Q Magazine

Playlist - Five Years! Birthday selections from The Quietus

Playlist - Five Years! Birthday selections from The Quietus
Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email
wp content/uploads/legacy media/content/q/theqdaily/x/quietus
Article continues below advertisement

With one of our favourite websites Thequietus.com celebrating its birthday this week – the site is taking over London’s Corsica Studio on Friday (6 September) for a show featuring Factory Floor, Teeth Of The Sea, East India Youth and more get tickets here – we asked the site’s co-counder and Q contributor Luke Turner (right) to put together a Playlist marking their half-decade. “This September marks five years since The Quietus became an independent operation,” he explains. “Since then, the traffic reading our reviews, features and op-ed pieces on music, film, popular culture, tea and toast has ground slowly upwards, and we’ve decided to celebrate by starting a label, hosting a party and releasing an eBook featuring some choice cuts by our writers over the past five years – if you’ve ever wondered what the late Sir Patrick Moore thought of space rock, this is the place where the answers can be found. Q – for whom I’m a contributor – asked us for a playlist of Quietus-related tracks, so here they are – a motivational selection for the tea-addicted victim of RSI.”

Dead Skeletons – Dead Mantra

“Over the years we’ve had a fair few Quietus anthems – rousing bangers to get us through those tragic moments when we’d run out of Yorkshire Tea, or the site was a bleak vista of filler ads that meant no revenue for that week. One of the finest is this, from Brian Jonestown Massacre-collaborators Dead Skeletons. The Iceland-based group are fronted by an artist called Nonni Dead who writes these songs as a way of fortifying himself against his HIV, which rather puts things in perspective. And what is the dead mantra? He who fears death cannot enjoy life sung in many different languages. Amen to that.”

Article continues below advertisement

The Bug – Skeng (Autechre mix)

“The Bug – AKA Kevin Martin – had the very first Quietus album of the year way back in 2008, and this apocalyptically heavy blaster was the stand-out track from it, with killer bleak wit in the lyrics: Shot ya inna face make you send for the nurse /Doctor can’t fix you send fe de hearse/ Funeral start everybody in a black/ Poppa in a suit and mumma in a frock. We’ve always felt that Kevin Martin, whether under the guise of The Bug or King Midas Sound, is one of those British artists who, rather ludicrously, gets ignored, and our enthusiasm for this when it came out was perhaps best indication that The Quietus was becoming more than the Melody Maker writer nursing home that people (wrongly) had us pegged as.”

Factory Floor – Lying

“A Dublin newspaper recently referred to Factory Floor as a Quietus band in the way that Pitchfork has Pitchfork bands (whiny accents, lo-fi, bad trousers) and NME has NME bands (going oh-uh-uh, keeping the Libs flame alive, bad trousers). Even though the cheeky hacks said this was a ‘reductive’ description, Factory Floor are probably the group who’ve come closest to our ideal of strict music for untidy minds, a racket that manages to pack a punch while still being something you can dance to. Disco’s steel fist in a velvet glove, as m’colleague [co founder] John Doran has it.”

Article continues below advertisement

PJ Harvey – Words That Maketh Murder

“John also selected this track for the Q playlist, I suspect because his Quietus review of Let England Shake got him into Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner. We’ve been heartened to see PJ Harvey making some of her best work twenty-odd years into her career, and it’s fair to say that over the past five years it’s been some of the, shall we say, senior artists who’ve delivered some of their finest work. Not for them the quiet retirement into acoustic albums and rehashes of past glories ‘…with strings’. Alongside Harvey we salute Wire, Swans, Gary Numan, John Foxx, Yoko Ono for refusing to roll over into polite middle age… and The Fall, of course, though the latest one was below par.”

Liars – Scarecrows On A Killer Slant

“Another group who don’t seem to get the credit they deserve, obscured as they are by the strange dominance of slightly drabber American indie rock. I mean, do people really want to listen to another Fleet Foxes jumper anthem or some chillwave bros going on about a beach when you can have a nine-foot Australian screaming at you about the paranoia of LA and shooting tramps over guitars that sound like your house falling in? The prospect of another Liars album, and another reinvention, is something that keeps us coming in in the morning.”

Article continues below advertisement

NB Heaven, How Long, Janitor Of Lunacy and Dead Mantra are currently unavailable

Juan Maclean – Happy House

“It’s not just all noise and misanthropy round tQHQ, much as some might misconstrue it thus. This track by Juan Maclean was a peak leisure time anthem around the time when we founded the Quietus, and no doubt will be dug out for our Five Years Party… that clopping… that piano… ooooooof!”

Article continues below advertisement

X-TG – Janitor Of Lunacy (ft Antony Hegarty)

“During our years of operation, British music lost one of its greatest underground figures with the death of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle and Coil. In tribute to his memory, his one-time partners in TG, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti fulfilled Sleazy’s dream of a version of Nico’s Desertshore album. Other tracks involved guest vocalists including film director Gaspar Noé, one-time adult actress Sasha Grey, Marc Almond and Einsturzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld, but it was this, Janitor Of Lunacy featuring Antony Hegarty, that first gave the office goosebumps.”

East India Youth – Heaven, How Long

“We’d always thought about setting up a Quietus record label, but in the current climate it felt like something of a stupid idea – everyone dreads that initial enthusiasm for a new artist resulting in not being able to get to the bathroom for stacks of unsold vinyl. We were pretty confident about East India Youth, aka a young chap called William Doyle who gave John a copy of his self-recorded debut LP at a Factory Floor gig, and didn’t hesitate before deciding to put it out on 12-inch. Seeing Will’s music get out there has been one of the most satisfying things that’s happened to The Quietus since 2008, and we’d advise you to look out for his debut album, out on Stolen next year. Perhaps then he’ll manage to write that blog that he’s owed Q for about five months now…”

Article continues below advertisement

Tim Burgess – Tobacco Fields

“If only some of the other British artists of the 90s had the balls to do what The Charlatans singer Tim Burgess has with his ace album Oh No I Love You. On that album he went out of his comfort zone, headed to Nashville and had Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner write lyrics, for which Burgess wrote the music. Tobacco Fields is one of the most haunting moments on the record, and for evidence of how open-minded the man is, check out the ace remix of this by London’s stern techno maestro Perc.”

Aphrodites Child – The Four Horsemen

“The Quietus anthem to end all anthems. When the apocalypse comes and the detonation of nuclear warheads in the atmosphere renders all websites mere figments of the collective imagination, we shan’t roll over like in Threads (our favourite grim BBC film). No, we’ll find this on an old wax cylinder and march forth, playing and preaching about this song, and the spirit of The Quietus will live for ever more. Aside from such nonsense, you can’t really argue with a prog supergroup featuring Vangelis and Demis Roussos, can you?”

For much more head to Thequietus.com.


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More