A SHUNT SURVEY Spring 2000


So what did you think......

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As a forerunner to the release of 'Liquid', we decided to do a little market research by conducting a survey in the form of the following questionnaire. We, at Shunt, are always looking to improve and one of the ways to do this is by finding out what you really want. Not only is it interesting for us to know which particular aspects of Recoil and the website you enjoy most but we can directly adjust certain items taking into account your comments.

Firstly, thank you to everybody who took the trouble to answer these questions. We were absolutely staggered at the number of responses which is why it has taken us so long to compile and analyse the results. Some of your comments were extremely candid, most were very constructive and, thankfully, complimentary.

Here are our findings taken from 1000 replies.


Surprisingly, it seems that 80% of Recoil fans are testosterone-based (male) and only 20% female. There were two people who didn't actually know their sex or are perhaps struggling with their gender identity. Frankly, we find it difficult to accept that such a small number of you girlies are into Recoil...... maybe lads just like filling out forms much more than lasses?

The average Recoil fan is aged 25.2 years. The oldest respondent was 40 and the youngest, 16.

50% of you live in Europe, 40% in the USA and 10% in other parts of he universe (including Mars, apparently)

Are you a fan of both Recoil and DM?

88% answered that they were a fan of both. 11% said that they had been fans of DM but were not any longer. 1% didn't know and absolutely nobody said that they liked Recoil but had always disliked DM.


How long have you been a fan of Recoil?

On average, a typical Recoil fan has been aware of the project since 1992 although a healthy number (25%) said they had been following Recoil since the very beginning.


Favourite Recoil LP?







Unsound Methods




Don't have one

Liquid (even though they hadn't heard it at the time)


Least favourite Recoil LP?






Don't have one



Unsound Methods


Favourite Recoil track?

The voting on this was very tight with no overwhelming favourite. This is quite encouraging showing the diversity of taste out there and proving the point that you just can't please everyone - and we wouldn't want to try. Here's how it panned out, utilising a combination of the favourite and least favourite votes to form a league table, in order of Championship winner down to Relegation certainties:























Missing Piece


Edge To Life


Luscious Apparatus


Red River Cargo

Electro Blues For Bukka White

Faith Healer

Last Breath



Control Freak

The Defector



The Sermon





Favourite Recoil collaborator?

Even though Douglas McCarthy emerged as most people's favourite, he provoked a more extreme reaction and was also chosen as least favourite by quite a few. On the other hand, nobody chose Toni Halliday as their least favourite. In fact, 45% of people declined to suggest a least favourite. Despite being probably the most well known collaborator, Moby proved to be most unpopular amongst Recoil fans and even though 'Luscious' was many people's favourite track, Maggie Estep also elicited extreme responses both ways. Again, a table of preference has been produced based on a combination of the favourite and least favourite votes.








Douglas McCarthy

Toni Halliday

Siobhan Lynch

Hildia Cambell

Bukka White

Maggie Estep



Favourite Recoil remix?

36% of people either hadn't heard any Recoil remixes or couldn't suggest a favourite, while 60% declined to pick a least favourite. The top three remixes ran away with the votes and there was a huge 52% anti reaction towards Pan Sonic's mix of 'Shunt' - shame, we love it. Here's the league table:











Drifting (Poison Dub)

Stalker (Punished mix)

Missing Piece (Night Dissolves)

Faith Healer (Trance mix)

Faith Healer (Conspiracy Theory)

Faith Healer (Barracuda mix)

Faith Healer (Disbeliever mix)

Faith Healer (Deformity)

Faith Healer (Conspiracy - double bullet - Theory)

Shunt (Pan Sonic mix)


Do you intend to purchase the new Recoil LP?

99.7% said they intend to purchase 'Liquid'. 2 people said "maybe".

Ok, maybe it was a silly question. If you took the trouble to come to the website and answer our survey then you're probably interested enough to buy the record. It's still reassuring to hear you say it though.

Can you find Recoil CD's easily in your nearest record store?

42% said yes, 6% said sometimes, 52% said no.

