The precursor to datacide is the magazine titled Alien Underground, which appeared with two issues in 1994/95. In the first issue of Alien Underground, there is a manifesto-like text signed “praxis nov. 1994” titled “Nothing Essential Happens in the Absence of Noise”. It describes “Techno” as a subversive agent that shook up cultural production, whether corporate or independent. “The industry then got the fear (…) because the principle of its organisation > the top to bottom one way transmission > got short circuited, & there was no transmitter or receiver, only a mixer & rooms full of people + noise. (…) a zone populated by savages seeking forbidden pleasures in a wasteland (…) uncontrollable and incomprehensible for teacher, cops, parents, the industry & media.” The backlash was not long to follow: “Formula were created & market research employed, documentaries were made, and laws drafted. It all needed to be brought back into the world of the spectacle, made safe for mass consumption; faces appeared, and like in a demonstration of power, talentless DJ’s were made superstars.” What we saw as raw and subversive was “streamlined for mass-brainwashing & pacification” in the form of “Nazi-Trance and Audio-Valium”. Still there was optimism: “But techno is always mutating, (…) always moving into different directions, & the time is now that transformations are under way that will lead to new places, eruptions, excess… In a situation where most of the supposedly underground parties are playing the same shit as everywhere else, where sponsorship deals + big money have moved in, a new resistance is emerging slowly>>>”.
This was also the moment when TechNET appeared. [Read more →]
The following samples are taken from the book
Noise: The Political Economy of Music by Jacques Attali. The open ended ideas in the writing can be used to comment on any form of music, but we have found it useful to connect it to the subversive, autonomous and political implications of techno.
It is a book of contradictions and enigmas – not least those concerning the author himself: a former advisor to François Mitterand he was lately the Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development before he was forced to resign from his post because of scandals surrounding the amount of funds he had spent on furnishings for his office in Broadgate and his own private jet plane.
With this in mind Noise is the testament to the way that it is possible to use language to fabricate an aura of radicalism whilst remaining reactionary (ie. He is an academic). Or the book may be a heartfelt outburst, the secret scribblings of an
aide tramping the corridors or power and smelling smoke…
Or…a book 132 pages long.
Our science has always desired to monitor, measure, abstract, and castrate meaning, forgetting that life is full of noise and that death alone is silent…Noise bought, sold or prohibited ( “wholly or predominantly characterised by an emission of repetetive beats” – Clauses 58/60 CJB)…Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise. [Read more →]
Unlike previous forms in poplar music techno has concentrated on being an instrumental music and as such almost defies writing that attempts to discuss it. Words are useless, unable to define the effects that sound frequencies and speeds of beats have on the mind and body. The content and form of the music combine into meanings that lie beyond words.
No more wordS
A rejection of words in the form of vocals to a song allows te listener a far more open field of exploration, a space where it is possible to discover those immanent thoughts that are beyond syntax..you enter a room and perceive something as already there, as just having happened, even though it has not yet been done. For words guide us to order, they instill in us the need to have others speak for us; they make us receptive to the fixity of imposed meaning. If being without words is meaningless then techno hints at the possibility of any and all meaning…a living and illicid speech where listening is not judged as passive but part of a process of communication. Techno evades the exhausted vocabulary mouthed by lyricists and legislators, anarchists and authoritarians. [Read more →]
‘I do not write experimental music…my experimenting is done before I make my music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment’.
In any discussions on the reception of music there are two common and inter-related assumptions: music is seen as an art form that is responded to physically and if it is granted any ‘intelligence’ it is as a spiritual or mystical consciousness. The difficulty of talking about music leads to an apprehension of the listening experience manifested by the media’s promotion of music makers as personalities. This advances a cultural mechanism whereby the producers of, say, a record are held in higher esteem than its consumers. But beyond the production/consumption dichotomy and the cultural inaction this creates there lies a social arena that enables the interpretation of apparent division. The listener as operator. The dancer as engineer.
Meaning is generated socially. Without dialogue there can be no meaning. Without interaction there can be no communication. [Read more →]