Re: TECHNO MUSIC: Faithless

Hagbard Celine (
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 13:25:05 -0400

James Rogers wrote:

> Ska? Cool! I am fan of (old-school) ska.

There is no other kind in my book. Extropians take note -- if anarchy is
your mantra, learn to skank and check out the punk scene.

> I do have to say that "ska" as
> currently defined in popular media is significantly different than the CDs
> I collected from the 80s (and before).

I would tend to agree, just look at the "newly refurbished" Bosstones.

> It seems that the term "ska" has
> been co-opted to create the latest "cool genre".

The ska scene (and to a lesser extent the now overinclusive punk scene)
was born out of a certain disregard for mainstream values and tastes.
Die-hard skinheads (I'm talking about "rude boys" not the white
supremacists) have become very territorial these days about their music.
I've been to three ska shows already this summer (Blue Meanies,
Pietasters, Spring Heeled Jack) where the MTV-birthed neo-ska crowd
found themselves trampled underfoot -- literally. A lot of old-timers
react violently to this adolescent infiltration. For them, it's a
lifestyle -- and they don't want anyone diluting it.

> Bands like No Doubt may
> demonstrate some ska influences, but the music doesn't really resemble ska
> as represented by The Specials, Madness, and even earlier groups like the
> Skatellites(sp?).


I was at first intrigued by the notion of a ska band with a frontwoman.
I had seen pictures of Gwen Stefani in Spin and RS, along with articles
suggesting that No Doubt's "unique form of ska" owed much to her bizarre

Then I listened to them.

True her voice is quite interesting, but there's very little ska to be
found in the music -- just a horn or two and some quick upstrums on the
guitar every now and then.

As far as my favorite ska groups go, I love the Specials and the
Skatalites -- you almost have to. Old Bosstones, The Pietasters, and the
Toasters are also way up there. My friend's band Spring Heeled Jack is
phenomenal (along the lines of Reel Big Fish) and then there's all the
ska-core like Mephiskapholes, The Skeletones, and Voodoo Glow Skulls.

If you ever get the chance (and it seems unlikely since they've broken
up) but Connecticut ska-lord Joe Curran's old band The Spicy Gribblets
puts on perhaps the greatest live ska show I've ever seen.

> Yes, techno and electronica in general is a genre for which I have an
> affinity. My personal influences tend to be in the techno/trance/ambient
> area, but occasionally the influence of 80's darker synth pop (along the
> lines of the New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Cure) sometimes appear to trickle
> into my work, most likely because I have a fairly large collection of that
> stuff as well. At one time or other I have been involved in nearly every
> major music style I can think of. I like music for its own sake.

As do I. I'm not so up on my electronica, although I dig the hard-core
stuff like Cubanate and Atari Teenage Riot. Also, Prodigy and the
Chemical Brothers are my main techno-based staples.

I've been toying with the idea of working a ska-techno hybrid, possibly
even reggae-techno. I'd be interested to hear any DJs that may have
already attmepted this.

> I currently use Performer, but have used a few other packages. The state
> of sequencers is such that it doesn't really matter what you use as long as
> you learn how to use it well. Having not previously used sequencers under
> MacOS, the choice of Performer was completely random. I don't currently
> have any audio recording capability, but I am looking into the various
> digital 8-track hard-disk systems, both modular and computer-based.

I need to do some serious homework on this. I think I'll start by
looking at Performer. Thanks.

Should we take this to private e-mail?