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The Mysterious H2SO4 Returns

My relationship with h2so4 first began when I edited a fanzine down at the S16 studio complex. In those days S16 was a terrible place. You’ve heard of Andy Warhol’s seminal ‘Factory’? Of Course you have, the place is legendary.

Imagine an English version of that with an unemployed painter & decorator in the place of Warhol, a ludicrous mixture of rapidly ageing buffoons in the place of The Velvet Underground and a mad blow-smoking hippy with fat thighs and arty pretensions in the place of Nico. You’re not even close, but in the right ball park, certainly.

I was typing away, desperately trying to avoid eye contact with any of the poseurs, ponces and pretend pop-stars that were lining the walls, (having a very small job in the arse end of the music industry, as I did at the time, only attracted morons and demo tapes, not the loose women and rocks of crack the size of tennis balls as I always hope), when my ears pricked up.

The small studio next door to the office at S16 was a dark, freezing little whole which housed their small independent label. As far as I knew they had released one 12”, earning a Pete Tong essential mix play and a place on a John Digweed Compilation, an achievement that made the ghouls of S16 gasp in awe. As I sat there, frozen, and listening intently, I could barely comprehend what was happening.

To put it simply, I could hear a preposterously fantastic sound thumping through the wall.

I rushed out of the office and crashed through the door. The poor label people looked like Middle East hostages who’d seen daylight for the first time in years. Crouching in the corner with them was a gaggle of shifty souls who gave the instant impression of questionable sexual ambitions. I came to know them collectively as h2so4.

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