Thursday, 16 June 2011

Far-Right Tendencies in the Wave and Gothic Scene

By Arne Gräfrath
Originally from D-A-S-H.org

(Note: despite several attempts to contact D-A-S-H, I heard nothing back. Consequently, this article is used without permission)

To start out with, an explanation of the term, 'wave and gothic scene', or subculture: in the following essay, this term refers to the whole spectrum of the so-called 'black scene' with all its sub-genres like dark wave, gothic, EBM, industrial, fetish, etc. This is done knowing that some will therefore be forced into a niche where they don’t belong.

Since about the end of the 1980s, far-right tendencies have been observed again and again in the bands of the wave and gothic scene. But neither general (far-right) developments can be defined in the wave/gothic scene (WGS), nor can the attitudes of or statements made by groups or individual people be seen to be representative of the musical and cultural scene as a whole. This article addresses accepted phenomena and appearances within the scene.

Far-right influences in the wave and gothic scene

Neo-Nazi attempts to infiltrate the wave scene have been around as long as the musical genre has. The wave/gothic scene developed out of the punk movement of the seventies – it saw itself however as an apolitical counter-culture. Every opinion that possessed connecting elements to the wave scene was tolerated (thereby allowing the extreme right’s first successes). It is striking in this context that tolerance is often confused with ignorance, disinterest and lack of criticism. It is the lack of criticism towards neo-fascist opinions and content that makes the contradiction within the scene so obvious – on the one hand, the WGS sees itself as a critique of and counter-culture to a technocratic society that is contemptuous of human life; on the other hand, it flirts with symbols that cannot be more contemptuous of human life. It shares with the neo-Nazi subculture elements of esotericism, occultism and neo-paganism.

When The Cure released the song 'Killing An Arab' in 1979, the British neo-Nazis (belonging to the BNP or British National Party) made their first attempts to break into the punk/wave scene and to claim the song and band for themselves. These attempts failed, however, thanks to The Cure’s immediate and vehement opposition to this development and due to regular conflicts between neo-Nazis and goths at concerts.

As so-called neo-folk bands became popular towards the end of the 1980s / beginning of the 90s, the WGS’s iconography was increasingly marked by paganism and elements of fascist ideology. A clear interest in the goths’ counter-culture could be seen on the part of the so-called 'new right' (and especially the far-right newspaper, Junge Freiheit or Young Freedom).

Roland Bubik, recipient of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s grant and a writer for the Junge Freiheit (JF), wrote in JF’s Culture section in the fall of 1993: "the youth culture of today offers promising approaches (..) A curious consciousness of living in a phase of decline is virulent. The 'age of destruction' is spoken of. Parties in the techno scene are like macabre funeral ceremonies for the era. One (…) mistrusts the explicability of the world, turns backwards even, for example in the forms of the various independent scenes." In his texts, Bubik refers to the Italian cultural philosopher and representative of Anti-Modernism, Julius Evola (1898 – 1974), whom Umberto Eco called a 'fascist guru'. Bubik believes he recognizes Evola’s Revolt against the Modern World in the dark wave scene.

After Bubik’s dreams of the techno scene ('Stahlgewitter als Freizeitspaß', or in English, 'Storm of steel (i.e. battle) as a leisure activity') turned out to be nonsense ('mental rape by beat-computers and the masses'), he thought he found links in the neo-folk and gothic scene. He points to bands like Dead Can Dance or Qntal, whose 'medieval ’music’ [speaks] a different, non-modern language'. The truth is that neither of the bands has anything to do with far-right ideology. Qntal belongs in the same category as German dark wave bands (e.g. Deine Lakaien, Estampie, Das Ich), which repeatedly and vehemently speak out against the far-right Kulturkampf (cultural war) (see also 'Aufruf zum Dark-X-Mas-Festival 1992'). And Bubik’s co-editor, Peter Bossdorf (see below) had to concede that Dead Can Dance know no (musical) borders and cannot be reduced to the category of medieval music. On the release of their CD 'Spiritchaser' (4 AD/Rough Trade 1996), he is disappointed to find that: "the Orient is parodied in an affected pose, (…) accompanied by unsurpassably boring, jungle-type percussion. (…) If this is supposed to be world music, the world is not to be envied." (JF 29/96)

But the scene did have real connections to the extreme right: Bubik’s girlfriend, Simone Satzger (alias Felicia), singer in the gothic band called Impressions of Winter, propagated far-right cultural instrumentalization in 1995, recommending that one "open oneself to current cultural and political phenomena in order to use them for one’s own purposes"(1). Beyond that, there existed even then a number of bands which were genuinely far-right. The gothic scene’s tendency towards mysticism was of particular interest to the 'new right'. The relation to romanticism, paganism and esotericism on the part of certain gothic subcultures is also of interest to the right, as it can be exploited for the purposes of far-right propaganda.


(1) from 'Elemente', published in Bubik’s (ed.) Wir 89er, 1995, Bands, publishers, fanzines – the combination of commerce and ideology.

'Operation Dark Wave' took its course in the Junge Freiheit (a far-right newspaper). A writer who was familiar with the dark wave scene could be found via a 'competition for new blood'; she soon threw in the towel. In an open letter to Rainer 'Easy' Ettler, the publisher of a fanzine called Zillo, she urgently warned of a far-right culture war and advised the goths that, for the right, they are only "useful wackos on the path to power." (Unfortunately the letter was never published by Zillo, although it belonged right there in 1996 and a wider debate on the issue still hasn’t taken place.)

In the mid-90s, Peter Bossdorf, a Junge Freiheit editor who can look back to a long history with, among other institutions, the Thule Seminar and the Republikaner Party, was hired by the magazine, which had the highest circulation in the 'independent scene': Zillo was not above repeatedly printing far-right ads, among others for the Junge Freieheit (Zillo 2/96). Cooperation between Zillo and Junge Freiheit was well known due to protests within the scene: the Hamburg wave label, 'Strange Ways', (producer of the band, 'Goethes Erben', among others) and the distributor, Indigo, made the scandal public. After Rainer Ettler, Zillo’s editor-in-chief, died, Peter Bossdorf was finally thrown out in the spring of 1997.

But that does not signal the end of the far-right Kulturkampf. In the meantime, solid structures and networks have been developed. Publishers, magazines and a great number of bands have gained attention for their continued work for a far-right 'cultural revolution'.


