Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Nemeton

Christoph de Babalon: Grim Zenith EP [VIS005]
We haven’t had an EP vinyl from CDB in many years, really since the excellent ‘A World of My Own’ 12” on Restroom Records. The wait is paid off with this evocative release limited to 300 copies. A1 ‘Could We Be?’ submerges us in eerie atmospheres and drum n’ bass assault; A2 ‘Pure Dirge’ is a thoughtful, beautiful track with melodies flirting with break beats and clanging bells. The B-side opens with drudging bass and kicking beat construction which is an abstract dance floor hit in my mind. B2 ‘Luxury of Sadness’ with its screeching string arrangements and abstract beat patterns reach a frenetic rhythm of pure mastery. De Babalon also just released digitally ‘The Haunting Past of Christoph de Babalon Vol. III’, which should be immediately downloaded! Both the digital and the vinyl are highly recommended!

Stave: Black Hills [Standards & Practices 2]
The new American label Standards & Practices run by Karl Meier, Ken Meier, and Jon Krohn (Stave) based in Chicago has started out strong. The first release by Talker (Krohn and Karl Meier) is dark and foreboding industrial techno. The second release ‘Black Hills’ by Stave shares a lot of commonalities with the sound of Headless Horseman. The second track is especially kicking with the irregular drum patterns, blistering noise, and dark atmospherics. A3 ‘Inhuman’ is dark and sinister, and B3 is a slow moving experimental track with searing guitar noise.

Schwefelgelb: Den Umgekehrten Atem [Fleisch 05]
For those into the new wave of EBM/synth pop/techno sounds, Schwefelgelb probably does it the best with their dance floor pounding tracks. All the tracks are really catchy, demonstrating complexity and offering something new, while still taking on some of the old tropes. B1 “Das Ärmellose Hemd” is pretty gritty. Recommended, especially if you’re into the vocals.

V/A: [Rave or Die 08]
This 2×10” on grey marble vinyl is a top release from Umwelt’s sub-label, appropriately named Rave or Die for those extremely dedicated to music. [Read more →]

Political News Datacide 17

Endless War

Chelsea Manning, US army intelligence officer and whistleblower, received a commutation by President Barack Obama in January 2017 of her prison sentence after she served seven of the 35 years for convictions of espionage and related offenses. Manning leaked 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks, known as the Reykjavik 13, the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan War Diary, the Baghdad airstrike collateral murder video, Cablegate, the Guantanamo Bay files, the Grainai airstrike, and others. In May 2017, Manning, a trans-woman, who suffered torture and a myriad of other abuses while in US prison custody, was released, and she presently lives in New York City. She is involved with various protests and social justice actions, and maintains a presence in the media by writing columns in newspapers, as well as personal Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. On September 13, 2017, Harvard University Kennedy School Institute of Politics named Manning a visiting fellow, however, in protest, former CIA deputy director Michael J. Morell resigned from his position as Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School. Harvard’s close ties to the CIA became even more apparent when CIA director Mike Pompeo cancelled his speaking visit to Harvard also in protest, leading the Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf on September 15 to cancel Manning’s appointment as visiting fellow (although she is invited to campus for a day to talk to students). Harvard’s actions can be seen within the larger context of fights over ‘free speech’ at American university campuses, and institutional support for CIA war criminals and tortures. Manning tweeted “honored to be the 1st disinvited trans woman visiting @harvard fellow. they chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure #WeGotThis”. On September 25, Manning took to Twitter, detailing that she had been barred from entry into Canada on September 22. Manning was unauthorized to enter Canada because of her felony conviction in the US. The Canadian immigration document states that “if committed in Canada, this offence would equate to an indictable offence, namely Treason…for which a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment may be imposed.” Manning stated she will formally challenge Canada’s refusal, and The Guardian reports that Manning was detailed by Canadian officials overnight before being sent back into the US. [Read more →]

Datacide 15 Record Reviews by Nemeton

sagaecovernemeton

Tomohiko Sage
Rusty Knife
[Rodz-Konez MAK047]
Rusty Knife Remixes
[Rodz-Konez MAK048]
Vicious Cycle II
[Rodz-Konez MAK049]

