[Tri Angle 32]
Lackluster, infuriating? Or just disposable and instantly dismissible? Is this the contemporary conundrum? Caught between the ADD and mindless craving for “more” of the social media generation/addicts and the online “like” hype and bluster of the progenitors themselves. Why even bother to release albums anymore? I’m genuinely lost for words with this particular one even after multiple listens. I wanted to like it. I follow and, more importantly, support his output by purchasing the material. I like what I perceive he is sonically stretching for. I’ve listened to this stone cold sober; after a few beers; blind drunk, but it irritates and annoys me in all states.
The simple fact of the matter is there are no bones or balls to any of it. It feels obtuse and willfully obscure. What he may think is discipline and tech skill can just as easily be dismissed as pretension, even arrogance. “Snow Leopard” my arse! (I’ve tracked one in the Karakoram my friend and only ever saw its footprints, much less imagined a shitty racket like this as a soundtrack to their elusive beauty). Any of these tracks would bring a dance floor to a rapid standstill and see punters heading to the bar or for a smoke. Nothing wrong with that. So then as a listening album where’s the focus? It stutters and farts and crashes and jackhammers away, coated with the usual soft synth pads, washes and cod sci-fi FX/design, disappointingly veering into the weakest and most tired of breakcore undynamics. Only by the end of the 7th track “Pandemic” do we get any sense of slamming groove or focus evolving. And “Burnerz” finally gets into gear (for all of 3 mins or so) in a kind of vintage Italian Broken Beat stylee (think SNS, Anibaldi, ADC and their ilk). But by then so what? There’s a limit to the interest one can hold to repetitive “deconstruction”.
This should by rights be the last statement Rabit makes in this area, but after his even more useless and wretchedly awful 12” with Dedekind Cut on Ninja Tune I fear the man really has disappeared up his own proverbial.
I had a History teacher at school who used to score through whole paragraphs of our teenage scribblings with a red pen and capital letter “WAFFLE!”. Funny I should think of this and in my cantankerous middle age fully appreciate this now, but there we have it. Waffle indeed.
In contrast to Rabit’s fart-in-the-wind of an album this just seems to get better on repeat listening and feels like a well researched, deeply knowledgeable journey through past and current genres.
I have to call him out though. His biggest, most shameful faux-pas is kicking off the whole thing with an utterly by-the-book old-school breakbeat ragga re-fit(shit). Absolute derivative nonsense. By this stage I think we all have to agree there’s nothing more to say or update on the matter. My advice: avoid, delete or fast forward. It’s a better listen without.
Skirting the edges of Deep House, Techno, and Bass, the rest of the material proves a masterfully tech exploration of route finding. There’s no pointless probing or faffing around on the arrangements. They choose their line and go for it, taking in their influences without fuss and with almost casual confidence.
“Gravity” is long slow builder; a subby, banger that kills it on the breakdown with a re-polished, wobbly, reese and vintage doomcore claps. [Read more →]
Disco Documentary Full of Funk
Re-issue of the insanely rare Ghanaian disco record from the wonderfully named Nana Love. I have wanted a copy of this record for years but the high price and normally battered condition always stopped me from acquiring one. Imagine my delight when BBE dropped the re-release on super loud double vinyl. What you get is some of the most mental afro-funk disco workouts in history with Nana dropping her amazingly twisted vocal gymnastics over the top. With a touch of James Brown and Grace Jones in her voice she screams exultations of desire over the hypnotic disco funk. Check the amazing 12 minutes of “I’m in love” with Nana in full flow whilst Moog and horns counterpoint her deranged delivery. If you only buy one Afro Funk disco record this year, make it Nana Love!!
Let that shit breathe
L.I.E.S. have released an amazing amount of vinyl over the past couple of years and have a seemingly endless supply of raw and downright deep and dirty techno to impart to the world. It can be easy to be overwhelmed with their prodigious output but dig in and you’ll find some absolute killer tunes that you need to take a listen to at the right time to understand. This EP from M/R has some pitched down rhythms that at the right point of the night will devastate any dance floor. Sometimes Techno is better slowed down. In the space you can dance heavier. ‘Coconut Jar’ is a killer 106bpm sleaze funk groove for the right moment.
Hyperspace Sound Lab
Essential reissue of rare first vinyl outing from Drexciya’s James Stinson. Some raw Miami bass style rapping on two of the cuts, and the production is noticeably less refined as befits an early release from a producer learning his craft. [Read more →]
LAST SURVIVORS OR FIRST MUTANTS? 