Excursus: Death in June

Death in June are the most important name in this context. They achieved a 'first': in 1997 an article on the band appeared in RockNord, the Nazi skinhead equivalent of Bravo (German teen magazine). The band’s name is their platform: they openly refer to the 'national Bolshevik' wing of the NSDAP, led by the head of the SA, Röhm, who was killed in the so-called Night of the Long Knives on 30 June, 1934, by order of the NSDAP leadership.

Also worthy of mention is the fanzine, Sigill (subtitled 'Magazine for Europe’s Conservative Cultural Avant Garde'), which in its conception is perhaps the magazine most worthy of being taken seriously in the so-called 'black scene'. The nucleus of the dark wave scene’s far-right faction expresses itself here: Death In June, Sol Invictus, Radio Werewolf, Kirlian Camera, Orplid, Strength Through Joy, Allerseelen, Forthcoming Fire, The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud, etc. Even if Sigill places great value on not being seen as a Nazi publication, the choice of authors, including Markus Wolff (Waldteufel), Kadmon (Allerseelen) and Martin Schwarz, who also writes for the NPD (the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany) publication, Stimme, tells another story. So do their articles, fed as they are through the 'German machine': compact discs are not called CDs as they usually are, but the German literal equivalent of 'Lichtscheiben'. This is linguistic preparation for what Sol Invictus has joyfully sung about: 'The Death of the West'. The far-right label with an affiliated book publishing house, VAWS, is another example.

Many members of far-right neo-folk and industrial bands also work part-time for far-right publishers and magazines that intellectually deepen the far-right ideology already present in their lyrics. In the long run, fans don’t just buy the records of their favourite artists, but are also interested in what they have to say in writing. Almost all the magazines named above share a mix of reporting on new far-right band projects from neo-folk, black metal and industrial genres; pagan issues; Germanic, Celtic and Viking cults; the study of runes; and more or less clearly Nazi, anti-Semitic or national/revolutionary issues. They recurrently appeal to 'freedom of expression', 'artistic freedom' and 'free thought' independent of 'clichés' like left and right. At first glance, this makes things very confusing and contradictory, when people like Moynihan called themselves 'anarchists' while at the same time using liberal and democratic freedoms to spout Social-Darwinist, anti-Semitic and racist 'Blood and Soil' drivel, and to associate or even found far-right circles.

>Even if the circulation of all far-right 'wave' magazines are not a cause for panic, they are still important links between the far-right Kulturkampf and goths who are interested in featured bands or in paganism. The extreme right uses these links to rehabilitate the whole esoteric/mystical side of the Nazi regime (for example the SS Ahnenerbe and the school connected with it, Wewelsburg bei Paderborn); the national/revolutionary factions of the NS, like the SA; Italian fascism and the artistic genre of futurism that is so closely connected with it; the fascist Iron Guard from Romania and its founder, Corneliu Codreanu; Nazi artists like Riefenstahl, Thorak and Speer; Germanic cults; Social Darwinism; and anti-Semitism, and thereby the decisive ideological components of fascist, national/revolutionary and national socialist groups and organizations. Through the often playfully disguised removal of taboos associated with symbols like the swastika and the cross potent, and the establishment of Germanic runes, the extreme right is also trying step by step to change views on the Third Reich and ultimately world history in accordance with their own.

The magazines that have been mentioned can be obtained at certain festivals, like the International Wave Gothic Meeting in Leipzig, at concerts and in record stores. The records can be also be found in stores whose owners or managers are neither far-right nor unaware. Commercial interests make it especially easy for the far-right Kulturkampf.

It must be mentioned in this context that a large number of fans of bands like Death in June, Sol Invictus or Kirlian Camera are themselves not far-right, but simply enjoy these neo-folk bands’ music. Most people are aware of the bands’ 'far-right image'. But especially in Germany, the fans fall back on the bands’ excuses and statements of disassociation that are published in music magazines and that claim their critics 'misunderstand' them. There are, however, documented cases of fans who, through their involvement with neo-folk bands, suddenly became interested in sponsored ideologues like Ernst Jünger or Julius Evola and, as a result of their fascination with them, became part of the far-right Kulturkampf themselves. Fans who sincerely don’t want to have anything to do with it often have real difficulties parting with 'their band'. Again and again, we could observe genuinely painful parting processes, which anyone can understand who imagines 'having to' disassociate themselves from their own favourite band.

57 comments:

  1. "When The Cure released the song 'Killing An Arab' in 1979, the British neo-Nazis (belonging to the BNP or British National Party) made their first attempts to break into the punk/wave scene and to claim the song and band for themselves. These attempts failed, however, thanks to The Cure’s immediate and vehement opposition to this development and due to regular conflicts between neo-Nazis and goths at concerts."

    http://files.myopera.com/drlaunch/albums/37656/o-rly001.jpg
    http://files.myopera.com/drlaunch/albums/37656/o-rly001.jpg
    and
    http://files.myopera.com/drlaunch/albums/37656/o-rly001.jpg

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  2. I have to say, I don't remember that either.

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  3. Possibly because it is utter bollocks. You know the BNP wasn't founded till 1982 and also there is no record of the NF/BM trying to "claim the song and band for themselves" So why post it?

    Similarily, why allow the other utter bollocks about certain individuals that is posted on this site? There are clearly a number of contributors to this site who harbour deep grudges against certain musicians and are using this 'platform' to settle scores, and erroneous evidence as to their 'fascist sympathies' as a means to an end.

    This was originally a highly commendable site exposing neo-fascist currents within the neo-folk scene. It's now becoming the post-industrial keyboard warrior's Salem witch trials.

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  4. Just Another Comment16 Jun 2011 17:38:00

    I am a bit curious about Kirlian Camera. I've heard mentions of this band before in terms of dodgy politics, but I can't find a lot of information about what forms the basis of these accusations. I know they apparently used some speech by a fascist leader, and there is the claim that they did some kind of fascist salute at the end of a concert to the shock and general disgust of the audience.

    Are there other connections and instances pertinent to this issue? I heard their music, at least a few songs. They were not quite what I expected. I expected generic neofolk or generic Cold Meat Industry dark ambient sort of stuff, but it just sounded more like generic EBM.

    So, is there any more info on this particular band and their connections, if any, to far right ideology?

