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Author Topic: Art, originality, modernity, propaganda  (Read 6864 times)
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JLIAT
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2020, 12:10:05 PM »

The use of "art" for spreading a message is propaganda

If art can exist in a vacuum, I'd agree.

Perhaps could be splitted to another topic if it continues to go on.

Quote from: JLIAT
Anything a person does is 'personal' in a sense, and the motivation can be complex. And maybe differentiate between musician and artist / composer who seeks to make something original.

One could ask how does not notion of make something original fall under propaganda? If we use propaganda as so vast umbrella term, that expressing message is equal to propaganda (which is could be), then why would expression and the intent itself be excluded from that umbrella?
Point taken, that propaganda implies biased or misleading. But my point was if any art is used to just communicate a message it is translatable. Art seems more than a road sign or representation of some thing. Art is it seems is thought different to illustration. I think I said the 1812 overture is not an just an illustration of a battle.

Like, back in the day, there was all the classic ideologies that had build in perversion that enable the ideologies. Now, most often you got perversion, that enables or covers the ideology. What remains to be seen, and what is moderately hidden, has changed the roles. Same often works for propaganda. Even if there would not be in-your-face-message, it doesn't mean work would not have any.

If artist seeks most of all to make something original, it seems pretty close to modernist/avantgarde propaganda? If we would argue it is not, unless they clearly do not express this message, then conclusion would leave plenty of propaganda unnoticed.
key to modernism is the idea of 'truth' so it would deny its being propaganda.  And in the idea of 'originality' is origin – hence the origin of PE was Whitehouse (et al) – and why Bennett says latter PE is not original but is “plagiarism”, I think his use implies not the passing of actual whitehouse work as some others, but that this latter PE is not original.  I'm not defending this, I don't see originality as significant these days.

Jliats compressed list of slogans about art & truth is prime example of propaganda itself.

With respect they are not my slogans, and not propaganda. “‘Make It New’ refers to Ezra Pound’s (1885–1972) modernist imperative and his 1934 collection of essays of the same name. This slogan compels the writer to create out of the material of art work that is distinctively innovative. “
“'Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.' – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know".  - from the poet Keats. "Less is more" - Ad Reinhardt,  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe both used this term.

Advocation as HWN as or "end of art", or "truth is beauty" approach vastly propagandist in core.

If HWN is basically logical end result of entropy, where it is almost substitute of tranquil state of.. paradise? As many might know, I am rather advocate of struggle, conflict and vital life force and will. That often can be also seen expressed in my work. Propaganda, yes of course! Yet always different from propaganda of "pure (non)art".

The case for the end of art is not one of entropy but of a conclusion, and essence is achieved, the core or origin, perfect order, or end of the dialectic.  And this is the end of Modernist Art / Music is its essence and originality.

And I think to advocate “ struggle, conflict and vital life force” seems to be very like the post-modern idea of Deleueze's use of Joyce's term chaosmos  To be clear i'm not advocating modernism or its slogans, i'm saying its seems its generally agreed its over, and what has replaced modernism's uniformity is a multitude of differing perspectives, some serious, others ironic.
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2020, 01:14:21 PM »

With respect they are not my slogans, and not propaganda. “‘Make It New’ refers to Ezra Pound’s (1885–1972) modernist imperative and his 1934 collection of essays of the same name. This slogan compels the writer to create out of the material of art work that is distinctively innovative. “
“'Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.' – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know".  - from the poet Keats. "Less is more" - Ad Reinhardt,  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe both used this term.

It is like one could watch Hollywood comedy of past decade, and try to tell himself that it is not propaganda, but "just a movie".
One can conclude that some things are not ONLY propaganda, as it would no longer work for target audience. They may still exists in very much conscious attempt of organized distribution of doctrines of ideology, with intent to cause change.


The case for the end of art is not one of entropy but of a conclusion, and essence is achieved, the core or origin, perfect order, or end of the dialectic.  And this is the end of Modernist Art / Music is its essence and originality.

