Rewind: Hardrock Striker on “I’m A Cult Hero”

Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Hardrock Striker on “I’m A Cult Hero” (1989).

Do you have a past acquainted with this music? Is this the compilation that nailed down musical preferences you already had, or did you have a different background and were you just looking for something in that direction?

This is clearly the music I was listening to as a kid. Back then, my biggest dream was to be in a rock’n’roll band, no way I wanted to become a DJ (“what a joke I could have thought”) as this meant nothing to me, imagine playing guitar and being on stage screaming in front of a crazy crowd or mixing records, even a monkey could do it! Obviously, it’s only when I started DJing that I understood the power of it and realized my immaturity.

I chose this compilation because even if it looks like a pure rock record, many of the bands inside are using electronic, though I had no clue about it while I was listening to them. I discovered house in Los Angeles in the late 90’s, I went there to form a heavy rock band but I ended up going out with some friends who were doing house, especially Peter Black who introduced me to Doc Martin, the Wax connection, DJ Harvey. We started being friends, speaking about art, music and I discovered that he was also into New Order, Front 242, Ministry, Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division and that he was doing house too, so I thought this music finally wasn’t that bad! I started digging, to sum it up, New Order leads me to italo, italo to chicago, chicago to techno. We did a record company called Parisonic / Square Roots where I was doing reissues (already in 2003) of obscure stuff such as It Ain’t Chicago’s “Ride The Rhythm”, Mickey Oliver “In-Ten-Si-t”, Ralphi Rosario “In The Night” etc. I educated myself through the records I was putting out.

“I’m A Cult Hero” is a bootleg compilation with 80’s dark synth pop music, originally released in 1989. Why do you think such a record was released at a time when acid house ruled the clubs? Was this a reminder to what was going on a few years before, or even a counter-reaction to what followed? What might have been the motivation of the label to do this record?

I think that even if house and acid were blowing up at that time, dark synth-pop and minimal wave were still huge. Remember in 1989, Depeche Mode was also on the verge of getting the biggest rock stars in the world with the 101 Rose Bowl concert and the release of one of the best trio of singles of the 80’s: “Strangelove”, “Behind The Wheel” (Mmmh, the Shep Pettibone Mix!) and “Personal Jesus” which was a combination of rock guitars and electronic so it makes totally sense.

The motivation of these guys was primarily cash I guess but I honestly think they did an amazing job! There are two categories of bootleggers: the creative ones and the thieves, I guess they belong to the first one. Read the rest of this entry »