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  5. "In an almost unprecedented display of good taste, the music papers unanimously made it single of the week, praising its "Moorish flavoured guitar pattern" and salivating over Smith's fashionably bleak outlook - "I'm alive, I'm dead...". Sounds were the first to grant them a front cover in January 1979 noting their "direction through indirection" and the band gained further notoriety in February when the National Front turned up at a gig at The Nashville and caused a ruck, convinced "Killing An Arab" was a racist anthem. The Cure have been talking that one down in interviews ever since."

    http://www.musicfanclubs.org/cure/press/A7.html

    I would guess the band were explicit in interviews that the song was not intended to be racist and that they were opposed to the NF.

    More generally it is entirely possible that goths fought with the NF at gigs at the time. A lot of people did.

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  8. Another guy with very little to do, apparently17 Jun 2011 09:16:00

    "Just Another Comment said...

    I am a bit curious about Kirlian Camera. I've heard mentions of this band before in terms of dodgy politics, but I can't find a lot of information about what forms the basis of these accusations. I know they apparently used some speech by a fascist leader, and there is the claim that they did some kind of fascist salute at the end of a concert to the shock and general disgust of the audience."

    They sampled Corneliu Codreanu once, in a song which also sampled the Wim Wenders movie "Wings of Desire", Klaus Kinski reading a poem, while on the same album sampling Arthur Schnitzler (a music journalist heard the album and thought the Schnitzler-sample was a sample of Hitler (reminds one of a lot of comments on this blog, who seems to be misinterpreting quite a few things). I read about this in the book "Looking for Europe" pg. 264-275, if anyone need the source. But of course (and I'm not referring to you), hearsay and misinterpretations works a lot better when one wants to out someone who aren't fascists as fascists.

    My German is somewhat rusty, but I think he's stating that he used the sample because it was important for their artistic expression in that song, just like they've referenced Mahler, Kubrick et.al. in their work. It is my impression (and I have heard a lot of neofolk cd's) that a lot of the musicians who have sampled nazis or conservatives throughout the years, have used it as an artistic expression, much more than presenting it as something they agree with. Of course, using such samples without a ton of disclaimers is bound to get you into trouble, but the disclaimers might also reduce the artistic expression when you're trying to use ambiguity as a part of your artistic expression.

    Several members - former and, I believe, present members - have a Jewish background, some have been black, and some have been quite left wing (namely Emilia Lo Jacono and Simon Balestrazzi, he says). Of course, in the eyes of many frequenting this blog, that will only make them more fascist/nazi/whatever due to some Third Positionist scheme which, to my knowledge, only Troy Southgate is actually involved in here.

    Kirlian Camera is a rather awful band by the way.

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  9. you didn't get 'goths' back then you clown. Still, don't let facts get in the way of an argument.

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  10. proto-goths, cure fans, people wearing black, whatever. It's not like confusing the BNP with the NF invalidates the entire article, is my point.

    Furthermore the NF did claim non-racist songs for their own in their youth rag "Bulldog" so it's possible that they tried that with the Cure track.

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  11. To get back to the original article, the situation in Germany is very different to that in the UK, not just because of the obvious historical context, but because of the anti-Nazi laws in force there. (I believe DiJ have fallen foul of these.) I understand that the music scene described here is much bigger than the UK equivalent. Would be interested in seeing a more detailed follow-up, bringing the story up to date.

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  12. Just Another Comment17 Jun 2011 13:48:00

    If I recall, Rose Clouds of Holocaust cannot be legally sold in Germany I'm not sure about their other albums, however.

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  13. Ex neofolk fan17 Jun 2011 14:36:00

    I think the most perceptive and relevant point in this article is made the last two sentences

    "Fans who sincerely don’t want to have anything to do with it often have real difficulties parting with 'their band'. Again and again, we could observe genuinely painful parting processes, which anyone can understand who imagines 'having to' disassociate themselves from their own favourite band."

    I think this is why all over this blog there are people making desperate defenses of their favourite bands without actually facing up to the facts they are presented with. They are right to be very angry because they have been conned but they can only go on ignoring the truth for so long. One day they are going to have to wake up and smell the coffee.

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  14. "This was originally a highly commendable site exposing neo-fascist currents within the neo-folk scene. It's now becoming the post-industrial keyboard warrior's Salem witch trials."

    I think personally that the discussion has improved here recently, a few trolls aside.

    "Just Another Comment" - I'd not heard of Kirlian Camera, but their Wikipedia page seems worth a look, especially the controversy section and link to Der Spiegel article at the bottom:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirlian_Camera_(band)

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  15. Just another guy with too much time on his hands, apparenltly17 Jun 2011 15:58:00

    I probably donøt know how much time passes between when a comment is posted and a comment is accepted, but I did post a comment on the Kirlian Camera thing, some 6-7 hours ago. Is that being posted, or did I screw up or something?

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  16. @Just Another Guy: Just so y'know - I moderate all comments in order to weed out the background noise of homophobic, anti-semitic, racist and fascist abuse. If I'm at work or at my desk I can usually do that within minutes of noticing a new comment (I get an email from the blog to tell me someone has made a new comment)... but if I'm away from machine it can be a few hours before anything happens. Despite what I said above, the vast majority of comments are accepted, and despite what some people say, no one has ever had a comment blocked simply for disagreeing.

    If other comments are being approved (ie. new comments are appearing with a date-time stamp later than when you submitted a comment if you refresh the page), it probably means I'm accepting comments, so if yours doesn't appear then you can always drop me a mail at the address on the contact page to ask me to see if there's a problem.

    hth

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  17. ps. I just had a check and there are no recent unmoderated comments, so if your comment hasn't appeared by now, it isn't going to, and the problem may be at your end....

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  18. "I think this is why all over this blog there are people making desperate defenses of their favourite bands without actually facing up to the facts they are presented with."

    Absolutely! Along with many in the punk community, I have been able to come to terms with the fact that Johnny Ramone was an obnoxious right-wing arsehole. I feel no reason to fly into a fury when this is pointed out. I don't understand why neofolkies seem quite unable to make the same leap. (Unless, of course, they have made a greater investment in the ideological content of the music than they feel ready to acknowledge . .)

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  19. As is quite common here, the issues around Kirlian Camera are based more on association and ambiguous use of imagery than direct involvement with politics. Hopefully the inclusion of some sources will help things be seen in context.

