Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bill Drummond

Infamous avant-schemer and celebrated pop-culture philosopher Drummond – he of band Big In Japan, Bunnymen / Teardrops management to chill-out initiator and dance-tent ringmaster with The KLF and writer of several tomes outlining his and his co-conspirators various endeavours (not least his books with a certain Mark Manning like Bad Wisdom and project of founding and recording as a variety of bands conjured up from their collective warped minds) - here unleashes his theory on the death of music, especially recorded music, as we know it. Following this theory he details his expeditions to instigate series’ of seventeen people recording sounds on a variety of themes instinctually and playing them once then deleting them. So far so Tate Modern think you? Not so, the very idea of stripping music down to it’s (theorized) ancient essentials stems from his art-school-punk grounding and along the nomadic travails undertaken in exploration we get entertained by Drummonds’ tales of his colourful music past, his own musings on music, it’s affects on him as played out against a backdrop of life’s lashings as he bristles at contemporary artists and popular music culture geared to stifling creativity and integrity, and you get a revealing, open glimpse into the ravenous mind that’s driven his projects so far. An endearing – even rants at obvious targets like Bono and Clapton are still entertaining - rambling account wherein he can’t completely abscond from his love of music, books, art and culture, however much he sticks the knife in and dissects to create and attempt to maintain manifestos aimed at essentially reinvigorating, and coming to terms with, the lapse of interest in the very things he was once so passionate about, that informed his whole life, and, you guess, that came easier perhaps. Without the love of the topic in hand though, this part-theory, part-memoir would just be an academic treatise as stagnant as that which he rails against. That it could never be. In a huge bright red hardcover, it’s a thing of beauty, as books, or such books, should be, mirroring, as surely Drummond would undoubtedly adore (!), his old charge Julian Cope’s lovingly presented books on ancient archaeology. Thrice equally, as Copey would say, he’s a forward-thinking motherfucker, and also as affable and self-effacing a narrator. A tome to savour for sure, dip into and take inspiration from.
Stu Gibson

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails