaster. I can’t speak for the intentions of others, but I get the impression that The Art Of Noise were really a very considered attempt to do dance music in a way that would be artistic and fashionable. And it feels to me that the results are sterile and not very interesting.

J Balance: It all depends on what dance you’re going to do. I think that The Birthday Party were dance music, but it wasn’t the kind of thing that got played in discos very often.

Do you think that anybody has added a great deal of depth to a song which is also very entertaining and commercially accepted?

Sleazy: It’s very hard because you don’t know what people’s reasons for doing the records were. ‘Endless Sleep’ by The Poppy Family, `Tainted Love’ by Gloria Jones, ‘Seasons in the Sun’ by Terry Jacks, and ‘Emma’ by Hot Chocolate, to name a few, seem to work on lots of different levels, but I don’t know whether that was the intention of them in the first place. I mean from The Beatles onwards, some records have struck at exactly the right time for them to be amazingly successful and also interesting from some other philosophical or inspirational point of view. I think that’s true for films as well. That’s probably one of the most satisfying things for a creative person to do, because that spiritual or philosophical side stands or falls for what it is.

What do you think about cults that develop around certain bands, such as the mimicking of haircuts and dress that became noticeable with TG and PTV.

J Balance: Thoughtless and crass mimicking of anything is worthless.

Sleazy: It’s one thing to dress a particular way and to meet other people that have by their own route arrived at similar conclusions. But to wear things because one’s hero or idol happens to wear them is really weird and a bit unhealthy – and slightly distasteful. That whole thing of Marc Almond clones – even though Marc’s terrific. It’s the same with Bowie clones. It’s ironic as well because at the time we were in PTV, one of the messages of the group was free thinking and independence from that kind of thing. I can’t speak for what they’re doing now because they’re going their own way and I wish them well, but there’s no way that I personally could continue to be a part of that.

How important is image to Coil?

Sleazy: We haven’t established an image for Coil as such. Although we obviously have interests slightly apart from the norm, we haven’t particularly gone out of our way to create an image. In many ways it works against us because that means when we do occasionally give interviews, people don’t really know what to ask.

J Balance: We’ve got the added problem that we could easily rely on ex-PTV and play up all the same things, but we make a conscious effort to play down those things even though some of the aspects we’re still very much involved in. We’re making a conscious effort to be isolationists. I think it might become our image in a way. I suppose some people might try and pick up on the fact that we’re gay and associate us with that – like Bronski Beat who were only ever thought of in that context.

Sleazy: It’s a question of really not allowing ourselves to be reduced to two dimensional objects. Although sexuality is fairly important part of what we do, it’s by no means the only part and I don’t see it as a restriction.

Why are so many people scared away by some of the imagery that TG and PTV made use of, such as skulls etc.?

Sleazy: I think that it must be that we have a different threshold, a different interpretation upon imagery. I mean it’s a cliche to say this, but I’ve been at home and felt happier in fairly desolate and lonely sorts of places. And if people get scared by photos of the Berlin wall or something like that, then I just can’t perceive of the life they lead and how they could find it scary, because it just seems natural to me. A vast proportion of what we do and the way that we live our lives would probably freak out the majority of civilised people, simply because it’s out of the norm of their experience. It would certainly freak out my mum. We don’t have any wallpaper, we’ve got rat shit everywhere, it’s just a completely different way of living. But the reason that people get frightened is because of their interpretation of those things, not because of the reality of them. It’s easy for a person to interpret a photo of you holding a skull, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a devil worshipper or a necrophiliac. It’s their interpretation which is at fault. If my mum was living here, after a while she would probably think it completely normal and would have a much more realistic scale to determine whether I was a nice person or not. It’s a very dangerous thing that some of the newspapers and the media do because it’s so easy for them. And they’re going to sell newspapers for being outrageous and saying, “Naughty Vicar”, and “VD Hospital”, shift. But outrage has always been a commodity. I mean Boy George, The Sex Pistols and everything are all manufactured, totally. But none of us, even Gen, has ever done anything really to make mileage out of being outrageous, it just comes naturally. Which is quite different I think. Although you see people on the subway with whom you feel you have absolutely nothing in common with and possibly even dislike just because of the kind of people they are, I’d rather have nothing to do with them. I don’t think it’s even worth going to the effort of outraging them. I just wish they weren’t there.

