Sunday, April 22, 2012

blast beat?

Excerpted from an email to BT, April 17, 2012:

...when I arrived as a first-year [student] myself, I was delighted to tape two new CDs from you...: they were Painkiller's "Guts of a Virgin" and "Buried Secrets." I remember there was some controversy with the album cover of one of these, but I don't remember what it was ["Guts of a Virgin" was censored in the UK]. I still had the original cassette copies of those albums until this summer when, in the moving "process" (i.e. apocalypse), I shed a large number of tapes -- to the sidewalk. Hopefully some East Cambridge neighborhood kid is having his mind blown right now by Scud Attack, having stumbled into the pile of cassettes and fished out a few that looked interesting.

I remember you saying to me knowingly: It's John Zorn and Bill Laswell with the insane drummer from Napalm Death. And, since I had some passing familiarity with Napalm Death, I nodded knowingly.

Years later, in NYC, [PK] was trying to open my mind to drum and bass and other electronic musics. Of the many, many disks he loaned me...a few stayed in my library. Two were Mick Harris projects (including a perennial, personal favorite, "Total Station").

Two or three days ago, I was reading a record review that mentioned blast beats and thought to myself, "All these years I've told myself I know what a blast beat is, but do I really? I think I have to confess to myself that, as a technical matter, I do not know." The Wikipedia entry on blast beat features Napalm Death prominently, and so, at last, I learned that Mick Harris, of Total Station and many other electronic projects fame, was the drummer in Painkiller and Napalm Death, among other live bands.

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