Hannah Golightly

Moth meet flame | The joke is on me | Murkage | The Door

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Murkage - The Door

By Hannah Golightly

The joke is on me. The universe has gone wild at heart.  I just got sent an unsolicited track to review by some group called Murkage that I’ve never heard of. OK, I’m game, I’ll give it a play, I thought. The optimistic part of me told me to prepare to listen to something amazing (good to know that the jaded part garnered from years surrounded by seven nights a week of crappy bands in Liverpool is losing it’s grip)… what I wasn’t prepared for was to be completely offended.

First of all, I have to wonder who the hell thought to send me this tune called ‘The Door’? I don’t know anyone called Coralie. I’d remember if I did because it’s such a pretty name… so the mystery continues. It surely couldn’t have come from anyone I know because they’d be a fool to hand the likes of this music into my feminist hands for reviewing. Maybe the joke is on them.

At first, I liked the video, all dark and intriguing. At first, I liked the crisp cold minimalist modern production… the promise of danger, the way it plays it cool, knowing you’re gonna follow to find out where this song goes and all the swagger of that. Pulsing bassy beats linger in the air while crisp snare drums snipe right through them, puncturing them before they have time to drop. Menace. Sex. Then the whole thing starts to look and sound like some wet dream nightmare and I feel like I’m being let in on someone’s sexual fantasy-land and it sure as hell ain’t mine. Shall I blame Odd Future? Or is this thing bigger than that? Is this what happens when porn goes mainstream? It winds up in your music collection. All fishnets a-writhing to the sounds of words intoning a menu of soulless nameless sexual acts with a stranger in stark unsexy detail? Lyrics such as “pussy on tap” make me wonder what life is like inside the mind of a 16-year-old boy. Only, the rapper is much older than that (chronologically at least). The psychology of it all is curious to me. So is the psychology involved in sending a woman a song that attempts to impress its audience with how much pussy on tap the rapper can supposedly get. It then goes on to say something about how he’s “gonna smash that cunt…” I can’t claim to have fully understood what this song is about and I’m pretty sure there was some mention of the Futsie index in there somewhere… but clearly my mind is closed to any important political messages they may have tried to communicate, having been offended by the misogyny of this piece of work. Yeah… I think Murkage’s Futsie reference was some ‘clever’ pun related to meat markets so, I’ll stick with my original take on this filth.

The thing that offends me the most about this song and Murkage in general is that it sounds fucking awesome. It’s hard not to be taken in by its sonic charms in spite of its grotesque lyrical and visual content, especially as a mid-90s Prodigy fan who likes a bit of Odd Future’s production style now and again. Maybe it’s the bad boy problem that all women face at one time or another… it’s bad for you, you know it, but you’re seduced by it anyway. The feminist in me wants to go to one of Murkage’s gigs, listen to them play, then blag my way backstage under false pretences of potential blowjobs and then go and punch these fuckers in the face. Just like lyrics like theirs do women when we listen.

Moth meet flame. The joke is on me.

44 Responses to Moth meet flame | The joke is on me | Murkage | The Door

  1. Princess Stomper July 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I only listened to a bit of it: it’s not all that. Odd Future aren’t all that, either.

    Perhaps the way forward is just to stop talking about acts like this. Don’t get offended, just ignore them and wait for them to go away. I’d love to see a collective shunning of the entire gangsta rap culture – everyone turn their backs on the rappers who just shout about money, drugs and “bitches” and listen only to acts with something a bit more interesting to say. I bet there are thousands of rap acts out there who are simply ignored writing much more thoughtful lyrics, and if we just blanked all the misogynistic homophobic man-children, they’d get more of a chance to shine.

    Maybe the bad boy problem’s always been less of an issue with me because I instinctively equate thuggishness to stupidity. Maybe it’s why I’m less easily offended – it’s like getting annoyed when a toddler throws a tantrum; they can’t help it, they just don’t know any better. Don’t feed the bad behaviour by giving it attention.