    They've used Leni Riefenstahl's "Olympia" as a video backdrop for live shows(1) and other projects by the founder, Angelo Bergamini, have appeared on the Leni Riefenstahl and Josef Thorak compilations released by VAWS, a label with notable right-wing affiliations. As you said, the Kirlian Camera track "U-Bahn V.2 Heiligenstadt" samples a speech by the Romanian fascist leader Corneliu Codreanu. In 2000, they played at a (partially cancelled) festival in Kassel, Germany with several bands that some believe have fascist leanings - Death in June, Ostara and Les Joyaux de la Princesse(3).

    On the other hand, Bergamini has repeatedly said that his interest in fascism is limited to aesthetics(4), expressed admiration for Mikhail Gnesin, Nikolai Roslavets, Sergei Eisenstein(4) and the Red Army Faction(1), refused to contribute to a Codreanu compilation because Codreanu did not have "anything to do with music or other forms of expression"(5) and invited the Ghanaian musician Nancy Appiahhas to contribute traditional African music ("Meyi Me Nyame Aye") to Kirlian Camera. He has also said that other band members - Emilia Lo Jacono and Elena Fossi - are "communist" and "left wing".(4)

    The band have published their own communiqué(6) arguing against various accusations(2, 7) made by Antifa in Germany, including the salutes. The strength of feeling evoked at the time was sufficient for gigs to be cancelled due to threats of violence(8).

    1. http://www.kirliancamera.com/interview/englishmarblemoon1995.htm
    2. http://de.indymedia.org/2006/02/137938.shtml (German)
    3. http://www.deathinjune.org/modules/mediawiki/index.php/2000-07-14 (Italian)
    4. http://www.stigmata.name/kc.php
    5. http://www.kirliancamera.com/interview/englishabove2001.htm
    6. http://www.vagalume.com.br/kirlian-camera/communique.html
    7. http://www.boydrice.com/interviews/der_speigel.html
    8. http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=192_0_2_0_C

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  20. Just another guy with too much time on his hands, apparenltly17 Jun 2011 16:53:00

    @Strelnikov: Thanks for the information. The problem is probably in my end then. I apologise: I've been rushing all day with some travel preparations. It's a shame, as I don't have the time to write it again right now.

    It was mainly regarding Kirlian Camera, a band which is rather awful. But, anyway, their so-called dodgy politics, aren't really dodgy. They sampled Codreanu on a song, which also contained other samples from "Wings of Desire" (a movie by Wim Wenders), Klaus Kinski and so on. The same album contained a tribute to Arthur Schnitzler, whom a music journalist had mistaken for Adolph Hitler. So: rumours and hearsay. Kirlian Camera have had both Jewish, black, and left wing members throughout the years, though they consider themselves apolitical (though not propagators of political apathy). Their reasons for including a Codreanu sample were artistic, they said, and I think that rings true for a lot of artists mentioned on this site.

    I consider a lot of the accusations against most bands mentioned here on this page to be based on (sometimes deliberate, I fear, but will be happy to be proven wrong) misinformation, and not facts. I've been following the neofol scene since I was 13 (I'm 27 right now), and have never seen any evidence that any of the bands mentioned here are racists/fascists/whateverists. As for paving the way for some kind of 3rd positionist thing, the only one I know who is following this line is Troy Southgate, who isn't really being taken seriously - at least not what I know of - in the neofolk scene. I've been, as I've said, been following the scene since 13, and I'm still voting on the leftiest party I can find in Denmark.

    Anyway, a lot of the accusations on this page seems to be rather misinformed (or with ill-will). Any lead towards possible links to the right wing are explored in extremis, whereas all leads pointing to another explanation aren't being followed at all, or mainly shrugged aside, as in the case of Wakeford, are merely shrugged aside. I hope to have the time to debunk some of the things written on this page, which I know to be false, but debunking does take a lot of time, as it does with most perceived conspiracies.

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  21. Just Another Comment17 Jun 2011 20:30:00

    Thanks to those who posted info on Kirlian Camera. I will keep an eye out for more information on that band. If what is said here is an accurate account of the facts, then Kirlian may be an example of a band who accidentally got drawn in to this due to some bad judgment on their part, who are not actual fascists. However, in the past, I would have made similar arguments about DIJ, NON, Sol, etc. since I did not have all the facts worked out. So, I will suspend judgment on this group for the moment, but I will not be tricked again so easily.

    If you think you can prove that some of these bands are not fascists, I would certainly examine your evidence. However, the case against Wakeford seem pretty damning to me. You would have to account for all the facts presented here, and either demonstrate them to be untrue or offer alternate explanations that account for everything and are also somewhat plausible. This is one of the major issues I have with defenses of neofolk: so many of the explanations for why these bands do this or that and yet are not fascists/proto fascists/whatever end up being very contrived, and require a few leaps of logic that doesn't seem justified.

    Of course, some cases are much more clear cut. Boyd Rice has made his views on social darwinism, fascism, etc. VERY clear. The only real way to argue that Rice is not a fascist is to somehow make a convincing argument that the statements he has made numerous times over the past several decades were all lies.

    Moynihan is in a similar position. All his attempts to be 'dodgy' aside, his affiliation with James Mason is all anyone needs to know. That may sound a little extreme, condemning a person for a single association, but there is no way that a reasonable, non prejudiced person would get involved with a piece of excrement like Mason. Moynihans involvement with that guy is, in my mind, utterly unforgivable.

    John Eden got at this in his DIJ post. Playing with 'dodgy' imagery and saying naughty things one albums is one thing. But printing an interview with Mason, as No Longer a Fanzine did, as well as Compulsion, that is something that needs to be roundly criticized.

    As I said, if you can defend some of these characters, then I would certainly look at your evidence and come to my own conclusions. But I some of them are pretty far past redemption.

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  23. @Justanothercomment:

    I'll gladly admit that Rice and Moynihan (Blood Axis sucked, Coup De Grace were great) can be sorted somewhere under ”fascists/proto fascists/whatever” and I'll even throw you a bonus 'assholes' to sort under 'whatever'. How dangerous they really are based on this, is another question and a complicated one. And why this teenage romantic notion that you have to 'like' all the people you listen to (referring to @'Just another guy..'s comment as well)? I know full well I have some morons in my collection, and I listen to them well knowing they're total idiots because I need bad vibes in the air to calm down a bit or whatever. I don't sit and kiss the covers of my vinyl collection because I adore these people and think they're cute. Nor do I or anyone in the scene (p.e noise industrial, not much neo-folk) I know get brainwashed by any vicious propaganda. Most of these things are bought second hand or downloaded anyway and even if I've happened to support some moron accidentally, I think I've added a hell of a lot more misery to peoples life from buying the wrong brand of bananas during the years, than by supporting evil organizations and deeds through consuming music, including the odd gig attendance. I don't want to, or want others to support dangerous active fascists, the likes of Troy Sourgrapes etc, so it's good that people know about them. Information and criticism is good, but in the end people have to decide for themselves where they draw the line, what actions, involvements and opinions they think are reasonable to condemn and to what extent. Also they may simply disagree with what is to be included in the very loaded definitions of 'fascist' or 'Nazi' and it angers them being patted on the head and being told what is what by the 'better knowing'. Fully understandable imho.

