Steve Albini has a long history of bluntly speaking his mind about music, the industry—pretty much anything and everything. And when Oscar Powell, who produces dance music as Powell and releases on XL Recordings, asked Steve Albini for permission to use a sample in his music, along with a note about the importance of Big Black’s music to him. However, The Quietus reports that Albini gave Powell more than he bargained for. He got the permission to use the music, but he also got a long missive about how much Albini hates dance music.
Powell asked Albini if he could use the email to promote the album, to which Albini responded, “Don’t care.” XL has now turned it into a billboard in London, which you can see above.
Here’s the text of the Steve Albini email billboard:
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 percent hated every scrap.
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 but I have no problem with what you’re doing…
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.
Read our list of 10 Essential Albums produced by Steve Albini.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.