  2. golightly July 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I completely agree with you Princess! In fact if you trawl through my previous reviews, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything especially negative… why? Because I believe that attention of any sort helps things grow. So I only review stuff I like. I give a balanced view of the stuff I like, I mention the negatives of that stuff, but there will always be an over all admiration for whoever I am reviewing, otherwise, as you suggest, I ignore them.
    The thing with Murkage is that I didn’t go looking for them, they found me… if I had come across this music some other way, I wouldn’t have written about them. But I was fascinated by being approached to review them, by someone who can’t be that familiar with my work. I do think there is something to be said for taking musicians to task a bit now and then about such things. It’s not punk in my opinion to attempt to degrade half your potential audience. It’s fucking weird…
    After listening to the Door (and being appalled by the lyrics) I went and listened to some more of their tracks because I really liked their sound minus the lyrics… they have a similar energy about them to mid 90s Prodigy who I am a fan of also. Not everyone makes that sort of music, so I felt torn between wanting to ignore these misogynistic fuckers and wanting to hear more. That pissed me off big time. It made me feel like I couldn’t go to a good party because my parents said the people there were a bad influence. I felt oddly like I was being excluded. The other tracks I heard weren’t misogynistic… so I felt there was a dilemma. An obligation to women everywhere to call bullshit on these lyrics, whilst making a really otherwise exciting band’s music accessible to them.
    In fact, I am tempted to go and interview them and ask them where they’re coming from when they write songs like these, to ask them if they feel any social responsibility at all. To find out how they feel about alienating their otherwise would-be enthusiastic audience. I’d also like to know if any of them have sisters and girlfriends and if their mothers are proud of them or if they feel compelled to hide this song from those people in their lives. To find out if maybe they just don’t care. Still debating whether it’s worth it…
    Bad boy doesn’t necessarily mean thug by the way. It can mean romantic charmer who’s really a player. It was a metaphor anyway. I could equally have compared this music to fatty sugary food full of chemicals that tastes good but will ultimately do you harm if you eat too much of it. Potatoes pottattas.
    And I AM offended… it’s fucking offensive. I don’t like living in a world where people think this is ok, that it’s not even taboo- the shameless misogyny going unchecked day in day out. Sometimes it’s worth fighting.

  3. golightly July 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    What’s the difference between racism and sexism? Nothing.

    It’s just that men get affected by racism, so it’s treated as worse. Maybe… but I’d like to know whether this song would have even been recorded if it said something racist instead of something sexist. What would happen if I remade the Murkage – the Door video with racist visuals (not that I’m sure what that would even look like) and racist lyrics? Then email it back to them. Do you think they’d see the point I was making? I don’t. I think they’d be so offended that they’d be calling the police or something. I don’t think they’d get my point whatsoever that they are doing the same thing as that to women and that it’s out of order. That’s their contribution to culture. They would probably feel hard done by… like why are they getting picked on when an entire porn industry has taught them that this is what women are for, how it’s acceptable to think of women this way, just as long as it’s not all women, just the ones who choose to work in porn… as if women are either madonnas or whores (who had it coming to them or something). Why did they have to record this song in the first place? Why couldn’t they have just done the other ones? What compelled them? And why on earth did they send me- a woman- a track that essentially slags me off to my face? (*unless I want to believe that I am not one of ‘those’ types of women, so it’s not really me they are talking about so it’s not my problem)

  4. Princess Stomper July 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Perhaps it would be worth interviewing them and calling them out on it. You never know – it could be some sort of satire or whatever, but I doubt it.

    I do get that feeling of being disappointed when you really enjoy the music but can’t get past the problematic content – I have the same conflict about the band Magma – but I’ve found that in my case it’s just easier to ignore the band altogether and just find someone else making music just as good but without the dodgy lyrics.

  5. golightly July 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Well I have recently found just the thing: Thunderbird Gerard. Same dark menacing minimalist production style but with uplifting lyrics… and the sexy women in the video are powerful. In fact, I’ve held fire on writing about him because he is a friend of mine… but then again, now that he is being played on Radio One, XFM and the like, it may be time to write about him regardless.

  6. Princess Stomper July 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Oh, don’t hold fire! You could be depriving me of my next favourite listening experience, you selfish cow! 😉

  7. golightly July 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    HA HA HA you’ve got a point there!