Is there anything else that should be known about Coil?

Sleazy: We have talked quite a lot about ritual and I’m not sure if that gives a true picture of what we do. Because although it is part of our lives, it’s not something that we would particularly be interested in having a name for promoting amongst young people. The Temple Ov Psychic Youth was an attempt to bring ritual to other people. I wouldn’t really want to be seen doing that still, because I don’t feel it is my job to tell people how they should live. But if they want to ask me, that’s fine.

Charles Neil

PETER SLEAZY CHRISTOPERSON: 27 February 1955 – 24 November 2010

Along with the rest of Throbbing Gristle, Sleazy was a bold provocateur and activist. But he was also one of the most innovative musicians of his generation.

It’s impossible to overstate the influence of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, who died in his sleep yesterday, aged just 55. As a founding member of Throbbing Gristle, he was part of one of the most experimental and notorious British groups of all time. The first industrial band, their music covered everything from machine-like noise to almost quaintly melodic electro-pop. I can still remember the shock of realising the catchy United single was by the same people who I’d seen posing topless (along with female member Cosey Fanni Tutti) when it felt like pornography had suddenly infiltrated NME.

Formed in 1975, their outrages – which included performing naked, vomiting onstage and writing songs about burning bodies – created considerable controversy. Even the punks threw things. The tabloids frothed, and MP Nicholas Fairbairn gave the ultimate seal of condemnation/approval when he pronounced the band “wreckers of civilisation” – shortly before he was arrested for indecent exposure, thus exposing the hypocrisy that Christopherson and pals had sworn to highlight.

Throbbing Gristle’s art statements – or “sick stunts”, depending on your view – will outlive them. Christopherson was one of his generation’s first openly gay musicians, railing against homophobia and “Christian perversions” such as monogamy, while making music designed to help others live with HIV. But he was first and foremost one of the boldest, most innovative musicians of his generation.

His music has influenced everything from Marilyn Manson to techno. Joy Division’s Ian Curtis was a fan. Sleazy helped Throbbing Gristle frontman Genesis P-Orridge form the similarly influential Psychic TV, while Trent Reznor’s new band, How to Destroy Angels, take their name from the “ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy” of Coil, Christopherson’s trailblazing band. Fronted by Christopherson and his partner, John Balance – arguably pop’s firstly openly gay duo – Coil produced dark music that appeared in the films of Derek Jarman. Prior to this, Christopherson worked as a designer for the hugely influential agency Hipgnosis, creating iconic record sleeves for the likes of Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd.

Christopherson was a man ahead of his time. He built electronic equipment and used digital sampling onstage years before Fairlight synths made it a staple tool in pop. He put together videos for everyone from Soft Cell’s Marc Almond to Paul McCartney. He was innovating right up until his death – in a Throbbing Gristle re-formed “to destroy our own myth” and as director of The Threshold Houseboys Choir, a band featuring computer-generated vocals.

Born in Leeds to an academic family, and benefiting from an education that enabled him to study computer programming and video, Christopherson explained that Throbbing Gristle’s innovation came about because the band were social misfits who had no idea what they were doing and so did not recognise rules. His nickname, along with his bands’ fearsome reputations, belies the truth of a gentle, much-loved soul with a benign manner, who loved “silly electronic gadgets”.

This summer, after Throbbing Gristle concerts were cancelled amid rumours of an illness, Christopherson insisted: “We are all only temporary curators of our present bodies, which will all decay, sooner or later. In a hundred years or so all the humans currently alive will have died. I take great comfort in knowing, with certainty, that thing that makes us special, able to enrich our own lives and those of others, will not cease when our bodies do but will be just starting a new (and hopefully even better) adventure … ”

Even in death, Peter Martin Christopherson is still giving us something to think about, which we should celebrate.

