Friday, 1 February 2008

Martin "Highschool Massacre" (Highschool Records, 2000)

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Well, here it is then. The song about Columbine I was referring to in my previous post. I know very little about this single, i'm fairly sure I got it whilst working at Xfm, in 2000 (for the love of God, does nobody check their website? I can't believe my page is still there!!). It may well have been posted to me, I can't recall for sure. I've only seen one other copy of it from that day to this, and I bought it on the spot, so I'd have a double. Google searches for info on the record turn up absolutely nothing; and I can't really give you any more details than the name of the artist, a title, and a photo of the label.

But what really counts in this case is what it sounds like. It's a supremely moving piece of drama- no suprise, given it's subject matter- but what elevates this from a simple slice of cut'n'paste collage into something more cerebral, is the sense of connection to the emotional impact of the senselessness of Columbine: this is a record that begs us to think, to question, to try and feel some of the pain. It does it by layering a series of snippets from news reports and general media sources over what sounds suspiciously like a Delfonics backing track (if it is sampled from somewhere, can someone let me know what it is?) The slow, lush, soulful backing track is increasingly unhinged by the stream of voices, as they get ever more hysterical; culminating in, what is for me, the coup-de-grace, as a clearly shocked student wails:

"....and he shot the black kid...because he was black...."

Terror and confusion never sounded quite so stark, so spine-chillingly evil. It's still the moment in the song that brings me out in goosebumps every single time.

Martin "Highschool Massacre" (mp3)


Unknown said...

Wow. Heavy.
Thanks for posting this. Please do a follow up if you do come across anymore info on this "Martin."

Leon said...

This is incredible.
As an Education minor I'll say, there's a lot to be learned and drawn from that day.
Our blogs got a lot in common - Want to trade links? Would be badass.

Iain Baker said...

Hey Leon, glad you're liking the blog, it would be a pleasure to trade links :)

Unknown said...

Great blog.
I remember hearing that track on the XFM Remix shows ages ago.
IRRC that Martin went on to do an album called Male Caucasian on Under 5s, which was an offshoot label of Skint for the more interesting acts they encountered.
Nothing as touching as the Highschool Massacre track though, which reminds me of a latter day The Motorcade Sped On by Steinski and Mass Media.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've just put a copy of this up for sale on eBay, if anyone's interested. Also, I've pasted up what has been written about this record on this blog (along with a link, of course). I hope that's ok. If not, contact me and I'll remove it immediately. Thanks, Julian

tyler deveneux said...

the sample is sister sledge somebody loves me .
the vinyl i picked up in rough trade in the skate shop in london on a white label with red print with martin-high school massacre and nothing else (i guess because of fear of being sued by sister sledge/chic etc.)