04 November 2006

Slut Meat Tales

Listening to downloads of the Rising From The Red Sands compilations recently (courtesy of this fun new blog)it struck me why I don't own any Whitehouse / Ramleh / Sutcliffe Jugend CDs when once I used to trawl record fairs hoping to swap Visage white-labels for limited edition 7" singles with titles like Tit Pulp and Right to Kill (actually a double B-side, if I remember rightly) and badly photo-pressed Peter Kurten tribute albums, with vinyl heavier than a head.

Yeah, well partly it's because I'm not 16 anymore but that's not the whole story.

It's because these things don't work in an age where I can simply buy them on CD or download them from i-Tunes. The joy of a Sutcliffe Jugend album or a Whitehouse 7" was in knowing that someone went to the bother of actually pressing them in the first place. This fact made them far creepier, much more scary because you could always imagine that these people were somehow other than musicians, less than artists - these people didn't care if you bought their records, they were more than that. You could believe that you were tapping into the vinyl equivalent of snuff movies; genuine madness and depravity and evil, set down on record for a few 'special' acolytes. Of course they were unlistenable (though I still play Right to Kill everynow and then, normally before I go into my 2nd year A level class) but as a package they worked.

And it wasn't just about how hard the buggering things were to find. Exclusivity was obviously important but the rareness of the records and (perhaps more importantly) the lack of information on them simply added to the mystique which was required for the 'songs' to work. Without the mystery, it's just grown men with too much time on their hands. The records don't seem to work on their own; the devil is in the lack of details.

Hard to think this now but they did seem genuinely quite unnerving. No one had seen them play, all you ever read about them was in odd little fanzines, littered with pictures of Mengele hospitals and Nazi Sex Sisters. These bands were more mythos than anything, with tiny shrines being built upstairs in the Notting Hill Gate Record and Tape Exchanges.

Then... well, this just doesn't feel right at all, does it?

Sutcliffe Jugend - Slut Meat

A Yousendit I'veburnedtheSundayRoast presentation

3 comments:

Cloudboy said...

Yeah they were genuinely shocking back then (speaking from more of a Whitehouse viewpoint), that nihilist standpoint, wallowing in the underbelly of existence (or should that be annihilation) a wholly negative vibe that was both exhilarating and repulsive.

Music reserved for the most hated of moments, never quite making out what Bennett and Co were moaning on about under all that evil noise - making the whole that little bit more intriguing. The listener filling in the blanks, like looking into a scrying mirror and finding your worse fears, believing these guys actually practised what they preached.

Liked their confrontational approach, but we all need opposites to make a whole and the singularity of their vision didn’t seem to have any, which was a pity... find myself playing ‘total sex’ how and then and reflecting on the eyeliner kiddies who think they listen to an edgy reality...

LOL - wonder if they’ll be saying that about there children. (shit I’m sounding like a grumpy old man, better stop typing now before I descend into a complain-athon)

Thanks Loki for another great post

Martin said...

Actually, I felt the same way about TG when I first picked up a battered copy of Second Annual Report for a fiver - it looked like it'd been assembled in and distributed (in plain packaging, of course)from some Hackney lock-up garage by a shadowy group of pornographers. I preferred knowing as little about TG as possible, and was quite disappointed to eventually discover that 'Hamburger Lady' WASN'T taken unexpurgated from the real-life diaries of an American burns nurse who was arrested for masturbating over his patients (I thought 'flashed on the floor' was yank slang for 'jizzed', but never mind...)

Whitehouse albums did look well pervy, when they were hanging on the walls of MVE priced about 100 quid apiece - like some underground European porn-zines knocked up in a basement. It wasn't just lurid in-yer-face obscenity, some were quite abstract in a 'hidden contents' way. However, if anyone wants to preserve any mystique about early Whitehouse, whatever you do don't watch the Come Org video. The myth will be truly shattered, though you'll get a good laugh out of it.

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