  8. golightly July 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    ok… I’ll stop hoarding away the good stuff like it’s my precious! ha ha I’ll spill the beans and share the sounds…

  9. Erika July 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I truly believe that some male writers, if called out on misogynistic lyrics, will ultimately reconsider their approach. Others will feel defensive or amplify the things that hurt or bother people, because it’s a cheap way to be edgy.

    When faced with misogynistic statements, I know I waffle a lot between choosing silence vs. speaking out. On one hand, I think it’s important that we do find our voices and use them, because a lot of these guys live most of their lives in places where women are absent, silent, or just mentally defeated. It’s important that we speak out. On the other hand, sometimes misogyny is a ploy done simply to draw attention to one’s self, and negative attention will still feed that beast. Maybe then speaking out just
    wastes your time and energy… But then speaking out is useful in that it shows other women that we don’t just have to sit down and silently accept what seems unacceptable.

    We are all products of our environment, men and women. To me, the ability to move beyond that, to grow as a human being, and work THAT process, with all the vulnerability it entails – into your art – that is something way more interesting to me than an artist who maintains some kind of cool and interesting but static and superficial “image.”

  10. murkage dave July 16, 2012 at 3:05 am

    you have all totally missed the subtext of the record. maybe you didn’t expect us to be that clever. it’s okay, it’s called prejudice. we’re available for interview hannah, just email me.

  11. gaikatavares@gmail.com July 16, 2012 at 3:30 am

    this song and video is not about women and certainly not about degrading them…please speak to us before calling us misogynists… you can contact me at gaika@invadermusic.com

    regardsw Gaika, Murkage


  12. gaikatavares@gmail.com July 16, 2012 at 3:34 am


  13. cirrusminor July 16, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I think the rape thing can work well if it’s done in a certain way. Really first person and scary and intentionally demented. Like Polly. Stapleton by Earl Sweatshirt is also a really great song in that vein.

    But yeah, I usually don’t listen to rap lyrics. They mostly just seem to be something to hang the flow onto.

  14. golightly July 16, 2012 at 7:35 am

    @murkage dave and gaika- thank you for your input and for calling me prejudice. Not really sure how that works… I am prejudice for pointing out your prejudice? How many rounds of this do you wanna go through? At the end of the day, it might well do Murkage some good to directly communicate with the audience via an interview. You can say whatever you like, but since you have never been a woman and seem blind to the video that you just made with lyrics that affect women, then I don’t think you have any right to say that to me really. Well you can say it, but you just got some feedback here from women… you don’t seem to appreciate what we are saying. But then again, I didn’t appreciate your lyrics. And like I said in the article- the joke’s on me here not you, because I like your music. I just think you let your potential female audience down big time by making us feel betrayed by you. And it’s not my problem if you think you’re communicating one thing, and the women listening and watching think you are communicating something else entirely. What are you going to do? Go around correcting every woman’s opinion as to your real intentions? Or are you gonna stick to making fucking awesome fresh music, the likes of which I haven’t heard in a long time, it’s that good- but with lyrics that show support for women and videos that don’t degrade us? Something inside me says you’re better than this. And lucky I suspected that, because I looked into your other tunes on youtube and found out that you make great music. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am offended by this song and rightly so. I believe that there are many women who would want to feel included in your music… it’s up to you to communicate that we are welcome to listen without being made to feel like we are letting ourselves down by doing so.

  15. Princess Stomper July 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

    @ MurkageDave, if you have indeed been misinterpreted you’d be far from the first to be impaled on your own blade. Very few acts can get away with using problematic lyrics and imagery in a subversive context, and even the cleverest, most sophisticated attempts almost always backfire because people don’t “get” it.

    Sure, I’m prejudiced that a gangsta rap song will be misogynistic in exactly the same way that I’m prejudiced that a black metal song will be Satanic. Just because 99% of Varg’s mates are running around Norway burning churches and stabbing each other doesn’t mean that this particular black metaller’s song about ritual sacrifice and church-burning is supposed to be taken literally, but if it looks like a duck and quacks, it’s not the most astonishing leap to think it might be a duck.

