Matthew

FKA Woebot
this will no doubt cause blissblogger intense embarassment and awkwardness.

TOUGH SHIT SIMON.

he is likely perfectly happy NOT being the subject of any hagiography.
"it's not a competition" he might say in all sincerity - typical of his self-effacing modesty.
but we're going to do it anyway. [in a small but durably sticky way].
and the reason is because the record needs to be made straight.

time and time again we've seen simon manoevred into singing the praises of,
well,
just about everything good...!

as a talking head on tv shows,
quoted in books or magazine articles
and as a participant in roundtable discussions.

recently he's found himself the go-to man in any discussion about k-punk.
endlessly generous about mark.
this last i've thought odd because no-one seems to realise that:
for many of us,
for mark himself too arguably,
the real colossus was simon himself.

the gen z crew:
SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS

off the top of my head all of the following:
irvine welsh,
mark fisher,
kodwo eshun,
tariq goddard,
steve goodman,
martin clark,
owen hatherley,
john eden,
carl neville,
luke davis,
droid,
the sad bartman,
catherine backhouse,
[obviously] me,
owe simon a debt of influence - usually a large one - but never a negligible one.

sure we all have other important "influences"
but how many of those people deign to humour us?
bother to engage with us?

the thing that [perhaps] nixes the gen z/social media understanding is that
THIS IS JUST MUSIC JOURNALISM
[it is][is it?][it isn't][it is]

the best and clearest analogy i can use to clarify my own appreciation of the reynolds oevre is with science fiction.
in the early days this was seen as churned-out throwaway pap.
no-one took it seriously.
but as we know from the nuum itself, it is in the cultural gutter that the real things happen.
in terms of his influence, his vision,
i see reynolds as being equivalent to the likes of JG Ballard and Philip K Dick.

new book please.

[EDIT: there's a galaxy of people i could have added to the list of *auteurs* "influenced" by simon. most i didn't include because it seemed presumptious of me. likes of: dave stelfox, oliver craner, jim clarke.]
 
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luka

Active member
Staff member
I'm taking a break from dissensus cos I'm trying to learn some things and I can't be spouting off and do that at the same time but have to chip in to second this very violently and forcefully. Simon is the reason everybody's here. He's the real visionary. I've talked about this with Barty loads, we really used his framework as a basis for what we did. I've talked about it with Matthew loads. This is Reynolds-world basically.
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
And like you say he talked to us. Which is unprecedented. No one else has ever done that in history. He was the first aristocrat to talk to the mob. I was 19 when I sent him an email and started corresponding with him. That generosity, ability and willingness to listen is the basis for whatever community was established subsequently.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I'm taking a break from dissensus cos I'm trying to learn some things and I can't be spouting off and do that at the same time but have to chip in to second this very violently and forcefully. Simon is the reason everybody's here. He's the real visionary. I've talked about this with Barty loads, we really used his framework as a basis for what we did. I've talked about it with Matthew loads. This is Reynolds-world basically.
True.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I thought he had died for a second when I saw this :eek:

I can't actually remember if I read 'Energy Flash' before I wandered on here, or if it was visa versa. Perhaps I heard of it via dubstepforum, what with people like Kode 9 posting on there. Anyway, reading it really did change my perspective on electronic music (and all music, actually) forever. And aside from everything else I've loved that he's written, I particularly loved 'Rip It Up and Start Again'. Everytime Simon writes a piece for pitchfork or RA or whatever I read it with admiration and envy. The thing about ambient music recently was great. Oh, and he maintains those standards ON HERE, FFS — with nobody but about 20 peasants reading it. BRAVO, L'ARTISTE!
 

catalog

Active member
I've only read those 'ardkore pieces, which were brilliant, but i've not read any of his books. i think cos he posts here regularly, i just think of him as part of the furniture, not so special. but i should read one of the books. I massively appreciate his posts and general knowledge tho. he made a post about how to write which was good - about how reaching for something in the text is what its about.

the archive is HUGE tho - where to start?? what is the reynolds canon?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I've only read those 'ardkore pieces, which were brilliant, but i've not read any of his books. i think cos he posts here regularly, i just think of him as part of the furniture, not so special. but i should read one of the books. I massively appreciate his posts and general knowledge tho. he made a post about how to write which was good - about how reaching for something in the text is what its about.

the archive is HUGE tho - where to start?? what is the reynolds canon?
Energy Flash!!!