As you can imagine, although we could have predicted this response, this is still very disappointing to hear. Getting retailers to stock what they perceive as a 'difficult' seller is a constant struggle. If they see action at radio then they might take a risk and order more copies but generally speaking, most of them play it very safe. Unfortunately, as you will see from the next set of replies, many people still prefer to purchase their music from shops - understandably perhaps - but the sad fact is that less and less diverse music is actually making it into those outlets with more space being given over to books, videos, games, merchandise and so on. The only place you can guarantee finding the product is on-line.


How would you categorize Recoil?

41% said that it is impossible to categorize the music (which was the correct answer:). Nearly everybody else came up with a unique description - here are some of the offerings:

Ambient Symphonic, Classical pop, Dark soundscape, Post-rock, Mindfuck, Intelligent techno, Menacing anti-pop, Classical Industrial, Indie, Gothic punk, Neo-tech classical, EBM, Tripnotic, Weird stuff, Fucked up, Murky sensual dreamscape, Underground, and (our favourite) Eclectronic (ouch! -thanks Farhan)

The 5 most popular categories were:






Avant Garde




Trip Hop


What is you favourite piece of Recoil artwork?









'Unsound Methods' LP

'Bloodline' LP

Shunt website

'Drifting' single

'Stalker' single

'Faith Healer' single

'Hydrology / 1+2' LP

Don't know


Would you like to see lyrics printed in the CD booklet?

80% said yes, 11% said no and 9% weren't really bothered.

Most of you will be pleased to hear then that the lyrics for 'Liquid' will be included in the artwork. Many foreign fans pointed out that printing the lyrics is the only way to fully understand all the words. In the case of 'Liquid', this comment is probably more valid than on any previous Recoil LP but we should point out that Alan wanted to include the lyrics this time anyway and his decision is not as a result of your votes. He feels the words are such a focus of this particular album that it was important that they be fully understood.

What Recoil merchandise would you like to see?

Easily the most wished-for item is a Recoil T-shirt, gaining 47% of your votes. Videos received 8%.

We are working on producing a Recoil shirt which will be available to purchase on-line in the near future. All 4 Recoil videos will be available on the 'Strange Hours' enhanced single (release date - April 4th, 2000)

Other more unusual suggestions included:

Golf balls, tea cups, wallets, rings, knickers, blow-up dolls, mousepads, passport covers, wine, pants and.... er... nail varnish.

Think we'll just stick with the T-shirts for now.


How often do you visit the site?

On average you visit this site once a week and 80% of you find navigating it easy. 14% said that it was fine once you got used to the terminology and 6% said they found it hard to cope with.

For the strugglers and newcomers, we have recently introduced a 'site guide' which is easily accessed from the new front pages. Hopefully, this explains exactly where to find everything in simple language.

The idea of Shunt is that the navigation should be logical and intuitive. We don't want to put 100 links on every page but rather just give one or two options so that the visitor can systematically explore the many pages and can easily return to each section if they wish to go off in another direction. Sounds obvious but how many sites have you visited where you get totally lost due to too many (or repeated) links and bizarre routing?

How fast do the pages load?

55% said that the pages load fast or very fast, 41% said that they loaded moderately fast and 4% said the loading time was always slow.

Obviously, loading time is an issue which is sometimes to do with the ISP or often down to an individuals particular connection. There will always be variations depending on modem speed, ISDN or cable. Since only 4% said it was slow, we are reasonably confident that our server is delivering ok most of the time and that the problems a few of you are encountering are to do with your connection (or perhaps an unusual location). Shunt tries to ensure that most file sizes are kept small and images are compressed to reach a good compromise between quality and loading time. Recent site additions, such as video downloads, will take time to load - this is inevitable if you want any kind of decent quality. Those that have visited the new video pages will see that we have tried to give you many file size options depending on your patience threshold.

What is your favourite section of Shunt?

Your favourite section of Shunt - by a long, long way - is Forum, and in particular, Q+A. 58% voted for these pages with the nearest challengers being the bulletins and editorials (each with 14% of the vote). 6% said they had no preference, 4% of you are trainspotters and live for the technical / studio information and 2% prefer the photos of Alan.

