No-Tek: Neurotrope 029 (NRT029)
Neurotrope has been churning out a fair number of releases and is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Compared to most other French labels with roots in the tek scene, their output is more varied with releases touching on industrial techno and breakcore as well as hardtek and hardcore. Number NRT029 collects four tracks under the No-Tek monicker, this time this means two by Minimal Dancer remixed by La Foudre, and two by La Foudre himself. Here he goes way back to the feeling of the early No-Tek material, and you would be forgiven if you feel like you’re time travelling to a teknival in the mid-90s where bare kick drums and sparse noises fill the air shortly before sunrise. The final track The Rhythm of the World is slightly more up-tempo and melodic. Overall this is a less experimental or harsh release than some of the La Foudre material on No-Tek’s own label.
The Invisible ZMK EP
(Rouge de Colere 10)
Rouge de Colere has been Toolbox’s more hardcore oriented label since the early days when they set up their distribution in Paris around 1998. Early releases were by Sammy, Speedy Q’s, Fast Forward, Heretik – and a white label only 12” by Radium which never made it to the trademark red vinyl general release. In 2002, a record by BudBurnerz was the high point for the label, but then it ceased production for a decade, and it wasn’t until 2012 when it made a comeback in conjunction with Toolbox picking up pressing more releases again including their other labels (Peur Bleue, P’tit Gris, Toolbox Killerz, and more recently Acid Night). Since the hiatus, [Read more →]
Dead Fader – Scorched – (Small but hard 03)
Scorched was released at the same time as ‘Blood Forest’ on Robot Elephant.
While ‘Blood Forest’ was presumably intended to showcase DF’s tender side, bringing back some bad memories for this reviewer of accidentally listening to some dodgy IDM tunes, ‘Scorched’ is a mostly nice heavy set. Creeeep‘s the big cut here. It first caught my ear as one of the stand out cuts on the excellent 3by3 label mix a couple of years back. A 140ish miltant smasher with a grinding b-line and snappy snares. Also worth checking are the beatless pieces like Danger zone which have an eerie Tarkovsky feel.
Dead Fader – In cover – (Robot Elephant 18)
Curious development: a vinyl release with three reasonably dull cuts in a meldodic IDMish vein that’s worth finding for the two distorted ear bleeders that are included as a ‘bonus’ download. Mandel and Ceaser were apparently leftovers from the ‘Scorched session’, and are two massive overdriven off-cuts. Would’ve made a heavy 7″: Ceasar getting the balance between tension and release exactly right, with an expectant, offbeat intro that cuts to nothing before smashing back in with an overdriven half-step rhythm, that’s too short, but begs the rewind; and Mandel slowly modulating disconcerting vibes under crunchy distorted breakstep drums, that weirdly ends with a minute long fade-out.
Strike! – Streitschrift für revolutionären Unionismus und Rätekommunismus
Ausgabe 1, January 2013.
A nicely produced 40 page magazine that situates itself in the tradition of the Unionen of the post-WWI years and of the Industrial Workers of the World. With articles addressing direct action, a manifesto of class autonomy, “notes on workers struggles”, a debate on the role of trade unions, and a first part of a history of revolutionary Unionism, the magazine makes a promising beginning. But it remains to be seen if it will keep up the good work with regular future issues and arrive at a convincing contemporary political form derived from Unionism and classical Council Communism. A historical publication on currents of the anti-authoritarian workers’ movement which will deal with various aspects of the Unionen-movement as well as some post-68 developments is announced for publication this autumn.
Contact: Strike! C/o Rotes Antiquariat, Rungestr. 20, 10179 Berlin
Fight Back #5 – Neonazis in Berlin & Brandenburg – eine Antifa-Recherche. April 2013
This is the 5th edition of Fight Back, and with 108 A4 pages the most detailed yet. It’s essentially a compendium of the far and extreme right in Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg, with the intention of providing material to anti-fascists. This includes both background info on organisations and structures as well as outing individual fascists. The whole spectrum from new rightists, to the NPD, to “Reichsbürger” to autonomous nationalists is covered. 12 years after the first version of Fight Back came out, this is by far the most comprehensive. Anti-fascists can pick up a free copy in left wing book and info shops in and around Berlin.
