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Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Saxenhammer

May 15th, 2017

KK Null – Star Breaker
[ThirdTypeTapes, TTT18]

Veteran noise/rock artist KK Null returns to a Belgian label (after last year’s excellent Pulsar X cd on Cyber City) for another outing that seems to further his crossover into more rhythmic territory. It’s great to hear shades of speedcore and broken beats appearing in his recent material. Elements of his sound have come together to form what sound like ultra fast beats underpinning the usual abrasive frequency bashing. The rhythmic elements drift in and out of the mix in a way that makes the sound evolve through different (brutal) forms and it makes for a much more cohesive and natural sound than almost any of the more straightforward hardcore/speedcore you will hear today. The beginning of side B is a definite high point for me. Sheets of metallic noise slowly give way to an utterly pummelling broken beat that had me doing the rewind. Highly recommended listening if you like it harsh.

Bombardier
Fury
[Division 13, D13.016]

A new limited 2 x 12” release from Bombardier featuring the best of his tracks from the last few years. Jason Snell has always had a very distinctive, hardware based sound in whatever context he decides to operate in and has carried this over into his recent more techno/electro based material. There is a mixture of 4/4 and more broken tracks here but all of it is an absolute gift for any dj looking for heavy, dark beats of a kind that are extremely hard to find these days. I have no idea how many have been pressed but they seem to be released in batches from the Bombardier bandcamp page where the artist has only been charging for the postage. Don’t miss.

JK Flesh
Nothing is Free
[downwards, LINO-71]
[Read more →]

Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Prole Sector

May 8th, 2017

Alert
Mindscan
[Oblivion Fringe]
In space no one can hear you scream. These are maybe not prime time dance floor tracks, but both are expertly crafted and pristinely cold, languid, metronomic, deep-space probes that strap you in and take you far into the void. The engines cut out and you float, suspended, contemplating the silence of eternity. Both cuts as solid and airtight as each other.

Aluphobia & Hataah
Lynx
[Babylon]
A fine, short, cut of ethereal, psychedelic Bass minimalism. Like lying back and watching thick curls of skunk smoke floating lazily in a pale winter light while tinges of paranoia develop as you wander what you’re doing with your life.
The drop out into (little more than) a murky thudding heartbeat seals the track’s expert reined in dynamics.

Aquarian
Bad Feeling/Insulin
[Hanger Management HNGRMGMT001]
His best and most slamming release to date and probably my favourite Bass release of the moment. Drenched in dark warehouse rave vibes, he’s definitely beefed up the low end and fine-tuned his chopped breaks and kicks aesthetic. In fact I would go so far as to say; no-one does it better! Proof that keeping it simple always leads back to something stronger. ‘Bad Feeling’ could almost be of Somatics/SNS/ADC/Anibaldi Italian broken beat vintage, just as ‘Insulin’ hints at a Mover vibe too! This is a must for any fans of that era/sound. [Read more →]

Notes from Non-Existence – Brexit vs. the Proletariat

May 4th, 2017

Your country’s dead man, but your continent is soiled
– Triple Negative, Schengen Wasteman

Jay Gould may or may not actually have said ‘I can hire half of the working class to kill the other half’, but the proprietors of the UK have tested the theory successfully with their EU referendum. Not that you would know it from reading the Guardian, the Financial Times or even, sad to say, Counterpunch and the rest of the Left-wing blogobubble, where a chorus of Influencers is celebrating the 18th Brumaire of Nigel Farage.

Let me make clear what I don’t mean by that. Of course the likes of John Pilger, Michael Hudson, Tariq Ali and too many others to list are right in principle to celebrate a slap in the face of the EU manageriat and its unctuous cheerleaders. Who other than actual Eurostipendiaries would deny that the EU is an anti-democratic managerial machine built to hammer home labour discipline (sorry, ‘Competitiveness’) and ease cross-border financial looting?

But the point here is not really about whether or not the satisfaction of symbolically slapping a robot outweighs the harm done by an anti-immigrant plebiscite. What cries out louder for correction right now is the myth that the ‘leave’ vote is a victory for THE working class over ‘metropolitan elites’ and incorrigibly Scottish Scots. This matters a lot, because the metropolitan, multinational working class is being told by all sides, and at the worst possible moment, that actually we don’t exist. Worse still, myths like this tend to become self-fulfilling. Which is not to say they come true, but they become truisms to the point that they start having real effects. Like that old chestnut, ‘immigrants are to blame for other workers’ immiseration’, which we’ve just witnessed in action. [Read more →]

Education in England – An Update

May 3rd, 2017

[This piece is an update to the article The Marketisation of Mass Education in England published in datacide fifteen.]

“When it comes to K through 12 education (4 – 18 years old), we see a $500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be trans-formed by big break-throughs that extend the reach of great teaching.”