  16. kt July 16, 2012 at 8:34 am

    interestin……i hope the interview gets done…….
    the ‘smash that cunt’ is the bit that is harsh to me..reeks of violence…and gives me flashback to horrible experience i had….
    the rest cud be interpreted in different ways to have deeper meaning… but that is hard for me to interpret that different way….
    some ace riffs and bits in it tho, i agree with u on that… i wanna take some samples and remix 😉

  17. murkage dave July 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

    @princess this is not a ‘gangsta rap’ record by even the most generous stretch of the genre umbrella.. this is beginning to make sense to me, the people commenting here are looking for something that isn’t actually there, but if you look hard enough you’ll always begin to see it i suppose

    @golightly glad you like the majority of our records.. if you’re offended by this particular one that’s fine.. however a high percentage of our fans are well educated young women who are perceptive enough to get the point we are making here.. let’s do the interview already dave@murkage.net

  18. golightly July 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @murkage dave- it’s 3:18am and I am not properly attired to go out interviewing rappers and I am not in your vicinity. I am up for doing an interview. I am not surprised that educated young women like your music, because you strike me as making intelligent records… complex and meaningful. I am surprised however that any of these women accessed your music via the above song and video, since it’s offensive. My guess is that they came by your music via one of your other songs and then turned a blind eye to the above because they got where you are coming from. Me, I struggled to even get there. I’d like you to change your lyrics “pussy on tap” to “pussy on cats”… that way we know you’re just talking about our cute animal friends. I can’t think of a way for you to improve on smash that cunt though… unless you change it to “smash that plate” or something. Then all the women in your audience can go “Yeah… I like cats too” and “Ooh… I feel like smashing that plate” then we can all join in with this madness. What do you reckon?

  19. Erika July 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Are the lyrics online anywhere? I can’t understand everything.

    One thing that can be confusing is that songs can be stories told from the standpoint of a narrator who is NOT the artist. Like in Eminem’s “Stan”. The narrator is a fictional character (Stan) responding to a fictional character (Slim Shady), which the artist (Marshall Mathers) uses to illustrate a point. I’m not saying that does/does not make any particular language ok, but it does distance the artist from the voice speaking in the song.

    I also don’t quite understand who or what is the woman behind the “glittering door”. Maybe she’s not even a real woman. Maybe the woman is a symbol of something else that is attractive yet destructive.

    Kinda curious now, what all the lyrics are, and what inspired the song.

  20. cirrusminor July 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Erika has got it right. Most songs, I think, are not written from the narrator’s point of view. Often, if they are first person, they are trying to reveal the psychological workings of the subject. Hannah, do you think Polly is offensive to woman?

  21. Princess Stomper July 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    @ murkage:

    the people commenting here are looking for something that isn’t actually there, but if you look hard enough you’ll always begin to see it i suppose

    Genre semantics aside, you have to see things from our perspective: normal men don’t use the word “pussy” unless they’re addressing a cat. That leaves two interpretations: either you’re the kind of moron who does describe a woman’s entire identity through one tiny part of their anatomy, or you’re satirically impersonating the kind of moron who does.

    Of course the latter exists in spades, but it’s normally pretty obvious when someone is taking the piss:


    I’m going to take a bet that “smash that c***” is not literally referring to smashing a woman’s vagina (how would one do that anyway? It’s too spongy) so you’re just bragging about going to a place where people take drugs and have lots of meaningless sex with women they’re not personally very interested in and then beat up someone else, which yet again leads to the either that you’re either a thuggish moron or doing a great impression of a thuggish moron. If it’s the latter, perhaps be a little less subtle next time – people might get the wrong idea.

  22. golightly July 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    @cirrusminor- The author of the song Polly was a well known feminist. Don’t treat me like I’m stupid and also, like many people writing for a site run by Everett True, I could probably wipe the floor with you in a Nirvana pop quiz so start saying something worthy of discussion or pipe down. You’ve yet to make a single decent point here.

  23. golightly July 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    @Erica- Gaika from Murkage has kindly written out some of the lyrics from the Door in a comment above. The other songs I have heard by them such as Torches belie a political awareness and sense of social responsibility. It’s just a shame that when they used language and visuals such as the ones discussed in the article, that they made their true intentions so clouded. Ever noticed how no one listens to the person who offended them? It’s like being offended flips a switch and you’re no longer able to hear past that to anything valid. That’s partly why I wanted to make this point to them- surely they don’t want to be turning off their audience when they have something worthwhile to say. But why should women listen when they present it on these terms? I think they’re better than this.

