Back when I was still a much younger student, I was listening to music all the time. Music was carried on my iPod, casually called Archibaldt I (instead of Guido’s iPod, which I didn’t like). Now I have Archibaldt V on my desk. Now extreme and weird music feels home, but it wasn’t always like that. So that’s where my tuesday thoughts drift of to today.
Back before Archibaldt I died in an unfortunate laundering accident, years before Archibaldt II finally stopped working properly, I was in the fortunate environment of people that dug music. I mean, really were into music that I had never heard of. I was pretty much into punkrock and that was the way to go. Punkrock was all you need, not Love. Fuck the Beatles! Well, I was already looking outward, so that was a good time.
Leaving the small town I lived in for university was a big thing, but the amount of music that hit me was even bigger. Suddenly I got to listen to Opeth and Graveworm and both terrified me at first (yes, I was late to the metals at 19). I had been listening to a lot of more accessible metal music, but these really got me reeling back for a while. I wasn’t ready for that. Luckily I had other sources, like the great record stores Sounds and Tommy (or was it Tommie?) in Tilburg. I went there with a class mate, who was more of an music afficionado than me, I think.
“Have you ever listened to Godspeed! You Black Emperor?” he asked me one day, while we took the train to the center. For some reason that moment came back to me today, while I was walking to my lecture and listening to Meshuggah. “Godspeed! You Black Emperor… that sounds dark and heavy!”, I responded. He agreed, but his dark and heavy was something completely different than mine. I thought of black metal, he probably thought of the ‘Dead Flag Blues’. So soon I learned that dark and heavy had many different forms.
Departing from Pink Floyd (thanks dad) and punkrock (through postpunk and other stuff) I found a whole world of adventurous, daring music that I had not known about. I lived in a world of pop charts and punkrock samplers, but I found a dense and rich underground. Soon I was walking around campus with, next to G!YBE, bands like Mogwai, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, The Residents and so much more in my headphones. All that great music, all for me to listen to!
So I’m thinking of that and of the importance of other people in your musical journey. Of discovering and exploring new musical realms, flipping records in a store or discussing tunes over coffee. I miss that… it would be nice to have some more of that.