Delete The Elite

I am the proud owner (one of only a handful of people, I'm sure) of the original "Delete the Elite" compilation CD from Eerie Materials. It's a hybrid release that came in this incredible box package with all sorts of goodies. It's one of those releases you can't put in the CD rack, and is really more of work of art than your standard CD.

The songs are great. They question capitalism, consumerism, commercial radio, eating meat and so on. When it came out it was a case of preaching to the converted, but that didn't really matter. Sometimes the converted need to have some moral support, and that's where projects like this one come in handy. Heck, MDC is on there. You gotta love that.

Eerie Materials was always a fringe label, even as fringe labels go. When I was following it, it achieved little more than a cult following here. Its bands were just too strange for the punk crowd, and too punk for the art crowd. The Japanese, on the other hand, loved it. They ate the LPs and tapes up by the handful. The label even put out little booklets on how to worm tapes and the like.

Eerie felt like it was subversive in everything it did. You never knew what to expect, and you couldn't be sure you'd like it, but you knew it wouldn't be boring.

I have no idea what has happened to the label. For all I know it still exists in some form or another. (My guess would be that it was doing MP3s before they became big.) In its heyday, though, it ruled the odd, experimental music scene. It made listeners feel as if anything could happen ... and it often did.

Hand painted record covers. Strange clip art. Obscure samples. A passion for musicial chaos. These were the hallmarks of Eerie Materials. "Delete the Elite" was the shining tower. It was a serious product about serious topics. For all those who thought its music was just noise, this CD changed that. There was a mission there with the other releases, but only the more astute caught it. This laid it on the table, though, and what a glorious mission it was.

Sadly, the elite won. Music really is a commodity these days more than ever. When I pop that CD into the player, though, I get that old glean in the eye, and a spring in my step. It makes me want to reuse postage stamps and jam the lock of a fur coat store again.

I suppose if you look online you can find some songs or something. There was one tape compilation (I believe it was called "How to Kill Frank Sinatra") that had a series of excellent prank calls on it. If you can find that, I highly recommend it. And remember, if you hate the stuff ... well, that's pretty much expected. It is, after all, just noise.


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