The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


tQ Is 15! Help Us Stay Alive By Subscribing & Gobble A Load Of Perks
John Doran , September 5th, 2023 10:29

As tQ unexpectedly survives another turn around the sun, here's how you can help us by subscribing – and a list of the ACTUAL WEEKS WORTH of exclusive, subscriber-only archive content now available for you to delve into

September tries its best to break my heart every year. Another Summer over and I'm grateful I got to spend at least some of it at leisure with my partner and my boy. But I'm aware there are far fewer of these family days left than there are grains of sand on Tenby North Beach; or even coconut and mango flavoured Magnum Sun Lover ice creams to be eaten down Tower Road in Newquay. My boy will be through the door any second now, ready for a new academic year, except he no longer needs any practical help to locate the bus stop. Everything is changing. In the detritus he leaves behind him on the table, of Warhammer models in different states of construction and colouration, I can sense the future miniature ruins of all my plans. Look upon my works, tiny plastic men, and weep.

I get on my knees and thank, then, theQuietus, for giving my life balance. For the last 15 years, as every dawning Autumn brings with it the promise of gloom, plunging serotonin, and depleted dopamine, this website of mine and Luke Turner's – this website of yours really – offers exquisite counterbalance. There are a wealth of festival memories to pick through, helping us consolidate what we'll write about for the next 12 months. Usually we have Supernormal, but this year from Acid Horse to Krankenhaus via Supersonic we've experienced a wealth of incredible new bands and producers that we want to share with you. From the Queer Freedom Drone Ensemble to Haress, via T & The B, Shovel Dance Collective, Blacks' Myths, Backxwash and Ondata Rossa. Really, for me, I'm lucky that Autumn feels more like a time of rebirth than Spring. (This list will only lengthen when we get back from Unsound...)

It's this sense of the vibrancy of the international DIY/ weird/ experimental/ off the pipes underground that keeps me feeling psychically young. (I don't feel physically young. The only thing longer than my beard at the moment is my walking stick and all I'll say about that is this: mock people who 'strengthen the core' in haste, repent at painful leisure.) I thank the site for giving me hope for the future and not giving me too much scope for wallowing in nostalgia for the past... if we have a mantra or enchantment it has organically become, "You know, this is a great year for music..." Just take a look at our Albums Of The Year So Far chart and you will know it's true. Lankum. Khanate. James Holden. Yaeji. PoiL Ueda. JAAW. Surgeon. Heartworms. MC Yallah. You know... this genuinely is a great year for music.

More buoyancy comes from looking at the Megatron. 15 years ago the flat plan for the Quietus, the document detailing what we would cover in the coming months, was a dog-eared sheet of A4 paper with a grid drawn onto it in biro, with days of the week along one axis, time slots down the other; then it became the same configuration drawn on a white board; now it's a neat looking digital spreadsheet. But the vibe I get from it is still the same: where are we going to find the time and space to cover all of this essential new music which is pouring into our inboxes. Right across the board I can't wait for you to hear what articles we have planned with Gazelle Twin, Teeth Of The Sea, Aunty Rayzor, Charles Hayward, Napalm Death, The Cure, Matana Roberts, Idris Ackamoor, PC Music... and those are just some of the names I can talk about.

The core of what we do will always remain free to access at point of use but I find it gratifying to see how with every passing month more of a community is springing up around tQ's subscription service. We'll be doing more to enhance this idea of community over the coming months and we have some very, very exciting news about future of the site to share with you all soon as well but in the meantime I wanted to say, 'Happy birthday to us and thanks to those of you who subscribe for helping us reach this milestone.' In our hearts, like the site itself, we feel like 15 year olds even if the physical and psychological effects on our bodies and minds can be measured in dog years.

