Revered indie producer and engineer Steve Albini slams 'club culture' | EW.com

Music

Revered indie producer and engineer Steve Albini slams 'club culture'

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Esteemed engineer and former Big Black frontman Steve Albini has a well-documented history of criticizing everything from New Yorkers to online music streaming to Miley Cyrus. When Oscar Powell, a label exec who also releases electronic music as Powell, requested Albini’s permission to sample one of his vocals from Big Black, Albini—despite giving his approval—seized the opportunity to take on EDM and the modern state of dance 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 s–t they liked to talk about, the clothes they wore, the battles they fought amongst each other,” Albini wrote in a reply to Powell, The Quietus first reported. “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 but I have no problem with what you’re doing…”

But Albini’s response may actually lead to more listeners for Powell’s upcoming single, titled “Insomniac.” The DJ asked Albini for permission to use the email to promote the song; when Albini replied “still don’t care,” Powell’s label, XL, published the note in full on a billboard on London’s Commercial Street.

Albini confirmed to EW that he authored the email featured on the billboard.

Read his full comments about EDM below, per The Quietus, who published a photo of the billboard:

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.

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 but I have no problem with what you’re doing…

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.

Steve