Mark Leckey; Fiorucci Made Me HardcoreThe Death of Rave
LECKEY 001 LP
Long Playing Record
The video installation Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is one of the best-known and -loved works by Turner Prize-winning, London-based artist and Northern English emigre Mark Leckey. It's a hugely influential piece, and the soundtrack itself has been sampled endlessly, most notably by Jamie xx on "All Under One Roof Raving" (2014). A phantasmic and transcendent collage of meticulously sourced and rearranged footage and sound samples spanning three decades of British subculture -- from Northern Soul thru '80s casuals and rave -- it may be considered an uncanny premonition of the hauntological zeitgeist that has manifested itself in virulent sections of UK electronic dance and pop culture since the early '00s. This record severs the sonic aspect from the moving image, offering a new perspective upon what rave culture maven and esteemed author Simon Reynolds calls "a remarkable piece of sound art in its own right."
Divorced from its visual indicators, Leckey's amorphous, acephalic cues are reframed as an ethereal, Burroughsian mesh of VHS idents, terrace chants, fragmented field recordings, and atrophied samples cut with his own half-heard mumbles. At once recalling and predating the eldritch esthetics of Burial, The Caretaker, or the Mordant Music clique, it's an elegiac lament for an almost forgotten spirit and an abstracted obituary to the rituals, passions, and utopian ideals of pre-internet, working-class nightlife fantasias. It's backed with another soundtrack to a Mark Leckey video installation, GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction(2010). In stark contrast, the original video features a black Samsung Bottom Freezer Refrigerator stood in front of a green screen infinity cyc, recounting its contents, thoughts, and actions as narrated by the artist in a radically transformed cadence.
Meditating on cybernetics and the ambient ecology of household appliances that permeate our lives, it's an unsettling yet compelling piece of sound design with subtly affective dynamics that reflect the underlying dystopic rhetoric with visceral and evocative precision. The piece was later used in a collaboration with Florian Hecker for the Push And Pull exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2011 (the soundtrack of which was released by PAN in 2015 as Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera (PAN 047LP)).