Reviews

Selector Catalogue/Heartworm Split 7” – Massive Support 1

This new label out of the U.S. is a collaborative effort between Slowleak records San Francisco and the from the gut crew Detroit. Each 7” will feature artists from the Bay Area and Michigan respectively. ‘My Microwave’ by Selector Catalogue from Ann Arbor, MI opens the 7” series off right with a pounding breakcore track. Heartworm of 5lowershop Soundsystem, SF contributes ‘camate (audio cannibal mix)’ – a track without limits veering from noise intro to hyper-edited beats to hip-hop inspired interludes to violin samples and back again in a frenetic style. Massive Support 2 will feature Split Horizon and DJ Crackhouse.

WAS MARX A POSTMODERNIST?

Comedy After Postmodernism: rereading comedy from Edward Lear to Charles Willeford by Kirby Olson (Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock 2001).

Walter Benjamin: overpowering conformism by Esther Leslie (Pluto Press, London 2000).

Due to the differing perspectives of their authors, Leslie’s book on Benjamin which is written from an explicitly Marxist perspective, can be read very productively alongside and against Olson’s avowedly anti-Marxist text on comedy. Both writers combine political and aesthetic positions that would be viewed by many as incompatible. Olson is in many way an old-fashioned liberal with vague anarchist leanings who is attempting to retrench the ways in which the humanities have traditionally been taught by adapting the theories of the post-68 French left figures Deleuze and Lyotard to somewhat unlikely ends. Leslie is an activist in the British Socialist Workers Party who hopes to reclaim Benjamin not just for Marxism, but quite explicitly for Trotskyism too. While Leslie correctly identifies certain similarities between Benjamin’s and Trotsky’s aesthetic positions – a state of affairs that is not entirely surprising to anyone familiar with Trotsky’s writings on art and literature – she certainly faces an uphill struggle if she hopes to make Benjamin a respected figure among the SWP rank-and-file.

Leslie has to defend Benjamin on a number of fronts, both from those who would rewrite him into philosophy, postmodernism and/or cultural studies, and others who claim there are similarities between his thought and that of German revolutionary conservatives (i.e. the strand of German fascism that disdained the Nazi Party as being too plebeian for its aristocratic tastes). Likewise, Leslie sharply criticises the cult that has grown up around Benjamin including the inappropriate use of his image [Read more →]

Datacide conference review by history is made at night

Check out Neil’s review of the conference and party HERE

Datacide conference review on uncarved.org

John Eden has written a review of our recent event, check it HERE

Pencilbreak Book Review

Please note the the end of this review was accidentally deleted in the print edition. For the full article read below.

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pencilbreak

Pencilbreak: A Graphicore Compilation. Published by Belio Magazine. €25
Released in late July, 2008 Pencilbreak is the first art/design book specifically dedicated to the visual elements of breakcore. (The only other book on “breakcore” we are aware of is: Andrew Whelan, Breakcore: Identity and Interaction on Peer-to-Peer (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008)). Pencilbreak’s 216 glossy pages are filled with high quality images of flyers, cd and vinyl record cover designs, and other artworks that the editors of Belio magazine associate in one way or another with the musical “style” of breakcore. Belio writes, “This book compiles fresh work from more than twenty international artists. All of them share a similar feeling and passion for distorted sounds and graphics. This book is meant to be a homage to Breakcore and other styles of hardcore music and corresponding attitudes.” This review does not dispute the self-evident fact that many individuals throughout the world are pleased to have to opportunity to purchase one of the first books dealing with breakcore as a visual and musical “genre,” and that the graphic artists featured and Belio magazine itself will certainly garner some amount of exposure and respect through this publication. [Read more →]

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