Today I found out that one of the prominent german writers for independent music had passed away at the age of 42. Martin Büsser (german link) was diagnosed with cancer. And while I never met him in person, nor had I read a lot of his articles or books, it still feels strange to read he has died.
When I was just getting my feet wet in the german harcore and punk scene the most important fanzine was “ZAP”. Martin Büsser was one of the writers who regurlaly contributed articles and interviews. While I never really liked the bands he was reviewing, I still bought the book he wrote about punk and hardcore and to me it was an important source for finding out what kind of scene is was being drawn into. I guess something I realize only now because of all the time that has gone by is how much distance he was able to get between himself and the object he was writing about. When you compare, say, the glorification of the movie “American Hardcore” (sorry, never had the time to read the book) and “If The Kids Are United” one cannot help but sense that he was trying to warn people that they shouldn’t take anything for granted and that there’s always things to be aware of.
As I said, I’ve never met or exchanged mails with, but what is fascinating to see is how many people were shocked upon hearing about his death. The whole network of people from Germany, from Europe, from all over the world, that is so feebly called “the scene”, acknowledged what he brought into punk and hardcore. The music and everything connected to it bonds people, even if they seemed to have distanced themselves from each other over the years. It’s easy to trace the people affected by the news by reading sites all over the internet (it would have been far more complicated a few years back) and by doing so you get the impression that this network is huge.
This shouldn’t be read as an obituary (this one is far better, german link), because I don’t know what kind of person he was. But instead I feel kind of secure that there are so many people I know who I share something important with. Even it is something like a common sense for music and how it should be percieved.