The big denial

Portishead Mark McNulty

Geoff Barrow has spoken. And judging from his words, one could think he’s been reading up on Herbert Marcusse, diving into such concepts as repressive tolerance, the one-dimensional society or the big denial. Marcusse, a disciple of Heidegger and co-founder of the Frankfurt School, championed qualitative change in the relation of man with the system, in an industrialised society where there are no alternative lifestyles, no opposition, and where, at the end of the day, technological progression is turned into form of doctrine. Before this panorama, the option offered by Marcusse was that of negation. Our task, according to him, would be to capture the negative of the one-dimensional society, and criticise it, fomenting the contradictions. And that, broadly speaking, is what Barrow has just done. Two days ago, he dedicated a series of tweets to clearing up some of the things we shouldn’t expect with regards to Portishead’s new album, to be released this year. His messages, all together:

“There will be NO free downloads There will be NO bonus tracks There will be NO remixes There will be NO hidden footage. There will be NO additional content There will be NO corporate partners There will be NO fashion lines There will be NO tabloid pictures. There will be NO £25 unit cost There will be NO streetteam There will be NO myspace There will be NO celeb producer There will be NO twitter There will be NO press/blogger gig There will be NO acoustic session There will be NO meet and greet There will be NO edited version. There will be NO iTunes only There will be NO press launch There will be NO asian version There will be NO radio friendly.”

Geoff Barrow versus the “bad practices” of the record market. Now, let’s see if his words come true and the record really comes before this year ends.


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