Rupert Murdoch, Press Release
November 2010

The opening up of the education market to private providers has reached something of a stand-still or a stand-off in England over the last year. A government White Paper in April 2016 proposed that all schools become academies by 2022. A few weeks later the government abandoned this because of enormous resistance to the idea amongst teachers, parents and local councils. However, there is still plenty of momentum to the ongoing outsourcing and diversifying of state social services e.g. Richard Branson’s ‘Virgin Care’ has been given a seven year £700 million contract for adult social care in Bath and Somerset by the National Health Service; this is the first time a council’s core adult social work services will be directly delivered by a for-profit private firm.
The great majority of secondary schools are now overseen by private organisations of one sort or another and not the local council. The next phase of this re-structuring of provision should be aimed at primary schools (only 13% academies in March 2016) but a number of factors have slowed down the rapid pace of reform.

Firstly, there has been a constant stream of lurid stories in the press about the mismanagement of academies and academy chains. In 2015 seven ‘financial notices to improve’ were handed out to academy trusts; in 2016 this number has risen to twenty five. The Times Educational Supplement had a feature recently (TES 14.10.16) about five academy head teachers who have all fallen from grace: [Read more →]

Datacide Sixteen Editorial

May 1st, 2017

A short time after our last issue came out, the British population decided in a referendum to follow the lead of a section of ultra-reactionaries on the right wing of the Conservative Party and UKIP to leave the European Union. In prominent discourse, this development was attributed to some kind of working class revolt. Although there had been a call from sections of the left for a ‘Lexit’ (left exit), this wasn’t essentially an issue of the working class. Rather, it was undoubtedly put into motion by a conflict within the establishment, caused essentially by the fallout of the economic crisis and by their failing strategies to deal with it. Mainstream media – such as the Daily Mail and the Express (both famous for their relentless far right propaganda over the decades, which included support for Hitler in the 30s by the Mail) – managed to whip up xenophobia and managed to mobilise their constituency.

A similar mechanism seemed to be at work when Donald Trump was elected president in the United States. Much of the political class was gobsmacked, but the wanna-be stormtroopers on both sides of the atlantic felt empowered enough to let loose their pent up desire to commit hate crimes. Undoubtedly there is a rise of the far right, but in some ways it could be a golden opportunity for the left, if it is able to organise the resistance against it.

The leaders of the right – from Trump to Putin and Erdogan to Farage – all outwardly suffer extreme narcissistic personality defects and certainly lack any ability to solve even the most basic problems of the economic crisis, except when it comes to pushing aside opposition and profiting politically or even economically from the mess. What is happening isn’t fascism yet, but the tendency towards an authoritarian rule by decree. This is supported by those who used to be known as neo-Nazis, rebranded themselves as the ‘New Right’ in the late 60s, and more recently as the ‘Alt Right’. Many of these are people who hope to draw political capital from this climate. Since the 70s, the ‘New Right’ has been chiseling away at the gains the left had made in that period and has tried to create a discourse-hegemony promoting its racist ‘values’ and pseudo-science. Connected to this is the right’s ongoing fight to control women’s bodies, which makes these authoritarian movements comparable to Islamism, which, ironically, they claim to be fighting.

They are constantly decrying the supposed domination of the media by ‘liberals’, when a platform like Breitbart, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Alt Right, was living off mainstream advertising revenue. This included BMW, Lufthansa, T-Mobile, Visa, Zalando, and even Greenpeace and Oxfam – who all may or may not have known that their ads were featured via Google DoubleClick on the site. Whatever may be the case, the result was that the site appeared legit in a mainstream way.

Countering the apparent momentum of the right, there have been massive mobilisations and popular resistance. But it needs more for the left to come out of its crisis. Much of the traditional left is divided between bickering sects and outdated concepts, and even more so by the focus on identity politics, single issue campaigns, or, worse, the appeasement towards Islamism and other reactionary forces. There is also a widespread inability to see a perspective outside of the narrow perception of what the ‘left’ is. This manifests itself in the return of some left-Keynesian concepts, which are already seen as radical because they move away from the neo-liberal consensus, but they don’t abandon the terrain of capitalism, offering a different way of saving the system instead. A truly radical perspective would have to look beyond a world of commodity production, money and nation states.

One aspect that might well contribute to this weakness may be the fact that the precarisation that most of us are increasingly subjected to manifests itself not only in the conditions of labour, but also by the fact that millions voluntarily donate hours of unpaid work every day to companies like Facebook whose value depends on the participation of as many people as possible. If we add this un-activity to the work day, then little time and energy are left for actual organisation and struggles. We hope with our efforts with this magazine to contribute to meaningful discussions about how to counteract these developments.

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