And I think to advocate “ struggle, conflict and vital life force” seems to be very like the post-modern idea of Deleueze's use of Joyce's term chaosmos  To be clear i'm not advocating modernism or its slogans, i'm saying its seems its generally agreed its over, and what has replaced modernism's uniformity is a multitude of differing perspectives, some serious, others ironic.

Yes, modernism as general movement is over. Dead and gone.
What you described as "The case for the end of art is not one of entropy but of a conclusion, and essence is achieved, the core or origin, perfect order, or end of the dialectic" seems exactly what could be cultural entropy. Everything reaches supposed logical end and "essence" where inevitable final level is reached and no change or variation remains.
Essence of creative works barely seems to be about semi-religious "perfect order" or "end of the dialectic", but core/origin is (often unexplained) will to create and will express, will to stand in opposition of current. To praise entropy/static/assumed conclusion is mere ideology. Solid black canvas as conclusion of art is that too. One can only theorize it in context of art dialogue, while will to create may be ideology, but resonate with reality to vastly higher degree.
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2020, 02:00:54 PM »

Certainly now off topic, but i've just written this in response to a conversation... and wondered does it "chime" at all with your thoughts, i think it might...

"On a visit to Paris about 4 years ago we tried to get into the Pompidou centre – free on first Sundays in the month, but the queue was miles, so went to the ethnographic museum @ Musée du quai Branly which knocked me out. All these so called primitive peoples making stuff, not bothered about art etc. This became my motivation and still is. And i guess there is both a fetish about gear, esp. Eurorack which dumping the logic and accepting this makes it OK for me. Fun, but serious fun. This amounts to a reversal of my previous thinking of using logic and reason. I suppose then also not using software? And planning... so i'm now fairly chaotic with real time patching. "
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2020, 02:12:39 PM »

To bounce off the propaganda element of art (which the Russians continue to be brilliant at), I'm sure Malevich would have found some amusement in Suprematism's unintentional influence on social media with the recent BLM protests...

https://www.artsy.net/news/artsy-editorial-art-worlds-engagement-blackouttuesday-fire-critics-activists
https://hyperallergic.com/253361/art-historian-finds-racist-joke-hidden-under-malevichs-black-square/
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2020, 04:29:48 PM »

Before trying to explain myself, I’ll just sorta leave this quote from Thomas Ligotti, which is what actually got me on this subject (I’ll come back to the quote later, maybe) -

Quote
Only caricatures can have a good solid reality. Everyone else is an impenetrable mix of qualities that ultimately add up to nothingness.

But first, on with the nothingness-

The use of "art" for spreading a message is propaganda

If art can exist in a vacuum, I'd agree.

Actually I'm not sure of your point here.

Art as a tool for spreading propaganda. Or propaganda a tool for spreading art. It’s art. Propaganda, perhaps, but art. Everything in there, however defined, is art. The word, is there. Which could rhyme with some of what collapsedhole was saying about the essence of pe, and maybe my own earlier comments about everything happening on the Con-Dom stage necessarily taking part in/of the act, the art. Get punched in the fucking face, for art!


And that none of these things exists in isolation. And the words matter. Take JLIAT frequently tagging, in part and in whole, the Vomir manifesto. What would HNW be without these declarations, without someone telling me what it is? And in any event too late to speculate. It has evolved to be what it is, and certainly not in isolation.

The caricature of the tough guy. Good solid reality, there. Good shit. People need to see that.

edit
(Apologies for the blatant pro tough guy propaganda.)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 04:53:35 PM by Bloated Slutbag » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2020, 05:07:36 PM »

… What would HNW be without these declarations, without someone telling me what it is?

It would be HNW, the limit of the 'musical' development in a musical genre. The declarations, and the telling maybe helping one to see this, but in no way necessary.

