photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
half a decade ago NOISEY had an INCREDIBLE series of interview videos moderated by THE QUIETUS founding editor JOHN DORAN (who also writes for THE GUARDIAN, THEWIRE , VICE and METAL HAMMER and creates programming for the BBC) called THE BRITISH MASTERS that got at the heart of what made a certain cadre of LEGENDARY ENGLISH musicians and songwriters of varying genres so IMPACTFUL and EFFECTIVE. included in the mix were participants like TRICKY (MASSIVE ATTACK), JOHNNY MARR (THE SMITHS), COSEY FANNI TUTTI (THROBBING GRISTLE), JOHN LYDON (SEX PISTOLS, PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED), MARK E SMITH (THE FALL), ROOTS MANUVA, PAUL SIMONON (THE CLASH), BRYAN FERRY (ROXY MUSIC), DAMON ALBARN (BLUR, GORILLAZ), NEIL TENNANT (PET SHOP BOYS), VIV ALBERTINE (THE SLITS), GARY NUMAN (TUBEWAY ARMY), LIAM GALLAGHER (OASIS), GOLDIE and BRETT ANDERSON (SUEDE) among others.
my sense is that there is a certain mix of PAROCHIALISM at play in BRITAIN whereby it is SMALL and DISCONNECTED enough from nearby EUROPE to cultivate an INDEPENDENT arts scene without much outside influence. conversely and completely counterintuitively ENGLAND's recent past as a colonial power allows it to have a DIVERSE cultural population that manifests in organically UNIQUE cultural products that reflect such. just a look at the guests chosen for this series one is confronted with a myriad of sub-genres including PUNK ROCK, HIP HOP, INDUSTRIAL MUSIC, SYNTH POP, POST PUNK, BRITPOP, DRUM & BASS and TRIP HOP. each represents a specific community, lifestyle with an attendant set of values that renders all of them uniquely BRITISH.
the cultural references utilized are now a bit dated, but THE BRITISH MASTERS still very much holds up and is well worth investigation. definitely worth checking out.