  24. Erika July 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    @golightly Hannah, I love that you’ve written this, and I love the dialogue around it and that the artist Gaika took the time to respond and offer his point of view. AFA the lyrics – the video that is embedded, at least the one that plays for me, contains none of the lyrics in the comment.

    Content-wise, what I envision is a scene of a very decadent party – I think of that old song about a speakeasy “Green Door” – or a decadent club “meat market”, and the narrator is moving through the scene. Maybe it connects with other songs on the album, I don’t know.

    This dialectic seems so important to me. Really important. It matches the kind of thing that goes on in the mind of any thinking person when they are confronted with something that challenges or sets you off balance.

    As an artist, the stakes get even higher because you are then trying to make something that is moving, or confrontational, or expressive, and real – how much are you going to balance that with the desire not to offend? I hope not too much.

    When this stuff shows up in songs, it is totally worth talking about. I just would like to find a way to do so that doesn’t enrage people or cause them to shut each other out. This is stuff that exists in our culture and we are all shaped by it. An artist can reach out and actively try to reshape, but that is a process and sometimes when you are out actively trying to reshape the world into a more feminist place you can get tripped up by issues of culture and race, and vice versa.

  25. James Flint July 17, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I’m scared but I’m gonna chime in anyway. Listened to the track, seems alright, yer it has that dark minamlism thing going on, so what. Not convinced about all the flows though. Sometimes they seem stark-deliberate, sometimes just wooden.
    Anyway – the lyrics.
    I get a ‘glimmer’ that they’re trying to illustrate the emptiness of a misogynistic adolescent wet-dream of sexual debauchery by imitation. I could be wrong. The thing is that it’s such a tiny fucking ‘glimmer’ I feel like I’ve invented it myself. Like I’m seeing things – hearing things – doing all the work for them. If the lyrics have a point beyond being explicitly misogynistic then they’re pretty bloody vague about it, so vague in fact they’re doing a piss poor job of it. Is this ironic satire? Is it really? I don’t know for sure, and I generally consider myself fairly adept at spotting subtext of that kind, and for those who aren’t good at it, it will just be the thing it’s trying to satirise. And there lies the rub, if you satirise misogyny to point out it ridiculousness, then congratulations is in order from all those who get the satire, everyone else will either love or despise you as a misogynist. A lot of people don’t get satire of that kind when it’s really explicit. To summarise then, I’m saying I don’t get it.

  26. murkage dave July 17, 2012 at 12:48 am

    we’re not satirising misogyny.. the track is a comment on wanton materialism, greed, excess, violence.. the bad fumes of capatalism

    the video itself satirises the hiphop cliche, can you not see how wonky things get??

    open your eyes and stop looking for something that isn’t there! the track isn’t to do with women and isn’t about degrading women.. we really shouldn’t be having to justify our art like this.. take the blinkers off people! yes we’re black, yes we’re rapping, but that doesn’t mean you need to look at what we’ve created in one dimension!!!

  27. James Flint July 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

    You’re not satirising misogyny? Doesn’t that mean you’re just being misogynistic then? I think you need to open you’re eyes and starting thinking about the impact you’re lyrics might have if misunderstood. Commenting on material excess is right up my street, some of that comes across from the track, and I’m sure you guys have good intentions, but equally it just feels like it sells itself on the things it denounces.

  28. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 4:14 am


    Oh so you do understand that lyrics that are vitriolic and seemingly offensive are often a reflection of the speaker rather then the author’s actual viewpoints? Seems strange then that you would dismiss Murkage’s lyrics out of hand because they are violent or sexist, as that would naturally lead you to dismiss thousands of other songs as well fucking Shakespeare poems. I personally am gonna give Murkage the benefit of the doubt and assume that they do not actually like smashing cunts.

    I’m glad that you could wipe the floor with me in a Nirvana pop quiz, that’s very relevant to the discussion.

  29. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 4:21 am

    A song with misogynistic or violet lyrics doesn’t have to be satirical to be “good”. All that matters is that it is revealing something about the speaker, which isn’t necessarily the author.

  30. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I can’t really understand most of the lyrics. It would be nice if they were posted somewhere.