    Some of the other people and groups 'exposed' here are not done so seriously though. There is a lot of making hens out of feathers, for example lately - pointing at some shock tactics made when people were teenagers back in the 80's as some kind of evidence, blowing it out of proportion beyond what should be humanly possible, suddenly wanting to campaign against people who they assume are pedophiles or misogynists or whatever, simply because they deal explicitly and brutally with subjects that are taboo in our society, and are doing so without saying 'this is baaad' leaving for the audience to face it and deal with it. Evil thing to do apparently.

    /ENTartETE

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  24. This is one of the most stupid article I ever read in my whole life. What scares the hell out of me is that there's a sort of trial going on for these artists. But hey...you're the democratic people, right?
    Democratic like China or Vietnam or Iran I guess.
    Shame on you.

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  25. Just Another Comment18 Jun 2011 11:26:00

    Could you point to who is holding this trial, and what body is even capable of stopping these bands from playing?

    No one is going to force these people to stop playing. People are just asking questions and bringing up issues. The club and the bands are free to go ahead with the show even if others disapprove of doing so.

    Freedom does not extend to the freedom not to ever be criticized. If discussion on a blog is too much for them, they should develop thicker skins. But I've noticed that most people in the Neofolk and Power Electronics scenes have skins thinner than tissue paper, and start whining at the drop of a hat.

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  26. Nazifynder General18 Jun 2011 11:40:00

    I'd have said more like Salem in 1692 myself.

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  27. I'm sure somebody would try to prove James Mason wasn't a nazi if he'd just record some folk music.

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  28. To Just Another Communist:

    Your comments about thin skin is bizarre considering this whole blog is borne out of a bunch of butthurt busybodies crying about things they don't like. It seems to me that YOU are the one having a hard time with people defending themselves instead of rolling over and apologising for their interests.

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  29. Just Another Comment18 Jun 2011 13:39:00

    Compare the articles on this blog, which tend to focus on factual material, with all the crying from the neofolk and PE defenders in the comments. The latter are the ones who seem to get upset at the slightest hint of criticism.

    Defending themselves is not the problem. The problem is the general refusal to really engage with these issues on a level beyond saying "YOU GUYS ARE TEH REEL NAZIS!!!".

    As it happens, I do think there are some legitimate counter-arguments to be made regarding some of these groups. But they don't get made by the neofolk defenders very often at all.

    As Strel has said numerous times, one of the more annoying aspects of the defenses of neofolk is the sentiment that since this is art, it is beyond question, comment, or criticism.

    But you can be VERY critical of a musician and still like the. Neofolk fans don't have to be 100% uncritical of their chosen genre. This applies to everything. I LOVE the comic book series Cerebus, even though I find some of the views of Dave Sim to be misogynistic are moronic. But it is not extreme enough for me to sell all my Cerebus trades and denounce him.

    It is entirely possible for Neofolk fans and PE fans to feel the same way, to disagree with sentiments expressed by the bands, but argue that there are other things in music which they think makes up for this. Hell, people have been doing this for generations with artists who were otherwise questionable. Wagner and his anti semitism, Hemingway and his less than enlightened views on women, Picasso and his...well...overall unpleasant personality. Sci-Fi fans have dealt with this for years, as they immensely enjoy the work of Orson Scott Card and Heinlein, while being up front about their misgivings regarding Card's homophobia and Heileins misogyny and politics which some have regarded as fascistic.

    From a more personal view, I'm not only a fan of industrial and PE, but hip-hop as well. I have no problem with being a fan of hip hop, while at the same time expressing my disagreement for the sometimes rampant homophobia and misogyny endemic to much mainstream hip hop.

    People have been comfortable enjoying art by artists whose politics or personal lives they found repellent since time immemorial. Since artists tend to be...an eccentric lot, to put it mildly, this is something you have to get used to. But instead of a relatively more sophisticated defense of neofolk along those lines, we get either flimsy denials that there is anything worth discussing at all, accusations against the owners of this blog which dodge the issue, or the inevitable attempts to make every discussion on dodgy politics in this scene in to an argument about Stewart Home.

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  30. @ Just Another Comment:

    You make some good and valid points but this blog isn't about discussing the merits of certain artists and their output. This is about "Strelnikov" demonising people and music that he doesn't like using tabloid journalist tactics.

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  31. or 'putting forward arguments' as it used to be known

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  32. Just Another Comment18 Jun 2011 19:27:00

    Well, I'm not convinced that is what he is doing. If he is, can you demonstrate that some of his statements are untrue? For instance, can you provide counter evidence that Wakeford was in the NF? The associations of Wakeford are the main thrust of many posts. Additionally, the political leanins of Troy Southgate seem pretty clear. Is there any other way to interpret them?

    How about Freya Aswynn? Some of her blatantly racist statements and actions seem pretty clear to me. Is there some other way of looking at what she is said and done that redeems her?

    What do you consider a legitimate journalistic tactic, and what is not legit? I think that examining associations can be perfectly legitimate. Especially if there is a clear pattern. If Wakeford knew only ONE person associated with fascist politics, it would be one thing. But he, and many of the others in this clique, know many, many individuals associated with this odious stuff. Boyd Rice founded the Abraxas Foundation with a known holocaust denier, and was obviously an associaet of American Front member Bob Heick.

    So, there is a clear pattern of not only using fascist symbols for some kind of effect, not only espousing fascist or quasi fascist sentiment, but association, on many instances, with actual fascists, for many years.

    I consider all of this very relevant. You may not, but if this is the case, I would be curious as to why you would think this is not a legitimate line of inquiry and investigation?

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  33. Just Another Comment said...

    It is entirely possible for Neofolk fans and PE fans to feel the same way, to disagree with sentiments expressed by the bands, but argue that there are other things in music which they think makes up for this.

