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Neil Airborne - Silence is the new Punk

Neil Airborne
Video shot from "A most beautiful day" © 2012 Neil Airborne

Silence is the new Punk – At first sight this quote seems to be a contradiction. For sure Punk is noisy and loud in the first place and no one would think of Punk in matters of silence or stillness. So let’s see how to solve this problem.


To understand this quote it is necessary going back to the roots of Punk in the UK of the late 1970s, a time of high unemployment accompanied by recession. It led to a devastating cut through society, especially for young people. Bad prospects created a thinking dominated by the “No Future”- attitude.  England’s youth seemed to face a future it didn’t want to live, or better exist in just like that. Instead it decided to revolt with noise and crash in music, in fashion and with cheeky and rude statements. It was an earthquake.


Listening to Sex Pistols or The Clash today this ambience is there in a moment showing anger, disrespect and pessimism, which still transports a tremendous vitality and lust for life. Not only Iggy Pop knew that. Since that noise decades went by and the world changed dramatically. Facing economically successful times in a hedonist world of the 80s and 90s, the page turned from the 2000s on. There is a constant insecurity covering the world in the new century like an invisible mist. And, like in the times of Punk, popular music responds, but in a more silent way.


A team from Finland signing with the name Neil Airborne works with this principle of silence or of a silent way. is already reflecting this with mentioned claim Silence is the new Punk. Music that breaths, that is catchy, that is quite, but still stirs you up, is maybe a suitable description of Neil Airborne’s sound. This trademark is emphasized in the video A Dream of most beautiful kind foiling violence of war with a cynical title, while the music creates a suspenseful soundscape, that is getting stronger corresponding to the climax of the footage, when everyone is being shot to death. Even Punk comes alive in the shape of one actor, who is wearing an immense signal red iroquois haircut as a hyperbolic and ironic quote of Punk times. We’re tributes to us ugly and beautiful human beings, is another statement on the webpage, which symbolizes another contradiction. Maybe contradiction is a characteristic trade of Neil Airborne’s art?


Working together the Neil Airborne sound has been created, ranging from a New Age approach to Electronic and Indie-Pop with synthesizers, acoustic guitars and elaborated soundscapes. And there is always some kind of experimental character in the music, doubts, something that leaves you a bit unhinged and disturbed, but always held together in the highly distinctive way everything has been produced.


With Neil Airborne something special has been developed, a synonym for artistic quality formed by a team consisting of dedicated musicians, writers, producers and designers. The music wakes you up the way Punk once did. And this is when everything falls into place. Neil Airborne is the logical development of Punk’s noise, namely silence. A silence that suits Finland and that can be louder than any noise.