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Penguin

1985 - 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution 1988 - 1991 King Penguin Distribution 1989 - ???? Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

31 thoughts on “Coil – L.A.Y.L.A.H Records – 1984”

  1. Re: Bulldogbreed

    Nice find! Some monged out hippy ex-pal of Syd Barrett played this to me in his squat over two decades ago. He then gave me a couple of Kenneth Grant books for free which was jolly nice of him. (Even if they are the unreadable ramblings of utter apophenia.)

    Think I met the aforesaid hippy just after the Spare retrospective at the Morley.(?) It was a powerful meme at the time in squatterdom. (More Hackney than Brixton ironically.)

    Cheers!

  2. Kenneth Grant unreadable? No way… as KG himself says:

    It is not my purpose to try and prove anything; my aim is to construct a magical mirror capable of reflecting some of the less elusive images seen as shadows of a future aeon [age]. This I do by means of suggestions, evocation, and by those oblique and ‘inbetweenness concepts’ that Austin Spare defined as ‘Neither-Neither’.

    When, this is understood, the reader’s mind becomes receptive to the influx of certain concepts that can, if received undistortedly, fertilize the unknown dimensions of his consciousness. In order to achieve this aim a new manner of communication has to be evolved; language itself has to be reborn, revivified, and given a new direction and a new momentum. The truly creative image is born of creative imagining, and this is- ultimately-an irrational process that transcends the grasp of human logic. [from Outside the Circles of Time,1980, Introduction, p.12/3, online at
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/7268735/grant-outside-the-circles-of-time ]

    For KG, ‘deep, dreamless sleep’ is where true/full/pure consciousness/self exists. Dreaming sleep is where creative consciousness resides. Everyday life is the distorted reflection of this creative realm, haunted by the illusion of a separate individual self living in what seems like a material world, but which is more like a waking / lucid dream. For KG there is no objective reality…

    One of KG’s favourite buzzwords is ‘reification’ [To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence.] This allows a possible Marxist interpretation of magic ( or a magical interpretation of Marx) which leads on via Georg Lukacs to Debord and the ‘Society of the Spectacle’, since Debord borrowed from Lukacs’ ‘History and Class Consciousness’… see this which I found at
    http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/502/lukacs.html

    What is extraordinary about Lukács is that he was one of the few Marxist philosophers who really added something to Marx’s views. Lukács goes further than Marx, developing the notion of reification in a way it is not developed in Capital. For Lukács, commodity fetishism was the “basic phenomenon of reification”, which refers to the process through which the exchange of the products leads to the transformation of social relations among human beings into apparently natural relations among things.

    The problem is that Lukács identifies reification with objectivity, whereas they cannot be considered socially or conceptually identical: “It is in Hegel that we first encounter alienation as the fundamental problem of man in the world and vis-à-vis the world. However, in the term ‘alienation’, he includes every type of objectification.” Thus ‘alienation’, when taken to its logical conclusion, is identical with objectification. Therefore, when the identical subject-object transcends alienation it must also transcend objectification at the same time. But since, according to Hegel, the object, the thing, exists only as an alienation from self-consciousness, to take it back into the subject would mean the end of objective reality and thus of any reality at all.

    History and class consciousness follows Hegel in that it too equates alienation (Entfremdung) with objectification (Vergegenständlichung). It is necessary to make such distinction, because only in certain forms of society is there reification of external objects. And without this distinction, it means that de-reification will imply that there are no objects, material or social. [Quote ends]

    De-reification? Wasn’t that a song by Zounds?

  3. Oh my! Couldn’t you have left Lukacs out of this? (I never found him a very subtle thinker personally – first read him at age 16 sums it up really – His marxism was debateable too – just a naive neo-Hegelian intellectual caught up in extraordinary times.)

