Articles

Towards a New African Fascism – Kagame’s Rwanda in the 21st Century

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“If you go back to the birth of nations, if you come down to our own day, if you examine peoples in all possible conditions from the state of barbarism to the most advanced civilisation, you always find war. From this primary cause … the effusion of blood has never ceased in this world.”
Joseph de Maistre (1797)

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Civilisation is measured by its roads; uneven development is revealed by its potholes. The Romans ruled the extent of their imperium along their via; the Victorians penetrated with protractors and railroads; lately, the BBC has devoted an entire chauvinistic TV series (‘Top Gear’) to ridiculing the absence of ‘proper’ roads outside the Western comfort zone.

Rwanda’s roads could never be straight, for every inch of this African emerald is set across a vertiginous mountain range. But its winding roads are perfect. Too perfect. They are fastidiously-tarmacked, governed, regulated spaces with delineated sidewalks, freshly-painted lines, rationalised roundabouts, 12-hour street lighting, advance-warning filter systems, traffic lights which work – and which are obeyed. This is not only in the capital, Kigali: all the way south in the border town of Gisenyi, one can gaze smugly from its smooth Paradise into the shambolic warzone of eastern Congo; at the other end of the country, a European visitor to the northern town of Nyagatare could be forgiven for thinking they were in Liechtenstein.

To make matters even more disconcertingly ‘un-African’, Rwandan drivers always follow traffic regulations, even when no-one is looking.

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My first visit to Rwanda is in 2008. It’s only 10pm and Kigali is already dead. I’m with Karlsson, a foul-mouthed Swedish academic, and we are looking for somewhere to have another beer. He’s researching the controversial topic of media freedom and I am keen to hear of his findings. We’ve had the uneasy feeling all day that people have been eavesdropping on us. To anyone listening in, our conversation must sound bizarre. You cannot meaningfully discuss Rwandan politics without mentioning their ethnic factions, the Hutu and the Tutsi, yet the regime has literally outlawed the use of the terms ‘Hutu’ and ‘Tutsi’, unless you use them in a close approximation of the following phrase: “… the Hutu genocide against the Tutsi.” So in the spirit of naughty schoolboys we spend the whole day talking politics by substituting the ethnicities with the terms ‘Hookers’ and ‘Trannies’ (as in transvestites). “Some claim there were actually more Hookers killed by the Trannies in reprisals…” or “the Trannies are simply burying the issue and the Hookers are going to boil over one day soon, you’ll see…” 1

In this prematurely deceased night we sit down and relax in the absence of flitting eyes. We are probably being paranoid to think we were shadowed the whole day, but we’d be well-advised in that attitude. Karlsson would simply be the latest foreign researcher or journalist to have his visa revoked. The Rwandan authorities are justified in their vigilance. Only 5 years earlier Rwanda had been one of the most feared protagonists in the Second Congo War (9 combatant nations and nearly 6 million deaths) and only 14 years earlier Hutu Power had conducted a genocide in Rwanda itself (800,000 deaths).

Karlsson staggers off in search of a demarcated urination spot and I enter a kiosk bar, the only place open as far as the eye can see. There is a middle-aged man drinking at the counter. He stares fixedly at me as I try and order beer and cigarettes. The kiosk is brightly-lit by ghastly neon. High up on the wall is the ubiquitous framed image of President Paul Kagame, sitting up straight, his narrow neck-tied frame topped by bespectacled, beady eyes. “Hey you! Do you know who that man is?” the sodden customer addresses me breezily. “Yes”, I smirk, attempting some levity, “he’s the main man, the numero uno – the big cheese!” There is a brief silence as the drinker contemplates me; his lips are now snarled with contempt. “This man” he hisses, grabbing my sleeve and jabbing his finger towards the icon, “is our saviour. He is a God to us.” The barman abruptly finishes the transaction and President Kagame watches from the wall as I leave his kiosk. [Read more →]

Best of 2016 Chart

Here is the annual Best of 2016 Chart documenting many of the tracks and releases of 2016 played out frequently by Datacide contributors!