Because when Bennett created PE for instance there was no declaration. That came after. There was an intent to do something provocative and shocking, but that's hardly a script. As he said there was “A particular void to be filled” … “A sense of adventure”. (and IMO to simply want to shock is not  avant garde Art - his claim)

Personal anecdote.

I remember when Derek Bailey played at the college where i was a student, i'd never head of the guy or Music Improvisation Company, but a friend said he was a notable guitarist. Well he never touched his guitar but after awhile slowly used his chair on the floor to make noises, i got this without any explanation.
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2020, 05:41:19 PM »

… What would HNW be without these declarations, without someone telling me what it is?

It would be HNW, the limit of the 'musical' development in a musical genre.

Will concede that it certainly is a limit. There may be more of them kicking around than we might think.

edit
I'd still incidentally argue the words will change how it is received. Or, effectively, what it is. This goes for sounds and the fist in the fucking face. Right of passage no doubt in some (sub)cultures. Else we may well be circling back to the purely physical phenomenon.

Derek Bailey takes his chair and smacks me in the fucking face. No explanation needed. He later apologizes. Apology needed? Accepted? Does that change the way it is received? To the nose, unlikely. To the cranial matter behind it, very possibly.
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2020, 10:15:19 AM »


I'd still incidentally argue the words will change how it is received. Or, effectively, what it is. This goes for sounds and the fist in the fucking face. Right of passage no doubt in some (sub)cultures. Else we may well be circling back to the purely physical phenomenon.

Derek Bailey takes his chair and smacks me in the fucking face. No explanation needed. He later apologizes. Apology needed? Accepted? Does that change the way it is received? To the nose, unlikely. To the cranial matter behind it, very possibly.

How it is received - sure- what it is - not IMO.

This reduces Art to concepts, which obviously has occurred. The art object, or action in this case having no intrinsic value as art. Art becomes, in the case above a matter of opinion. One may accept the apology or not, which in turn alters the nature of the act. The act itself is empty, (of art).

Constable (the painter) on seeing a Turner depicting a sunset hung near one of his landscapes exclaimed in anger- “He has fired a gun!” Others might appreciate the violent depiction of nature differently, as awesome. The genius of the paining remains.

Where Bennett goes wrong, avant garde art because of its originality often caused shock, but causing shock by an act or object doesn't make that object or act avant garde. Tough guy, so what ?there are plenty in pubs, bars etc. They are artists? Maybe some think so. (on topic)
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2020, 05:00:35 PM »

… What would HNW be without these declarations, without someone telling me what it is?

It would be HNW, the limit of the 'musical' development in a musical genre.


I am note sure about this.  If any lesson can be drawn from art history, it seems that it should be that every declaration of a "limit" in any particular medium has been surpassed and/or modified.  Besides, limits only exist if one takes a certain perspective.  HNW might be understandable as a limit from the perspective of convention music, perhaps.  However, if one adopts HNW as a starting point for their music, then the "limits" have been recontextualized and likely remain as of yet unknown.
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2020, 05:28:25 PM »


I'd still incidentally argue the words will change how it is received. Or, effectively, what it is. This goes for sounds and the fist in the fucking face. Right of passage no doubt in some (sub)cultures. Else we may well be circling back to the purely physical phenomenon.

Derek Bailey takes his chair and smacks me in the fucking face. No explanation needed. He later apologizes. Apology needed? Accepted? Does that change the way it is received? To the nose, unlikely. To the cranial matter behind it, very possibly.

How it is received - sure- what it is - not IMO.

This reduces Art to concepts, which obviously has occurred. The art object, or action in this case having no intrinsic value as art. Art becomes, in the case above a matter of opinion. One may accept the apology or not, which in turn alters the nature of the act. The act itself is empty, (of art).

Constable (the painter) on seeing a Turner depicting a sunset hung near one of his landscapes exclaimed in anger- “He has fired a gun!” Others might appreciate the violent depiction of nature differently, as awesome. The genius of the paining remains.

