All The Pretty Horses…

Industrial Music Is Commodification
March 29, 2007, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

i’ve always been intrigued / alarmed by the cult of the collector around ‘industrial music’ – TG, PTV, Whitehouse, Death In  June yadda yadda yadda.

All of these acts one way or another seem to devote a lot of effort to releasing ultra-limited, ultra-collectable releases / mementos etc, and the collectors market around this scene is fucking crazy. You only had to look in the collectors case in Record & Tape Exchange, or the merchandise stall at the RE:TG gig, to see it in action. Coil were eternally releasing 5-copy only 12″s recorded on Samhain, covered in Jhon Balance’s Smeg and then selling for £11million each

Similarly, Whitehouse records – as shit as they are – change hands for insane money. A quick peruse of Ebay is bloody terrifying, and presumably this stuff isn’t just being collected by Japanese fanboys? And let’s not even MENTION Merzbow.

I know part of the deal with industrial music is to immerse yourself in the esoteric, the secret, the cultish, but this tendency to collecting scarily priced items does seem to be particularly rife here.

Anyone think why?


16 Comments so far
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It’s an adolescent obsession with feeling “special” – of having things that nobody else has, as a way of defining your identity*. Much much more on this in my forthcoming blog posts on 10 weeks of industrial culture floggage on ebay. (* and yes, there is an obvious reason why I know this!)

Comment by John Eden

my favourite is the death in june bowls

Comment by John Eden

ah, i look forward to it 🙂

Death In June bowls? amazing – were they skull shaped?

Comment by dubversion

I they had runes on them.

Comment by John Eden

that’s SO cool 😉

Comment by dubversion

bloody excellent:

totenkopf plate, sir? How about a calendar featuring Douglas P posing in front of european tourist attractions?

Comment by John Eden

ooh – he’s SO Teutonic 🙂

Comment by dubversion

you missed out the limited edition copy of the merzbow album that came sealed IN A CAR.

Comment by Anonymous

…… oh and in answer to your question – it’s just blokes innit.

Comment by brokenyolk

Douglas P once sold his car on ebay. He called it “Nemo” iirc and mentioned all the apocalyptic folk musicians he had driven around in it. I am slightly ashamed that I know that.

Comment by John Eden

How much was your final bid? Did you lose out by much?


Comment by dubversion

I think it actually ended with no bids, ha ha. Arthur Daley bizness.

Comment by John Eden

I was just about to say something about industrial obsessiveness, but fuck, never mind the Death In June connection, I actually really like that totenkopf watch!

Comment by Martin

I saw one of those watches in a goth shop in Edinburgh on Monday – but they were closed so i couldn’t check the price for you…

Comment by dubversion

[…] The totenkopf tango continues to this day, with Douglas P (DIJ’s only permanent member) doing very nicely out of the proceeds. Dull. I’ve even grown tired of misguided attempts by anti-fascists to get worked up by the band and its posturing. I take some comfort in the fact that I never felt the need to own a Death In June wristwatch. […]

Pingback by blog » Blog Archive » ebay diary: part five

I find that all sectors of “alternative” pop culture are far too inundated with uniformity and materialism. I began noticing in the 1990s that way too many “bohemians” were collecting all kinds of infantile merchandise which were, in effect, little more than props for their so-called “personalities.”
As for the DIJ watch: as much as I can’t help liking the totenkopf, the watch itself is embarassing to behold.
Maybe it would be better were the bracelet silver?
Great blog, by the way.

Comment by MCKRUSH

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