    I think that's often the case with somebody like Boyd Rice. Where it can be more difficult with neofolk is that it's not always clear what the sentiments of some bands actually are. We need to decide what they believe before we decide if we agree with them. This can be a positive aspect of their ambiguity - it encourages people to base their opinions on consideration of the issues and artworks themselves rather than slavish agreement with a musician they happen to like.

    For instance, can you provide counter evidence that Wakeford was in the NF? The associations of Wakeford are the main thrust of many posts.

    What's really being debated here is whether Wakeford has continued to have the same ideas in spite of leaving the NF, and whether his subsequent work is an attempt to promote them obliquely.

    Wakeford was undoubtedly a member of the NF in the late 1980s. That was also the time when the band included Gary Smith of No Remorse, took titles from Evola, and so on. There's a lot of detailed information about this in Stewart Home's essays.

    http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/wakeford.html
    http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/wakeford2.htm

    In 2007 Wakeford published a statement saying "Many years ago I was a once a member of the National Front. It was probably the worse decision of my life and one I very much regret" and "I have no connection with, sympathy for, or interest in those ideas nor have I had for around 20 years."

    http://www.tursa.com/message.html

    I think the question here is what exactly constitutes a connection. Is touring with Boyd Rice or Der Blutharsch sufficient? A look at some of Rice's other friends and collaborators will show that's it's certainly not enough to label them a fascist themselves. I don't think attending a comic book convention with Dave Sim would make you a misogynist either. It's also clear that Wakeford's circle of friends, associates and musical collaborators also now includes many people whose origins, opinions or preferences are usually considered as being incompatible with traditional notions of fascism.

    Home makes a lot of Wakeford's association with Richard Lawson, formerly of IONA and best man at Wakeford's wedding in 1999, but when people reject a political stance they don't necessarily abandon every associate who retains it. They have a shared personal history as well as a political one. It's also unlikely they'll cease to find every idea they were exposed to during that time interesting for reasons beyond simple agreement. The "Death of the West", for example.

    His later albums are notably lacking in "fascist symbolism". The most recent have included a cover of a blues standard popularised by BB King ("The Thrill is Gone"), and songs which might seem quite opposed to an Evolian "aristocratic" worldview ("To Kill All Kings").

    Additionally, the political leanins of Troy Southgate seem pretty clear. Is there any other way to interpret them?

    No. I don't think anybody here has tried to dispute those. I don't think Southgate would.

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  34. "If you think you can prove that some of these bands are not fascists, I would certainly examine your evidence. "

    If you think you can prove that it's possible to prove a negative, I would certainly examine your evidence.

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  35. Just Another Comment19 Jun 2011 13:25:00


    A look at some of Rice's other friends and collaborators will show that's it's certainly not enough to label them a fascist themselves.


    While this is true, I'm not sure the situations are entirely comparable, for a number of reason. First, yeah, you can't accuse Coil, Rose McDowall, Daniel Miller, etc. of being questionable because they are friends with Rice. But none of those people have a history in the NF.

    Wakeford is another story. Of course, his association with Rice is the least of his problems in this area, as you indicate in your post. I suppose whether he should have severed all ties with his 'best man' is a matter of dispute, though I would certainly lean towards 'yes'.


    With Rice, we arrive at the question of whether or not his work makes up for his views. I think a few specific things easily put him in to the 'no' territory. His appearance on a neo-nazi cable TV show, and the association with James Mason make it difficult for me to even begin to like any of his material with a clear conscience. The appearance he made on the Bob Larson show with Moynihan and Mason was truly disgusting. When you can make BOB LARSON look reasonable...then you really should know that you're doin' it wrong.

    I think a lot of his NON output is pretty weak. Simplistic loops, and little else. Though some of it is kind of clever. The Receive the Flame album doesn't stray from that formula, really, but it is not wholly unpleasant, or at least some tracks aren't. The stuff he did with locked grooves was clever, as well. When he mixes his 'might is right' nonsense in with that hokey faux gothic middle ages schtick, however, it gets pretty dorky pretty quick. It actually gives him some cover, since it is pretty damned hard to take things like his "Might" album and "Easy Listening for Iron Youth" that seriously.



    Also, it is revealing to read the Industrial Culture Handbook, and compare the Rice interview to the ones with, say, SPK or Cabaret Voltaire. They come off as being on very different intellectual levels. At least that is how it seems to me.

    I think it is possible to make a bit of a better case for DIJ, due to their 'ambiguity', making it a little less clear cut that some other examples . Though that partly owes to other examples being even more clear cut. Even Whitehouse, since it seems likely that some of their more odious statements were nothing more than juvenile posturing, the equivalent of schoolboys making fart noises in the middle of history class and then pretending it wasn't them.

    Strel gave a decent account of WHY Whitehouse backed off of their "New Britain" silliness, though I have always entertained another explanation. They were young jackasses, and were just jumping from one 'offensive' thing to the other. The real reason they gave it up was they got bored with it and decided the violent sex route was more offensive and upsetting. Of course, this casts Whitehouse, at least early Whitehouse, as nothing more than a teenaged shock act...but that is hardly an unbelievable assertion in itself. Of course, I don't even mean that as an insult. I think all of us on this blog were doing pretty stupid things at that age.

    I am not ENTIRELY unsympathetic to some of the defenses of these bands, but at the same time I find most of them to be naive. And as I have made clear, I think some of them truly are indefensible. I keep bringing him up, but to me Moynihan is the worst. I also want to say that Blood Axis is probably the most musically inept of all the projects that have been covered here. Just listen to 'Reign I Forever', which has to be one of the most embarrassingly awful songs ever.

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  36. It is true that Blood Axis sucks the biggest horses cocks available. I still wouldn't try and stop him from playing anywhere. The guy has chancer written all over him so why even care. Let him suck in peace.

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  37. Just Another Comment19 Jun 2011 18:51:00

    Oh, I would not try to stop him from playing, let me make that clear. I would still argue against him and his positions. Sometimes the best way to battle these characters is to let them open their mouth for five or ten minutes, and let everyone hear the blatant nonsense they are saying.

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  38. Just Another Comment said...

    Wakeford is another story. Of course, his association with Rice is the least of his problems in this area, as you indicate in your post. I suppose whether he should have severed all ties with his 'best man' is a matter of dispute, though I would certainly lean towards 'yes'.