Where Bennett goes wrong, avant garde art because of its originality often caused shock, but causing shock by an act or object doesn't make that object or act avant garde. Tough guy, so what ?there are plenty in pubs, bars etc. They are artists? Maybe some think so. (on topic)

But we're not getting randomly smacked in the fucking face by some random shmuck in a pub with too much blood in the alcohol. We are getting randomly smacked in the fucking face by some random shmuck in a pub with too much blood in the alcohol in the name of art. There's a difference. Put it on a stage, at a university, if you must, if any idea to the contrary offends. If it is to be presented as art then who I am say otherwise. Or put another way, perhaps the declaration of intrinsic value is the intrinsic value, or part of it. As the helping me to see might also be part of that (but don't give yourself too much credit!)

Where Bennett goes right is in attaching the word power. The power starts and ends with that word. With words, ideas, concepts. The electronics are, as Bennett seems to imply by demoting harsh noise to a coffee table aesthetic, almost extraneous. To his art. A proposition to which he would be more than welcome.
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2020, 06:53:35 PM »

Quote
But in the philosophic tabula rasa of art, “if someone calls it art,” as Don Judd has said, “it’s art.”

Can you see the consequences of this being the case?

BTW Bennett discusses the aesthetics and skill of electronics as well as the recordings as being important...
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2020, 07:50:50 PM »

Somehow this has now turned into a Guy Debord PE/Industrial thread...

Yeh, i think if anyone wants to discuss these ideas it would be best to start a new thread in vis art / lit as it might :-) annoy people here.
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« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2020, 05:43:54 AM »

It seems I allowed my somewhat addled brain to get trapped into roving too far along the words matter side of the reductive tendencies. The words matter, as does the presentation, the venue, whatever. It’s all in there. And none of it in isolation, especially now. At this point, any refusal to acknowledge what is (or was) going on all around could only be taken as an aesthetic, read artistic, decision. HNW is just one potential representation of the end of this particular rope, with or without the garbage bag over the head.

There was a discussion on the old troniks board. One chap criticized the idea of allowing what went on before to influence the creative act. Then literally one week later asked for “dark classical” recommendations. Parts of which as far as I can hear have been incorporated quite ingeniously into a now very respectable body of work.

I’m with Burroughs on the idea of plagiarism. It’s part and parcel of the creative act. The critique of pathetic tough guy copy-cats is pushing art, the creative act, into a pure realm. Which may theoretically exist, but effectively does not. If it ever did, and perhaps it did, I couldn’t see that it would. Now.
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2020, 09:14:17 AM »



I am note sure about this.  If any lesson can be drawn from art history, it seems that it should be that every declaration of a "limit" in any particular medium has been surpassed and/or modified.  Besides, limits only exist if one takes a certain perspective.  HNW might be understandable as a limit from the perspective of convention music, perhaps.  However, if one adopts HNW as a starting point for their music, then the "limits" have been recontextualized and likely remain as of yet unknown.

Well under this new thread i can say i think history shows the opposite.  In fine art i've already mentioned Danto, Lucy Lippard and Joseph Kosuth. There is much more, any text on post-modernism, in Architecture famously 'Learning from Las Vegas' through to Wiki,

Quote
"Modernism is both a philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflected a desire for the creation of new forms of art, religion, philosophy, and social organization which reflected the newly emerging industrial world, including features such as urbanization, new technologies, and war. Artists attempted to depart from traditional forms of art, which they considered outdated or obsolete. The poet Ezra Pound's 1934 injunction to "Make it new!" was the touchstone of the movement's approach.

Modernist innovations included abstract art, the stream-of-consciousness novel, montage cinema, atonal and twelve-tone music, and divisionist painting. Modernism explicitly rejected the ideology of realism and made use of the works of the past by the employment of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody. Modernism also rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and many modernists also rejected religious belief. A notable characteristic of modernism is self-consciousness concerning artistic and social traditions, which often led to experimentation with form, along with the use of techniques that drew attention to the processes and materials used in creating works of art.