  31. Princess Stomper July 17, 2012 at 6:52 am

    the track isn’t to do with women and isn’t about degrading women

    See, that’s actually the most incriminating thing you’ve said. You’re running a critical commentary about the “hip-hop cliche” but specifying that to mean materialism and violence (but not misogyny). In setting up the scene, you make a throwaway comment (“pussy on tap”) that isn’t Ban-This-Sick-Filth-Now offensive, but it’s the kind of thing that if you were saying it to my face and didn’t use air-quotes I’d think, “Really? Pussy? Seriously?”

    You know, like you don’t get that there’s anything wrong with it.

    And of course you have to justify your art. You’re putting it out there for public approval – you want people to like it – so if people are criticising it you’re inevitably going to react to that because you want them to enjoy it and buy it. I was prepared to think you were just being clumsy like Combichrist (and see how spectacularly that backfired on them), but telling us to just ignore the “pussy” and focus on what else you’re saying really isn’t doing you any favours.

    @ cirrusminor, you’re talking absolute bollocks. Shakespeare gets called out on his writings all the time – it’s not like nobody ever dares criticise him just because he has a pretty turn of phrase, and his continued popularity has more to do with successful defence against those accusations than people thinking that it’s OK to say absolutely anything so long as you say it stylishly.

  32. golightly July 17, 2012 at 7:16 am

    @Murkage Dave – You see it as me looking for things that aren’t there. But I see it as me seeing certain things that ARE there and have been quoted back to you and brought to your awareness. The thing to remember here is that this video and track was my first introduction to your music, so how am I supposed to imagine where you are coming from beyond what I see in front of me? That’s expecting too much of an audience. And there will be many people coming across your music who don’t study it in close detail the way I have. Your message may have been lost on a more passive audience… in fact you may inadvertently be sending out the wrong message to these people. I’m just pointing out how SOME people are going to interpret it. I don’t speak for everyone. But if you don’t like how you are coming across in this video then you are lucky, because you are the one who has the power to do something to change how you come across in future videos and songs.

    “yes we’re black, yes we’re rapping, but that doesn’t mean you need to look at what we’ve created in one dimension!!!”

    I don’t think I’m guilty of what you think. In fact, I wrote a fairly balanced article about your track in spite of my feminist criticisms. Read between the lines- you got a good review. The fact that I listen to your music in spite of what’s been said here says it all. I am just asking that in future you consider avoiding the anti-female language even if you are putting it across to express the views of other people. But equally, if you ARE expressing a view in character rather than as yourselves, try and make that clearer, because I missed that.

    I wonder whether the real problem (which you are not entirely responsible for of course, even if you take part in it) is that language like this being used to describe women and videos like this that depict women in a dis-empowered way are so ubiquitous and ingrained into culture that you no longer notice it’s there. This doesn’t make it any less there or any more right.

    I also don’t recall at any point in my review mentioning what ethnicity anyone is or even where you come from geographically (Manchester, UK) or anything like that. So I am wondering whether you are seeing things from that point of view because it’s happened to you elsewhere in the past?

    I’m asking you to be more aware. I’m saying I otherwise think your music is awesome and want you to keep making more of it.

  33. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 7:31 am

    It’s not just about style, is also about insight, whether or not there is any truth to what their saying, and other things. The point is that lyrics containing actions or thoughts violent to woman (or any other action you would deem wrong) are not inherently bad. The OP essentially says they are without digging any deeper. I’m guessing, given that its hard to hear and there are no lyrics posted online, that she doesn’t even know most of the lyrics. So that’s certainly an unfair way to review the song.

  34. Princess Stomper July 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    “It’s kind of like, if you start doing something for art or for a storyline and suddenly people take this seriously, they actually think that’s how they should behave, you know, they think ‘Oh, we gotta go drink and fight and fuck and get some sluts’, you know, it’s bullshit … I meet people all the time who take these things seriously. And you step back and go like, ‘this is not what I intended, never what I intended.’” – Andy from Combichrist, realising the problems with singing “in character” without making that abundantly clear.

    “When you do things as an artist you are sending a message divorced from the context and character it was produced in. […] You can’t assume that people know anything about you. You, as an artist, need to be aware that your art and image is going to be received not in the context that you produced it, but in the context that the audience takes it in.” – Ad-ver-sary

  35. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Ok so your making a moral argument against music with violent or sexist lyrics. Does that apply broadly across all “character” songs or only to those that you think are not engaging?