And if you'll indulge me for a short time longer, I'll answer a question, which I do get asked occasionally, which is, 'Why should I subscribe to the Quietus?' The answer I give is very straight forward. If you found some music or art or writing that has improved the quality of your life in any way over the last 12 months then please consider taking out a subscription. Not only will it give you a warm and fuzzy feeling of contributing to something worthwhile but I can assure you the perks are absolutely tremendous... and there are so damn many of them! The quality of the music we're giving away is just getting better and better and we have some incredible names to announce over the coming year, plus we're offering thought provoking essays, wide reaching playlists, newsletters and more. But don't just take my word for it. My dear pal Luke Turner has made a list of all of the stuff we've given away to subscribers so far. Just look at it all!

Happy birthday to us, here's to the next 15.
John Doran

Low Culture:
The Low Culture Essay

Each month we ask our favourite writers to expound and enthuse at length about a cultural artefact that they love, feel has been neglected, or has a aspect to it that is under-regarded. Here are the 35 essays we've run thus far, running to tens of thousands of words – by subscribing, you essentially get a book-length anthology of some of the best contemporary writers around on a crackers array of culture. Get all this by signing up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers here

Travis Elborough on Ian Nairn, Harry Sword on the Flashman novels, Paul Burston on David Bowie’s Baal, Audrey Golden on lost Factory film The Mad Fuckers, Jennifer Lucy Allan on the rave episode of Inspector Morse, Roy Wilkinson on Motörhead’s Bomber sleeve, Wendy Erskine on Rod Stewart’s ‘Hot Legs’ video, Joel McIver on Dredd, Michael Hann on Slade, Adelle Stripe on Julian Cope’s The Modern Antiquarian, Ryan Diduck on The Larry Sanders Show, Stephanie Phillips on Reeling With PJ Harvey, Andrew Mueller on Fatima Mansions' Lost In The Former West, Tara Joshi on Disney’s A Goofy Movie, Luke Turner on Dad’s Army, Emma Garland on Satellite City, Eliza Clark on Crusader Kings 3, Fergal Kinney on the BBC’s Manchester Passion, Mat Colegate on sword and sorcery films, Mike Jay on James S Lee’s drug memoir Underworld Of The East, Joy White on archiving grime, JR Moores on Dean and Gene Ween as the weirdo Lennon and McCartney, Sophie Robinson on what the X-Files taught her about love, Jeremy Allen on Arthur Brown, the god of hellfire, Tom Howells on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall And River Cottage, Paul Flynn on Hi-NRG, Daniel Spicer on Elvis Presley’s ‘Way Down’, Kat Lister on the Olivetti typewriter, David Keenan on Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World, Oobah Butler on Christian Jankowski, Richard Foster on the wyrd history of Accrington Stanley FC, Daniel Dylan Wray on John Cale, Noel Gardner on Viz, Megan Nolan on Billy Joel’s The Stranger, Darran Anderson on kids TV show Knightmare,

Top tiers perk:
The Low Culture Podcast

The monthly podcast has evolved over the past three years, from having a guest to discuss a record, film or book that they love, to tQ's editors Luke and John picking something that has that strange, intangible whiff of being very Quietus. We've opened it up lately too, asking our subscribers to pick subjects that they should talk about. New subscribers have hours of listening to catch up on with the following episodes all available from your local podcast provider. Get all this by signing up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers here

An OMD special, The Decline & Fall of Western Civilisation – The Metal Years, BBC horror The Stone Tape, The Heart of the Congos, Jo Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears, The Cure’s Disintegration vs Pornography, Chris Watson’s El Tren Fantasma, Enys Men and psychedelic light shows, Andor and guernsey jumpers, Diamanda Galás and the modern green funeral, Time Team and Escape from Colditz, Edward George on Whitney Houston, Gazelle Twin on the Enfield poltergeist, Lias Saoudi on Legends of the Fall, Jane Weaver on Gerry Rafferty, Natalie Sharp on Fun House, AGF on German rock group Silly, Mark Fell on Walkabout, Alli Logout of Special Interest on Velvet Goldmine, Nicky Wire on Echo & The Bunnymen, Jeanie Finlay on Lola Motes, Colin Newman on Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard / A True Star, Dale Cornish on Soft Cell’s This Last Night In Sodom, Max Porter on Hamlet Gonashvili, Mariam Rezaei on turntablism, Nadine Shah on Robert Palmer, John Higgs on Iron Maiden’s Eddie The Head, Shirley Collins on O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Tariq Goddard on The Sisters of Mercy,

