I was always a strange kid. I must have been one of the very few 15-year-olds to be buying Mixmag back when it both still had a cover CD every month, and when the cover CD was often ridiculously better than the sterile, commercial DJ mixes available in the shops. Dirty Trancing mixed by Timo Maas. Tranceglobal Airways mixed by Sander Kleinenberg. Planet Progressive mixed by Cass. Elastic Breaks mixed by Plump DJs. 2001 A House Odyssey mixed by Yousef. Horizons by James Holden from Dirty Trancing instantly brings back memories of how I used to wait until the then object of my affection had come along the school corridor before going to wherever it was I was meant to be. That whole Yousef CD, but especially the first track, Onionz vs Joeski's Hold on To Your Love soundtracked what I now recognise as my first major bout of depression. The slightly distorted, faintly unreal atmosphere of Hold on To Your Love with its oddly pitched, low in the mix vocal and dirty kick-drum perfectly reflected the miasma that had descended upon me - self-pity mixed with anger, my mind fogged by something I couldn't even begin to understand.
Two years later, and I was mainly listening to Tool, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. And Tiësto. As I said, strange kid. Yet now when I'm feeling depressed, I almost never turn to the music I was listening to then. The music I've imbibed since, the Sleater-Kinneys, the Armor for Sleeps (sorry), the Manics are my first port of call. I both wish I had and am glad I didn't know about The Holy Bible back then, as without doubt I am an architect / They call me a butcher etc would have been my mantra instead of I'm going to show these bastards the same respect they're showing me/destroy bourgeois culture had been. The Manics' first three albums could have been made for the angsty, pretentious kid I was, the one set on destruction while trying as hard as he could to out pseud everyone around him.
And the desolation of so many of their lyrics. It's impossible to read the words to a song like Too Cold Here, knowing what Richey had been going through, and not feel pained by how you seem to be trespassing into someone's personal torment. Everyone asks what's wrong but what's right. It's easier to make love to a stranger than to ask a friend to call. Prison it's only four walls but sometimes the mind is the smallest prison of all.
Futile gestures. I'm all about them.
Always look for walls to lean beside.
Labels: idiotic nostalgia, music, non-politics, personal shit