Postpunk

It’s one of life’s great musical pleasures that at the age of 70 Kim Gordon is still making loud abrasive music that’s every bit as antisocial as she was back in downtown NYC in 1981.

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Not many bands slipped through the cracks of my post-punk world in the early 80s but Modern English seem to have passed me by completely.

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This record, championed by my fellow music scribe Ged Babey, sounds so familiar, touching so many bases from my punk past, yet also sounds fresh. And that’s because, while it’s true that these musicians are no spring chickens, this is a new release.

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New year, New Order. This was a landmark release in so many ways when it came out in March 1983. Firstly because it marked the moment postpunk merged with electronic dance music, and made the link between 70s disco and 80s house music. Secondly because Blue Monday went on to become the biggest-selling 12-inch single of all time.

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When I first heard Xmal Deutschland in the early 1980s I thought I was listening to something new by Siouxsie And The Banshees. I’m sure I was not alone.

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When I first heard them 40 years ago, I thought the Jesus And Mary Chain were the most exciting new band I’d heard since The Sex Pistols. They still sound great in 2023.

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Requiem has to be the song to remember Geordie Walker, the Killing Joke guitarist who has died. Not just for its title but for his vast metallic slabs of electric guitar that scythe through the synth bass.

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Virgin Prunes began life at the same time, at the same social club in Dublin, as U2 – but went in a very different direction, blending avant-garde cabaret with improvisation and experimentation.

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Josef K – Romance

21st November 2023 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Postpunk

When what the music press lazily dubbed “The Scottish Sound” emerged at the end of the Seventies, Josef K were the yin to Orange Juice’s yang – the dark underbelly to their bright and sparkly pop.

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In 1980 the postpunk landscape was expanding in all sorts of new directions. Most of them had identifiable roots in punk but Orange Juice were odds with the New Wave mainstream.

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