Reviews

Marcel Bois: Kommunisten gegen Hitler und Stalin – Die linke Opposition der KPD in der Weimarer Republik – Eine Gesamtdarstellung (Book Review)

Marcel Bois
Kommunisten gegen Hitler und Stalin
Die linke Opposition der KPD in der Weimarer Republik – Eine Gesamtdarstellung
Klartext Verlag, Essen 2014
ISBN 978-3-8375-1282-3

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With this 600 page strong book Marcel Bois offers the first comprehensive overall presentation of the history and sociology of the left opposition of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in the 1920s and early 1930s. The emphasis is on a very detailed and scientifically documented depiction of those groups who left the KPD from the mid-20s onwards in the course of its Stalinisation. These were on the one hand the groups around the former leaders of the party such as Ruth Fischer, Arkadij Maslow and Werner Scholem, who with Hugo Urbahns and others, founded the Leninbund (Lenin-League). On the other hand there were the Entschiedene Linke (Decisive Left) and the Gruppe Kommunistische Politik around Ernst Schwarz and Karl Korsch respectively, as well as The Wedding Opposition and smaller groups like Bolschewistische Einheit (Bolshevik Unity). A bit later, the organisational roots of Trotskyism in Germany also emerged. The Spartakusbund linkskommunistischer Organisationen around Franz Pfemfert had a special position in the milieu of the left oppposition.

The founding conference of the KPD took place at the turn of the year 1918/1919 within two months of the end of World War I. Less than two weeks later, two of its most important leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were murdered. There were several attempts from this time through 1923 to make the revolution in Germany happen, which all failed. Already in 1919 a back-and-forth started between more ‘left’ or ‘right’ leaning leaderships, and as early as October 1919 a large section of the party’s left were expelled. The issues at stake were the rejection of elections to parliament and the Leninist party concept by the left. In April 1920 this left constituted the Communist Workers Party (Kommunistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, KAPD), and took with them a large part of the membership of the KPD. This marked a decisive historical break in the international communist movement that was echoed in similar processes of regroupment in other countries. Lenin famously targeted the left with his nasty pamphlet “Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder, denouncing its ‘opinion, declamations and angry ejaculations’ as ‘childish’, ‘particularly stupid’, ‘fundamentally wrong’ and amounting ‘to no more than empty phrase-mongering’. In the process he defended participation in parliamentary elections and reactionary unions, and effectively the dictatorship of the party over the dictatorship of the proletariat. The KPD in the meantime ditched the ‘right’ leadership under Paul Levi, who was appalled by the fact that the party had been dragged into the ‘putschist’ adventure of the ‘March Action’ in 1921. Levi then printed the previously unavailable – now famous – text by Rosa Luxemburg in which she severely criticised the Bolsheviks. [Read more →]

Peter Sedgwick: Psycho Politics – Laing, Foucault, Goffman, Szasz and the Future of Mass Psychiatry (Book Review)

Peter Sedgwick
Psycho Politics – Laing, Foucault, Goffman, Szasz and the Future of Mass Psychiatry
Foreword by Helen Spandler, Robert Dellar, Alastair Kemp
Unkant Publishers, London 2015
ISBN 978-0-86104-352-9

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Peter Sedgwick was born in 1934, joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1954, left it in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution two years later, then joined the Socialist Review Group. This small organization, headed by Tony Cliff, later became the International Socialists (IS). Sedgwick became a frequent contributor to their journal, International Socialism. When the organisation took a turn towards Leninist party-building and renamed itself Socialist Workers Party in 1977, Sedgwick left the group. He fiercely opposed this step, calling it a ‘propaganda-act’, a ‘silly fling’ and a fraud.

Sedgwick worked as a psychologist and school teacher before lecturing on politics at the universities of York and Leeds for the last 15 years of his life. He was the eminent translator of the works of communist dissident Victor Serge.

Besides dozens of articles in the press of the IS, Sedgwick’s main work is Psycho Politics – Laing, Foucault, Goffman, Szasz and the Future of Mass Psychiatry. This book was originally published by Pluto Press in 1982 and was an assault on the ideology of the anti-psychiatry movement of the 60s and 70s and its relative hegemony concerning positions towards mental health issues in the radical left at the time.

He sets out to show how these ideas, originally devised in the interest of the ‘mentally ill’, provided ammunition to those on the right with the agenda of dismantling the welfare state, giving them arguments to withhold adequate funding from the mental health institutions and ultimately shifting the responsibility of taking care of the mentally ill back to ‘the community’ or the family. [Read more →]

Datacide 15 Record Reviews by Nemeton

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Tomohiko Sage
Rusty Knife
[Rodz-Konez MAK047]
Rusty Knife Remixes
[Rodz-Konez MAK048]
Vicious Cycle II
[Rodz-Konez MAK049]

Most tunes made by Sagae are top-notch industrial techno like his 2013 digital only ‘Sleep Deprivation’ two tracker, and the digital only ‘Rusty Knife’ two tracker is no exception. Gritty, clanging, pounding relentlessness sums up the hard hitting tracks ‘Danger Signal’ and the more broken up ‘Rusty Knife’. Absolutely killer! The remix album was released in 2015, and it is a bit of a let down, as the remixes simply don’t stand up to the original tracks. The most interesting one is Makaton’s ‘Rusty Knife Shiv Mix’. The newest release ‘Vicious Cycle II’ on Rodz-Konez keeps going from where ‘Rusty Knife’ left off, and all these are highly recommended.