[Read more →]
Book review by Marcel Stoetzler
Abromeit, John, 2011, Max Horkheimer and the Foundations of the Frankfurt School, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press
Benzer, Matthias, 2011, The Sociology of Theodor Adorno, New York etc: Cambridge University Press
John Abromeit and Matthias Benzer have published two detailed and highly informative monographs, one on Max Horkheimer (1895-1973), the other on Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969). The two books are written in styles that could hardly differ more: Abromeit’s is a primarily historical presentation that engages in exegesis of key texts mostly in chronological order, covering the period from Horkheimer’s birth in 1895 to 1941, whereas Benzer’s presentation rarely references historical context and draws in each of its chapters on the entire range of Adorno’s writings insofar as they make explicit or implicit statements about society. Adorno’s position is shown not in its gradual emergence but from the perspective of its most developed stage, Negative Dialectic being one of the most often quoted works. Furthermore, while Benzer almost completely disappears behind his subject matter, which he presents in a detached but faithful manner, Abromeit frames his argument within an evaluative, historical narrative that presents the Horkheimer of the 1930s as the most genuine representative of Critical Theory, whereas the Horkheimer of 1941ff is suggested to represent a lesser version. Abromeit chose the year 1941 as the cut-off point because in that year Horkheimer reduced to a minimum the activities of the Institute for Social Research in New York, ended the publication of the Institute’s journal Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, and moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on theoretical work with Adorno. Abromeit also emphasises that Erich Fromm had departed from the Institute in 1939, which is around the time Adorno became a member.
Key to Abromeit’s narrative is his view that Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s co-authored Dialectic of Enlightenment (first published in 1944) ‘fits seamlessly into the larger trajectory of Adorno’s work, but represents a break with Horkheimer’s early Critical Theory’ (Abromeit 2011:4).1 The decisive point here is the interpretation of the Enlightenment: [Read more →]
Book review by Nemeton
Kristian Williams, Will Munger and Lara Messersmith-Glaving, eds. Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency. Oakland: AK Press, 2013.
The 439-page book Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency is a collection of articles organized thematically that elucidate the central argument that the doctrine of counterinsurgency (COIN) deployed by the US government and military in international arenas such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been concurrently executed in the US mainland by a myriad of local, state and federal policing organizations and security apparatuses against political dissidents and activists. Various articles focus on the theories and deployment of COIN strategies, as well as methods of resistance, from diverse perspectives of individuals, groups and networks in Occupy, ecological, anarchist and anti-globalization struggles, as well as activists against border control, gang injunctions and the prison industrial complex. This book is an important contribution to the wider discourses about the domestic security state and political organizing, and has clear, continuing relevance given the ongoing deployment of COIN, current and pending trials, and ongoing diverse political actions. The book was published prior to the exposure by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and others, based on leaked documents provided by Edward Snowden, of the NSA’s international and domestic spying regime on all electronic, internet and phone communications, as well as a plethora of other personal information. It would be very useful to have updates by the authors of these articles and activists about how they view COIN in relation to those revelations. There appears to be no mechanism, as of yet, for how activists or targets of COIN could discover if they were subject to NSA spying, and learn how that information could have been used against them, but certain articles in this book elucidate methods of FBI, police and COIN methods in spying, surveillance and infiltration. This book is the culmination of work started at the “Counter Counter-Insurgency Convergence” at Reed College in Portland, Oregon during 2011. The book articles are reworks of the conference presentations given by activists, researchers, academics, organizers and others. Two of the editors have gone on a networked book publicity tour around the US, including in Los Angeles, where I saw them give talks based on their articles. [Read more →]