    As for KG’s prose, Joyce did it a hell of a lot more poetically and artistically than the Slime Lord imho. Finnegan’s Wake pisses all over those garish “Typhonian trilogies” and all that dreadful artwork by his wife. And the whole HPL thing bored the pants off of me to be honest. As it still does.

    Less really is more.

  4. Umm…here is a bit more…a spin-off from my local history research was discovering that some farmers’ sons from Galloway became leading cotton-spinning capitalists in Manchester -see http://www.ancoatsbpt.co.uk/projects_mills.htm and Engels’ ‘Condition of the Working Classes in England’- based on Manchester in 1842.

    I then found that another Galloway lad became an important political economist-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ramsay_McCulloch -and was criticised by Engels and then Marx, and was (probably) read by Hegel as well.

    To add another local lad into the mix, Thomas Carlyle wrote ‘Signs of the Times’ (which described 1829 as ‘the mechanical age’) and ‘Sartor Resartus’(which reads like Kenneth Grant in places) while living at Craigenputtock farm in Galloway. Carlyle also knew McCulloch and the Manchester capitalists – and Engels and Marx both read/reviewed/critiqued Carlyle…

    For my next project (my PhD?) the plan is to see if I can make anything of this – perhaps bringing in the contrast between the water-powered cotton mills of Galloway and the steam-powered cotton mills of Manchester as symbolising the shift from Hegel’s vision of an enlightened, rational, ordered society and Engels/Marx’s vision of the chaos and disorder of industrial capitalism. [A possibility Hegel may have glimpsed in his last writings on the English reform Bill of 1831.] Lukacs comes into this since he (e.g. the Young Hegel which I am just about to read) tried to re-connect Marx with Hegel.

    …and finally. A Lovecraft/Engels connection? Might be possible to make some kind of equation between Engels fascination/horror at the condition of Manchester’s Irish community and Lovecraft’s fascination/horror with the seething masses of urban poor.

    Re:-Joyce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lscRNsyEzs4

    Mulligan stew for Bloom,
    the only Jew in the room
    Saxon’s sick on the holy dregs
    and their constant getting throw up on his leg.

    Molly’s gone to blazes,
    Boylan’s crotch amazes
    any woman whose husband sleeps with his head
    all buried down at the foot of his bed.

    I’ve got his arm
    I’ve got his arm
    I’ve had it for weeks
    I’ve got his arm
    Steven won’t give his arm
    to no gold star mother’s farm;
    War’s good business so give your son
    and I’d rather have my country die for me.

  5. If anyone is interested there is a new blog devoted to many of these bands and their related acts being ‘a new fascist threat to the world’.

    Personally, I think it’s bollocks since half the bands mentioned on the blog link I add here couldn’t fill a pub basement in Krakow, let alone pose a threat to the world as we know it — but there you go.

    http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/

    There is much mention here of the ‘danger’ posed by Tibet, Steve Ignorant, and other anarcho punks.

  6. Thanks Guvna – I found a post ‘From anarcho-punk to fascism’ on the site you link to. Here is a quote from it:

    One aspect of the situation that deserves having more light thrown on it is the extent of overlap or continuity between the anarcho-punk and Fascist milieus in the early 80s. On the left is a picture of Gary Smith around the time that he was a member of his first band The Decadent Few. According to their mySpace pages; “Formed in East London,1984 by Kaya, Mike, Bernie and Mark of YOUTH IN ASIA, plus Steph of HAGAR THE WOMB briefly, Decadent Few’s first gig was at Studio One in Slough, June 1984. Mark and Steph had stepped out by this point and a friend, Gary, was taught Bass by Mike in vintage Paul Simenon-style, i.e. coloured stickers on the frets to denote where to play which note which song.

    Luckily, Gary learnt fast and this line up played regularly across London with bands like FLOWERS IN THE DUSTBIN, TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN, STIGMA, ANDY LOVEBUG & THE TENDERHEARTS and the WET PAINT THEATRE, a Punk Theatre Company” [Quote ends]

    I have asked for a clarification – are Flowers in the Dustbin, Youth in Asia and Hagar the Womb alleged to be fascist fellow-travellers? And – by association – does this extend to anarcho-punk generally?

