London’s Burning: Delete Yoursef, You Got No Chance to Win
As regular readers of the blog know, I’ve been working on several projects related to the role of music in the queer futurity/relationality debates. I’ve been thinking specifically about the use of punk and the gestures toward acid house. This fall, I’ll be presenting on Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Psychic TV, and Halberstam’s political negativity at the Feminist Theory and Music 11 Conference. I’m particularly interested in how P-Orridge’s work both bridges the punk and acid house, on the one hand, and incorporates a queer (or rather, pandrogynous) performance practice, on the other.
Given all that, I’m totally surprised and ashamed I forgot about Atari Teenage Riot’s “Delete Yourself, You Got No Chance to Win”:
Released in 1995 (only a year after Psychic TV’s “United 94”!), the track samples the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” and combines it with some Amen Break-beats. I’ll post a more fully developed analysis of this later, but right now, there are a couple of things I need to think more carefully about:
1. The shift from the “no future” of ENGLAND’s dreaming, to the “no chance to win” in 90s virtual reality. Or: what does the shift to cyberspace do? How does this relate to my work on queer (anti)futurity and Afrofuturism?
a. Speaking of Afrofuturism, what about the jungle-ization of “God Save”? The Amen Break, Jungle as the “dark side” of acid house, Lydon’s eventual turn to the more dubby (and jungle precursor) PiL, etc…
2. “Delete Yourself” as an update on James Chance’s Downtown No Wave “Contort Yourself”?
3. I need to listen to the music more carefully and figure out what’s going on formally/compositionally.
I stumbled on this song at the gym today: I was listening to Gaga’s “Born This Way,” when I thought, “Huh, this is like Madonna trying to make an Atari Teenage Riot album.” So, I then decided to listen to some ATR, and the lightbulb went off when this track came up. That said, I still ought sometime to think about BTW and ATR…