While some scholars see modernism continuing into the 21st century, others see it evolving into late modernism or high modernism.[8] Postmodernism is a departure from modernism and rejects its basic assumptions.

I'm not familiar with the arguments that see modernism continuing into the 21st, i'm aware it now exists as a style. But the force of modernism - its differences given above are no longer possible.

And more recently "Conceptual poetry is an early twenty-first century literary movement, self-described by its practitioners as an act of "uncreative writing.""

Thus any and every text can be poetry. Cage's 4'33" any sound can be music, even accidental ambience. Duchamp - any object can be art, Robert Barry - nothing can be art... Art and Language - Art is Tautology.

The road via purism leads to nothing being art or everything being art. What is then any artists to do if whatever they do is art. The idea that art is then just some opinion regardless of any sound, shape or form given the ideas of modernity, effects the making of anything unnecessary 'decoration' to this idea.

"The “value” now of an original Cubist painting is not unlike, in most respects, an original manuscript by Lord Byron, or The Spirit of St. Louis as it is seen in the Smithsonian Institution. (Indeed, museums fill the very same function as the Smithsonian Institution – why else would the Jeu de Paume wing of the Louvre exhibit Cézanne’s and Van Gogh’s palettes as proudly as they do their paintings?) Actual works of art are little more than historical curiosities. As far as art is concerned Van Gogh’s paintings aren’t worth any more than his palette is. They are both “collector's items.”" - Kosuth.

Even the modernist idea of progress has gone - given this modernist limit. Ergo many galleries of Modern art, Tate Modern e.g. no longer exhibit works chronologically. Which is odd as there was a development in modernism of what went before. So i see no difference to this uncreative limit to be found in say HNW and Vomir. (TNB also?) It sounds like meaningless noise, OK read the text, what does it say, "its meaningless noise".  Not surprisingly then
Romain Perrot has ventured BACK - in his case to using a guitar and "singing". "Shit folk" is it called?






« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 09:22:42 AM by JLIAT » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2020, 10:06:29 AM »

I’m with Burroughs on the idea of plagiarism. It’s part and parcel of the creative act. The critique of pathetic tough guy copy-cats is pushing art, the creative act, into a pure realm. Which may theoretically exist, but effectively does not. If it ever did, and perhaps it did, I couldn’t see that it would. Now.

plagiarism is interesting topic. I guess somewhat related could be... neoism? Whatever one thinks of mr. Home's ideas, it probably does resonate some ways within noise & industrial culture? Just recently found 1999 published book in second hand store. Odd to see book by Finnish author, published by proper publisher and dealing with situationists, avantgarde in general plus mostly Stewart Home. He was basically the main figure of the book. Perhaps easier to understand knowing how "big" Home books were in Finland of 90's. Now there was about 20 years gap of no new translations coming at all.

I think it is purely up to debade, what is plagiarism. Lets say, Gary Mundy sees Whitehouse show as teenager, and next day he has Ramleh formed. Ramleh doesn't have same tools, but utilizes voice, synth, feedback and outrageous topics. If someone would say that is prime example of being copycat, it would be hard to really argue against in any other way than say first of all they sounded different and they went to sound even more vastly different.

I could move on to more personal examples:

In Finland, and at the era that I know personally, I could easily observe ANY band that existed at early 90's and they all were born in nearly cultural vacuum. This generation, that was mostly guys with punk and metal backgrounds, and had that before internet, you just did not know there even was thing called "noise". People know Swans, Laibach, Einturzende Neubauten and such, but even explosion of Japanese noise had not reached Finland until like... mid 90's. Whatever content or sound people were creating, was not result of copying something. One could name things like U.N.D., Bizarre Uproar, Grunt and there was also more at the time even if bigger growth of Finnish stuff happened in 97-99.