    The post brings in Crass:

    In his autobiography Crass founder Penny Rimbaud talks about how the group initially had a sizeable contingent of NF / British Movement (BM) supporters among their fans, and first adopted the anarchist symbol merely as a way of keeping both the NF and SWP at bay by taking up a position that was neither Fascist nor Socialist but independent of both (the SWP and RCP apparently had the cheek to ask Crass to play anti-Nazi gigs). This, of course, is to duck the issues rather than taking a clear anti-fascist stance. [Quote ends]

  7. Al Puppy, I really find the ‘let’s sniff out a fascist’ tone of that blog laughable — “Are you, or have you ever been, or have you ever known someone who has ever seen, or been even near a fascist in the last thirty years.”

    Blimey, don’t the blokes who run the blog have anything better to do with their time? The ‘fascist’ bands they are chasing around probably would have trouble filling a pub basement in a Suffolk village — hardly a threat to civilisation as we know it.

    And all the Evola and Junger ‘fanatics’ they whip themselves into a frenzy about, are probably no more than a handful of librarians in a huff from Burgess Hill or Woking.

    I am not saying that hard right ideas aren’t a threat — clearly, fascism is a danger, and it manifests in diverse forms.

    But let’s just say chasing around David Tibet on account of his ‘fascist’ paintings, or imagining Steve Ignorant was once on a ‘fascist’ record thirty years ago, is hardly addressing the threat is it.

  8. ALPuppy, I quote someone who — satirically — posted the following on that thread.

    “But . . . but . . . what about Steve Ignorant in Epping Forest living only FIVE MILES away from Tibet in Walthamstow? I heard that they both used the SAME BRAND of sauce on their chips. I hear that they have stood on the SAME STAGE (although, admittedly, not necessarily at the same time, or on the same day). Surely this is more than just “coincidence”? Can’t we just torch both their houses, just to make sure they’re not a threat to the rest of us? ”

    And here’s another gem ( satirically ) posted by curtain twitcher AKA worried of dagenham, who said…

    “I feel very worried : maybe someone can advise me — I went round my mate’s house in Romford –and I found he had a DAF album when he was a teenager.

    What should I do? I mean, he may make other people get into really really bad ideas. And then,all of a sudden, quite casual like, he mentioned some song he liked by DAF about Mussolini or someone — I don’t mind telling you that, blimey, that was when I got very very worried.

    Should I report him to somebody, I mean there must be somebody to report him to.

    I mean….maybe he’s playing *some kind of game* — you know, like — a game to make ME a fascist too.”

  9. guvna – where on the site does it say these bands are ‘a new fascist threat to the world’?

    I did a quick search and couldn’t find that quote anywhere.

    Surely you haven’t just made it up?!

  10. Errr…Geeza, I was being a bit tongue in cheek actually, about the general tone of the page…..

    And you probably are too…..

    Personally, I don’t like that genre of music, and the bands’ ‘aesthetic’ flirtations aint my thing, but I just think the danger they pose is negligible in the wider scheme of things.

  11. Playing devil’s advocate – if the blog owner’s just shooting fish in a barrel and wasting his time, why do so many people keep responding him to with lengthy counter-arguments, and bringing the site up on other forums and doing the whole “what is he like?” act?

    Also, he hasn’t slagged off Coil or C93 as fascists.

    I agree that most of the people mentioned only attract miniscule audiences. Though I haven’t read any Evola, it all sounds like a bunch of miserable people hiding from reality and current affairs, cos Narnia sounds better. And let’s face it, some of the neo-folk fans are so slavish in their adoration, they’re ripe for winding up.

    Still, philosophy’s never been my strong point. Too much thinking. Makes people hang themselves.

  12. Martin – you are no doubt right that if ‘fascism in music’ was a non-problem there would not be so many responses to the site. What has me more worried is the slippery slope evident in mainstream society revealed in apparent popular support for the coalition government’s attack on the disabled as ‘welfare scroungers’.

