The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World, to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering – even in “advanced” countries.
Besides my grandmother, it was mostly Mistachuck who made me so contrary. And by ’95 (most likely beforehand, I just noticed then) even he toed the line — with Gore and Dole and Jobs and Gates and Haraway and my high school principal and my father and everyone else. Computers are good for you. The refrain was pervasive and had been at least through the quarter-century between Apollo XI and the Clinton era. For the record, I was in line too, which made it all the more likely that “Industrial Society And Its Future” would hit me like a comet. I ran off copies at Kinko’s, actually paying for it since this was years and years before I learned how to get that shit for free. I handed them to my friends, the white kids who liked weed and Wu-Tang, and to the Fellowship of Reconciliation liberals who rode with me on a charter bus to this bullshit Marian Wright Edelman “Stand For Children” march in D.C. A few people dug the piece, I don’t think the others read it. The author(s), they said, was a mass murderer. Word? They didn’t talk that shit when I slid them dubbed copies of 1990-Sick.
So I’m not sure what, if any, impact the Unabomber’s manifesto had on Recyclone. I think he’s a little bit older than me and he might’ve been past Source-reading age while I was steadily reading reductive, dawn-of-dot-com nonsense in the hip hop press that confused the dynamic organics of the music (and dare I say “culture”) with a materialist triumph of technological will. John Zerzan is one of the many whose themes, I learned, finds consonance with the best of Kaczynski and surpasses him in both scope and pitch. But Zerzan too rubbed me wrong when he further reduced the music to the technological imperative that informed it. Recyclone, among a few others that are even lesser known, draws pixelated trees and synthesizes syncopated raindrops that describe a world (and a music) dazzled into wonderment and thus ignorant (at best) or naïve to its sublimation. It’s, admittedly, missing something more than sometimes. But when it’s on, it works so well. Listening to Corroding the Cellular Engine was, at the time, almost a “Bring the Noise” moment to me.
Here’s what I know: He reps halifax, NS. He made a guest appearance on the damn near forgotten classic second Greenthink tape. He made guest appearances on ever thing that ever came out of Canada. Back then he rapped really fast and angry. I’ve never heard Dead World, his first release from ’98. Too bad since the beats were done by none other than the incredible Big Vaughn Squire. His next release, Corroding the Cellular Engine was produced mostly by Graematter. I lost the track listing somewhere along the way. It’s an album, though, and not a collection of songs. The mp3s I post can’t reflect that. The good folks at Clothes Horse Records (that’s Epic and Soso’s label out of Saskatoon) just put out an album called Corroding the Dead World, with all the tracks from both of the first two lost Recyclone gems. He came out with Numbers in ’02 and by that time he’d slowed down his flow just a little bit. Knowself (who rocks similar themes and another dizzying flow) was heavily featured on that one. “Log Off” is easily the best song I’ve heard either of them do. Recyclone and his collaborator on the beats on Numbers, whose name I forget, came up with a sonic package that’s pretty complementary to the subject matter. It stays aggressive and pretty sample-lite — like Three-6 for the ELF set.