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My final Perilous column for 3D World

by Seb Chan on May 25th, 2007

I’ve decided to (finally) hang up my pen for 3D World.

Here is my last column which should be in next week’s issue.

A very incomplete archive of older columns exists on the web. I will, one day, make it complete and add the last few years’ worth of writing (2004-2007). Sadly some of the oldest columns (1992-94) are lost forever as the result of a hard disk failure many years ago.

The Final Perilous

Folks, this is the final ever Perilous. I have decided that the time has come to free up these column inches for some new writers.

It has been 15 years since I started writing this column, first called ‘Subterranea’, for 3D World and in that time a lot has changed – and not just the music. When this column started the Internet was just used by nerds at university and the Web in its graphical and visual form didn’t exist, let alone file sharing and CD burners. In order to find out about music in other parts of the world you had to rely on specialist record shops importing the right stuff, and print magazines. And as a DJ you had to form close relationships with your local record store owner to make sure you got first access to the weekly shipments. This column, unsurprisingly started as advertorial for Disco City, a specialist dance music importer that had recently relocated to Crown St in Surry Hills. I would get to choose a bunch of new music to write about, 3D World would get good content, and they would get publicity. My column was initially fortnightly, shared with DJ HiShock who I had initially inherited the off-weeks from. Within a year the column was independent and the coverage had spread to the nascent free party scene (Vibe Tribe) and the emerging production underground – Clan Analogue and the like.

A large number of Perilous columns are archived, going back a decade, on the web. I hope that they provide a useful resource for people wanting to look back to the fertile period of the 90s through my rather biased eyes (and ears). I’ve had the privilege of writing about things as they happened – early Warp and ambient electronica, jungle, drum & bass, trip hop, glitch, and much more – the development of local scenes, documentation of parties, important releases – it has been great. One of the highlights of my time here was in the mid 90s, after the violent shutdown of the free party scene, when I had the opportunity to share column readers between Perilous and the the writing of Miguel d’Souza and later Mark Pollard who were writing about the local hip hop scene. At that time there was a great deal of cross mingling of scenes and sounds between hip hop and electronica – crowds crossed over, parties mixed, it was a wild time helped also by the ‘audio’ versions of our written columns running back to back on 2SER (where I still host a regular weekly show – Monday nights 830pm, 107.3fm). Miguel and Mark exposed me to a whole new set of sounds and people, and this set in motion a chain of events that resonated across sounds and styles through to the early 2000s.

By the late 90s, it had become clear that the future of music was going to be digital. CD burners had become affordable, and later with the exponential spread of broadband and the development of P2P technologies, the barriers to access music that had existed previously began to disappear. Now in 2007 the filters of music are much more globally spread – they aren’t your local record shop owner anymore, or probably just one or two magazines. You probably consult many different information sources – I get about 50 RSS feeds daily to my laptop which then provide me with current news about music and culture – and obtain your music from global sources, both legitimate and illegitimate. As a result individual tastes are more eclectic and even shitty pop music is more diverse, and globally influenced than it was 15 years ago. Never before has so much music been so accessible to so many people. Does that make it better? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Thank you to all my regular readers, people whose taste I have influenced, people who have been irritated or inspired by these columns. Thank you also to the independent artists and record labels who sent me music to comment on, and to the staff and many different editors of 3D during my time writing for the magazine. I’ve had a lot of fun. If you want to keep pace with my new projects then check out www.cyclicdefrost.com.

Yellow Peril/Sub Bass Snarl/Seb Chan (www.snarl.org)

From → Words

6 Comments
  1. Hey man, I kept a bunch of 3D Worlds from around the time you have missing articles. I can try and dig them up one day for ya…

  2. awh, the end of an era!

  3. Grimbo permalink

    Hey Seb,
    well done on a great innings.
    Did you know that if you cut out and placed all your columns from the mag in a line, they would reach all the way to Coolangatta.

    probably.

    PS – your post here jogged my memory of an infamous in-print stoush between you and another Sydney jock….you know what I’m talking about! Great days, hahaha.

  4. Stoushes . . . yeah I had a few.

    Jocks . . . heh heh. The Black Dog review I put up on Cyclic triggered that very same memory. Ahhh, thank goodness that those days of scarcity and record shop mafia are long gone.

  5. That’s pretty much the last reason for me to check 3D gone… Impressive innings though!

  6. Please do archive as much as you can. The column has such cultural and historical significance and I believe it is important for it to be kept.

    Well done, old man!

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