Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Nemeton

Christoph de Babalon: Grim Zenith EP [VIS005]
We haven’t had an EP vinyl from CDB in many years, really since the excellent ‘A World of My Own’ 12” on Restroom Records. The wait is paid off with this evocative release limited to 300 copies. A1 ‘Could We Be?’ submerges us in eerie atmospheres and drum n’ bass assault; A2 ‘Pure Dirge’ is a thoughtful, beautiful track with melodies flirting with break beats and clanging bells. The B-side opens with drudging bass and kicking beat construction which is an abstract dance floor hit in my mind. B2 ‘Luxury of Sadness’ with its screeching string arrangements and abstract beat patterns reach a frenetic rhythm of pure mastery. De Babalon also just released digitally ‘The Haunting Past of Christoph de Babalon Vol. III’, which should be immediately downloaded! Both the digital and the vinyl are highly recommended!

Stave: Black Hills [Standards & Practices 2]
The new American label Standards & Practices run by Karl Meier, Ken Meier, and Jon Krohn (Stave) based in Chicago has started out strong. The first release by Talker (Krohn and Karl Meier) is dark and foreboding industrial techno. The second release ‘Black Hills’ by Stave shares a lot of commonalities with the sound of Headless Horseman. The second track is especially kicking with the irregular drum patterns, blistering noise, and dark atmospherics. A3 ‘Inhuman’ is dark and sinister, and B3 is a slow moving experimental track with searing guitar noise.

Schwefelgelb: Den Umgekehrten Atem [Fleisch 05]
For those into the new wave of EBM/synth pop/techno sounds, Schwefelgelb probably does it the best with their dance floor pounding tracks. All the tracks are really catchy, demonstrating complexity and offering something new, while still taking on some of the old tropes. B1 “Das Ärmellose Hemd” is pretty gritty. Recommended, especially if you’re into the vocals.

V/A: [Rave or Die 08]
This 2×10” on grey marble vinyl is a top release from Umwelt’s sub-label, appropriately named Rave or Die for those extremely dedicated to music. [Read more →]

Political News Datacide 17

Endless War

Chelsea Manning, US army intelligence officer and whistleblower, received a commutation by President Barack Obama in January 2017 of her prison sentence after she served seven of the 35 years for convictions of espionage and related offenses. Manning leaked 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks, known as the Reykjavik 13, the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan War Diary, the Baghdad airstrike collateral murder video, Cablegate, the Guantanamo Bay files, the Grainai airstrike, and others. In May 2017, Manning, a trans-woman, who suffered torture and a myriad of other abuses while in US prison custody, was released, and she presently lives in New York City. She is involved with various protests and social justice actions, and maintains a presence in the media by writing columns in newspapers, as well as personal Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. On September 13, 2017, Harvard University Kennedy School Institute of Politics named Manning a visiting fellow, however, in protest, former CIA deputy director Michael J. Morell resigned from his position as Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School. Harvard’s close ties to the CIA became even more apparent when CIA director Mike Pompeo cancelled his speaking visit to Harvard also in protest, leading the Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf on September 15 to cancel Manning’s appointment as visiting fellow (although she is invited to campus for a day to talk to students). Harvard’s actions can be seen within the larger context of fights over ‘free speech’ at American university campuses, and institutional support for CIA war criminals and tortures. Manning tweeted “honored to be the 1st disinvited trans woman visiting @harvard fellow. they chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure #WeGotThis”. On September 25, Manning took to Twitter, detailing that she had been barred from entry into Canada on September 22. Manning was unauthorized to enter Canada because of her felony conviction in the US. The Canadian immigration document states that “if committed in Canada, this offence would equate to an indictable offence, namely Treason…for which a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment may be imposed.” Manning stated she will formally challenge Canada’s refusal, and The Guardian reports that Manning was detailed by Canadian officials overnight before being sent back into the US. [Read more →]

Everything Else is Even More Ridiculous – Introduction by Nemeton

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Written soon after the publication of the first and second issues of datacide, Praxis newsletter #12 (1997) states, “With the increased availability of technology that makes it easier than ever to create, produce and distribute independent material, new networks and mechanisms have started to operate in the last decade. We called it techno. But even the phuturistic rigidity of techno was not immune against the counter-strategies of the system. We need new strategies of underground resistance, the beats have to be broken the noises twisted, desires reinvented, the phuture manifesting itself in the present, breaking the rules of the past.” [1] This oppositional call for resistance is one of the myriad collective strategies that inform Praxis, the record label, and datacide, the magazine for noise and politics. Many comrades-in-arms, a million jackals, have explored in theory and practice the potentialities and failures of countercultural, resistant and oppositional currents in hard electronic dance music, culture and politics. What is at stake in making a claim for the possibilities of co-creating transnational countercultures, and is that even realizable in the current economic and political conditions?

Counterculture and subculture as conceptual and historical tools have been defined in often competing and contradictory ways, especially concerning the subversive, resistant and revolutionary potentials, leading to a lot of confusion and uncritical use of the terms in various electronic music scenes. [Read more →]

Praxis & Concrete Cosmos present Aural Extremisms @ K9 Berlin 19-06-2015

19-06-2015 – Praxis and Concrete Cosmos present Aural Extremisms at K9, Kinzigstr. 9, 10247 Berlin.