  36. Princess Stomper July 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Does that apply broadly across all “character” songs or only to those that you think are not engaging?

    The “engaging” part is irrelevant – you can be the best band in the world, but if I don’t like the words, I can’t enjoy the song. It’s not even so much about being affronted as just being turned off – repulsed – by problematic content.

    It’s not all “character” songs, though, because the people who are good at it let the audience in on the joke – like winking at the camera – so you don’t need to know anything about the band or what they’re like or what they’re into to realise that they’re not to be taken at face value. You might be ridiculously over-the-top (Nick Cave), or juxtapose the music with the video (Laibach, dressing up in totalitarian army uniforms and prancing around with shopping trolleys), or you might have your lyrics from multiple voices within the same song (like Eninem’s ‘Stan’). Sometimes the lyrics from one song contradict the lyrics from another to reveal that author-vs-character conflict, and that’s obvious to your fans, but puts you at huge risk of being misunderstood by someone who only hears one song and therefore only half the story.

    Even so, I can think of dozens of songs where I know the writer is “in character”, that it’s not really their opinion, but I just can’t listen to the song because the lyrics are too much. So it’s not like I decide whether to have a moral argument or find the song engaging, so much as I can’t find the song engaging if I’m too distracted by the lyrics.

  37. golightly July 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @cirrusminor – “not engaging”???? This music is absolutely engaging. It is some of the most exciting stuff coming out of the UK right now. It’s original, political, intelligent and powerful. Listen to Torches or Paperweight and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately for me, I was sent this song the Door to review before I got to that good stuff. The reason this review got written was because I loved the sound… I just had a major dilemma about it because of the content of this song and this video. I missed the point they were making in it for sure… but that is easy to do when sexist language and images are added into the mix. That’s the issue here- it’s not that Murkage are a bunch of sexist idiots, it’s about how they come off as that in this video but it’s not an accurate portrait of them as a band. But that needs to be addressed. In a broader sense, I also feel sick and tired of sexism being expressed so freely, for whatever reason, artistic or otherwise and in whatever context. These are valid points of discussion because it’s my world too. I don’t just have to sit back and take this sort of imagery and depiction of women. This was sent to me. I had a reaction. Many other people will have a similar reaction. That’s why it’s worth discussing.

  38. golightly July 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

    The biggest irony has to be that Murkage are calling out the bankers and governments for their shadiness and expressing their disapproval of the state of the world right now. They are doing everyone a favour. But it’s easier to tell that from their other songs. They are the good guys. Just not in this one for me. The more I look into them as a band the more unfair what I have written starts to seem- but that’s when you stop expecting them to be perfect and start looking at the bigger picture. But I can’t help it if this song got in the way of seeing that for me. That’s just how it is…
    Their other songs make Ill Manners by Plan B look like a glossy money making fake. That’s the sort of message they seem to be expressing generally. And the girls in the other videos look sexy but empowered and real.
    And yeah, I am now defending them AS A BAND. But I still stand firm on what I said about the sexist messages that came across in the Door and it’s video. I guess when you see what else they are about, it’s easy to forgive them one fuck up.

  39. golightly July 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Anti-capitalist rap music. Think about it.

  40. cirrusminor July 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I was talking about the lyrics being engaging, not the music. But I see both of your points.

    I still think you’re being a bit unfair to murkage as I can’t imagine you were really able to hear most of the lyrics and put them in the proper context within the song. I totally agree that you need to illuminate in some way that the lyrics are intentionally deranged or ironic or something. Personally what works strongest for me is when the character is shown to be hurt more than his victim by what he’s saying or do.

    Of course I can’t tell if murkage is doing anything like that because I can’t hear the damn lyrics. Which goes back to my first comment about how rap lyrics are more enjoyable for the flow than for the content.

  41. golightly July 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

    @Cirrusminor- I don’t see how you can say that you think I’m being unfair. I think it’s clear how fair I’m being. Most people who were offended by something wouldn’t be looking further into it and then finding things that contradict their initial impression. People are usually too afraid of being seen as weak if they change their mind in any way. That’s why you get people being dickheads in debates. I’m learning more about them with an open mind. That’s about as fair as it can get! I still think that if I was made to feel excluded due to sexism, then it’s the sexism that is unfair. Be realistic.

