Reviews

GVK: Power to the People – Power vs Power 4

Excellent record mixing 4/4 breakcore with hardcore, punk, metal and other elements. GVK (Martel en tete label) creates a hard-hitting 4 tracker with diy attitude that no doubt has been heard to great effect on soundsystems traveling across Europe.

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

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