    In real life, such changes of heart are rarely sudden "road to Damascus" experiences. Wakeford's involvement with people like Rice and Lawson gradually decreases in a way that parallels the declining interest in themes like "Lex Talionis" and "Europa" on his albums.

    Here's a quote from an interview with Wakeford from February 2008. It's worth reading the whole thing, but this is particularly relevant to what we've discussed. I should add that the interview was conducted by Peter Webb, who has himself posted and been posted about on this blog.

    "TW – Most of the friendships that I had with people were with people that also became disillusioned with the politics. So very soon after leaving I didn’t have friendships with anyone who was still in the NF. Friendships in those organisations, just like the SWP, are often about being in the organisation and after you leave the friendship is dead, you become an outcast. It’s like a crap version of the Mafia. But yeh I don’t know anyone now who is a member of, or active in any of those organisations on the Far Right. But the people who left, we used to get together occasionally over a pint and have a moan and complain and it would always end up with us saying `what the fuck were we doing?’. Of course you still have residual views that carry on for a period of time but the further away you get from it the less you have those ideas. I mean now I’m the least that way inclined than ever, I don’t have any interest in it whatsoever. I find it quite alien. For me the past really is another country"

    http://monkeyhouse-recordings.co.uk/JK2CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1083&Itemid=38

    With Rice, we arrive at the question of whether or not his work makes up for his views.

    Of course people have to weigh the balance between artists and their work for themselves. For some, I doubt any amount of compositional ability would redeem him.

    Even Whitehouse

    When I first saw this blog, I was surprised that some people can take them so seriously and so literally, as if one day they decided to stop being neo-nazis and become rapists.

    On Whitehouse as a group - as opposed to Sotos' work alone - I tend toward the opinion that rather than being purely an attempt to offend, their use of imagery was a method to shock people out of their everyday state of mind for the purpose of taking them somewhere psychologically interesting.

    The funny thing about New Britain is that the music itself, with the exception of the sample a the beginning of Roman Strength, is essentially a series of squeaking noises that have no obvious relation to the track titles. I'm fascinated by the way people have projected their own meanings onto that.

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  39. I'm fascinated by the way people have projected their own meanings onto that.

    Read Lacan & Derrida. It's what people do with art. Signifier/text/receiver. People perceive their own meanings from media presented to them. We use existing references to make meaning from texts that are ambiguous or with no clear intent. You're right, New Britain is an excellent example of this process.

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  40. Regarding this:

    "The funny thing about New Britain is that the music itself, with the exception of the sample a the beginning of Roman Strength, is essentially a series of squeaking noises that have no obvious relation to the track titles. I'm fascinated by the way people have projected their own meanings onto that."

    This is the line Bennett constantly trots out to stifle any criticism of his output - the equivalent of "ooh no, YOU and YOUR dirty mind" - though it doesn't take a genius to realise that the 'meanings' people 'project' onto that particular record are probably a result of...the LP being dressed up with fascist-sounding titles and symbolism. Strip those away, and you'll find most people wouldn't project anything onto New Britain, save for a weary sense of 'is it over soon?' resignation.

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  41. Just Another Comment20 Jun 2011 12:17:00

    Of course people have to weigh the balance between artists and their work for themselves. For some, I doubt any amount of compositional ability would redeem him.


    This is certainly pretty close to my view of Rice. As I have said, some of the stuff he has done is clever and aurally pleasing. His earlier noise music is more intriguing in this realm. But little of it is far from amazing. TG, SPK, Whitehouse, Merzbow, even John Zorn, assorted Jazz acts, and some parts of Shellac albums are all examples of musicians who have done more interesting things with 'noise' in varying ways than Rice has. Of course, Rice sometimes has his own approach that sets him apart, but it doesn't always seem to go as far as it could. He only ever seems to scratch the surface in regards to the potential of his approach, and I think his material relies too much on loops.


    On Whitehouse as a group - as opposed to Sotos' work alone - I tend toward the opinion that rather than being purely an attempt to offend, their use of imagery was a method to shock people out of their everyday state of mind for the purpose of taking them somewhere psychologically interesting.

    Perhaps. But at times it seems they are just covering ground they find interesting for whatever reason, with little thought given to audience perceptions. At the same time, however, there is certainly an element of provocation that is difficult to deny. I suppose the notion that they want to take the audience anywhere specific psychologically does not seem as plausible to me since they rarely come across as having any sort of planned intent in what they do, outside a more broad set of desires to elicit reactions.

    As for New Britain...while the music may not relate to the track titles, there is also the matter of the 'manifesto' they released and the 'White Power' compilation put together by a Whitehouse member. The manifesto also gives the impression that they, Ramleh, SJ, etc. are all part of some unified movement. So, it is not strictly a matter of listeners projected based solely on the track titles alone, as the band certainly did a bit more to create that image.

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  42. @Anon: "I'm fascinated by the way people have projected their own meanings onto that."

    If Lacan and Derrida (and Deleuze and Guattari) are right, then nothing really means anything any more (because it means so many - contradictory - things at the same time), it's impossible to put a fixed meaning on anything, and meaning evaporates to become just a matter of opinion (or 'consumer preference').

    Artists, musicians, etc., work with symbols/texts whose meanings are objective: a symbol's meaning(s) may well be disputed, but nevertheless it has 'real world' meanings, referents and implications, which is why it is not acceptable for an artist to say, essentially, "I don't care what this symbol means to everyone else, to me it means something different". To make art is to take part in a conversation with the world (even if you are only telling it to "fuck off"). Artists have to justify their work in the context of other interpretations, and not simply use this sort of relativism (consumer choice) as a cop-out.

    That's the problem with postmodernism - it leads directly into "the dark night where all cows are grey" (Hegel), and academics can justify supporting just about any old BS and absolve themselves of the responsibility to make judgements. This suits the academics perfectly, of course, because 'proliferating meanings' present the ideal opportunity to write and publish proliferating texts and books, commentaries on commentaries that go nowhere, without ever finally being held to account for anything, just so long as they quote from Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, etc.

    @23: I know what you mean about the music (usually) not referring explicitly to the ideas. That could be significant in exactly the way you suggest, but I've sometimes wondered whether the ('controversial') ideas aren't there simply in order to make up for the paucity of - lack of sense, structure or meaning in - the music per se (the music is rarely more than juvenile futurist posturing which, turned down to a suitable level, sounds just like the humming and squeaking of everyday consumer electronic items). The ideas (images, etc) used seem to me to be often just a way of 'turning the amplifiers up to eleven'. Having said that, I've heard, eg., some Whitehouse tracks that worked well as music and don't need all the 'controversial' BS attached.