Top tiers perk:
Organic Intelligence

Introduced as a new perk a couple of years ago, Organic Intelligence is our antidote to the algorithm. Instead of relying on the vagaries of AI to send us new music, we prefer to rely on the experience and expertise of our writers and friends, which is where this newsletter comes in. Every month, our Low Culture and Sound & Vision subscribers get sent this guide to a niche scene, movement, genre or place, with text accompanied by playlists and Bandcamp or YT links so you can listen as you read. See below for the subjects covered thus far. Get all this by signing up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers here

Magic Realism In Polish Experimental Music, Scottish avant-jazz and improvised music, Fox chases in Transatlantic folk music, Eindhoven’s post punk scene, mid-90s tech-step, Japanese ambient for retail environments, seafaring songs, the joy of avant-banjo, Italian prog of the 1970s, music made on household objects, the golden age of South London hip hop, Lisbon’s tarraxo scene, French dystopian sci-fi bangers, the Swiss underground, when rock went to the disco, French rap[ meets 2=Step, Bill Brewster’s Balearic sounds of Scandinavia, Post-Tito Yugoslavian pop, Iranian pop on Caltex records, Latvian cosmic pop, global Christmas, wonky techno, UK breakcore, Swedish prog.

Top tiers perk:

Every four weeks or so our Low Culture and Sound & Vision subscribers are sent Spotify, TIDAL and Apple Music playlists of all the new music we've been covering that past months. These are pretty epic affairs and a real guide to where are noses are pointing at every given time. Our subscribers also get sent a giant playlist to go with our annual end of year chart, there for you to delve into for months ahead. Anyone signing up now will have weeks of new music to catch up on, which ought to keep you busy until our next end of year chart comes around. Get all this by signing up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers here

Sound & Vision:
Exclusive music, every month

Anyone who has been a member of our premium Sound & Vision tier throughout the past three years will now have more than 24 hours worth of music by some of tQ's favourite artists resting in their digital music collections. This is in addition to all of the playlists, newsletters, podcasts and essays outlined above. What's more, there's an added bonus for our Sound & Vision subscribers in knowing that they're helping to fund artists from the fringes of culture – all musicians are paid thanks to the generous support of our friends at state51. When you sign up to the Sound & Vision tier you'll be sent the three 'current' releases (don't worry, they never self-destruct and are yours forever), and anyone tempted to join can still read the interviews about the projects and get an idea of the artists involved via the interviews we did to go with each release below. Get all this by signing up to the Sound & Vision tier here.

Vanishing. Senyawa, Sex Swing, Polypores, MXLX, UKAEA, Oh Baby with Kelly Stoltz, Slow Tree, Petbrick, Sly & The Family Drone, Laura Cannell and Laurie Goldston, Wacław Zimpel, Vanishing Twin, Hey Colossus, Jo Bevan, Ghold, 75 Dollar Bill, Teleplasmiste, Teleplasmiste, Slavish Amini, Roger Robinson with Richard Skelton, Alison Cotton, Better Corners, Nik Void and Alexander Tucker, VÄLVE, JK Flesh vs GNOD, Sleaford Mods.

First tier:
Cover Price
Lots of us used to spend a few quid a month on our favourite music magazines and the first tier of tQ’s new subs system is our version of this – our glorious readers kindly donate some of their hard-earned to enable us to carry on. There are no perks bar the palpable joy that you’ll feel in continuing to support the best writing there is on music and culture.