Thursday, October 09, 2008


A copy of Whitehouse's Right to Kill LP on Discogs, going for a paltry £40; entire shelves stuffed with Psychic TV rarities, rendered worthless overnight; obscure United Dairies tapes, tossed into the bin like soiled kitchen roll. Welcome to industrial record collecting, 2008 recession style.

The first signs of the downturn manifested themselves in October last year. Maurizio Bianchi reissues on the EES'T label - then changing hands for approximately £20 on eBay - began to shift for as little as £7.29. A significant number of Japnoise collectors were dismayed to learn that their copies of Senzuri Champion by the Gerogerigegege - sourced for £100 in the previous quarter - were completely failing to attract interest when punted at a 'Best Offer' price of £70, let alone the £150 demanded on a 'Buy it Now' basis.

The end result is that industrial and power electronics fans are currently sitting on what one analyst describes as "piles of worthless trash". When the boom was at its peak, the merest hint of a 16-minute concept LP about child abuse, nazi death camps, male domination and surreal sex rites had international investors slavering. Now, with the shadow of financial insecurity looming like an unshaven highwayman in a gibbet, it is proving near impossible to give these counter-cultural artifacts away for free.

In summer 2007, the situation didn't seem so bleak. Some stocks had already been written off - mainly appalling vinyl releases by the likes of Sleep Chamber, Die Form, Con-Dom and Intrinsic Action - but it seemed that industrial mainstays, such as Come Org, Broken Flag and LAYLAH product, would continue to appreciate, despite major tail-offs in consumer demand.

In many ways, the 2006 implosion of the Messthetics/Killed by Death compilation trading market provided a timely warning of things to come - though few industrial investors, as it now transpires, had their eyes on the ball.

Some have blamed Stewart Home's campaign against neo-folk nazi nuts for the rapid depreciation in Death in June, Blood Axis and Sol Invictus stock. But, as one analyst explains, this approach is simply a case of blaming the horse for shitting in the stable.

"The industrial crash has been a long time coming," our expert opines. "People were spending money they could barely afford on 7" platters limited to 50 copies. Badly xeroxed images of Treblinka commandants, naked women with knife wounds and balaclava'd, armalite-totin' terrorists lulled them into a false sense of security - when, realistically, these records should have been selling at Woolworths bargain bin prices.

"Unfortunately, it appears a lot of people hammered the plastic without thinking of the consequences. Right now, you'd have more luck punting snowshoes to an Eskimo than recouping 10% of your purchase price when flogging a Sutcliffe Jugend box set."

There have been vague mumblings about 'bailing the record collectors out'. Freeshare sites, such as Mediafire, Megaupload and Rapidfire, are currently being petitioned to clamp down on the obsessives who offer up releases by Nurse With Wound, Bladderflask, Current 93,Test Department, Coil, Merzbow and Factrix for free. But the bitter truth is that industrial trading has fallen on its own petard, after years of robbing Peter to pay people in glass houses.

Yesterday, guaranteed sales and a nice wedge for an unblemished copy of the first SPK 7", on the Side Effects label; today, the sound of silence, and Cold Spring battening down the hatches, as snake oil seeps into the drain. Somehow, the catchphrase The End of Music has never seemed more apt.
Hard times indeed... :)
Time to investtttttt

Instead of bulls and bears -Industrial has moved from a "Donner and Blitzen" market to an "Esquisite Corpse" market.

Similar thing has happened with Free Folk/Psych/Hipster Metal - we've seen a shift from a "Wolf" market to an "owl" one.
Kev Gill's in-car tape-player chewed up my cassette copy of SPK's "Live at The Crypt" in 1988 en route to a rehersal at Music Terminal (there was no Ilminster by-pass back then) - time to hunt dn a new copy, I think.
Google the title with Mediafire after it, and it'll probably come up somewhere. Kev Gill? THE Kev Gill? The one who used to sell knock-off fags out Green Park station? Went out with Julia? Once crashed into a Chinese restaurant window on a moped?
Here's my method of hunting down mp3s of rare recordings: Go to, click on Advanced Search.
Enter artist's name in "all these words" field. Enter album title in "this exact wording or phrase" field. Enter in "Search within a site or domain" field. Click Advance Search button. Voila. Sometimes there are no worthwhile links but I am amazed at how many times I find what I'm looking for.
fantastic post!

it's all-too-rare to come across someone who obviously knows and loves the genre whilst still being able to acknowledge the adolescent absurdity of all things (cough) 'trangressive'. heavy metal passed through that stage and is still thriving, after all. i went to see Boyd Rice play in London last year, and even now, 25+ years on from the first wave, they said the audience was still full of knobheads in Nazi uniforms.

'mummy - look! i did a poo-poo!!'

but then you should grow up just a little, right?
john eden's flooding of the ebay market with pork bellies and whitehouse bootsteps is to blame i reckon...
"Once crashed into a Chinese restaurant window on a moped?"

Sadly, no. He once double-parked his Metro in Saint Pauls.
In the words of Tipper Gore, I'd love to take credit for it...


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