Centuria
Lost Archives
[Not on Label, D’Arcangelo Self-Released]
There’s sure one way to get people excited, and that is for D’Arcangelo to release on his bandcamp page 4 old demo tracks that were never released by Centuria from 1997. (If you check his soundcloud, a bunch of old single tracks have also been made available.) Download immediately, because it starts with the hard-hitting, distorted ‘Mob Rules’ that certainly engaged with other sound of Rome producers like ADC. ‘Daghen’ and ‘Hudy’ are fast paced splintered idm tracks, and the short track ‘Interferenz’ is abrasive in its simplicity.

Whirling Hall of Knives
P!!ggz
[Fort Evil Fruit FEF40]
Released as a cassette and also digitally, here are 8 tracks of super brutal beat oriented noise. The title track sets the tone with broken up beats gnarled by noise and distortion. [Read more →]

Datacide 15 Record Reviews by Zombieflesheater

 

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toysfornoise / Coexsystems
Insecticide / Acid Wastelands
[Audio Riots 03]

Release number three on the Audio Riots label, a transparent blue 7” , limited to 202 copies, with tracks by Netherlands’ toysfornoise on side A, dystopian metallic background noises, acid modulations and a bassdrum that reminds me of some tekno. The other side by the label boss Coexsystems, with a harder bass drum than on side A, and a more noticeable acid line, straight forward and punchy, classic acid hardcore with a modern face.

8Cylinder
Pour The Poison Out And Let Them Play Until The End
[Unmapped North 03]
Freshly released on 2×10” comes this nice, 100 copies limited, package of 8 tracks from Thac0 and Unmapped North head 8Cylinder. The sleeve design is hand silkscreened and suits the other releases on the label, a very nice overall look as usual from this pittsburgh label. The first plate has six tracks with slow broken beats, very genre free, unpredictable modular-like sounds with a doomy atmosphere, deranged beat constructs which are maybe not easy to get into on the first listen, but that is definitly something good in this case. The second plate goes in the same direction, just that it contains two long single take recordings, which are a little wilder and faster, with bit crushed synths and a straighter beat that reminds of older 8Cylinder tracks or Theeq. More of that, please.

Ripit
Reverse 12
[Bruits De Fond 23]
This release was planned to come out on Reverse Records, but due to the tragic death of label owner and mastering engineer Yann Dub, those tracks remained unreleased till now. Bruits De Fond took over to make them available as a digital release. Six tracks from 2002-09, of which 4 are collaborations with A034, Hecate, Skatolo and Creminel. Excellent, dark, industrial broken beats. [Read more →]

Datacide 15 Record Reviews by Christoph Fringeli

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Lustmord
Things That Were
[Vinyl on Demand, VOD117]

The first self-titled Lustmord LP appeared originally on Nocturnal Emissions’ Sterile Records in 1981. It is one of the classic releases of a particular phase in British industrial music whose sound is defined by outfits such as S.P.K., Nocturnal Emissions, Bourbonese Qualk and others. It could be said that these and other bands/projects represented a “second wave” after the trailblazers of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, continuing a grim sound, reflective of the hostile environment of Britain in the late 70s and early 80s.
In 1983 the Sounds-journalist Dave Henderson compiled a nice overview of this scene in the form of The Elephant Table Album, creating a snapshot of that scene as it was already drifting in different directions, be it more dance-oriented strategies or a more dark, ambient noise vein.
Things That Were, released in 2013 by Vinyl on Demand as triple LP box set, collects Lustmord’s material from before that date. The first of the three LPs is a remastered version of the aforementioned first LP, the other two records collect bits from various compilations (including the Elephant Table) as well as several live- or studio-versions and unreleased tracks. This is long before he became well known for his soundtrack-like dark ambient style, with the one exception of the last track of the third record, which anticipates his departure from the rawer and harsher sound of the early years.

FFF/Champa B
The Burial/Jah Jah Dub
[Lickshot 007]
A two-tracker on a stamped white label 10” shows FFF with Champa B in a more quiet, reggae-influenced mode somewhere between Jungle and early Drum’n’Bass. On both sides the beat remains rather steady and there are no surprises or ravetastic elements as you might expect, but it’s not too cheesy either.

Hellfish
Stage Invader/Tek Hater
[Deathchant 75]
Deathchant reaches number 75 with the man Hellfish battling it out on two 45rpm tracks in his familiar style combining some breaks, start-and-stop techniques and EQ-tweaking with the trademark fierce 4 to the floor pounding. Since number 70 all Deathchant releases have been by Hellfish. Perhaps he figured he might as well just put out his own tunes if he can churn them out at this speed to keep the pressing plants busy (and still find time to make releases for PRSPCT). Now none of them provide new revelations, but I don’t think that’s what they’re made for, they seem to be happy to be just solid kicking Deathchant releases.

Liza N’Eliaz/Laurent Hô
[S.O.D.O.M. 001]
S.O.D.O.M. stands for Slaves Of Devil Our Master and was a label run by Armaguet Nad in the late 90s. It never completely stopped, and after some long gaps there were two releases again in recent years, most recently – January 2016 – the number 001. [Read more →]

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