    As the parent of a disabled son, the sheer venom directed against ‘scroungers’ in the comments on even the Guardian’s website is scary. There seems to be a significant number of people who are so keen to support the coalition’s desire to slash the welfare budget that they would happily see ‘genuinely’ disabled people suffer in order get rid of the ‘fakers’.

    Such views may be a very watered down version of full on fascism, but they are too close to eugenics [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics ]
    for my liking and so worry me more than the doings of obscure musicians.

  13. I have responded on a few threads there, and I think some of the posters, like you Al, feel anger and concern at REAL fascism, and therefore feel irritated at deflecting criticism onto cynical ‘pop’ groups — which after all is what some of those bands are, albeit very bad ones.

    I don’t know — I know those bands are probably pretty nasty people — but with so much REAL fascism in the world, why not focus energies there instead?

  14. How about you go and set up your own site to discuss “REAL fascism” then?

    Last time I checked there were dozens of websites, forums and organisations countering the BNP, the EDL and the crypto-fascists in parliament. But only a handful covering issues like ‘who makes the nazis’.

    And yet your priority is to spend time posting on WMTNs, or talking about that site here.

    Comical.

  15. Thanks amusing. I enjoyed reading it. You are right I am sure. Now you run along now, and make sure you drink your milk and cookies before creating more hysteria about sad bands like SPK and David Tibet. You really are taking on the big boys aren’t you.

    You wouldn’t have the courage in you to take on real threat, so run along and distract yourself some more with pop groups, won’t you.

    Heh heh heh..very very funny indeed.

    How about DAF next? Tanz der mussolini indeed..

  16. Who’s creating “hysteria” about David Tibet and SPK? Not me…

    My political activity is nicely varied and exciting, thank you very much. And it certainly isn’t limited to making snide comments on blogs 🙂

    How about you?

  17. Wow take a few days off from KYPP and a fascist witch hunt starts? So all of this starts with AL talking about Gary Smith and nobody else who knew Gary responds? Weird! Okay I’ll play. Gary was never the brightest bulb on the Xmas tree. He used to have an a in a circle tattoo and followed the crass party line for the time he was in Decadent Few but started getting bored with that scene and got into the flirting with nazi imagery/Death in June/wearing girls underwear/Psychic TV and in the words of the great Joe Strummer “He who fucks nuns later joins the church”.

    So AL as a clarification, Steph, Mark, Mick & Kay etc were not in any way shape or form nazi collaborators at the time. Gary simply changed his mind. I have no idea what happened to him, but like most fascist skins he probably eventually came to terms with his repressed homosexuality and gave all that nonsense up.

  18. Al -oh, I agree… in the grand scheme of things, there are plenty of priorities higher up the list than stiff right-armed folk musicians… the example you mentioned being just one. And the guy’s blog would be pretty laughable if he was hyping it as an all-out expose’ of covert racism, bigotry and social injustice. But it’s just one blog, out of hundreds of thousands, that happens to be focusing on a particular, small musical genre. I don’t see what’s wrong with pointing these things out, or questioning particular musicians’ motives (wasn’t that the whole point with TG/PTV?). Even if the only outcome’s that some bored teenagers – looking for ‘edgy’, badass, dark material – don’t waste their time and money on depressing, twee nonsense about volkish villages, I think the blog would have done something useful.

  19. In case anyone is interested in what the WMTN blog actually says, it doesn’t argue that neo-Folk, etc., Fascists are the world’s number one problem, it simply proposes to discuss them. Of course you should prioritise fighting more immediate problems. I strongly advise you only to read the blog if you are interested in the subject matter, which is broadly about Fascist presence within, and use of, popular cultures.

    Neither does the blog describe Tibet or Steve Ignorant or SPK as Fascists. Indeed, it specifically argues that they aren’t. But don’t let this put you off assuming that the blog is run by bleeding heart liberals who want to witch-hunt anyone who even vaguely disagrees with them – that would spoil the fun.

