"Culture is ordinary; that is where we must start.” Raymond Williams
To wait for you and to hope for you to give me back a culture that I helped to destroy, that I’ve turned my back on, to a large extent; that was a mistake. Because all you represent is our collective and consistent emotional failures and the distance between us.
The decade where for me life stood in stasis. I am listening right now to Embrace, and I hear that pleading cadence that ran right through the timbre of everything that decade spoke to me. The tail end of the Tories, now returned to power, ashen-faced recession and my parents struggling to pay their way. A migration to the modern day London slums of the ever grimy East, and a set of years spent waiting, mostly alone. John Peel and Steve Lamacq and a nervous energy devouring what it could: books, music and schoolwork. Preposterously, my comp was two bus rides away and that destroyed any after school life. I sat and waited as the decade churned out Embrace, Oasis, Blur and that stodgy guitar sound enveloped even the very atoms in the air and strangled the life out of them. My friends discovered sex, booze; I worked in Sainsbury’s and hated every smelly ill-mannered customer and the bullies that worked there. I came home and made hundreds and hundreds of MIDI files that all basically sounded the same. My parents argued. The sound of strangulation and ennui and limited horizons. The familiar made dead until eventually even obsessive compulsiveness was the exotic tiger in the room. Making the first trip on the M40 to Oxford with all my proletariat gear in the back of a black Mondeo, my awful 2 watt Aiwa stereo, some Sonnetti jeans and a copy of OK Computer, the sun came up and the rain fell over the hills and I’d rather die than go back to the 90s, literally, figuratively, emotionally, spiritually, musically, any way you want it. I will do whatever it takes to run away from the 90s.