The Null Device
I just turned on the radio (not planning to) and was surprised to recognise the song playing: Eric B and Rakim's Paid in Full; actually, the Coldcut remix featured on the American Psycho soundtrack. (Whether or not you've heard the song, you've heard the drum loop, which has become the third biggest cliché, after the Funky Drummer and Amen breaks, in countless songs released in the 90s.) Anyone know whether the Middle Eastern-sounding abstract female vocals used in the song are by Ofra Haza (as I've heard from somewhere)?
New Scientist has an interesting interview with Cult of the Dead Cow "foreign minister" Oxblood Ruffin, talking about the group's history and the "hacker"/"cracker" thing.
[the CDC] started in 1984 as a group using early networked computers long before the Web. You published whatever you wanted, pushing the free speech envelope. The name actually came from the two guys who started this, Grandmaster Ratte' and Franken Gibe. They were 14-year-old kids hanging out in Texas at this abandoned abattoir, one of these big ruined buildings where kids smoke cigarettes, talk about girls and create mayhem and bust Coke bottles. Grandmaster is now a hip-hop music producer living in Harlem. And Franken ended up going to Harvard.
"before you actually had to hack. You had to be considered a bit of a genius to do anything. Now it's just like any moron can run a script, and the next thing you know they're taking down the Pentagon."
Melbourne street paper Beat has a review of The Virgin Suicides, looking at the artistic and cultural side of the film, which looks very promising indeed.
A piece on Stephen Mallinder, founding member of art-electronica pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, now living in Perth and working as one half of tech-dub outfit the Ku-Ling Brothers (presumably of no relation to the Kul Teng Funk Overdose). Incidentally, the Ku-Ling Brothers are playing in Melbourne at Revolver tomorrow night; I don't know whether I'll get to see them though.
NME have published a list of the 10 most depressing albums of all time. Not surprisingly, both Joy Division albums are on this list; oddly enough, the Smiths don't feature even once.
Oh dear; wobbleboard star Rolf Harris will release a club dance record, on club label Tommy Boy. The record will have the title Fine Day, no doubt striking a chord with the E-popping crowd.
Only in the US: The latest craze in toys and executive stress-relievers lets you electrocute a death row convict.
"They come in looking like they had a rough day, but after they juice Marv they leave with a smile on their faces. It's a happy kind of thing."
Last year, the US recording industry snuck in a law (as a rider on a satellite TV bill), giving recording companies perpetual copyright of artists' recordings as "works for hire". The lobbyist who did the dirty deed was later hired by the RIAA, presumably as a reward for his loyalty. Now, the RIAA and artists have agreed that the work-for-hire law must go. I wonder how much of this is due to Internet-borne revelations of the corruption of the recording industry, as recounted by Courtney Love, Steve Albini and the like.