When someone concludes about things like early finnish scene would recycle "noise cliches". Gasmasks, pornography, war, violence, etc.
I think none of it came as influence from noise or power electronics genre when things were starting. Same time or even before music, there was video trading, smut film, gore, sleazy self-financed comic books, collecting discarded porn mags and random torn out pages, etc etc.
It is actually curious thing, that as a "comic artists", I used to do gore & violence at first. Then concluding that it would be "cliche" and all the early 90's comic books I put out were something very different. And they tend to look exactly like comics were at the time. Instead of following your instinct, it was youngster trying to do something "new" but ending up doing what was welcomed in the climate of that moment. Attempting to avoid "cliche", but therefore becoming far more cliche in doing so. Even Grunt, at very first, was intentionally trying to stay away from use of smut & violence, as there was notion of it being "cliche". Absolutely no regrets, since I do have also other interests to deal with... However, it was impossible to keep doing material and avoid dealing things that were the actual influences and things you dealt with, collected, hunted, traded and was surrounded with.

Assumption that things in genre would somehow emerge from guy X, and rest would follow via means of plagiarism is total nonsense. Many may not copy the guy X, but live in same reality, surrounded by enough similar things to come up with something that may look plagiarism - yet is the purely original idea of creator.

First couple of years of all mentioned bands created industrial-noise as if they invented it. I feel this is the feeling that is mostly missing (haha.. see another topic). Feeling that you created something unique, even if you damn well did not. You thought sampling of Videodrome or Slave Sex vhs is totally unique thing to be done. You will find out about it when you find the other guys who had the exact same ideas. Since era of dominating internet, change is that one basically knows everything before is making anything. It does change nature of work.

Question would be, as outsider who knows about "art theory" and "art history" in style or mr. JLIAT, is he able to see emerging art that happens from other perspective? That suddenly the theory and history of genre is barely related to "art" that is happening.

There is curious moment in Knifedoutofexistence interview, that still as recently as like decade ago, man could have this unusual feeling: In interview he explains being exposed to noise for the first time, and getting this idea, what if noise would have vocals like punk, something shouted over the sheer ripping noise, wouldn't that be great idea. Living for short period of life under impression that he was the guy to think about this first, basically inventing power electronics while not obviously having such genre tag to it. Interview is also interesting for their dislike towards power electronics, and rather doing.. "sensitive electronics". Check here:
https://harshtruthspodcast.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/episode-19-knifedoutofexistence/

To continue with another podcast link, there is interesting episode of Noisextra:
https://www.noisextra.com/2020/05/20/robert-ashley-the-wolfman/

It discusses the known influence of Robert Ashey in Whitehouse. When you listen the Wolfman, the piercing feedback and total painfully ripping sound, done decades before Whitehouse, one can understand the influence. Even more so when it is being discussed the method of recording vocals, where every bit of silence, any moment of breathing is removed. Resulting surreal fast paced non-stop vocal attack going over electronics (heard in later era of Whitehouse). It would be absolutely silly to claim this to be copying ideas. It was just influences put to work in different context. I know there drastic difference of Whitehouse creating their own work - being influenced by handful of things kind of "outside the genre". Versus someone starting band in aim of sounding like Whitehouse as a genre band. And latter being the target of criticism. Not the former. However, I would say that for tons of artists, Whitehouse is one among many influences and for a lot of people it is indirect influence. Genre as a whole is more important than any specific artist or idea. Genre as a whole is so diverse that doing one more artistic work that falls under such umbrella term, is barely mere copy.

Is the work creative or original? It is hard to measure, I'd say. If one would take example of DEATHPILE. I recall when it was often laughed as americans not "getting" PE. Just blunt electronic noise mass, with tough guttural vocals roaring about topics that had zero artistic nuance.. hehe. But THIS is what created entirely new type of PE. There is no other band do what Deathpile did then. There was none then, and there is none now. It is not so unheard, that it would spawn genre of its own, of course not. Nevertheless, seems to be fairly unique in sound and approach, where his creations reflected the place, time, technology and spirit of the moment when these creations happened. By definition, that was original. If it was done now, it would be almost like retro.
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