Powell uses Steve Albini’s scathing anti-electro email in ‘Insomniac’ video

The producer recently used the entire email to advertise his single on a billboard in Shoreditch, London

Steve Albini’s scathing email rant about electronic music and club culture has been turned into a video by electronic producer Powell.

Albini had sent the message to Powell after the producer asked his permission to use a sample of his vocals at a Big Black gig for his new single ‘Insomniac’.

His label, XL Recordings, recently used the email in its entirety to advertise ‘Insomniac’, on a billboard in Shoreditch, London (above).


Powell has used the same text, animated for his glitchy new video, which you can see below:

Albini’s reply to Powell reads: “I am absolutely the wrong audience for this kind of music. I’ve always detested mechanized 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.”

He continued: “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.”

Despite this, Albini said that he had “no problem” with Powell using the sample, adding, “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.”


Replying to Powell’s intent to print the email, Albini said, “Still don’t care.”

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