Most tunes made by Sagae are top-notch industrial techno like his 2013 digital only ‘Sleep Deprivation’ two tracker, and the digital only ‘Rusty Knife’ two tracker is no exception. Gritty, clanging, pounding relentlessness sums up the hard hitting tracks ‘Danger Signal’ and the more broken up ‘Rusty Knife’. Absolutely killer! The remix album was released in 2015, and it is a bit of a let down, as the remixes simply don’t stand up to the original tracks. The most interesting one is Makaton’s ‘Rusty Knife Shiv Mix’. The newest release ‘Vicious Cycle II’ on Rodz-Konez keeps going from where ‘Rusty Knife’ left off, and all these are highly recommended.

Centuria
Lost Archives
[Not on Label, D’Arcangelo Self-Released]
There’s sure one way to get people excited, and that is for D’Arcangelo to release on his bandcamp page 4 old demo tracks that were never released by Centuria from 1997. (If you check his soundcloud, a bunch of old single tracks have also been made available.) Download immediately, because it starts with the hard-hitting, distorted ‘Mob Rules’ that certainly engaged with other sound of Rome producers like ADC. ‘Daghen’ and ‘Hudy’ are fast paced splintered idm tracks, and the short track ‘Interferenz’ is abrasive in its simplicity.

Whirling Hall of Knives
P!!ggz
[Fort Evil Fruit FEF40]
Released as a cassette and also digitally, here are 8 tracks of super brutal beat oriented noise. The title track sets the tone with broken up beats gnarled by noise and distortion. [Read more →]

News Datacide 15, pt.3: Surveillance, Control and Repression

Surveillance, Control and Repression
GPS enabled smartphone apps are being used by private companies to track and surveil employees during business hours and also during off times. A sales executive employee at the international wire-transfer service Intermex has sued because she was being tracked via the Xora StreetSmart app on the company issued phone which she was not allowed to turn off even while not at work. After complaining about the privacy intrusions and spying by the company, she was fired.

Bank of America is one company using ‘smart badges’ to biosurveil the voice and behavior patterns of call-center workers. Monitoring includes how employees talk to customers, who talks to whom within the office, when employees send emails and respond, make phone calls, go on breaks, leave their desk to go somewhere else in the office, etc. The technology and data analysis is done by Humanyze, a spin off from the MIT Media Lab, which works with over 20 companies in banking, technology, pharmaceutical and health care industries monitoring thousands of employees. The analyzed data shows how each monitored employee performs compared to others, which amongst other things can be correlated to sales data and analyzed to assess individual and collective job performance.

In the UK, a Cambridge neuroscientist and former Golden Sachs trader, John Coates, is working with companies to use biosurveillance to create ‘human optimization’ in business performance. This researcher focuses on using technology that measures hormones that increase confidence and other ‘positive’ emotions and those that produce negative, stressful behavior that would impact a trader’s performance. The idea is to monitor employees and alert supervisors with an ‘early warning system’ if traders are getting close to a ‘hormonal danger zone’ where they won’t produce the desired trading results. Such biosurveillance is used on employees at hedge funds, banks, call centers, consultant firms, and many others.
[Read more →]

News Datacide 15, pt.2: Infiltration and Agents Provocateurs

Infiltration and Agents Provocateurs
A heavily redacted FBI document revealed that the FBI in 2011 used agent provocateurs against Occupy Houston to gather information and photographs, spy on supporters and activists, and then planned to ‘kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles’. A federal judge ruled that the FBI could refuse to release the documents un-redacted to conceal the identities of the infiltrators who joined OH, which the FBI labeled as an ‘organized violent group’.

In January 2015, Eric McDavid, who had been convicted to 19 years for ‘domestic terrorism’ in his role in an Earth Liberation Front plot in California in 2005, was released from prison after serving 9 years when federal prosecutors agreed to a settlement when it was exposed that thousands of pages of evidence were withheld from the defense during the 2007 trial. The concealed evidence included a plethora of information about the FBI agent provocateur known as ‘Anna’, who had a ‘romantic relationship’ with McDavid, and entrapped the small ELF cell into conspiring to bomb the Nimbus Dam, cellphone towers, science labs and other targets. ‘Anna’ was central to entrapping other protesters as well. [Read more →]

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