Rip it up and start again is really great, too, though arguably less relevant to Dissensus' usual talking points.

The only other one I've read in full is Bring the Noise, which I'd highly recommend — it's a collection of reviews/articles and blogs.

I own Retromania but I've never actually read it — nothing against it, just one of the thousands of books I've made a start on and then been distracted from.

We've actually been essentially talking about retromania on here for the last however many years.
 
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catalog

Active member
added to list - i'm gonna have to start cancelling some more people so i can read him. also, i stopped reading straight music crit years ago, i dunno why. i used to absolutely love it, read books and books, even without neccessarily listening or liking the artist concerned. but somethings happened, i don't know what, and i don't read music crit anymore. i think its cos my relationship with music has changed, or maybe i no longer beleive what any critic can tell me? fuckknows
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Music crit is basically all I've been reading lately. It's the kind of thing I actually have to stop myself from reading so I can go to sleep on time. I guess cos everything's on the surface (there's no need to interpret things, as in a novel or poem) it's easy to read, but also - mainly - it's about music, which is the real passion of my life, more so than literature and art.

Energy Flash is right up everyone on Dissensus's street. It practically is our street.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Really should read 'Blissed Out' ...

The glam rock book was of zero interest to me until recently. Now I've been reading about 70s rock all the time it seems like it might be just the ticket.
 

catalog

Active member
i used to read nme religiously have read loads of bios, but can't even remember the last thing i read. like you say, it used to be a nice warm bath for me, total pleasure, to hear someone take a para to describe a song.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It's particularly great reading music crit now if you've got spotify/youtube to hand cos you can listen to all the stuff you're reading about as you read...

Recently I've read/read part-most of

Nick Kent - The Dark Stuff, Apathy for the Devil
Woebot - The Book of Woe
Ian Macdonald - The People's Music
Lester Bangs - Mainlines, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste

Just copped 'Blissed Out' on Kindle
 

catalog

Active member
i was more into bios.... the last one i really remember enjoying was straight time by art pepper, my jazzer mate gave it me.

i was thinking of going along to a penman talk that was in manchester, to promo his last book, then realised i didn't really know his writing all that much. i read one of his articles on tricky and it was... embarrassingly bad.

i did read and enjoy recently will ashon's book on wu tang clan - can recc. that. came to it via his psychogeography book on epping forest though (also v good, prob better than the wu book tbh).

praps simons next book needs to reach beyond music into another area altogether??? i like his ruminations about living in SoCal and notiing his kids habits. maybe some kind of novel on all that scene would be good.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Oh I forgot Penman, his book I read last year (collection of LRB articles). Loved it, thought it was great.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Interesting (coincidental?) that Simon's written an article about the return of new age music lately and Woeb has written a book about the wellness movement which presumably covers some of the same music?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
It's particularly great reading music crit now if you've got spotify/youtube to hand cos you can listen to all the stuff you're reading about as you read...

Recently I've read/read part-most of

Nick Kent - The Dark Stuff, Apathy for the Devil
Woebot - The Book of Woe
Ian Macdonald - The People's Music
Lester Bangs - Mainlines, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste

Just copped 'Blissed Out' on Kindle
Try Greil Marcus' Mystery Train as well, you'll love it.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Yes, it's got stuff about Sly Stone, Elvis, Robert Johnson, The Band. Plenty of self-destruction and drugs. But most importantly, incredible prose.
 
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