  42. gaikatavares@gmail.com July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    @golightly thanks for the review I for one thought it was a great review. I am glad you like our music. I am really enjoying the debate on here, and fair points have been made by all. The words I put up before are not lyrics but were meant to be kind of cues as to what the door is all about. A full blown explanation isn’t something I’d normally do but here goes…

    This song and the accompanying video are an attempt to present this out of control 1st world gluttony for what it is, a stomach churningly offensive spectacle. When we dropped torches we were effectively banned from 1xtra,..think about that. So Its ok to promote black on black gun violence and wanton materialism but not to question the forces that causes the shit in the first place. It got us thinking about power and how its misuse can twist minds subliminally. You go to work right, why? to better the world, to better yourself? or to get money to buy more things/status? why? why are we obsessed with things upon things upon things….

    The typical swish nightclub ‘urban’ video to me is a a ultra HD wish mirror on our grimy gimme society. Scantily glad hyper fake girls draped over hyper expensive cars or on hyper expensive yacht drinking hyper expensive fizzy wine whilst some dickhead sings about his ego throwing money in the air in some hyper expensive club/showhouse. All whilst the rest of us drown in this mind numbing desire-work-spend lust loop. Whose values are being espoused there? I wanted to unwrap that cliche and expose it for what it actually is – the closest cousin of pure evil I can actually think of. I wanted to do that with no gloss no sheen and no brakes, starting familiar language and format but finished somewhere else entirely. I wanted to make a swaaag club banger that ‘chicks like’ (guess what – they do) at the same time tear strips off that whole baller nonsense. I am glad you it shocked you all into thinking and writing, cos to me all that shit slaps me in the face daily, I’ve just shown it without the pink shades. I had too. To preface it with some kind of mile high ‘this is satire’ telegraph would be an insult to everyone’s intelligence and kind of negates the point i’m trying to make. for us the speaking the truth comes before being inoffensive, we aren’t about money, being famous or even getting blowjobs or uppercuts from journalists… we are about marking the wall marked culture and maybe somehow forcing motherfuckers to actually think for themselves. Maybe that’s an outdated ideal, but the length of this thread is encouraging. As you go deeper into the song and video I hope you can see ultimately this artwork is about power the way the powerful can corrupt us into sacrificing ourselves by playing on our vanity and social instabilities and create this desire for status and gold. Materialism and it’s expression constantly presents us with this glittering door which we constantly walk towards without even considering the horror behind it.

    sorry for the typos and that

  43. Erika July 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    “an attempt to present this out of control 1st world gluttony for what it is, a stomach churningly offensive spectacle”- Always a good thing. “Pussy on tap” indicates sex is presented as a commodity (like a drink), esp the offering of young females as objects to lust after, fantasize about, buy (or rent).

    “Cunt” is/can be such a loaded word. Many people really hate it. It can be a descriptor used to refer to a woman or a man. But I feel like feminists have done a good job reclaiming it, at least in some circles. I really liked Inga Musico’s book, CUNT. Back in Chaucer’s day, it wasn’t an insult at all.

    I think CUNT is a much more powerful sounding word than “pussy” which is also used as a synonym for “weak.”


  44. golightly July 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I would say that in this context ‘pussy on tap’ is a symptom of capitalism at it’s worst though… when women are not just objectified, we are (I’d like to say ‘they are’ but it’s us actually) disposable objects (to people with certain attitudes within that landscape)… potentially at least. I think it also reflects porn which is mainstream as far as I can tell. That’s a bunch of body parts being essentially sold on some level. I just find it hard to take that this video was so easy to confuse with a dreamscape rather than a portrait of a nightmare that’s been born out of a consumerist dream. Unfortunately, I don’t think this video is extreme enough to mark it out as making a point. I think it’s almost like when people compete to be the most hardcore or badass or daring… I think it would be easy for some guys to assume that was what they were watching an example of and for it to validate some of their less noble ideas and aspirations. Who knows. I’d like to have more faith in the decency of people. But it takes all sorts this world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.