Talks and Screenings from 8pm: Introduction by Christoph Fringeli on current Datacide Projects and 23 years of Praxis.

Screening of “Nothing Essential Happens in the Abscence of Noise” Praxis Records documentary by Silvia Biagioni (screening starts 9pm).

DJ Controlled Weirdness: “Journeys in the Naked City – A Psychogeography of Dancing in the 1980s and early 90s” (talk) & discussion.

From 11pm: Live & DJ sets by DJ Controlled Weirdness, Nemeton, Darkam, D!NAM!K, Destrooy aka Dubdub, Ari Nev, Aekre. Visuals by Sansculotte.

K9_2015

Cyrus Bozorgmehr, The Rabbit Hole (Creative Space, 2013) and other writings (Book Review)

Cyrus Bozorgmehr,
The Rabbit Hole
(Creative Space, 2013)
and other writings at djbroadcast.net

rabbitholecover

Writing about music counter-cultural tendencies that we participate in poses questions about historification that are not easily resolved, but are rather left in a state of perpetual negotiation. Those who choose to undertake the task of critical writing that present counter-narratives to the omnipresence of music industry journalism in print magazines and on a plethora of music websites inevitably make strategic choices about modes of counter-dialogue to engage diverse readerships. In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of artists/musicians/participants who have printed a number of provocative books that we have followed with great interest. The medium of photography and the photo book was used to tell multiple, interconnected stories about free parties in the Paris catacombs in the truly illuminating Paname sans dessus, dessous! published in 2006. In datacide 10, I reviewed the problematics of Pencilbreak: A Graphicore Compilation, which took the strategy of representing music through the visual medium of flyers, posters and album covers. Published in 2011, Sudden Infant: Noise in My Head, The Actionistic Music and Art of Joke Lanz is a fascinating book that operates on multiple levels as a memoir, a photo book, a collaborative self-history and a discography through the inclusion of an interview with Joke Lanz, drawings, photos of performances, manifestos, poetry, concert posters and flyers, texts by collaborators, and a visual discography. Riccardo Balli engaged in a plundering of counter-narrative strategies in his Italian language publication on Milan’s Agenzia X called Apocalypso Disco: La Rave-o-luzione della Post Techno. The excellent book includes interviews with artists such as Christoph Fringeli, Sansculotte, Daniel Erlacher (Widerstand Records), Ralph Brown and others. Several chapters are made up of Balli’s ingeniously amusing counter-histories of interconnected music genres in a fictional plundering of writings of Philip K. Dick and Fulcanelli (first published in English in Datacide). Another book chapter blurs the boundaries completely between fiction and non-fiction in a retelling of some aspects of the Dead By Dawn parties in 1995. Academic writing informed by ethnographic and anthropological methodologies about sub-cultural musical experiences are investigated in the interview with Graham St. John in another book chapter. Most recently this year, there are two engaging examples of mixing the curatorial project of presenting counter-cultural tendencies through exhibitions with that of a companion book. One project was the exhibit and book Berlin Wonderland: The Wild Years Revisited 1990-1996, which featured short personal narrative texts by artists in music, theater and the arts that gave context to photographs grouped together in themes like ‘open doors’, ‘disarmament experts’, ‘wild gangs’ (both which focus on Mutoid Waste Company), etc. Opening on October 1 in Newcastle, Australia is Fistography – Bloody Fist Records – The Exhibition that displays all the label’s releases in chronological order along with ephemera including press clippings, posters, flyers, equipment and photos. This is a truly monumental archival undertaking documenting the years 1993-2004. Simultaneously, an internet radio broadcast out of Hertford featured the BF back catalog. The exhibit is complemented by a show featuring Xylocaine, Hedonist, Epsilon and Mark N spinning BF tunes on Oct 3. Mark N has also published a 300-page book documenting the label’s history titled Fistography: Bloody First Records, Newcastle, Australia, 1994-2004. Critical readers and participants may have these and many other examples in mind when undertaking the ruckus, fictional experience that is The Rabbit Hole.

This is a deeply amusing fictional novel that will no doubt make readers laugh wildly and at the next turn snicker knowingly at the maschinations of a collective that in one summer throws massive renegade soundsystem parties in various locations in and around London. Many readers, including myself, track down this paperback or ebook because it is one of the few fictional narratives about the worldwide teknival movement, and it is written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr aka Sirius, member of Spiral Tribe and SP23. One of the pleasures of reading this book is the constant elision between fiction, personal experience, and (non)-history – the reader may ask herself at any particular moment, ‘Is this a history of a soundsystem crew revealed in a over-the-top, far-fetched retelling, or a narrative slight of hand imagining what could be?’. That inquiry only takes the reader so far since there’s a lot going on in the book. What becomes much more satisfying is the reader’s traversal of the literary play between the comical, the serious, and the caricatured as the crew members’ grapple with the principles that inform their collective actions, deploy strategies of collaborative artistic creation, experiment with the transformative potential of music, deal with the insidious nature of the music industry and commercialism, and negotiate state repression and infiltration. [Read more →]

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