This result is reassuring to us since we have placed such importance on the interactive nature of Shunt. It seems that, even in these days of TV, video, e-commerce, computer games and graphics, one-to-one communication is still fundamentally important to you. Q+A takes a lot longer to compile and archive than you might imagine so it's good to know that it's appreciated.

Your favourite editorial so far?

Receiving 53% of the votes, the easy winners were the 'DM - Singles' articles which were produced to coincide with the release of the 'Singles 86-98' compilation LP. So many of you were intrigued by Alan's insider views on the making of these records. 27% said they had no preference, 11% enthused about the features on Alan's studio, 3% voted for the Barcelona article while 2% enjoyed the World Cup report best.

What would you like to see more of?

You requested:

Competitions - coming soon, MP3's - now on-line, News - as fast as we can, Old artwork - coming soon, Interviews - we'll be posting lots of these in the coming months, Chat room - we're looking into this, Merchandise - T-shirts coming soon, Videos - already on-line, More Q+A - not possible, Studio pictures - coming soon, Mail Order - available now, Alan's favourite LP's - see this month's Q+A, Promo items discography - we don't have all the details (anyone?), Web cam - unlikely, Jokes - "There was this Englishmen, an Irishman..........", Samples - make them yourselves, Hep's tits - too large for our frame size, DM slagging - oh, please, Alan's willy - unavailable.

What would you like to see less of?

Some of you wish to be rid of:

Stupid Q+A questions - that's your fault, Tongue Petals - don't read it then, Sport - bad luck, we love football and cricket here, Fans gallery - don't look at it then, James Havens, Benny Jorgensen, Natalie, Emily - sorry chaps, Small screen + frames - tough, we like it like that, Black - ?, Yanks - can't keep 'em away......

Would you like to see MP3 files made available?

82% said yes, 11% weren't bothered either way, 7% said no.

As you may have discovered, we have recently introduced MP3 audio excerpts onto the site - from 'Bloodline', 'Unsound Methods' and 'Liquid'. There is one MP3 surprise still to come.

Would you still buy a CD if you could download a free MP3 file?

99.9% said they would although many people pointed out that less ardent fans may not. Well, we don't intend to put that to the test by making full MP3's of tracks (which are released on CD) available - not because we are worried about CD sales but because MP3 quality just isn't as good as CD.

Are the Shunt staff quick to respond to your requests?

53% had had no experience. Thankfully, 93% of those that have written in said that the response was fast, 3% said it was adequate and 7% said it was slow.

Of course, we always endeavour to respond to requests immediately but sometimes mail gets lost, our replies bounce back or we just get snowed under. And sometimes, we get the odd request that is so inane we just can't be bothered to answer.

Are you a subscriber to the Shunt chat list?

80% said no although 30% of these said they had been subbed at some point but decided to unsubscribe. 20% said they were currently subscribed.

What do you think of the Shunt chat list?

The overriding comment was that there was 'too much crap' talked on the list.

Here's a small selection of comments:

"Too many freaks"
"It's great"
"Full of arseholes"
"Not enough Recoil"
"Sometimes funny"
"Fun but fucked"
"It sucks"
"Almost pointless"
"Goes in waves of chaos"
"It rules !!!"............ etc.

It is not our policy to direct what is discussed on the list. The idea was to provide a no-rules anything goes forum, so make of the comments what you will. For the many of you that don't want to indulge in endless banter but still wish to be informed of Recoil news and site updates, you can now join the Recoil database (Forum - e-lists). This is not a chat list and your addresses will not be passed on to any third party.

Other comments or suggestions?

The vast majority of your comments were very complimentary - mainly words of encouragement and appreciation about the fact that the site is regularly updated. Many people said they loved the fact that there is so much interactivity. Lots of people said they loved the look and design of the site although a few of you really don't like the smaller frame set. Quicktime video was requested (and has since been implemented), Martin Sidén suggested the Q+A search engine, a suggestion was made to link directly to the latest news from the front page (this is now in place), requests were made for more info on the studio (a special java-based tour with more pics and info is coming soon), somebody said they met a girl because of the gallery and suggestions were also made for a Recoil cookbook and karaoke page ! ( er.....we'll pass on those).

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