Best of 2016 Chart
(no order)

Gonçalo F. Cardoso, Ruben Pater: A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics (Discrepant 24)
CoH: Music Vol. (Editions Mego 222)
Radionics Radio: An Album of Musical Radionic Thought-Frequencies (Sub Rosa 423)
KK Null: Machine in the Ghost (Dry Lungs 007/Hirntrust Grind Media 41)
6.R.M.E.: ANRSE (Hintrust Grind Media 42)
N-rgle: Makété Kudasay (bandcamp self release)
Headland: FKOFd026 (FatKidOnFire 026)
Silver Waves: Ep3 (Portal Editions/ Howling Owl Records)
Ryuji Takeuchi: Outbound To Inner Self (Inner Surface Music)
Annihilation Operator: Bludgeon (Raketenbasis Haberlandstraße)
Ossia: Control (Berceuse Heroique)
Zombieflesheater: Bloodsport Soundclash EP (Kritik Am Leben 02)
Adjust: Titan Remixes (Low Res LOW027)
Messias: Omnivoid (Cathartic Noize Experience X-008)
Dr. Walker vs. Omsk Information vs. St.Tétik (Subsonic 003)
Alex Buess & Daniel Buess: Skin Craft: RIND & NOL (Praxis 55)
D.A.S. D.A.: Features Vol 4 (Repitch004)
Atomhead: Timeblind (AcreD23)
Umwelt: Days of Dissent (Boidae 001)
Cindytalk: The Labyrinth of the Straight Line (Editions Mego 219)
Crotaphytus: Acanthosaura (Further Records 014)
Ontal: Ontal 2 (Ontal Series 02)
Honzo: Melancholia EP (Arboretum 003)
Scalameriya: Kepslok (Perc Trax Limited 008)
Martyn Hare: (Emetic XXVII)
SØS Gunver Ryberg: AFTRYK (Contort 006)
Blackmass Plastics: Under the Radar (Ugly Funk 009)
Oake: Monad XXIV (Stroboscopic Artefacts 024)
Disheveled: Mechasimulacria (Thac0 AC7)
Dimentia: Broadcast Frequency (bandcamp self release)
Perc + Randomer: Igneous (Perc Trax 072)
Impulse Controls: Devour (Instruments of Discipline 008)
Domenico Crisci: The Violinist (Summa Cum Laude 001)
A001: Nyctophobia EP (MORD031)
Wah Wah: No Borders (Kool Killer 001)

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Most Read Datacide Articles in 2016

As always in the first days of the new year we publish a list of the most read – or at least most clicked – articles on datacide (online) during the previous year:

1. Keith Robinson Desert Storm 06/08/68-18/09/16 Obituary by Marc Hekate, which will appear in print in the upcoming Datacide Sixteen. This got a huge spike after being shared many times on social media.

2. You’re Too Young to Remember the Eighties – Dancing in a Different Time by DJ Controlled Weirdness. This nice and now classic piece on the 80′s dance underground in London is from Datacide Ten, published in 2008 and was the most read article for the previous three years! And in 2014 it also has become the most read piece on this site, overtaking the Coil Interview from 1986, which was still the third most read piece in 2016:

3. COIL – Interview from 1986 plus Introduction. Classic interview with John Balance – originally published in the Zine “turn to crime” (Vision 2). Vision was of course the predecessor of Praxis/Datacide. Reprinted in Datacide Nine (2006/2014)

4. What the Fuck? – Operation Spanner by Jo Burzynska – always in this chart since 2011, this is the oldest Datacide article here – from Datacide Two, 1997, now reprinted in our book EVERYTHING ELSE IS EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS.

5. Anti-Semitism from Beyond the Grave – Muslimgauze’s Jihad by Christoph Fringeli. Getting read more and more – and predictably STILL getting the usual flak from fanboys and apologists… Originally from Datacide Nine (2006/2014)

6. Dope Smuggling, LSD Manufacture, Organised Crime & the Law in 1960s London by Stewart Home from Datacide Eleven, based on his talk at the 2008 datacide conference in Berlin, and in each top 10 since then… Originally published in Datacide Eleven (2011).

7. François Genoud – The life of a Swiss banker and fascist anti-Imperialist by CF, originally published in Datacide Ten. Up from number 20 last year.

8. The most read article from Datacide Fourteen in 2015 is John Eden’s account of the Hackney police’s “community relations”: “They Hate Us, We Hate Them” – Resisting Police Corruption and Violence in Hackney in the 1980s and 1990s. Last year’s number 8 is getting a growing readership.

8. From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial by Christoph Fringeli from Datacide Eleven (2011). This was the most read article in 2011, number 5 in 2012, number 3 in 2013 and 5 in 2014 as well as this year.

9. The Brain of Ulrike Meinhof by CF is another text with a a steady readership, both previous years at number 8, in 2014 it dropped out of the “top 10” only to re-appear again this year. Originally from Datacide Nine.

