Monday, May 19, 2014

The Soft Pink Truth: how to deal with unsavoury politics in black metal

Electronic artist Daniel Drew, AKA The Soft Pink Truth (and half of Matmos, Bjork collaborator etc) is releasing Why Do The Heathen Rage, an album of black metal covers, this summer (logo here and teaser video at the link above)

Here's Drew's take on homophobia and racism in black metal, from his label Thrill Jockey's advance publicity, which captures my feelings on the matter perfectly. Ideally, this is the line I'd like Terrorizer to take when writing about Burzum, Rob Darken and their ilk.

Disclaimer: Aesthetics and Politics are neither equivalent nor separable. Black metal fandom all too often entails a tacit endorsement or strategic looking-the-other-way with regards to the racist, anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic bulls**t politics that (still) pervade the scene, on behalf of either escapist fantasy talk, shaky invocations of art as a crypto-religious path to transcendence, or--the oldest cop out in the book--the quietist declaration that “I just like how it sounds.” 

Just as blasphemy both affirms and assaults the sacred powers it invokes and inverts, so too this record celebrates black metal and offers queer critique / mockery / profanation of its ideological morass in equal measure. 

Mixed emotions about a murky, diverse and self-differential scene are all very well, but, as Barack Obama is so fond of saying at press conferences just before legitimizing drone warfare, let’s be clear: No apologies, no excuses, and no escape clauses are hereby offered. Murderers are murderers. No safe space for fascist garbage. 

The Soft Pink Truth hereby abjures black metal homophobes, racists, and Nazis categorically and absolutely: MAY THIS CURSE BIND! Remember Magne Andreassen!

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