Notes on Surplus Population
“For all I was the thing
in history –
the barbaric; the semi-barbaric; the savage
that was me”
– John La Rose
Writing in April 1975 the Race Today Collective reiterated to a bemused leftist, who accused them of touting the same views on unemployment as the then home secretary Keith Joseph, that they, on the contrary, were of the view that “capital seeks to create a reserve army of mobile labour in the whole world, and that the young black wageless are part of such a reserve army.” This theme of the ‘black wageless’ had also been taken up by publisher and activist John la Rose who, in an earlier issue of Race Today, offered that the “wageless black youth, by withholding their labor, are challenging the rule of capital in a fundamentally revolutionary way”. They were, La Rose contends, withdrawing from the work ethic and crucially, refusing to compete with their fellows and making a break with “mundane social conceptions”. The Race Today Collective may well have offered that amongst such ‘mundane’ social ideas were those often voiced by the mainstream left whom it contended was treacherous to the ‘wageless black youth’ demoting them from working class to lumpen status and unsuccessfully tempting them into ‘Right To Work’ marches. [Read more →]
This article brings together various sources and partial translations of articles published on various websites. The author wants to give a general introduction to topics that, especially in the case of the MUOS (Mobile User Objective System, a military telecommunication system of the US Navy) are not of importance in public opinion because it is only marginally covered by the media. Nevertheless, what is happening in a small community of 30,000 people located in a marginal area of the current geopolitical scenario can significantly alter the future of the Mediterranean Sea and its peoples.
The issue of the MUOS is central to NATO’s military interference in all countries “allied” to the United States. MUOS is a means of territorial expropriation that transposes the role of communities – “guilty” of living in these areas – for utilitarian purposes only.
Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
AGS is a NATO system that increases the UAV (drone) presence in the Mediterranean.
It consists of five new Global Hawk drones controlled from the Sigonella (CT) Main Operative Base (MOB) in Sicily. This base provides data link connectivity, data processing and exploitation capabilities, and interfaces for inter-operability with command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems1. NATO declared openly that: AGS will be able to observe what is happening on the earth’s surface, providing situational awareness before, during, and, if needed, after NATO operations. Global Hawks are the ultimate in surveillance technology from a very high altitude, drones with large operational autonomy and advanced data transmission capacity. [Read more →]
[This article is an exploration of the forces shaping current educational policy and practise in England in 2015. It is focused on primary schooling (3-11 years old). There is little reference to the UK as a whole because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all remain more committed to the concept of community-based comprehensive schooling, i.e. a less ‘marketised’ model.]
“The economy transforms the world but transforms it only into a world of economy.”
Guy Debord ‘Society of the Spectacle’ 1967
“The most significant outcome in the drive for so-called higher standards in schools is that children are too busy to think.”
John Holt ‘How Children Fail’ 1964
“The educational establishment simply refuses to believe that the pursuit of egalitarianism is over.”
Kenneth Baker, Secretary of State for Education and Science 1986 – 1989 (at the Conservative Party Conference) 1987
In 1944 the ‘Butler Act’ introduced free secondary education for all. This was later than in most other industrialised countries. It was to be a national system, locally administered. With the Nazis and the USSR as models of central control it is unsurprising that British administrators did not favour a centralised system. Today, seventy years on, we have a highly centralised system. This is because England is at the vanguard of the ‘marketisation’ of education in Europe; it is a process that involves an intensified standardisation for teachers and students and a replacement of local, democratically accountable administration with chains of private educational providers overseen by a much more strongly centralised state education department. For example, throughout the 1940s, 50s and into the 60s the Ministry of Education would never have dreamed of interfering in the specific curriculum of individual schools. In fact, in 1960 the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said: “In this country the teacher has the inalienable right to decide what to teach and how to teach it”. This has changed completely.
We can make sense of this drift away from education for social change and inclusion (Kenneth Baker’s “pursuit of egalitarianism”) by recognising it as one aspect of neo-liberalism. This “…aims to defeat the movements associated with state-focused, welfare oriented reform and to install a new systemic logic by which society (from government to the individual) responds to free market imperatives.” 1 In 1974 the IMF loan to the UK required an end to public sector expansion, an end to decentralised operational management and the introduction of detailed central regulation. So just as the idea of a common educational experience for all was beginning to take root the welfare rationale of ‘nation states’ began to disappear, ushering in ‘market states’ or ‘post-welfare states’. [Read more →]