10. Godard – The Child of Marx & Coca-Cola Howard Slater’s excellent article on Godard’s Masculin/Feminin from Datacide Eight is finding a new readership.

11. Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions & Throbbing Gristle by Simon Ford (Book Review by Stewart Home from Datacide Six).

12. Revolt of the Ravers – The Movement against the Criminal Justice Act in Britain 1993-95 by Neil Transponine about the struggles against the Criminal Justice Bill and subsequent 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act from Datacide Thirteen.

13. Spiral Tribe interview with Mark Harrison from issue Thirteen by Neil Transpontine, also from issue 13. Essential for those interested in the history of the 23 tribe and free party culture! Last year’s number 12.

14. Last Survivors or First Mutants? – Notes on Surplus Population by Howard Slater – from Datacide 14.

15. Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystem meets ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown – one of the articles that appeared in Datacide (this one in issue Eleven, 2011) dealing with the reggae soundsystem culture and its history, by John Eden.

16. Fluxus and DIY Concerts by new Datacide contributor Guoda Diržyte from datacide 14.

17. Also by John Eden is this interview: The Dog’s Bollocks – Vagina Dentata Organ and The Valls Brothers which gives great insight into some of the more interesting industrial culture.

18. For the second time in this list is a short article about the text “Der Waldgang” by the writer Ernst Jünger, originally published as an appendix to “From Subculture to Hegemony” (see number 8 in this list) in Datacide Eleven.

19. Datacide 15 News: Neo-Nazis, the National Socialist Underground and the State – a news update on the Neo-Nazi terrorist group Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund (NSU) and its connection to the German state security agency Verfassungsschutz from Datacide Fifteen.

20. Just Say Non: Nazism, Narcissism and Boyd Rice – originally published on the blog whomakesthenazis.com and reprinted in our Almanac for Noise & Politics 2015 – and finally re-blogged here.

As a year ago we post a top 20 list rather than just a top 10 as in previous years. Hopefully it will be encouraging to dig deeper into the wealth of articles on the site – nearly 500 are up now and more will follow soon!

Sincere Genesis – On Félix Guattari & Groups

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“Sooner or later the Situationist International must
define itself as a therapy: we are ready to defend the
poetry made by all against the false poetry
rigged up by power”
– Raoul Vaneigem

As a psychoanalyst and militant, Félix Guattari seems to have engaged with the problem of groups for all his life. Across his writing we see him putting forth, as part of a collaborative process, various conceptualisations of group life which are to a larger or lesser degree operational concepts which he had experienced and worked with. These are: institutional analysis, the subject and subjugated group and the collective assemblage of enunciation. Several themes, gathering points for his later more pronounced interest in the production of subjectivity, appear to flow through all of these concepts: transversalism, a mixed semiotic and the subject as ‘supra-personal’. [Read more →]

Just Say Non: Nazism, Narcissism and Boyd Rice

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“Boyd’s rather unimaginative sadism used to embarrass me, but then he explained it using words like ‘Weltanschauung'”
Lisa Crystal-Carver, Drugs are Nice [LC, p215]

I last saw Boyd Rice play (as ‘Non’) back in August 1981, alongside Throbbing Gristle (TG), Z’ev, Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA as part of the ‘Industrial Night Out’ at the Lyceum, London, which brought together the big cheeses of Industrial Music in what was to be something of a coming out party for the scene but turned out also to be its swansong (it was TG’s last UK concert; they broke up a few months later). At the time Rice presented himself as a Dadaist and prankster though his aesthetic was actually closer to the sub-Futurist ‘instant karma for kids’ noise-racket that Merzbow has since successfully appropriated and turned into a brand / ‘racket’ of his own. While TG boasted of making music from ugly noise, Rice tried to outflank them by serving up the ugliness directly, unfiltered by any obvious concern for form. In fairness Boyd Rice could be said to be among the key players of early Industrial Music, and as a result he perhaps has a shade more kudos than some of the complete musical non-entities we’re generally concerned with around here (Wakeford, Pearce, Moynihan, et al). Rice has declared his Fascism in a number of statements, in his art, and through public actions such as appearing in full Fascist regalia and holding a dagger in a photograph alongside Bob Heick, taken in 1989 to promote the latter’s organisation, the neo-Nazi skinhead party, American Front. He has also appeared on White Aryan Resistance founder Tom Metzger’s cable TV show Race and Reason, where he declared that his friends in Current 93 and Death in June were promoting a ‘racialist’ agenda and emphasised the importance of Industrial and Neo-Folk music for building the ‘Aryan youth movement’.
[Read more →]

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