    Oh, and Gary Smith didn’t just start “flirting with nazi imagery”, he also played in the notorious Nazi group No Remorse alongside Combat 18 leader Will Browning, as well as being generally active in Nazi politics.

  20. Actually as someone that knew him really well and got to watch the transition from anarcho to nazi there was a stage where he was just flirting with the imagery. Also as someone that knew him I do think you are giving him way too much credit, Gary was always a bit of a clown and I have no doubt that whatever band he was in and whatever flag he was holding that day he was and still is a clown.

  21. I’ve read the blog in question, and as someone who is on the fringes of the Industrial scene, find it interesting if slightly depressing reading.
    I wanted to like DIJ because I liked Crisis, and gave them the benefit of the doubt for the 1st 12″.
    I was never quite sure what their position was, but I was disturbed enough by the imagery they were using to drop my interest very quickly, and have only really had any contact with their ideas via people (about 2) who I know who are into them.
    Neither of these people are fascists or idiots and they have consistently denied that DIJ are fascists, and I have consistently said “Well they shouldn’t dress like the SA, and use the totenkopf symbol all the time then, should they?”
    I’m pretty sure DIJ ARE fascists and it doesn’t do any harm to say so loudly and often, if only if it will stop people being seduced by their (admitedly very well designed) imagery and ‘mystique’ and actually buying their records, which will obviously enable them to make more records.
    For similar reasons I have resisted buying any of the Crisis re-issues because a proportion of the money will go to Tony Wakeford/ Doug P.

    To be fair I don’t think the author of the blog is pretending to do anything but what he is doing; ie focussing on a small but significant sub genre of the post-punk diaspora (which is what this site is doing more or less), so he shouldn’t be criticised for not ending fascism immediately by the power of the internet.

    AL: For some reason I can’t post on the site, but I think you’re both getting a bit carried away in your disagreement over Rimbaud’s comment on the BM skinheads. I don’t think it constitutes being “basically an apologist for the British Movement.”, but I don’t think the author of the blog is trying to suggest their was a serious current of fascism in the anarcho-punk scene.

    My own feeling is that there were a lot of politically confused people in the anarcho-punk scene – some who were anarchists, some who weren’t. Some of them probably had racist/ fascist tendancies to a lesser or greater degree – does anyone come fully formed to a political position? Some people quite clearly held contradictary positions (again, who doesn’t – it’s part of finding out who you are).

    Mitch Flacko was a vocal Stalinist and continues to defend him to this day, and no-one felt the need to exclude him from anything (I have to say, I don’t actually believe that he is a Stalinist, he just likes winding people up). So there were probably people with dodgy ideas kicking around, some who abandoned them and some who didn’t. That to me was one of the best things about that scene, it was about trying to change people’s minds.

    I’ve commented before on the whole TG/ PTV use of fascist imagery, so I won’t go into that here.

  22. Just as an afterthought – you know how many people are friends with DIJ on facebook?
    12,744
    I think that would fill a decent sized basement in Krakow.

    Also, anyone notice the lapel badge that Jonh Balance is sporting on his harrington in the pictures above?

    If I wear a CND badge it’s reasonable for people to assume I agree with their aims. If I wear an SS totenkopf….

  23. Nick – I agree that ‘there were a lot of politically confused people in the anarcho-punk scene’. I have just suggested on Strelnikov’s blog that if ‘hippy-punk’ (which was used at the time as an insult) rather than ‘anarcho-punk’ had become the label used, it would have caused less confusion.

    Anarcho-punk implies that it was a more politically aware and engaged scene than it actually was. Hippy-punk as a label contains the confusion as a paradox/ oxymoron and so gets out of the difficulty of trying to fit anarcho-punk within the confines of a coherent political ideology – thirty years later.

