Steve Albini slams EDM, but gives permission for sample use

(Image credit: Corbis)

A recent email exchange between producer/guitarist Steve Albini and electronic music producer Oscar Powell has been plastered all over a billboard in Shoreditch, London.

XL Recordings artist Powell has used an anti-EDM tirade by Albini as a form of promotion for his latest single Insomniac, which happens to sample a Steve Albini vocal from a Big Black show.

After seeking clearance to use the sample, Albini ended a withering takedown of modern dance music and club culture with: "you're welcome to do whatever you like with whatever of mine you've gotten your hands on. Don't care. Enjoy yourself."

Presumably this may deter other producers from asking for sample clearance from Albini for fear of receiving a similar tongue-lashing, but at least he's consented to its use.

We're not sure we entirely agree with his stance on EDM culture as a whole, but the internet will certainly let its views be heard. The question is, does Shoreditch have enough billboards for all of them?

Here's the email in full:

"I am absolutely the wrong audience for this kind of music. I've always detested mechanised dance music, its stupid simplicity, the clubs where it was played, the people who went to those clubs, the drugs they took, the shit they liked to talk about, the clothes they wore, the battles they fought amongst each other.

Basically all of it, 100 per cent hated every scrap.

The electronic music I liked was radical and different, shit like the White Noise, Xenakis, Suicide, Kraftwerk, and the earliest stuff form Cabaret Voltaire, SPK and DAF. When that scene and those people got co-opted by dance/club music I felt like we'd lost a war. I detest club culture as deeply as I detest anything on earth.

So I am against what you're into, and an enemy of where you come from. I haven't bothered listening to the links, mainly because I'm in a hotel with crappy internet at the moment but also because it probably wouldn't be to my taste and that wouldn't help either of us. In other words, you're welcome to do whatever you like with whatever of mine you've gotten your hands on. Don't care. Enjoy yourself."

After Powell's warning to Albini of his intent to put up the email on a billboard, the In Utero producer is reported to have replied with "Still don't care."

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.