Sample Clearance With Steve Albini

The Quietus:

Seeking clearance for the vocal sample, Powell emailed Albini, saying how much the music of Big Black had meant to him and explaining what he did. Mr Albini subsequently replied that though it seemed that “you’ve got a cool thing set up for yourself” he was hardly partial to the sort of fruity EBM that Powell makes. “I am absolutely the wrong audience for this kind of music. I’ve always detested mechanized dance music, its stupid simplicity, the clubs where it was played, the people who went to those clubs, the drugs they took, the shit they liked to talk about, the clothes they wore, the battles they fought amongst each other… basically all of it, 100 percent hated every scrap.”

Oh dear. Albini continued: “The electronic music I liked was radical and different, shit like the White Noise, Xenakis, Suicide, Kraftwerk, and the earliest stuff form Cabaret Voltaire, SPK and DAF. When that scene and those people got co-opted by dance/club music I felt like we’d lost a war. I detest club culture as deeply as I detest anything on earth. So I am against what you’re into, and an enemy of where you come from”.

Despite this, Albini was quite happy to let Powell use the vocal sample: “I have no problem with what you’re doing,” he wrote. “I haven’t bothered listening to the links, mainly because I’m in a hotel with crappy internet at the moment but also because it probably wouldn’t be to my taste and that wouldn’t help either of us. In other words, you’re welcome to do whatever you like with whatever of mine you’ve gotten your hands on. Don’t care. Enjoy yourself.”

Update: Steve Albini vs. Dance Music: A Timeline

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