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The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

The Spotify Playlist

A Spotify Playlist To Celebrate The Launch Of Louder Than War
John Robb , December 10th, 2010 09:10

John Robb tells us about his new website LouderThanWar, and compiles us a Spotify Playlist

Click here to listen to the LouderThanWar playlist.

'A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of the power of music. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre but we cannot be stopped…'

The picture that you see of me is taken at Karl Marx's table in Chethams Library in Manchester, where he sat in the late 1840's and researched Das Kapital. And whilst I'm not tugging at my shaggy grey beard and waiting for Engels to turn up, and while he was hardly wondering about a bunch of noisy mp3s, we are somehow linked by the vagrancies of time. We are idealists in our own different ways and we are sat at this table separated by 160 tumultuous and noisy years.

It is at this famous desk that I am researching and writing LouderThanWar- my ipad replacing his quill.

It's quite fitting in way.

It's not a very spectacular table. In fact, it looks like a kitchen table. It has sat unloved and unused in the corner of a room that has not changed atall since Marx was last here.

The table sits in an alcove by the lattice worked windows that Marx would stare out of. There is no graffiti on the table.

Marx, when he was bored, didn't carve 'Capitalism is for pigs' or 'Up the workers' or football graffiti- it was to be another decade before the first professional football team would appear, and Marx doesn't seem the sporting type.

This was his spot, though; even if there are no long stringy bits of grey beard lying on the floor you can feel his presence in the room. He would recognize it now. The same weighty tomes on the shelves, the same timeless silence and the same sense of history that hangs in the perfumed air.

The table looks barely worn but the weight of history is upon it, and that's what I love. I look out of the windows that Marx once stared from and at the medieval courtyard that few people in Manchester know about. It's the same view that he would have mused upon whilst attempting to find a solution to the industrial revolution.

The room itself reeks of history. Every day I am sat here and a couple of earnest-looking monk types leaf through the books hauled from the shelves. They wrestle with spiritual matters and in my own way, so do I.

The books on the shelves are at least 300 years old and have that smell of knowledge, dust, incense and strange insects to them. It is silent in here, like time has stood still, and a man can catch his breath from the never-ending buzz and whirr of modern culture and make sense of it like Marx did in his time in the heart of the world's first industrial city.

It is very fitting that I am sat here to write my very own manifesto.

Every great band, arts movement, revolution had one.

So we will have one as well.

A manifesto, that is.

  1. Fast forward to the future... We are always looking for the new noise, the next buzz. We have no borders, no boundaries - all the musical skree of the 21st century is ours to celebrate.

  2. Old, new, borrowed and blue... The future does not mean a fear of the past. We have a wonderful archive of classic features which we will exhibit - movers and shakers from any period always burn brightly.

  3. The world is ours... No corner of the planet is beyond bounds. Norwegian death metal, Brazilian freak punk, Baille funk, Mexican quiff bop, English punk, electronic pop, Angolan Kuduro music, north African hip hop, the foulest bedsit dubstep, Manchester lad bands, Turkish gypsy music, Goa Trance, Japanese freak noise, African rhythms, Karnatik folk, Greek Mohawked anarchists and Indian metal hardcore… it's all in here and more. We celebrate the classic Anglo American axis, but we are not constrained by it. We are open to suggestions. We are open.

  4. Do you believe in the power of rock & roll... We still believe in the power of music and we still believe in the counter culture.

  5. New blood for young skulls... We actively seek new talent to complement the old. Great writers from the past rub shoulders with youthful first timers. We are open people.

  6. I am the resurrection. We have no truck with the loose talk of pop culture being over. It's not even started yet. These are fractured times and we are in the wild west of technology. There is an information overload and we are loving it.

  7. Keep on moving. We travel a lot and we have writers from all over the world. We love the idea that technology can disseminate information about raw, very human music. The primitive is everywhere - the music business is over. We are the Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady's of the 21st Century - the Internet is our highway.

  8. But we have no fear of the mainstream. There is great pop to love as well. We love the Beatles, modern girl pop and obscure Indian snake charmer music at the same time. We have Kraftwerk, WuTang, System Of A Down and Crass and a million others on our ipods. We love pop music and we love noise. It's our choice.

  9. Ignore alien orders was once written on a guitar. In 2010 it would be written in cyberspace.

  10. The old models of rivalry and competition are banished. We actively encourage our readers to enjoy our comrades work in the likes of The Quietus. We are all mere portals conveying information.

  11. The first rule of this Write Club is that there are no rules.

  12. Words are my weapons... The writing will be informative but also emotional. I want people who are immersed in culture and want to fire you up with their love of it.

  13. Music is one of the last things we have left. No-one owns it. We can all make it. And we can all celebrate it. It is beyond the accountant's grim fingers.

  14. People once wanted to save the world now they are saving up to buy it. We are a break from that.

  15. We are punk.

The LouderThanWar Spotify Playlist.

Black Flag - 'Rise Above'
Vybes Cartel - 'Last Years Clothes'
Poly Styrene - 'Black Christmas'
These New Puritans - 'Hidden'
Shining - 'Fisheye'
Paranoid Visions - 'Sonic Reducer'
Pulled Apart By Horses - 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat'
Killing Joke - 'The Great Cull'
Rolo Tomassi - 'French Motel'
Grinderman - 'Heathen Child'
M.I.A - 'The Message'
DJ Amazing Clay - 'Vinheta Clay'
Gnawa Njoum Experience - 'Leila A Kankour Jak'
Raghunath Manet - 'Veena Diamonds'
The Jim Jones Revue - 'High Horse'
Wardruna - 'Dagr'
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - 'Jah Jah Ah Natty Dread'
The Slits - 'Typical Girls'
Wu-Tang Clan - 'Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit'
The Stranglers - '5 Minutes'
Bad Brains - 'Big Take Over'
Kate Bush - 'Babooshka'
Autechre - 'Altibizz'
Kong - 'Last Hunt'
Ali Farki Toure & Toumani Diabete - 'Doudou'
Bear In Heaven - 'Bag Of Bags'
Cancer Bats - 'Sabotage'