Some scenes don’t start without the girls who make it interesting.
Casually credited by Britain’s most innovative producer of the 70s, Brian Eno, for developing ambient music on 1975’s Discreet Music, after first appearing with him on Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) in 1974, Judy Nylon is the sort of girl to take off her gloves and hat, and ask better questions than anyone in the room. 1974 is also when she collaborated with John Cale (Velvet Underground), singing The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Orgy on the Fear album. Cutting a well-topiaried path through the more esoteric new wave, by 1978 Nylon formed Snatch, a pre-cursor to Bananarama, The Bangles, but closer to The Slits by way of Johnny Thunders – with fellow American Patti Palladin, and sometimes Lydia Lunch – with R.A.F. produced by Eno, sampling the Baader Meinhof airplane hijack. These are some of the earliest uses of sampling in popular music, which created the base, along with cheaper synthesisers, for electronic music and hip-hop in the 80s.
Judy Nylon went solo to create PAL JUDY EP (1982). Produced by a young Adrian Sherwood, of On U Sound and Pressure Sounds. He later made records with Primal Scream, Weatherall, Einsturzende Neubauten, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and many more, but in this most seminal collaboration, Judy chose his dub ahead of the curve. The EP is frequently described as post-punk, but rooted more in a gentle parallel to Public Image Limited if they’d been the house band at Warhol’s Factory, reading Virginia Woolf.
Cooler than a bootle of vodka straight outta the deep freeze, Nylon has continued to cut into the fabric of the avant-garde, with projects such as Aether9 in live art, multi-authorship, video, and cybernetics.
Growing up in Boston, fostered, before finding more intellectual gristle in the Chelsea/ Earl’s Court scene of the London, moving from NYC in the early 70s, Nylon modelled, encouraged, and enquired. The most well-mannered of women whom punk is often set to desanitise, in a similar way to MK Ultra discrediting the hippies, she challenges the role of females in 20th century art, a true innovator, with a rare spectral comprehension – seeing beyond lives labelled negatively, purely because their access to equipment, schooling, confidence is not equal to their male counterparts.
Judy Nylon now lives in the south of France, and is writing her memoirs.
This poem by Judy Nylon was written for Cold Lips 04 (500 copies), and republished in the limited edition of 05 (50 copies). All content from Cold Lips 05 is being shared for free currently.