    Having gone over the ‘history of anarcho-punk’ many times over the past few years, its relation to punk and punk’s relationship to the wider counterculture – I see anarcho-punk as a moment in the return of punk to the counterculture e.g. Stonehenge Free Festival – rather than a movement from punk to historical anarchism. So hippy-punk is the more appropriate label to stick on it.

  24. John

    Well done for responding. what you (and Ruth and Kaya and Al elsewhere) have said on this I totally agree with. I only read this crap two days ago and have been trying to coherently respond but it just makes me too angry. The author of the original WMTN piece is so lacking in the ability to piece together evidence, investigate facts or come to rational conclusions that it would be beneath my professional dignity as an historian to engage in debate with him. For those who werent there let me tell you about the “overlap” between the anarcho squat scene and fascists. One night in 1983 Gary Smith (who at that time gave no more indication of a future in C18 than in club 18-30) and I were approaching the platform at angel tube, which in those days was a single island with tracks either side, when we heard a chorus of Rule Brittania. Peering round the corner we saw the platform was full of bonehead BM scum. We ran back to the staircase and hid cos we knew if they saw us we’d probably end up under a train. I don’t know why Gary ended up as Nazi bastard but it was a sad waste, and unexpected. I can tell you it didn’t have anything to do with any shortcomings on Proudhon’s part as the nearest we ever got to political philosophy in those days was leaning against Tom Vagues bookcase after too much ESB.

    The ABOUT section of WMTN expresses concern that artistic freedom can provide a cover for fascists. Of course it can – that’s the trouble with freedom isn’t it (especially if you think people are basically stupid and in need of vanguard)? And that’s why, when it comes down to it, many of us suspect that the left doesn’t really believe in it. Maybe we’re wrong, but we don’t like Nazi’s either pal and don’t carry on suggesting otherwise, because you clearly don’t know much about this particular ‘milieu’. Twat.

  25. I am more than glad that Who Makes The Nazis blog is being shown up for the sham it is. Anyone who was really around on the punk and related scenes between 1978 — 1986, will simply not recognise the pure fantasy dredged up on that blog presented as ‘real history.’ I was — like many of us here on KYPP — deep in various punk/punk related scenes between 1978 — 1986, and most of what those hacks write on WMTN has as much to do with reality as Austin Powers has to do with genuine 1960’s/70’s hippy scenes.

    The site is a smear job from start to finish, and really, it is a good start in the respective authors’ careers for a job with the Daily Mail or with a govt funded / conservative think tank.

    Smear ’em and then set up the ‘facts’ later to suit the smears afterwards, is the motto of that site. It is just appalling.

  26. PS You have to laugh at the utter stupidity of the WMTN site — I just checked the site, and they have yet another ‘expose’ about the ‘cross overs between… fascism and anarchism’ and ….yawn….Troy Southgate….again.

    They now claim that Bakunin and Proudhon are part of the fascist lineage….you just have to laugh at their poor grasp of the differences between fascism and anarchism — it is a game they have been playing on their site since it started.

    If you said to anyone that had read even the basics of history or politics, that Bakunin and Proudhon were part of fascist history, you’d be laughed at and considered an idiot….

    Just who is it writing that website? Does anyone know who writes that stuff?

  27. Blimey, Who Makes the Nazis blog eh? I just checked it, and I have no interest in those stupid neo folk bands, but, besides that, what they also write there about bands like The Cure, Banshees, anarcho punk, and others, just is complete nonsense — clearly, they have no idea, and were NOT around on those scenes circa 1979/80.

    Another cheeky thng they do on that page is, in amongst their total wall of propaganda, they sneakily try to associate those who are anti Zionist — with being anti Semitic — that is clearly implicit in more than a few of their articles.

    And, they are playing shy, ‘cos they never really tell us what their ideology is, or even who they are.

  28. By the way, are there any updates on the people that run that WMTN Blog? I remember someone on here on KYPP saying they knew the identity of Strelnikov — it would be brave if they came forward and let us know who they ( WMTN ) actually are, instead of operating a smear campaign behind pseudonyms. I know one of them is John Eden. But who are the others who run WMTN?

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