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Re: prog-punk

September 15, 2023 05:42PM
"The borders between what gets termed prog rock and post punk were far more porous and negligently policed than the conventional histories of either have tended to credit. How did John Lydon transform British music for a second time in two years? By walking backwards into his teenage loves of prog acts such as Van der Graaf Generator and Captain Beefheart. The Fall may have loudly scoffed at hippiedom, but they emerged from a Hawkwind-listening, spliff-smoking, psychedelic-gobbling counterculture in Prestwich that owed a lot to those ideals. By the early 1980s, their increasingly hypnotic and lysergic sound began to show it (“if we carry on like this,” half-jokes Smith in 1983’s 'Words Of Expectation', “we’re gonna end up like King Crimson.”) Killing Joke's drummer Paul Ferguson has spoken about how King Crimson and Yes informed his playing, whilst Swell Maps were actively making prog influenced experimental music as Solihull teens in the pre-punk era. Likewise, the only real precedents to post punk guitarists as various as Vini Reilly and The Edge are the celestial sonic experiments of Robert Fripp in the early 1970s."

On the occasion of a new reissue of Slapp Happy's SORT OF, the Quietus published an essay on the continuity between prog-rock and post-punk: [thequietus.com]. I've long thought of post-punk as the return of art-rock after punk's Year Zero, when bands could admit they loved Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers (or even King Crimson) all along. But the key difference between it and prog was that you didn't need to be a virtuoso. Mark E. Smith would've gotten laughed out of a prog band.

SORT OF has been neglected in favor of Slapp Happy's CASABALANCA MOON & DESPERATE STRAIGHTS, and it sounds less European than those albums. Dagmar Krause's Marlene Dietrich act wasn't yet in place, and the music includes folk and blues influences (albeit via Capt. Beefheart and the third Velvet Underground album.)

Simon Reynolds also made a recent blog post about bands who straddled prog, glam and New Wave. He did not sound very enthusiastic about any of them, but he cited Split Enz, Duffo, Skyhooks, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Oingo Boingo, and Doctors of Madness, among others.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2023 05:46PM by steevee.
Re: prog-punk
September 16, 2023 09:24PM
Can't argue with the basic premise. Tho I can argue with "the only real precedents to post punk guitarist...The Edge are the celestial sonic experiments of Robert Fripp in the early 1970s." I thought the general consensus, and this is coming from U2 as well, is Mr. Edge was inspired by the likes of Keith Levene and John McGough. I hear a lot more of them, albeit in somewhat watered-down form, than Fripp.
Re: prog-punk
September 19, 2023 08:19AM
I think the raw, amateurish ethos of punk sort of blocked alot of that. Having said that, SST's roster back in the day had a lot of instrumental punk music, with house band BF doing it but obviously stuff like Negativeland being a noted one. Now here me out: Early post hardcore and emo like Fugazi, Quicksand, Jones Very (and later Sunny Day, Appleseed Caste, Pop Unknown) etc had alot of instrumental music, which a certain strain of Post Rock was born out of. Like the line between Mogwai, Slint etc and Fugazi is very close. Obviously Talk Talk was also an early post rock band that skirted that post rock/ prog line. I would say that this is all the prog tendencies coming out of the punk movement. Although these guys aren't guitar virtuosos, I think they are punks' progressive tendencies played out.

Edit: What to speak of Math rock which has a distinct growth out of the post hardcore movement thats been well documented.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2023 08:22AM by Nightdrive.
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