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  43. ^ But 'industrial culture' was embued with a whole plethora of increasingly predictable codes, motifs and onsessions. From TG/PTV and their tedious Manson/Jim Jones schtick to power electronics and it's serial killer/sexual deviance fetishism. It's no different to heavy metal and it's themes of motorbikes and chicks or anarcho punk and militarism/animal liberation/'the system' etc.

    As an aside, I was looking through my collection of Whitehouse's Come-kata zine last night. Couldn't see any swastikas. Loads of hammer & sickles tho.

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  44. Just Another Comment20 Jun 2011 13:32:00

    Well, Philip Best's side project WAS named Consumer Electronics, so you might be on to something!

    I think Total Sex, if I recall correctly, actually has some decent ambient qualities to it from time to time. The post Halogen material, the stuff produced by Steve Albini, is, I think, largely pretty good in many ways. It has a more complex sound that is more intentional, structured, and varied than some of the earlier feedback-esque material.

    Maybe one reason I find it easier to 'forgive' Whitehouse for their sometimes asinine antics is because the material does indeed seem VERY far removed from any supposed ideas behind it, or the ideas of the band themselves. This is in stark contrast to Boyd Rice, for example, whose paranormal pseuodoscience beliefs permeate much of his later work.

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  45. "But 'industrial culture' was embued with a whole plethora of increasingly predictable codes, motifs and onsessions. From TG/PTV and their tedious Manson/Jim Jones schtick to power electronics and it's serial killer/sexual deviance fetishism. It's no different to heavy metal and it's themes of motorbikes and chicks or anarcho punk and militarism/animal liberation/'the system' etc"

    You seem to have a very deep knowledge and understanding of both power electronics and metal.

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  46. ^ and you seem to have a very deep understanding of, well, not really anything, it would appear...

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  47. The lack of structure in early Whitehouse might be an attempt to make sure there's no traditional musical elements to cling to, similar to the lack of explanation in its presentation. The 'ideas' provide a context for interpreting that, but I'm not sure they're an attempt to compensate for it. For example, the music on Dedicated to Peter Kurten reflects the psychology of its subject. They're both something like a scream of rage or pain which ultimately becomes banal though lack of direction.

    There's also a point in their career where the balance flips and it often feels like the music is there to create a receptive state of mind for the spoken (ranted) words. I think the response they're after in their core audience is something cathartic. Though they've sometimes been accused of promoting rape or violence, the 'lyrics' often take the form of questions:

    You talk too much
    You don't listen enough
    Do you admit to letting others push you around?
    Who's pushing you around now?
    Who's hitting on you now?
    Who's the pervert hitting on you now, kuckle-nicks?
    Has he successfully perverted an ethic?
    Has he destroyed a doll body?


    Instead of encouraging us to identify with Bennett as the aggressor, this puts us in the position of victim. It's not intended to encourage us to harm others, but to make our own repressed negative feelings conscious so we can reject the limits they engender. Or, as Whitehouse put it, "kill this fucking nightmare that is inside you".

    Maybe.

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  48. Just Another Comment21 Jun 2011 14:35:00

    For example, the music on Dedicated to Peter Kurten reflects the psychology of its subject.

    Perhaps. But I think that seems to be a bit of a stretch. Whitehouse often comes across as trying to simply create the most 'extreme' sound possible, with little thought given to anything else. If I recall correctly, they have even stated as much in various interviews in the past.

    It really is the same issue as with Sotos. Listeners try to discern some sophisticated, meaningful intent behind it, but there seems to be no more meaning behind most of the material than there is behind the average Justin Beiber or Beyonce song.

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  49. Yup, as they said themselves on their record covers...

    "The listeners of these records will always enjoy the most intense reactions of all because they are the most repulsive records ever created"

    Bit of a 'statement of intent', no? Shame if the font size wasn't large enough for you to notice in over 29 years, mind.

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  50. Listeners try to discern some sophisticated, meaningful intent behind it, but there seems to be no more meaning behind most of the material than there is behind the average Justin Beiber or Beyonce song.

    Well, Whitehouse do also enjoy winding people up. The "Extreme Music from Africa" compilation, which seems to have been entirely written by William Bennett using various pseudonyms, is a good example.

    Sotos might not be trying to achieve anything in particular by publishing his "scrapbooks" but the repeated use of the same motifs over so many years shows they have meaning for him on some level, even if it's not one he can summarise as a coherent set of ideas.

    Beyoncé, on the other hand, has a consistent personal take on post-feminism which might be much more conventionally meaningful than anything Sotos has done. I think the Huffington Post columnist Malcolm Harris' comment about her can also be applied to Whitehouse: "No matter what your opinion about Beyoncé and her music may be, at the end of the day, as an artist I believe she has done her job by igniting conversation."

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  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  52. To the admin: thanks, but rather than my first Kirlian Camera post (the first post of mine on this page), what's been deleted is the one about Robert Smith's feelings on 'Killing an Arab'.

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  53. The members of Kirlian Camera included a Jew and a black woman from Ghana. The charges being made against the band here are absurd.

    In fact none of the charges being made here are backed up by any evidence whatsoever.

    "Many members of far-right neo-folk and industrial bands also work part-time for far-right publishers and magazines that intellectually deepen the far-right ideology already present in their lyrics."

    Really?

    Whom? What evidence is there to support this accusation? What magazines do these people work for? Who publishes them? Links to specific articles please!

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  54. A response.

    http://prometheus888.blogspot.com/2011/07/who-watches-watchers-in-defence-of.html

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  55. Have you seen this?

    http://www.kmag.co.uk/editorial/blogs/fashion/mishka-x-death-in-june-capsule-collection.html

    Fascists escape the neo-folk ghetto and infiltrate the world of haute couture!

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  56. (posted on behalf of Sentient Sid)

    Haute couture?

    Cheap (and very nasty) bomber jackets from the remainder pile down Bermondsey Market, I'd say.

    Pearce has always maintained that Di6 fans lurk amongst the supposedly chic and fashionable – remember his claims of mutual admiration with the Pet Shop Boys?

    So, a handful of trendy idiots with more money than sense sport Totenkopfs for a week? How thrillingly outré.

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Please at least use a pseudonym so it's possible to follow your argument if you make multiple posts